Puberty sucks – here’s a heads up to help you make it suck less
Puberty is a strange and sweaty time for all of us. When we get to a certain age, our brains start flooding our bodies with a special hormone, triggering all sorts of changes.
Going through such a sudden period of change can be stressful and even isolating for teenagers, who may feel too embarrassed to talk about what’s happening to them.
Luckily, today it’s easier than ever to find resources online! Our friends at young people’s sexual health and wellbeing charity Brook provide accurate and helpful information about what female, male, and transgender people can expect when they reach puberty.
To start off, here’s a basic 101 of some of the changes boys and young men (and for this article we’ll use the term ‘boys’, but it’s worth noting that these experiences are also shared by people with male reproductive systems who don’t necessarily identify that way) will experience from roughly the ages of 10 to 18.
Young boys undergo a great deal of physical growth once puberty arrives. These changes happen at different rates as everyone goes through puberty in various ways. You will start growing taller and developing muscles, especially around the chest as it grows broader.
This may cause the nipples to become more sensitive and possibly swollen for a time. Your voice will also grow deeper and can occasionally crack as your voice box gets bigger.
Don’t worry if you make a funny sound by accident when you talk, it’s a very common element of your vocal transition.
Hair Down There and Everywhere
You may find yourself growing a great deal of new body hair when you reach puberty. Areas like your legs, chest, arms, armpits, pubic area, and face, may all start developing their own layer of fuzz to manage.
If you decide you’d like to remove your body hair, take the time to read up on some tips, like what type of razor to use and how to avoid cuts.
The sweat glands located under your arms and between your legs will also kick into overdrive, so it’s a good idea to bathe regularly to remain clean and help keep any odour under control.
One of the more challenging parts of puberty for teenagers is the very common skin condition called acne. Due to a frustrating combination of hormonal changes and overzealous sweat glands, you may find yourself having to deal with different sorts of acne.
Mild acne may be managed by implementing a regular skin care routine, while more severe cases may require the help of a skin care professional or doctor.
It’s normal if you feel embarrassed because of your acne, but keep in mind that you’re not alone and your skin will clear up with time.
Don’t be surprised if a major part of going through puberty means an increase in genital awareness. Your penis and testicles will grow, and you may start to experience frequent erections as your sexual arousal spikes.
An erection is when your penis grows stiff, extends, and sticks upwards. These can occur when you’re sexually aroused, or even at times when you’re not.
You may also start to experience wet dreams, also called nocturnal emissions, which are a natural part of your development.
However, while wet dreams are common for boys going through puberty, not everyone will have one. This is no cause for concern and does not mean there is anything wrong with you or your genitals.
Ultimately, puberty is an odd time in every young boy’s life, but it’s a regular part of growing up that luckily doesn’t last forever.
If you’re feeling anxious or unsure about your experiences, read up as much as you can and be prepared to learn a lot from personal experience.
Figuring it out may take patience, but before you know it you’ll have made it out the other side.