When you feel close to another person, there is a strong urge to hug, kiss and participate in other activities leading up to sexual activity. It's natural to use sexual activity to express love and affection. But affection can also be expressed in other ways, as well. Enjoying a walk, going bowling or skating, or just watching TV together can help forge an emotional bond without all the risk and baggage inherent in sexual activity. Refraining from sexual activity doesn't mean that you have no affection for your significant other, but it does allow you to enjoy unhindered communication.
Teens - especially girls - may need many things, emotionally. They can use love, approval, validation, commitment and intimacy. But don't confuse being intimate emotionally with being intense physically. Intimacy is when you can completely be yourself with another person, sharing your hopes, dreams fears, without worrying that the other person will laugh at you or talk about you behind your back. Instead of real intimacy, many teens turn to sex. Not only is it not a substitute, it can actually be harmful. (We will get into the details.)
Human sexual behavior is strongly associated with our emotions. Unlike dogs, lions or lowland gorillas, we can weigh our choices and control our physical urges. As a result, humans are able to engage in relationships based on mutual fidelity and trust. Sexual activity is even more rewarding in the context of real commitment. (We call it "marriage." )
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