What if I get caught?

I thought about this question a lot growing up, knowing it would never happen to me. It stressed me out to think that my friends might have had sex and gotten caught by their parents, because I couldn’t fathom looking my mother and father in the eye and having some sort of conversation with them.

I can’t speak for everyone’s parent situation, but I’m confident that if I had gotten caught, my parents wouldn’t have punished me unreasonably. “Punish” is a delicate word here, because sex is not wrong, but sex under certain circumstances is. It goes without saying that the absolute wrong circumstances include rape and assault, but those aren’t the circumstances I’m referring to here.

“Wrong” can also mean unprotected sex between two people who haven’t been tested for STDs. And it can mean unprotected sex between two people who aren’t financially or emotionally ready to have a child together. All of these circumstances plague parents as their children are growing up. Of course they don’t want their children to be victims of sexual violence, but they also don’t want the consequences of a child’s mistake to fall on them, because they’ve got their own lives to lead. Yes, they’re responsible for their children, but they didn’t necessarily plan or budget for medical bills pertaining to antibiotics, an abortion – or a grandchild.

It’s easier said than done – and it’s also easier when parents are both liberal and communicative – but if there’s a mature road to take, by all means, take it. If you feel you can have the conversation with your parents that you’d like to purchase a form of birth control, you’ll demonstrate that you’re being prepared and getting in front of a potential problem. If you feel you can’t have that conversation, think of another adult who might be comfortable to talk to about it. Or if adults are out of the question, figure out how to get to your local Planned Parenthood, and they’ll answer your questions and get you set up with condoms, birth-control pills, whatever you need. If you’re mature and reasonable about it, your parents will have less to fight you on.