By Elaura, age 18, California

Sex really does ruin things if you're not ready for it. You hear parents and teachers saying it's not just physical, it's also emotional, and they are right. It really is. I think it would be smart if every girl practices abstinence. Unfortunately for me, I learned the hard way.

For me, sex came when I was too young. I was only fourteen when I first heard the words "I love you" from a boy. Of course, when you're that young you're going to believe him, and I did. I don't regret it, but I wish I'd used more wisdom. He was two years older than me and he always pressured me to have sex with him. After nine months of dating I gave in, not because I wanted to, but because I thought, why not, he loves me. I thought he was the one, and I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him, so why not have sex? I did it to make him happy because I was afraid I would lose him if I didn't. So I let him take my virginity. After that he wanted it all the time. I guess one time wasn't enough for him. So I did it to make him happy. I am ashamed to admit that I let him use me like that, but back then I had no idea. I was too young, and I realized I wasn't ready until too late. After a while I got tired of him pressuring me all the time, so we broke up.

After him I swore to myself I wasn't going to have sex again. Then another boy came along. We dated for nine months. Everything seemed perfect and I was happy...until he asked me to have sex with him. That was a shock because I didn't even know he was thinking about sex. I said no every time he asked. Since he wasn't getting what he wanted from me he turned to my best friend for it. I found out he was cheating on me with my best friend, and it broke my heart because I did it the first time because I was afraid of this happening to me if I said no. I started to think that all boys wanted was sex. So I stayed away from boys for a while.

Then I started dating a guy who was my best friend. I knew he was the one for me. We dated for two years and five months and we have never had sex. He and I are both practicing abstinence. He had his heart broken like I did because of sex. We both agreed to wait. So we had a very platonic relationship, and I am really happy that we did. I think that's one of the reasons we stayed together for so long is because our relationship wasn't based on sex. We are not together anymore, but it wasn't because of sex. This time sex didn't ruin my relationship.

You may think that "this guy is the one" and "he's so perfect that I want to spend the rest of my life with him", but if he is always asking you or pressuring you into sex then that right there should be a sign that maybe all he is really thinking about is sex. Abstinence really is something I think every teenager should practice. It may sound stupid when you hear your parents or teachers telling you this, but I truly think it was the best decision I have made.

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February & March Magazine Issues

March 15, 2012

The February and March issues of Sweet Designs Magazine are now online, featuring a combined 53 new articles and features!!

- Cover: Stephanie Lynn reflects on 5 years
- Cover: India (of Darn-licious knitwear)
- Life in the dumps (moving in with my bf)
- The difference between men and women
- Angels among us (parts 1 and 2)
- Arts graduates & the dark night of the soul
- Triple threat (how I survived my teen yrs)
- Dating isn't easy (my true story)
- How to turn not-so-great gifts ... (fashion)
- Ten reasons to love being single
- Taking the big leap (college)
- Valentine's Day (not what you'd expect!)
- The last of the cold (hopefully) (fashion)
- A month full of love
- Ten tips for successful airline travel
- Reasons I love writing for SDM
- Who needs love?
- They're not all the same
- The life I'm glad I don't have (fiction)
- Professional dress/ finding Fendi (fashion)
- An airport anniversary: a true story
- Inappropriate Facebook photos
- The perks of a big city (college)
- A night(mare) to forget (part 2)
- The Anita Blake series (book review)
- Saving June by Hannah Harrington (book)
- Under the Mesquite by GG McCall (book)
- The Lullaby by Sarah Dessen (book)
- If I Stay by Gayle Foreman (book review)
- My sweetheart (original poetry)
- Isn't it funny (original poetry)
- The stranger (original poetry)
- A winter wonderland (original poetry)
- One night valentine
- The thick envelopes (college acceptance)
- Southern love
- Healthy hair and vitamins
- It's a date (dating idea alternatives)
- The 30 hour famine
- School's out forever!
- Marching right back into spring? (fashion)
- Dear John
- When TV shows depict your life
- 3 Fun ways to rock spring's hottest trends
- Neglected teeth
- Starting something new
- Guy movies
- To hesitate or dive in?
- Deadly, by Julie Chibbaro (book review)
- Beastly, by Alex Flinn (book review)
- I don't care (poetry)
- Together, alone (poetry)

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