Sex, Boys & You: Be Your Own Best Girlfriend


This book addresses much more than its title implies.

While sex and boys are often 2 of the most confusing elements in a young girl’s life, they are not the only 2 complications.

Too often, teens distance themselves from boys because they lack confidence. They may have been put down by parents, classmates, or strangers. They may have endured great losses. They may have suffered verbally and physically at the hands of others.

Joni understands these obstacles to true happiness all too well. And in Sex, Boys & You, she gives girls the tools to overcome these challenges and feel triumphant.

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“Sex, Boys & You should be found in every junior high, senior high, and community library.”
—Midwest Book Review

Those of us who have survived adolescence look back on our teenage years with varying degrees of clarity: some of us remember every moment like it was yesterday – each phone call, diary entry, and bad hair style; others only recall that string of huge zits or the crush we agonized over for an eternity; and a few of us are still hoping to forget the whole thing!

Whatever memories we share, most one-time teenagers will agree that we could have used some guidance from an honest, trustworthy source – especially since our parents’ advice was often hard to accept. Well say hello to self-esteem guru Joni Arredia and her standout book, Sex, Boys & You: Be Your Own Best Girlfriend.

In spite of confusion or insecurity, a girl’s teenage years can be rich in learning. This unique book helps teens and their parents appreciate and enjoy adolescence by focusing on important issues like relationships, health, and dreams for the future. Written in Joni’s trademark style – one that’s full of familiarity, encouragement, and fun – Sex, Boys & You is a necessary addition to any teenager’s book collection.



Right now, you’re entering – or going through – one of the greatest periods of change in your life, the process of changing from a child to an adult. Whenever you face change, you have choices to make, even if you decide to do nothing.

Because adolescence is such a tremendous time of change, it’s also a time in which you have many choices to make. In fact, a big part of the change taking place is that you’re traveling from a point in your life where Mom and Dad made all your choices for you, to a point where you’ll be making most choices yourself.

Making Mistakes, Making Better Choices

In the process of making choices, you’ll make mistakes, fall down, and even get a bit bruised. But, if you make your choices with your values in place, your dreams firmly set in front of you as a guide, you probably won’t fall as far or bruise as badly.

Show me someone who makes no mistakes and I’ll show you a person who makes no choices. You may be embarrassed, but at least you are moving forward – and never moving forward is eventually a whole lot more embarrassing!

The prospect of making choices should excite you, because you can make so many good ones. You can choose to learn new skills, expand your horizons and make new friends. Don’t do what too many women have done in life: don’t allow the bad things that have happened to you in the past control you forever. Choose, instead, to move beyond the pain and live the life you want and fulfil your dreams.

As you make choices, use your intuition. I’ve heard different women describe intuition in a variety of ways: the feeling I get in the pit of my stomach, or chills all over, or my gut reaction, or simply, a sense of what I should do.

However it’s defined, intuition tells you what to do, right now, without hesitation. It is not something you can explain logically. It’s grasping the feeling, not necessarily the facts, of a situation and knowing instinctively what you should do.

If you really listen to your intuition as you face choices in life, it will always steer you in the right direction. The only time I get in a bind is when I don’t listen.

It Takes Courage to Make Choices

Sometimes making choices is scary: change always is. That’s why accepting change, and making choices to meet its demands, takes a mammoth amount of courage.

What is courage? I think it’s the quality of being bold. A sense of fearfulness. Standing tall in the face of rejection, fear, difficulty or danger. Facing adversity head-on. Holding so fast to your dreams and beliefs that nothing can knock you down.

Courage is saying “no” when a cool girl or guy forces you to make a choice about alcohol or drugs. It’s refusing to join in when everyone else is verbally abusing the class nerd. It’s choosing friends who share your values, even if they’re not as popular as the kids who don’t. In a society that has elevated self-concern to an art form, one of the greatest acts of courage you can perform is to purposely choose to serve others.

Choosing to Serve Others

The benefits of serving others are endless. Something as simple as bringing a smile to another’s lips is an incredible gift of service, and as easy as turning up the corners of our mouth first. But, because we fear rejection, smiling first takes that thing called courage.

I have been on both sides of this scenario. As a young girl, I found it difficult to smile. So when I was little and someone took the time to get me to smile, it felt good, and the look on that person’s face just made it feel better. There we were: two warm beacons of light, illuminating that particular space and time for a single, perfect, shared moment.

After a while, I found that sharing smiles was so simple, yet it made me so happy. No words, no touch, just brilliant smiles that helped heal me. As a result, by the time my childhood had passed, my smile was a permanent fixture on my face.

We also do something for ourselves with that smile we share. We exercise our courage. We gain freedom from that moment because we’re in charge, reaching out first in the face of potential rejection. We suck in a deep breath, step outside of our comfort zone and willingly serve. In turn, we realize an exhilarating freedom that can become habitual, intoxicating to us, and contagious to others. And that is what it’s all about: that’s when we start to change the world – and ourselves – for the better.

For me, serving others began on the riverbank near my childhood home where I cared for small, injured animals. Later, in high school, it bloomed fully when I volunteered for the State Hospital in order to earn school credits. The hospital was designed to house people with mental problems.

Once a week, my school friends and I drove onto the grounds, at first seeing the adult house with its tower, its residents screaming and shaking the bars on the windows.

That brought tears to my eyes every week: pretty nerve-wracking stuff for a 16-year-old, or maybe no matter what your age. It took all the courage I had some weeks! But, I know that we brought light into the lives of the teens we helped there, so it was worth it.

You Can Choose to Change Your World

Serving means noticing a need, then following through and filling it. It takes kindness, strength, generosity and power.

As a young woman, you undoubtedly see much in your world that needs to be changed, many areas that cry out for your service. In your hearts, you know when things are not the way they should be, and that circumstances exist that no one should have to live with. You sense there should be a change, even a mutiny – and you know what? You should choose to lead it!

As women, you are the ones that can. Women are survivors, pure and simple. And, over the centuries, while men were busy getting their names in the history books, women were the ones quietly making choices that shaped the day-to-day life that is the very foundation of civilization.

It took courage to make right choices then, and it takes courage to make those choices now. But, in the end, the world is better for your courage and choices, and so are you.



Sex, Boys & You should be found in every junior high, senior high, and community library.”
—The Midwest Book Review

“Good solid advice for any young teen and a fine addition to any collection.”
—School Library Journal

“This book’s not just about the birds and the bees – it’s about becoming the person you want to be and not letting sex and other social stuff stand in the way of your dreams.”
—Teen Magazine

“Your book really has the ability to help change and improve the lives of all who have the chance to read it.”
—Anonymous reader, Fort Worth, TX


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