Author’s note: “My Friends Were Having Sex and I Wanted to Fit In” is from a forthcoming book-length project with the working title Reasons to Have Sex. The poems’ titles are all direct selections from the 238 answers listed in the “YSEX? Why Have Sex?” questionnaire, a scientific document compiled by researchers after polling over 2,000 respondents regarding their motivation for having sexual intercourse. The poems were then formed from internet search results, with each search based on and containing phrases or words from the titles. Since the bearing of children has often been considered the only legitimate reason we have sex, only search results represented online as children’s writing were used to form the poems.


I started wearing bras when my mom told me that I couldn’t have
sex. Recently she has asked me repeatedly not to wear a bra, telling me
I am going to watch my loved ones suffer when I die,

all because for a short time in my teenage life I wanted to fit in.
I have medium sized breasts so I do have some cleavage.
If I wanted to fit in I’d make them wear huge sunglasses.

It’s only around my closest-closest people that I really truly wear a bra.
I was offered breast reduction surgery & expandable testicular implants but refused.
Well, I guess I really just didn’t want to stand on top of them.
I hate it when they overdo the gel.

I filled out the paperwork, and chose the balls I wanted to fit in the rings.
I hate how they always have . . . a teenager in the beginning.
I wore them because everyone else wore them.

That is why I take these pills one of the other girls from work gave me.
Yes, I did propose to her and two other girls at one point in the night.
I see that as a GIRL thing, to exclude other girls

so they can feel each other up.
I just liked . . . a MAJOR girley-girl.

Sometimes I get jealous when this young girl calls and asks Bobby
to be the guy that everyone barely remembered
when the mostly white community met at the mall for caroling.

I hate her blond extensions. It sets my teeth on edge
and when she wears it straight, it’s bra strap length and swingy.
When I wear flat shoes I feel like I'm in my pyjamas!

I think I have big thighs, and when I wear shorts they stick out.
I hate fire and I’m not glam! So I pretended to hit it
and passed it on because I wanted to fit in.

When I joined girl scouts I had to stay with my grandmother for 10 months.
It was not fun at all. I hope it never happens again.
If she really wanted to fit in, she’d get a smaller dog.

I wanted to fit in but now in girl scouts everyone is unique.
I hate it when my step dad tells me what to do
and breaks into my conversation with my mother.

It feels like King Kong—and I hate it!
I wanted to fit in somewhere, mostly. That never quite happened but
I wear a green shirt to school sometimes and this does not make me a slut.