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close this bookMezzo: For Young People by Young People (IPPF, 1997, 52 p.)
close this folderPERSONAL
View the documentFOCUS ON: sexual abuse. No means no
View the documentShazia's dilemma. Who chooses your marriage partner
View the documentDear Pramilla. Mezzo's problem page
View the documentPregnant. Consider your options with a little help from mezzo
View the documentViewpoint. UNFPA essa competition winners
View the documentPrivate and confidential. The essential qualities to look for in a family planning clinic
View the documentWhat if...? Do any of these situations sound familiar?

Dear Pramilla. Mezzo's problem page

Problem page

Aunty Pramilla will answer all of your questions and sort out your problems -send 'em in. We regret that Aunty Pramilla is unable to enter into any personal correspondence.


Peer pressure

I've been going out with my girlfriend for a few months now and things are going really well. We are both very happy and have great fun when we're together. You may wonder what the problem is then. Well, everything is fine except my mates assume that we've had sex even though we haven't. At first it didn't really bother us, but now when I'm with my friends, they're always going on about it and are making it into a big deal. It's beginning to get embarrassing. What can I do?

Anon, New Zealand

People can feel pressure from their friends at any stage and on any issue in their lives. We all need to feel accepted by our friends. But it's wrong to let them tell you how to live. What you do or don't do with your girlfriend is a matter between you and your girlfriend and no one else. Obviously you've discussed whether or not to have sex with your girlfriend and that's all that counts. Now you have to find a way to deal with your friends. It's probably best to be clear and honest about it. That doesn't mean you have to tell them the full story. Just say that ifs a matter between you and your girlfriend.

Arranged marriage

I'm 14 and at the moment my parents are trying to find a husband for me. I'm afraid that they'll choose someone I won't like, What can I do? I love my parents very much, and I don't want to hurt them. How can I be sure that they'll choose the right man for me?

Scared, India

Marriage is a significant ceremony for many people. The way that a partner is chosen varies between different cultures and religions. Sometimes young people can choose their own partner; sometimes parents choose for them- Obviously you're a little worried about the choice that your parents make for you. Try and discuss your fears with your parents. Think about what kind of husband would make you happy and feel secure. Maybe you can also ask your parents to wait until you have a better idea of what you want and need.

Should I wait?

I'm 18 and I think that I've met the man of my dreams. The only problem is that he doesn't know it yet. I'm completely in love and want to go all the way with him. We've been going out for a while now but he's never suggested that we have sex. We haven't really talked about it either. I really want to prove that I love him, Should I be more forward or should I wait? At the moment, he is just kissing and cuddling me, but goes no further. Is this normal?

Impatient, Brazil

Love and affection are shown in many ways. Sometimes it's obvious in the way that you behave with someone you love. Being in love can be very confusing. But you don't hove to have sex just because you're in love. That doesn't mean you shouldn't have sex. But if you do, you must both wont it. and keep it safe. You and your boyfriend have to work out for yourselves what is good for you. The only way to find out is to talk openly about it. Tell him how you feel and find out what he wants. Maybe he's just shy or he may not be ready yet.

I'm so nervous

I'm 17 and I've got a new girl friend. Although we have slept together, we've never had sex. It's not that we haven't tried. Every time we try, I get really nervous and lose my erection. My girlfriend thinks that I don't fancy her any more. The thing is though, I've told her that I'm sexually experienced but actually I'm a virgin. I'm worried that if we have sex, she'll realize that I've never done it before and she won't want to be with me I love her very much and I can't bear the thought of losing her. What should I do?

Embarrassed, Camerron

Many young (and older) men can have the some problem as you. The penis is an object of pleasure but also of anxiety. Men often worry about the size of their penis or their performance in bed. They desperately want to be good lovers. Unfortunately, erections and anxiety ore not a good combination. The more you worry, the more likely you are to have problems with your erection. In your case the best way out is to be open with your girlfriend and take it from there. Virginity is nothing to be ashamed of! Maybe you are not yet ready to have sex. There are many other ways to enjoy each other. She may find you more attractive when she finds out you are a virgin because then she doesn't feel she has to "perform" either.


Dumped and hurt

I have been going out with this girl for more than two years. We've had our problems, but we have always been able to discuss them. Over and over again she assured me how much she loved me. Then suddenly, out of the blue, she told me she wanted to stop seeing me because she wasn't sure whether she was still in love with me. I feel terrible, not only because she left me but also because I am sure that she has met someone else and is seeing him behind my back, I feel like I have lost two years of my life.

Depressed, UK

You must feel very hurt, losing a person you thought loved you. Whether you are the person who is doing it or whether you are the victim, breaking up is hard and sad and it can hurt your pride. But it is better when a person is straight and honest about it. Getting over a relationship takes time, sometimes a long time. You get angry, jealous, desperate, sad and uncertain about yourself. It is good to accept those feelings for the time being. You probably think that nobody understands what you ore going through. But you will get over it eventually. It may help to take your mind off it all and maybe meet some new people. A new relationship is probably the last thing on your mind, but eventually this will happen again.

Pregnancy fear

I'm 18 and I live in a town where everybody knows each other. I've been going out with a guy far a few months. Two months ago, after a party, we had sex. He told me how much he loved me and that he would take care of me. I thought it would be safe. Now I haven't seen him for a couple of weeks. My period is late and I am getting desperate. I cannot go to the doctor here, because I am sure he will tell my parents.

Anxious, Mexico

It must be a very difficult time for you; not knowing whether you ore pregnant and losing your boyfriend at the some time. First, you have to find out as soon as possible whether you ore pregnant or not. Your doctor should be confidential, that is your right If you still don't trust him. you must try and find another doctor or a family planning center to help you. For the time being this is the most important thing. Later you can decide whether you still want to involve your "former" boyfriend. Maybe it is better to forget about him. From the way you describe him, he doesn't deserve you.

Could it be better?

My boyfriend and I have sex regularly. Everything is OK. But I cannot help thinking that it could be better than this. I often find our lovemaking boring. I do get excited, and I am sure he likes it. very much. I am not sure whether I ever have an orgasm, so I don't know what it feels like to have one in the first place. I do love my boyfriend very much and I don't want to lose him, but I feel something has got to change.

Dissatisfied, Latvia

A lot of women don't have an orgasm during intercourse. When you make love you have to concentrate on many things. To concentrate on yourself and your own body and feelings isn't always easy. Nobody can tell you exactly what an orgasm is and you cannot expect your boyfriend to do this. You can find out yourself by masturbation or touching your vagina and clitoris. There is no set way of doing this. You have to explore yourself and find out what you like best.

If you want to make your lovemaking more exciting, maybe you could discuss this with your boyfriend. It could be that he doesn't know about alt this either.

Confused feelings

I'm 19 and I have a problem which I cannot discuss with anyone. I have been going out with a girl. for some time now. I think she is very sweet and I would like to be with her for the rest of my life. But I also have feelings for guys. I have felt like this before, but I used to ignore it. But now I feel I can no longer deny that I am also attracted to men in a sexual way. I've met this guy at work who really likes me. I am not sure whether he is gay or not but my feelings for him are getting stronger all the time.

Confused, USA

It must be very confusing for you to have all these different feelings. A lot of guys go through exactly what you're going through light now. Understanding your sexuality doesn't happen overnight, it takes time. It could be possible that you have strong homosexual feelings. It could also be possible that you are no longer physically attracted to your girlfriend. This doesn't mean that you will not be attracted to other women. Don't rush yourself into actions and into decisions you may regret later. It may be on idea to take time out of relationships altogether. Then you can get a better idea about what you actually want.