Grade 9 pupil in Empangeni in KwaZulu-Natal
“No one wants to be called a virgin. I started having sex last year but some of my friends started when they were 12 years old.
Not that I was ready enough but I just thought why not. You look like a fool if you haven’t slept with anyone.
All my friends have had sex with more than five boys and they don’t feel bad about it, not at all, but it is still a big deal for me. My friends have sex just to claim that they know better and they are much more informed about sex and life as a whole.
The topical issues at school lately are how many styles and positions you have experimented with and how often you have sex.
Some pupils have sex at a friend’s place if the parents are away, or inside the school toilets.
Sometimes I feel that having sex at 14 was not my decision but peer pressure. On the other hand I was tired of waiting and being called a virgin.
I think at the age of 18, every one should be legally allowed to have sex because he or she can make fully-fledged decisions (at that age).
I think we (teens) do things a bit immaturely. There is no need to bring porn magazines to school but my friends do.
I still believe sex should stay private and both parties are responsible for making that happen. If they want to be porn superstars let them face the music.”
Grade 10 pupil on the East Rand, Gauteng
“It is a big deal. As a boy having sex it’s cool. I’m the man. You are the bomb. You also want to be known or respected. We almost always talk about sex in my group. All of us are having sex.
It depends on the situation if we use protection. If we are at a party, we just go ahead. If we arrange a meeting at home, for instance, we use protection.
We never discuss using protection as the guys. We know the dangers though.
The next morning is when I have stress, but at that moment I don’t care about protection and just enjoy the moment. I would say that 70% of the kids at school have the mentality that sex is all that (cool).
I started having sex when I was 14. Everybody was starting to have sex, so I decided not be left behind because I wanted to earn my friends and classmates’ respect. These days the age for starting to have sex is normally 13, but the age is decreasing.
I don’t regret anything I did. I did what I had to do.
Right now at school they teach us about sex, but it is not enough. We can’t ask the questions we want to ask. I haven’t spoken about it with my parents. They haven’t sat down and talked with me about it.
In general, I watch a lot of pornography. Whether on the phone or DVDs or on the channels (TV). Sometimes I watch it alone and sometimes with friends. I want to continue with it. I want to learn different styles of having sex.”
Grade 9 pupil from Polokwane in Limpopo
“Every teenager has sex and I feel like I would be left out if I did not.
Let us say we are sitting as a group of boys. You find one of us bragging about having had sex and others say the same thing and you feel left out or stupid if you cannot share the same experiences.
I started having sex when I was 13. I was drunk and coming home from a school farewell.
I was left in the bus at night, alone with my girlfriend.
We started kissing and ended up having sex. The bus was parked waiting for the driver while other learners were out having fun.
I felt ready.
I decided to do something that would prove that I once dated that girl – which is to have sex.
I have never sent or received a pornographic video on my cellphone.
But my friends have shown me such videos. And when you see them, you become horny and want to have sex.
I do watch pornography, mainly with my friends and we normally want to watch it with girls.
After watching it, we experiment with those girls if they are interested or else we experiment with our girlfriends.”
*Names have been changed.