* As I have said, there comes an age and degree of maturity and expe- rience, certainly not the same age for all, when some adolescents feel they are ready for heavy petting and when they start thinking and talking about whether or not to have sexual inter- course. Here, while I discussing petting, I want to add a word about the strong desire that most adoles- cent boys, and many girls, feel to experience the full sexual satisfaction of an orgasm. For unmarried people, especially young and immature ones, probably intercourse is not the best way to do this, all things considered.
In earlier Episodes I discussed masturbation as a harmless way of acheiving orgasm. There are some couples who masturbate together. If a boy and a girl do engage in this sort of petting to orgasm, it is very important that they be considerate of each other, and especially that the boy understand that his partner may be feeling much less sexually aroused than he - possibly not aroused at all. The girl, on the other hand, should know that what she may have meant to be only a friendly touch may be taken quite differently by the boy - as an invitation to go much further than she wants to go. These differences help explain why knowing how to talk about sexual feelings with one's partner is so important to a happy, healthy and satisfying sexual life.
* Boys and girls should not feel pushed into necking and petting, or into intercourse, by their friends or the customs of their group. There are many teenage boys and girls who do not want to engage in physical express- ions of affection or who are quite embarrassed by them. They may want to wait until they have grown up more; they may have other, keener interests; they may not yet feel ready for the emotional effects. Certainly, you shoud not allow yourself to be pressured into sexual activity you do not want just because you are afraid that people will think you are square or not 'with it' unless you are sexually active. Many young people feel deeply, like the second boy I quoted earlier, that they want to save the intense physical expressions of love until they are married, when they can expect to have a lifetime of loving and caring, and of learning together the ways that a couple can give and receive sexual satisfaction.
* Another consideration to keep in mind is that many people, especially older people, have been brought up to feel, and still feel deeply, that expressions of affection between boys and girls should be inconspicuous - not public. They consider this simply a matter of good taste. Boys and girls who go against the stan- dards that many people feel are acceptable are likely to make such people unhappy or uncom- fortable, and are likely to be criticized. I have spoken of some of the pleasures and rewards of the sexual side of human social life - and of some cares and cautions that you should exercise. Perhaps, though, you may be thinking, like the first boy quoted in earlier article by me 'Well, when you are old enough to feel like satisfying your sexual drive, why not just find a member of the other sex who is willing and go ahead and satisfy it?' Before you decide on this, here are some more important considerations to think through : The Article in Next Episode