Saturday, March 31, 2012

Sex, sex, sex and not sex

(Fourth in the Conservative Teen Takedown series)
As a teen, I was a big believer in abstinence. But it wasn’t for religious reasons — I just thought that’s what most level-headed people did. And also because I was raised with a very frank and full knowledge of sex, STDs and reproduction, and it scared the hell out of me.

I respect abstinence as a decision. I hope people who choose it do so for the right reasons. The question of whether to do or not do should be a personal, educated decision free of pressure or superstition. Unfortunately, it’s most often taught as a fear-based decision where knowledge is a dangerous thing. And that’s a damn shame.

I wonder if any of these issues made it into the article promoted on this page of Conservative Teen magazine. Why do I doubt it? And why do I suspect the “science” that claims to be involved? Probably for the same reason I dismiss most alternate-universe “science” conducted and bankrolled by those who desire predetermined results.

Just looking at this page makes me lose hope that this article is an honest picture of teen sex. Marriage? Really? In a teen magazine in 2012? Can’t we just make like Salt-N-Pepa and talk about sex? Sorry to upset your social mores, but the two aren’t the same thing. There comes a time in most young lives where the difference between the two becomes glaringly apparent. Usually in a dark room late at night. Then what?

This picture isn’t the best example of abstinence anyway. A couple that’s barely older than me combined isn’t proof of True Love Waiting. Show me a couple of 32-year-old virgins and I’ll be impressed.

The “success” of abstinence lies in very young marriages. That’s not waiting — that’s not waiting. The way I see it, sex is something you do when you’re ready. And that isn’t always your wedding night. Nor should it be. Marriage is a major commitment, and it shouldn’t be decided by your libido any more than a decision to practice unsafe sex.

Teens, listen up: you have options. You don’t have to 1) wait until you’re married to have sex or 2) get married young just to have sex. You can also 3) get an honest education about sex and make the decision on your own, whenever that is, and still be a good person.

Be ready, whether it be sex or marriage.

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