Do’s and Don’ts of Prom Night Sex

Will you or won't you? Consider these seven little rules.

My editor asked me to write a column about sex on prom night.

She told me it couldn’t be a column telling kids not to do it, but rather to list the Do’s and Don’ts if they’re gonna do it anyway.

I may be the worst person to have been asked to write this column.

“How are you going to write a column about sex on prom night?” my husband laughed. “You know where you stood when you were in high school. Totally anti-sex.”

He was right. It wasn’t so much that I was a prude or even saving myself for Prince Charming.

It was that I was afraid of getting pregnant. My mom had convinced me that as soon as I had sex, my belly would magically balloon with child. I had ambitions that didn’t include an unplanned pregnancy.

Teens like Bristol Palin, Jamie Lynn Spears and all of the stars on MTV’s Teen Mom prove my mom’s argument had substance.

On the other hand, she did tell me, when I was in high school, “If you do decide to have sex with your boyfriend, just promise me you will use protection.”

While it grossed me out to have my mom tell me to use protection if I have sex with my boyfriend, I appreciated the respect she gave me as an individual.

My mom was savvy back then in acknowledging that teens do face temptation every day. Shucks, just take a look at Brenda and Dylan in the original 90210.

And that’s why I think I may actually be the best person to write this column. I believe in our young women and men and their ability to make the right choice, particularly the right choice for them. That said, here are my Do’s and Don’ts of Sex on Prom Night:

1. Do Protect Yourself

Mom was right. If you are going to go all the way on prom night, do it as safely as possible. Don’t just arm yourself with birth control pills. Make sure to use a condom to protect yourself as much as possible from sexually transmitted diseases, such as herpes and hepatitis B. (Read a little about STDs and teens, too. It’s never a bad idea to be more educated.)

And be aware that condoms break. There are always consequences to every action. Is this a boy or girl you trust? It wouldn’t hurt both partners to get a clean bill of health from their physicians.

2. Don’t Expect to See Your Prom Date in Summer

I get it. He’s the guy of your dreams. She’s your fantasy girl.

In summer, it’s also just as likely that he or she will be a fond memory of high school.

Make sure this is the person you want to share this experience with without requiring it to be permanent.

In fact, I’ve got a few friends who broke up with their significant others right after prom.

Prom forces a lot of romance that wouldn’t normally occur. Prince Charming may actually be a toad after graduation.

3. Don’t Do Anything You Wouldn’t Want Tweeted

When I was in high school, most prom night sex talk was conjecture. “He said-she said” stuff was thrown around, but rarely substantiated.

These days, prom-night sex can be tweeted the very next morning, if not immediately after the deed.

If you don’t want to see your date’s status changed to “TOTALLY DID IT!” you may want to hold off.

4. Do Know Your Bodies are Changing – Thank Goodness!

In high school your bodies are rarely what they will become. Girls get curvier in college and guys get a little more muscle.

Most of us fantasize about sex with movie stars – no one is built that way in their teens. If you think Justin Beiber is cute but fantasize about Robert Pattinson in bed, you may want to hold off. Beiber’s body is pretty much what you get with a high school boy.

5. Don’t Expect This to Be the Best Sex of Your Life

He doesn’t know what he’s doing. She doesn’t know what she’s doing. There’s no way this is going to be awesome.

It will likely hurt. It will also very likely disappoint.

True intimacy is founded on love and care. While some were lucky enough to find The One in high school, many of us had to wait for college and beyond.

6. Don’t Make the Backseat of a Car Your First Time

No one owns their own pad in high school, which means the first time could very likely wind up being the backseat of a car or in someone’s parent’s house.

Think about this very hard before deciding to go all the way. Practice telling your future child about your first time. Do you want it to start with, “When Mommy was in high school, I liked this boy so much we had sex in his Toyota Corolla?”

Personally, I like this one better: “When I met your dad in college, we were very much in love. When we were ready to take our relationship to the next step, we made sure it was in the right place.”

7. Do Be Aware Your Relationship Will Never Be the Same

Sex is a big step.


For me, it was an intimate experience I’m happy to have only shared with the guy I married. I’m selfish that way.

Just know your prom date will see you in class, at graduation, in college or even at the mall, and he or she will know that you shared a very intimate moment. If you can deal with that, you’re likely a stronger soul than me.

No matter what you decide that night, please remember there’s one thing you must have for each other as well as preserve for yourselves: Respect. 

Merrilee Boyack April 13, 2012 at 12:32 AM
Wow, I am practically speechless. Since you somehow cannot say it, I will. DO NOT HAVE SEX ON PROM NIGHT. You are worth so much more than that. If that's what your date wants, find another or stay home. You deserve to be with someone who has made the commitment (i.e. marriage) to you before you give anyone that which is most precious - your intimate self. And your LIFE is worth more than any date.
Komfort April 13, 2012 at 01:46 AM
Mr Very Honest April 13, 2012 at 04:11 PM
Pretty sad commentary and embarassing to post this, Patch. What a wonderful place to consider losing your virginity: Prom Night! It might hurt though.
Selina Forte April 13, 2012 at 04:33 PM
I actually had to re-read this article. Prom night sex is SO cliche. Initially, I thought it was a little gross and maybe my opinion was colored by the title. But once I read it again, I thought Genevieve did an excellent job of illustrating some of the consequences. It isn't the how-to guide I thought it was at first glance, but rather cleverly designed to have prom goers maybe think about their actions beforehand. The main thing I took away from the article - respecting yourself.
Mary Lou St Lucas April 13, 2012 at 04:44 PM
This article is from last year. Where did the old comments go? I thought this was inappropriate then, and still do.
GMan April 15, 2012 at 03:07 PM
Everyone needs to chill... My and my gf are responsible and of age. We know the consequences and thats why we protect ourselves. Hardly anyone waits until marriage and I find it to be a bad idea. Sex is an important part of a relationship and I wouldnt want to get married to some one only to find out that it doesn't work mechanically. Stop being such prudes(:
Things I Learned April 15, 2012 at 04:26 PM
That's what he said.
Mary Lou St Lucas April 15, 2012 at 05:34 PM
Not a prude, i agree with you, especially the mechanical part. But for some reason the article still strikes me as inappropriate for Patch.
Yvonne May 16, 2012 at 03:38 PM
Do’s and Don’ts of Prom Night Sex Are you freaking kidding me? Jeez, there are a few more Proms to go...maybe Patch can rent out the Poway Country Inn for the evening and get everyone out of the backseat of the "corolla" as they condone this physically and emotionally risky behavior of our teenagers! Free breakfast at the Kountry Kafe if it was your first time and the condom didn't break!
Bob A O'Reilly May 16, 2012 at 09:29 PM
Yep. Dumb article.
Yvonne May 17, 2012 at 02:31 AM
"Will you have sex on prom night? Tell us in the comments." Yeah, kinda sorta wildly inappropriate there Patch!
Mary Lou St Lucas May 17, 2012 at 04:23 PM
"Upload Photos and Videos" uhhhh... yeah right
Simone Mussner June 21, 2012 at 05:24 AM
Sex is an experience very special and personal. I feel people should make love when they are ready. Prom Night has nothing to do with sex, and you should not have sex with just your date but someone you actually care for and love. Whether that be a long time boyfriend, husband or girlfriend. It is judgemental to think that everyone has sex on prom night. Get a life.
Simone Mussner June 21, 2012 at 05:27 AM
I completely agree with you. Kudos to keeping it real.
Linda Jahnke January 08, 2013 at 01:30 AM
I am so sad that another adult has capitulated to our pop culture mentality. Get some wise journalists and save your "advice" for cosmo.
PH resident January 23, 2013 at 10:56 PM
Wow. How about raising our kids with some morals and teaching them that teen sex is wrong, period? This is despicable.
F. Dunn April 05, 2013 at 05:50 PM
Not sure how this topic came up again. But I will say that this is still an important thing to discuss. I know of several girls who lost their virginity on prom night. Prom night 1973.
Kasey Allister April 30, 2013 at 02:28 AM
I think she did a great job with the article. She isn't saying "hey go out and do it on prom night!" She knows that its going to happen, so she's just preparing you for what to do and what to expect. She lays out some pretty clever pieces of advice and insight for those who do plan to have sex after prom. Maybe your prom date is your lucky someone, and you're already into each other after that last slow dance that you wanna take it all the way. Round of applause for Genevieve
Carrie McQueen May 08, 2013 at 05:22 PM
Thank you Merrilee, are you sure you don't want to stay in Poway and help us? I've enjoyed the local Patch updates, but I think it's time to unsubscribe if this is the "mandated content" from their editor. Best wishes on your move back home, you have a special place in my heart after giving me the last puzzle piece for my boys' adoption years ago.
Carrie McQueen May 08, 2013 at 05:48 PM
"You've been unsubscribed from all Patch emails" Time to spend time with publications that support how we are (and want to continue) raising our families.
Hatefazi Brook May 23, 2013 at 01:17 PM
Genevieve A. Suzuki you are a moron of epic proportions. Did you know integrity is actually possible. Honor, dignity and self respect are all possible. Honest.
Bernie Lopez July 10, 2013 at 03:59 PM
Terrible. Unacceptable. Really? Don't expect to see your 'prom hookup' during the summer? "Make sure this is the person you want to share this experience with without requiring it to be permanent." That right there is promoting finding the perfect hook up that you don't have to see again. Here it is. Plain and simple. DO NOT HAVE SEX UNTIL YOU ARE READY TO BE A PARENT. PERIOD. No matter how much protection you may be using, having sex by definition pretty much means you are ready to accept the responsibility of fathering or mothering a human being. Which, in the best of circumstances means you are married with a stable income. It is proven that children do better in a two parent family. If you are NOT READY for that, keep your pants on. We don't need to white wash it for our kids.
Tim Liao August 17, 2013 at 07:19 PM
I like to add a very important one you missed. Don't get totally wasted to the point you make the wrong decision you wouldn't otherwise make if you were sober.
Dave August 31, 2013 at 10:50 AM
Stay Classy Patch!
Jake Mahamood September 05, 2013 at 12:09 PM
This article is very very wrong. Parents need to be strong for thier children (they are still children) and be sure they do not engage in this type of behavior, Fathers, protect your daughters! I could not beleive what I was reading, these are children with thier whole lives ahead of them. Save your selves children, it only gets better!
Andrea Bearden-Kuhns September 21, 2013 at 04:02 PM
"I believe in our young women and men and their ability to make the right choice, particularly the right choice for them." REALLY? Have you been hiding under a rock? If this has been a sleazy tabloid, then this piece would have been appropriate. This is a 'hook-up, sexting culture' and any girl whose parent doesn't give her the facts on 'what boys really want' is doing their daughter a disservice. Morality over hormones always makes for a better future mate. Please keep Patch informative . . . this type of article will not attract new subscribers.
Ed Kravitz October 23, 2013 at 09:27 AM
A big taste of reality for many in denial. Some words of wisdom...Be Responsible For Your Actions. Don't take any actions you can't live with the consequences of. Value yourself and your dignity. Kids are going to have sex whether or not Patch Readers think it is appropriate or not. What some of these Patch readers may not realize is that there are actually young people in high school that also read the Patch. Many parents would rather not address the issue at all.....but having this discussion now may result in a few less unwanted children and ruined lives. I thought it was well written and thoughtful....and deals with Reality...NOT MAKE BELIEVE or the way we think it should be!
hwarray January 04, 2014 at 06:08 PM
Will be watching for the editor's column about drinking & driving on prom night. It wouldn’t be a column telling kids not to do it, but rather a list of Do’s and Don’ts if they’re gonna do it anyway. <sarcasm icon here>
Cole Robert April 17, 2014 at 12:16 AM
Very conservative/narrow minded comment board. There should be a new post about the 7 do's and don'ts of trusting your kids and letting them make decisions. If they make a mistake they will have to face the consequences


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