Tag: Teenager

Lack Of Guidelines To Intimacy: ‘Boys and Sex’

The dreaded ten to twelve-year-old gap where every child becomes curious about their bodies. Feelings begin to arise that weren’t there before, and it seemed as though there was no one to talk to about it. Why is that? Parents have become very distraught with the thought of having a conversation about sex. So much so, that they would rather poke themselves in the eye with a fork. So, then who do we turn to when all else fails? The media of course.

 

Image Via OverDrive

 

Peggy Orenstein’s Boys and Sex, a spin-off from her 2016 Girls and Sex, discusses the in-depth interview that she had with more than 100 college and college-bound boys, and young men on what it takes to be a man. Orenstein discovers that most parents with teenage boys between the ages of seventeen to twenty-two haven’t had the talk about intimacy with their sons. Leaving boys and young men to revert to media for their source of reference, porn. With these distorted ideas of intimacy, these young men find it hard stay away from, as Orenstein puts it, “channeling 1955…still all about stoicism, sexual conquest, dominance, aggression.”

 

Image Via Pacific Standard

 

It’s sad to say but society has made it so that boys aren’t allowed to speak about their emotions and become vulnerable, leaving them fearful of being judged. They have been forced to train themselves to suppress their feelings, except for happiness and anger. This, ultimately, has led many young men to coin the phrase #nohomo for basic human emotions in order to express themselves without being accused of being gay.

 

 

However, it doesn’t stop there. There is also a thin line between being respectful towards a woman and being apart of the “Bro Culture”.

Much like the guidelines for intimacy, young men have not been allotted the opportunity to know what that means. It has come to a point where being respectful to a woman is more of a statement than a guideline. Within the “Bro Culture”, there is little room for any man to stand up or speak up for a girl or young woman without being judged for doing so. Good Morning America praised Orenstein’s book for how it navigates sexuality and masculinity in today’s world, stating that, “Many boys end up going along with things even when they feel like their male peers are being inappropriate.

 

Image Via Teens LoveToKnow

 

The term hookup has been distorted as well. If you don’t know what a hookup is, neither does the rest of the world. Unlike other terms in the young adult language, hookups have more than one meaning. It can mean anything from kissing, oral sex, intercourse, and more. Many of these ‘hookups’ in college can mean any one of those three categories. Due to the broadness of the meaning, there can be expectations for more than what a situation calls for, causing more pressure to go a step further than wanted.

 

Image Via thetrentonline.com

 

Through her conversation with these young men, Orenstein found it surprising to know that gay boys and young men are more open to having conversations about sex with their partners. What makes it so surprising is not because they necessarily have to, but because these group of men are in tune with gaining the consent of their partner. Having this conversation with your partner about what they are into “will be a more mutually gratifying experience for everyone involved.”

 

Orenstein, throughout Boys and Sex, dives deeper into the minds of young men on their definitions of what it takes to be a man. She makes sure to do the same in her previous book Girls and Sex, creating a balancing dynamic of what it is like to be either sex.

 

Featured Image Via Parent.com

 


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Book covers for Two Can Keep a Secret, Shout and Lets Go Swimming on Doomsday

This Week’s Top Genre Must-Reads: Young Adult

Each week, Bookstr will be offering a look at some of the best novels in a particular genre for your continued reading list. Today, we’ll be recommending five recent young adult books for your reading pleasure. Young adult novels are generally written with an 12-18 age bracket in mind but over half of the audience for YA novels is adults (as our audience can attest!) Young adult novels are often just as sophisticated as their adult contemporaries, with a lot of themes about growing up into adulthood and dealing with the perils of being a teenager mixed in. Below, are some of our favorite recently published YA must-reads!

 

5. Let’s Go swimming on Doomsday by Natalie C. Anderson

 

A young African boy stands amidst a raging sea, backlit by a city

Image Via Goodreads

Let’s Go Swimming On Doomsday is a harrowing novel that is nevertheless a great (if stressful) read. Written by Natalie C. Anderson, the story tells of a Somali refugee called Abdi whose family is kidnapped by a ruthless jihadi terrorist group. In order to save his family, he’s forced to become a spy for the American CIA and infiltrate the organization, witnessing horrific acts while trying not to blow his cover. He eventually escapes but is caught for petty theft and forced to reckon with his past. Horrifying and deeply touching in equal measure, the novel touches on themes of redemption and family, making it a must read. Just bring a box of Kleenex.

 

4. Two Can Keep a secret by Karen M. McManus 

 

Two photographs of two young women are stitched together via tape

Image Via Amazon

A gripping YA thriller, Two Can Keep A Secret is about an isolated town called Echo Ridge, where Ellery’s her aunt went missing many years ago, and just five years before Ellery moves there, a homecoming queen also vanished. Ellery has just moved in with her grandmother who she barely knows when another girl goes missing. Now Ellery has to solve the mystery of Echo Ridge, suspecting her grandmother and mother may be keeping dark secrets from her. Captivating and exciting, this new thriller from the author of bestseller One of Us Is Lying is one you’ll want to pick this one up and watch out for the plot twists!

 

3. Four Dead Queens By Astrid Scholte 

 

Four golden crowns lie on the ground amidst a black. void

Image Via Goodreads

Four Dead Queens takes place in the fictional world of Quadara, focusing on master thief Keralie Corrington and upstanding citizen Varin. When their paths cross, Varin accidentally foils Keralie’s latest theft and the bungled thievery attempt leaves them caught in a conspiracy game that leaves four queens of Quadara dead. With no other choice, the two join forces to find who killed the queens and form an uneasy alliance in their quest. Fast paced and with a building mystery, this is a great novel to get sucked into.

 

2. Field Notes on Love by Jennifer Smith

 

A young couple standing front of a train, with a heart between them

Image Via Amazon

Field Notes On Love by Jennifer Smith tells the story of two young teenagers, Mae and Hugo, who decide to ride cross-country via train. Hugo’s girlfriend dumps him, while Mae has been rejected from USC’s film school. The two happen to find each other on the train and grow close inside of the train. But can they stay together as the real world infringes on their idyllic train adventure? This is a fun, romantic, and sweet coming-of-age story of two strangers finding love.

 

1. Shout by Laurie Halse Anderson

 

The cover to Shout featuring a tree growing in a black void

Image Via Goodreads

SHOUT  by Laurie Halse Anderson is a young adult novel for our time. Anderson, author of the groundbreaking Speak, recounts her own upbringing via verse, creating angry, yet hopeful portraits of her life. It is a call to action for survivors of sexual abuse and advocating for them.  It is a novel that will tear you down yet make you feel energized to make real change in what the author calls a failure of society to help survivors of sexual assault. It is a great read and one that everyone should pick up.

 

 

Featured Image Via Goodreads