Want to Have Sex, But Don't Want Him to See My Self-Cutting Scars

Published: April 05, 2017
Dear TeenHealthFX,
So I want to have sex with this guy (we're both legally old enough). I have mental health issues and I self injure so I have a lot of scars and marks on my body. I only injure where no one can see so this guy doesn't know about my injury or my mental health problems. Normally I avoid intimacy because of this, but I really want this. So how do I have sex with a guy even with all of these scars???
Signed: Want to Have Sex, But Don't Want Him to See My Self-Cutting Scars

Dear Want to Have Sex, But Don't Want Him to See My Self-Cutting Scars,

Sex is a very personal, intimate thing. Ideally it is something that occurs between two people who have a close, loving relationship with one another. That said, before considering having sex with this person TeenHealthFX suggests that you spend some time building up your relationship with one another. One sign that you have a close, loving relationship with him is when you reach the point where he does know about your mental health issues and the scars and continues to care about you and relate to you in a caring way. It sounds like you are concerned that he will not be okay with all the different parts of who you are. But if he isn’t, then it’s not healthy for you to be in a sexual relationship with him.

There is a lot to consider when it comes to sexual readiness. If you have questions or concerns, TeenHealthFX suggests you speak to a trusted adult such as a parent, parent of a friend, extended family member, school nurse or your doctor. You can also read the TeenHealthFX article, When Am I Ready for Sex?, as well as the Planned Parenthood article Am I Ready?

When you get to the point where you do feel ready for sex, it is very important to practice safer sex to protect yourself from unwanted pregnancies and the transmission of STDs. TeenHealthFX encourages you to speak to your doctor about safer sex precautions for the future. Doctors generally recommend that teens and young adults who choose to be sexually active use condoms each and every time they have sex to protect against unwanted pregnancies and the transmission of STDs, as well as a back-up method of birth control such as the pill or birth control shot. Your doctor can make the best recommendations for you and discuss with you how to use properly use birth control to maximize its effectiveness.

If you don't have a doctor and live in northern New Jersey, you can call the Adolescent/Young Adult Center for Health at 973-971-5199 for an appointment with an adolescent medicine specialist or contact your local teen health center or Planned Parenthood. A Planned Parenthood health center is a good option if you have concerns about cost or confidentiality issues. You can also contact your insurance company for a list of in-network providers.

FX also suggests that you check out the links in our Resource of the Month: Planned Parenthood Resources on Safer Sex so that you can learn about sexual readiness, how pregnancy happens, pregnancy tests, emergency contraception, birth control, STDs and more. The more educated you are about these topics, the more likely you will make healthy decisions for yourself when it comes to your sexual health.

Finally, TeenHealthFX would like to address your mental health issues and self-injurious behaviors. You did not say whether or not you are receiving any mental health treatment. But if you are not, FX thinks that it is very important for you to be meeting weekly with a reputable mental health professional, such as a clinical social worker or clinical psychologist.

If you live in northern New Jersey and need help finding a therapist you can call the Access Center from Atlantic Behavioral Health at 888-247-1400. Outside of this area you can log onto the US Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website for referrals in your area. You can also contact your insurance company to get a list of in-network mental health providers or check with your school social worker or psychologist to get a list of referrals in your area.

Signed: TeenHealthFX