So I'm new here, just joined, but I've been reading the posts for a while now. I'm 19 and started my first relationship about four months ago. Since then and since starting college, conversations about sexuality and being physical and exploration have increased leaps and bounds. I went to see the Vagina Monologues last night with a good friend, and we both were thoroughly impressed - I wish this was the sex ed they had in middle/high school! I was so proud to call myself a woman, so proud to be connected to the fifty women on stage and the hundreds of women in the audience. This is the first time in my life that I have truly felt beautiful within my own skin - I've started sleeping naked occasionally, enjoying the feel of clean sheets against my skin and the languorous freedom of nakedness for the first time.
I've started thinking about my own boundaries and where I want to draw the line, but I'm having a hard time coming to any conclusions. I know right now that I am not ready for sex, I am not ready for the intensity of the profound emotional and physical connection that I believe comes with sex. I am also not ready for the social implications, I think, which sounds more shallow than I mean. I have an odd stigma about being on the pill, and I'm not sure if I'm just being paranoid or too touchy about it, or if it's okay to be concerned.
My boyfriend, as a side note, is extremely supportive and loving and wonderful - he never talks about me being on birth control, he always talks about us being on birth control, how he's not comfortable with anything more until we have some kind of protection, and how if I ever, ever feel uncomfortable or unsafe or anything, he wants me to tell him immediately. Neither of us are ready for sex with the other yet, neither of us want to push the issue more or force ourselves into anything we don't want - if the decision comes up, it comes up, and if it doesn't, it doesn't. If it does, however, I want to be able to make an informed choice, not blindly following passion, but not hiding my emotions either.
I guess what I'm looking for is advice and stories. How did you make your first decision? Who did you talk to beforehand? When did you first start thinking about being sexually active? What was the story of your first love?
Most importantly, were/are you happy with the choice you made?
I'm not really worried or nervous - just thinking. And I would love to be able to ask a supportive community of women my questions.
edit: thanks so much for all of your stories and advice! very helpful and it's gotten me thinking some more. Thank you!