Most of my friends are sexually active. If I don’t act like them, they will think I am odd.

Traditionally, talking about sex has been taboo in many societies, and religion set ethical guidelines for sexual matters. As societies evolved, religion has lost much of its influence over society. Attitudes towards sex have also changed considerably over the years, with more liberal views becoming the norm, such as sex outside of marriage. In the name of “sexual liberation,” casual sex and one-night stands are openly discussed and almost encouraged. It will be helpful to reflect deeply on our own attitude towards sex and moral values – what are our influences, who is doing the talking, are these attitudes our own, or simply what society or our peers consider “cool.” Do we simply follow?

Many young people may think that a sexual act is just like any other thing they do for fun and enjoyment, and so long as both parties agree, it is okay. However, the reality is, many young people have told me that they regretted having casual sex. When we are not mentally ready enough for a sexual relationship, casual sex can increase the risk of destroying what could have been a good friendship and even our lives. Imagine what could happen if a baby was not just born, but born premature? Just like a premature baby, the hurt resulting from premature sex could be deep-seated and could remain unhealed for many years. Some young people have expressed that they lost joy in their lives as a result of the mental wounds from having a sexual relationship they were not ready for.

Just as there are restricted zones on the roads, so too do our bodies. We only allow very special persons whom we trust completely, to enter these restricted zones. It takes time to build trust and intimacy.

We need to be mindful and check ourselves, our mental attitudes, and values. Choose wisely the values you want to be influenced by – the social norms set by magazines, or the ones offered by the wise sages. Which ones will lead you to genuine happiness?

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