You can know all there is to know about condoms and dams, but if you don't think you are worth protecting, it is less likely that you will require a partner to use these barriers.
Here are some general signs of low self-esteem to watch out for:
- A fear of trying new things. This might be the case if you don't have the confidence to believe you can succeed.
- Do you apologize for everything and put yourself down saying things like, "I always mess up."
- Hanging out with people who put you down or make you feel insecure. This can happen if you don't feel like you deserve better treatment.
Unfortunately, GLBT youth may suffer from low self esteem at higher rates than hetero teens. This can occur because they do not have good support systems or because they encounter rejection or homophobia.
In case that is where you are coming from, let me take a minute to remind you, you are worth protecting!
If you are feeling really bad about yourself and taking risks, both sexual and otherwise, because of this, please consider talking to someone about how you are feeling!