Kieran Yates: Dear my younger self

Dear my younger self,

First of all, people lie all the time. That will not change in your life and you’ll have to become an expert in sourcing fabrication and exaggeration as you move through it. By now, everyone knows that this is particularly maniacal around sex in school, and as a teenager. So, I’ll help you uncover what is and isn’t true, because annoyingly, (depending on how you see it) sex really is one of those things that you have to just experience to understand. And even then, it takes ages for you to really understand what anything means. 

Two condoms isn’t necessary, in the same way that playing Jodeci on repeat won’t cover up all your embarrassing naked nearly-giving-him-an-aneurysm-via-elbow moments and transform you into sensual R&B babe. You’ll have partners that try and insist on feeding you misinformation about condom-choking and various other asphyxiation-by-penis type lies. They are not true. Take it from me, none of those penises are too big for standard issue condoms.

Unbelievably, that story about [you know who’s] peen turning purple from a condom allergy which your mate tried to panic you about? Never happened. The conspiracies about how the government issue hormones that try and control you via coils and pill are urban myths too. The people who told you that now spend their lives in Reddit K-holes, writing about chemtrails and the Prime Minister being a lizard so…yeah. Oh, and circumcised penises can still get STI’s – I can’t believe boys tried it with that one.

 Emergency contraception is always a delicate dance. Just speak up, it makes it worse if you whisper at the counter, the lady behind it will make you repeat it louder each time. When you go to the doctors don’t fake-limp into the surgery to throw people off the scent. You’re not a very sophisticated physical actor, and you’re only drawing attention to yourself.

When the nurse asks you about your partner, don’t panic and say he’s your husband – you’re 16. It’s fine to dawdle around waiting for the queue to go down in the pharmacy before you decide to go and ask – it will be a few years yet until you feel totally confident but look, being shy is fine, who cares? Take all the time you need and let the heat in your face be a good reminder to try and make these visits as rare as you can, and that this isn’t only your responsibility.

Being called frigid really isn’t the worst thing in the world. No-one cares.

In the same way that you will eventually get tired of your baggy jeans dragging on the floor, soaking up rainy puddles and eventually tearing, making you trip up on rips and go hurtling towards bus doors, you will also get tired of getting your sex education from girls in school. 

Your mates might be right about the fact that Placebo are the best band ever, that Korn merch will never go out of style, and that you’ll probably never have a crush as intense as your one on Brandon Boyd, but she’s not right about the fact that boys lose interest if you don’t wanna have sex. 

Or that there’s only one way to experience it, or that it’s fixed to a gender. It’s fluid, and you’ll also have to learn that it’s not a level playing field when it comes to how boys are allowed to articulate pleasure and desire, but you’ll find your voice. Build a network of non-judgemental people you can talk to about this stuff (without bitchy Asian aunties intercepting via snitch cousins) and learn how to shrug about it all. 

Always find the jokes, because it’s supposed to be fun – and confusion around contraception, fears, the myths, the details and the shame all dissipate once you get a sense of humour about it.

 Saying that, I do advise stretch every morning for optimum acrobatics. Start early!!

It might be a few years before you learn how powerful it is to say no – (not just in sex, in life, love, career and friendships, trust me, it will change your life) and you will learn that the most intense love you will ever feel will be with someone you can just be with. It might not make sense now, but it will. I’m excited for you.

Love from,
Kieran

ellaOne® 30mg film-coated tablet contains ulipristal acetate and is indicated for emergency contraception within 120 hours (5 days) of unprotected sex or contraceptive failure. Always read the label.