The Pepperbox

The Student News Site of Arcata High School

The Pepperbox

The Pepperbox

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Thing thing about spring flings

Owen Peterson/ Pepperbox


The groundhog lied to us about spring coming early. But as April turns to May, teenagers are unthawing from their winter rotting cycle might find themselves encouraged by the coming sunshine, maybe even enough to start putting themselves out there. It’s time for a good old-fashioned spring fling, people! 

There’s an important aspect of relationships to keep in mind as you find love amongst the new blooms: safe sex. Something very important, but also something that often ends up being the unspoken thing about your spring fling. 

“I’ve had many,” senior Hanalee Hayes said on the topic of spring flings. “Communication [is] everything. It doesn’t matter how serious you are with that person, you have to treat them with respect if you’re engaging with them in an intimate way.” 

A part of that respect, Hayes outlines, is sexual safety.

“If you need pregnancy testing, if you need birth control, if you need to change your birth control, if you need STD testing also… Open Door Teen Clinic is a confidential walk-in teen health service, you don’t need insurance,” junior Jolie Gibbs, who works at Open Door, said. 

Shannon Kresge of the science department finds the clinic to be an invaluable resource.

“Free birth control keeps kids in high school,” Kresge said.

The Open Door Teen Clinic is open once a week on Mondays from three to five. 

“There is one in McKinleyville on Central, one opening in Arcata with the new clinic on Sunset, there’s one in Eureka, and one in Fortuna,” Gibbs said.

Upon learning the hours of the Teen Clinic, students had one big question. Why is the clinic not open more often? 

“Two hours, one day a week, 3:00 to 5:00! What do they do otherwise?” senior Nola Bacemin said.

The clinic is a resource for any kind of person. Sexual health is something that affects both straight and queer couples, but do people from both groups feel equally as educated? 

“I feel like, with gay women, I don’t hear people talk about it. People are scared to talk about it. I guess they’re just not that tuned-in to that part of being gay.” junior Siena Krause said.

Hayes had a similar feeling. “Safe sex practices aren’t talked about as much in the LGBTQ community. When I was younger, at least, it wasn’t something really talked about in schools.” 

Despite straight sexual health often being talked about at greater length, many of these warnings still find a way to fall flat in student’s minds. 

“In the moment, people think it’s not a big deal. But birth control as a base layer is just a good step in the right direction,” Gibbs said.

Senior Amelie Rebstock gave insight into her own experience with birth control.“The downsides [of birth control] are acne, weight gain, and weight loss. The upsides are bigger boobs and no babies.”

It’s all about keeping both you and your partner safe, caring, and not judging one another.

“I think that a lot of people who get STDs have people around them think, ‘Oh you’re gross’ but it’s just a really common thing that happens. It doesn’t have to deal with who you are or who your partner is,” Gibbs said. “I think it’s really important to get tested.” 

An important disclaimer also comes from Kresge. “Wrap your penises, protect your vaginas!” 

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About the Contributor
Owen Peterson
Owen Peterson, A&E Section Editor
Owen Peterson is a senior at Arcata High. As a Pepperbox writer, he will highlight and challenge the often commonly accepted happenings at both the campus and community asking the BIG questions: … “What is Frau B hiding in her elixir?” And... “Were joggers ever cute?”... He will also pose discussion of ecological efforts/ issues on campus, and will include different segments of student culture such as the car community. Owen has been a lifelong writer winning first place for his work submitted to the Redwood Writing Contest in 2019.
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