Our society is bombarded with images and messages of casual sex. We are obsessed with it.

With the popularity of Tinder, Grindr, pornography, and “Friends with Benefits,” one might think that sex is nothing more than an amusement park ride- something to enjoy while it lasts without expecting it to affect the rest of your life. Very rarely do we allow ourselves the honest conversation about the sacredness of sexuality, and the impact of not treating it as such.

US News & World Report revealed that “A study released in The Journal of Sex Research found higher levels of general anxiety, social anxiety and depression among college students who recently engaged in casual sex. Those who reported having casual sex also reported lower levels of self-esteem, life satisfaction and happiness than those who did not have casual sex prior to the study .”(1)

You have the opportunity to live out a very different lifestyle than the one I just described. You need not settle for mediocre relationships of taking what you can get and allowing someone else to use you for their own temporary pleasure, with no concern for how you or them will feel tomorrow morning.

So in case no one has ever told you, you are beautiful. You are smart. You are desirable. Not only for this moment of selfish pleasure. You deserve to be honored, cherished, admired. You deserve to share your ideas and opinions and dreams. You deserve to be loved- mind, body, and soul. You deserve freedom. Freedom from disease. Freedom from mistrust. Freedom from unplanned pregnancy. Freedom from self-loathing.

You are not what you have done, or what has been done to you. You can value and respect yourself and others, remembering that it is your choice to say no. You can begin to view yourself and others through a different perspective, one that acknowledges the sacred gift of sexualty.

If you would like to speak with an advocate about healthy decision making in relationships, please call 919-833-0096 or text 919-502-0096.

(1) http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2013/07/03/study-casual-sex-hurting-college-students-mental-health