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F E B R U A R Y '99

Dear msX,
My problem is my boyfriend. He seems to feel that he doesn't need to share information with, what weekend night we'll spend together, or what he's going to be doing a particular day, I always have to ask on, like, THURSDAY, what he's doing on the weekend. And then he responds with his whole weekend itinerary, and makes it seem like he can maybe fit me in somewhere, between his fishing and volleyball practice. I know he loves me and is not cheating on me...I just want to know how to get him to tell me what he's up to (I don't need to know every detail) and tell me weekend plans without me having to ask and in a way that makes me feel like a priority to him.

signed, Frustrated

Dear Frustrated,
Your dilemma reminds me of a family legend. My brother-in-law dated the same girl throughout high school. He saw her every Saturday night. Friday and Sunday were reserved for his pals and this was a sore point at the beginning of their relationship, but in later years, he believed that he had "trained" his girlfriend to respect his time with the guys. At the end of high school, he proposed to her. She refused. Why? Because she was marrying the guy she'd been dating on Friday nights for their entire senior year. BTW, this is an entirely true story.

So did you learn something from it? I hope you got that you are supposed to fill your own time up and not wait for someone to fit you in. If HE fits into your plans and you want to see him, do it, by all means. But, learn the fill the rest of your time with people and stuff that you enjoy. You
will be far less frustrated.

Have fun,

Dear msX,
This is so embarrassing, but here goes. I am almost seventeen years old and I haven't gotten my period yet. There HAS to be something wrong with me, isn't there? I'm not really skinny or anything like that, and I'm still a virgin ( yes ms X- some girls still are!).

In fact this is worrying me about my sexual life. I have a longtime boyfriend, but I'm afraid to even bring up the sexual subject because of this. Would this effect my having sex? Can guys tell if you haven't had a period yet?
And why haven't I? I feel like such a freak.
signed, Embarrassed

Dear Embarrassed,
Do you talk to your mother at all, hon? Doesn't she ask if you've ever had your period? Ask her when she first got hers, that is usually a good predictor as to when a daughter might start menstruating. Then tell her you're concerned and want to make an appointment with a doctor. This doesn't mean there is anything wrong with you! And, if there is, it can most likely be easily corrected. But, you sound worried. So I know that putting yourself in a doctor's care and learning the facts will alleviate alot of your worry. And that's a pretty nice gift to give to yourself!

As for your boyfriend, I don't know. Some men are oblivious to women's cycles, others know you have PMS before you do! Your period is not a prerequisite to having sex, but I would not go unprotected as you don't want to take a chance that you might be ovulating at that very moment! See a doctor and then decide.

Good luck,


Dear msX
I have a big problem !!!! Seriously. My problem is that I think I'm in love with my stepbrother. Really.

This is so taboo. Really. But we've gotten really close and I always want to do things for him and be around him. He doesn’t know, and neither does my mom or his dad. I really love him though Ms X!!!

What should I do????
signed, Taboo

Dear Stepsister,

There are some things to consider how old you both are, how long you've been stepsiblings, whether you live together as family, as well as how a relationship with him will impact on other family members. Next, what I think you have is a crush on your stepbrother. Love takes a long, long time to develop and, unless reciprocated, is more like a crush. Crushes we get over pretty quickly, so they are not things we want to risk future family harmony over. Crushes are best kept to oneself.

Extenuating circumstances - if you've only recently become a family and you're both over twenty-one, then I guess it would be okay to pursue a relationship. Even then, you have to think of the future awkwardness that might occur at family gatherings once the two of you go your separate ways (which is probably more than a fifty-fifty deal). If you don't live with your stepbrother, the taboo weakens. It is really when you break bread daily and share personal space, bathrooms, family politics that messy up things. You be the judge of what applies.

But, I think I owe it to you to repeat the cliche usually assigned to office romances, but very applicable in this case. YOU DON'T SH*T WHERE YOU EAT! Think about it.

Best of luck,


Dear msX... I need some help.

I am sixteen and a virgin, and me and my boyfriend have been dating for a year now, and we feel that we're mature enough to have sex. I really want to do this, because I feel that he loves me. I wouldn't give up my virginity to just anyone- unless I felt that there was a good reason.

What I want to know is how to assure that we would be having safe sex. I've read on these questions and answers things about being pregnant, etc, and don't want that to happen to me. I want to be smart about this.

My boyfriend has offered to wear a condom and I'm considering if I should ask my mom if I can get on the pill. Do you have any other suggestions for me about my first time with sex?
signed, Being Careful

Dear Smart One,
I must applaud you on your decision to practice safe and responsible sex. I wonder if reading some of what AmyW has shared with us has influenced your thinking...if you haven't read her columns, you may wish to check them out.

Condoms are only so much protection. Younger people can be very fertile. I wouldn't take a chance. Of course, you must still use a condom for safe sex reasons, but you might want to see your doctor about a more reliable birth control. I can't speak for your relationship with your mom. Will she balk at taking you for birth control? But, having a gynecological exam before you become sexually active might be the thing to do. There are family planning clinics that will see teens, in some states, without parental consent. You can ask your guidance counselor if you're comfortable or check out Planned Parenthood in your state. It will also be a great opportunity for you to ask any questions you might have with a trained medical professional.

As for your first time, it is always better when you love the one you're with...and trust and respect are a big part of love. Enjoy.




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