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abstinence

Comprehensive Sex Ed for the Comprehensively Celibate

As someone who was all but completely celibate throughout high school and this was not at all by conscious choice, I can tell you that I often found it frustrating to deal with the fact that a lot of teenagers were under- or mis-informed about safer sex, that a lot of teenagers were sexually active, and that a lot of politicians and think tanks believed in stanching teenage sexual activity entirely. I was fourteen when I started listening to Loveline (though I didn't always agree with Dr. Drew) and it began my path of sex-pertise (as it were). I was eager to get informed.

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I Guess You Just Have to Be Prepared to Die!

That's the verbatim response to the question "What if I want to have sex before I get married?" in "No Second Chance," a film that is part of Sex Respect, an abstinence-only program. Sex Respect has a host of other special and oh-so-factual messages for you in their student workbook, including such sparkly gems as:

"A young man's natural desire for sex is already strong due to testosterone...females are becoming culturally conditioned to fantasize about sex as well." (p. 11) Did you know that without cultural conditioning, women don't have any desire for sex? Of course you did. Did you know that women don't have any testosterone in our bodies, too? Note: neither of these things are true. But you knew that already.

"A guy who wants to respect girls is distracted by sexy clothes and remembers her for one thing. Is it fair that guys are turned on by their senses and women by their hearts?" (p. 94) So, when it comes to sex, men don't have emotions and women don't have any of our five sens

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Putting the brakes on sex: How do I slow things down?

sofi52108 asks:

I have been dating my boyfriend for over a year now and I have been very sexually active with him but now I want to slow things down and wait until I'm ready for marriage. I want to start everything over and just be a normal teenager. He doesn't seem to have any problems with this and I talked to him about it already, but I feel like there are problems. Our relationship is actually getting better but now he is more horny around me all the time and it tempts me but I don't want to give in. I want to have sex too even more now that I told myself I can't. Are there any methods I can use to calm myself from sex or just things I can say to my boyfriend to tell him to realize I'm not comfortable with him being horny and it really bothers me?

In which we're reminded, again, that abstinence pledges don't work.

From PEDIATRICS Vol. 123 No. 1 January 2009, pp. e110-e120 (doi:10.1542/peds.2008-0407): Patient Teenagers? A Comparison of the Sexual Behavior of Virginity Pledgers and Matched Nonpledgers, Janet Elise Rosenbaum, PhD, AM; Health Policy PhD Program, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts; Department of Population, Family, and Reproductive Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland.

The subjects for this study were National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health respondents, a nationally representative sample of middle and high school students who, when surveyed in 1995, had never had sex or taken a virginity pledge and who were >15 years of age (n = 3440). Adolescents who reported taking a virginity pledge on the 1996 survey (n = 289) were matched with nonpledgers (n = 645) by using exact and nearest-neighbor matching within propensity score calipers on factors including prepledge religiosity and attitudes toward sex a

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I want to save sex for later in relationships, but I can't do that... can I?

Miss Anonymous asks:

I am worried about sex, and I don't think its normal at my age (24) but I don't know what to do about it. I was raised in a really strict family and so I didn't lose my virginity til I was 21 which was really way later than everyone else, even my younger sister. I wasn't really ready but I was sort of curious and I did it to please my boyfriend and lots of other reasons. We dated for about a year and I had sex with two more guys after I split up with him but mainly from feeling like I should to fit in. I haven't had a serious boyfriend in ages now, and I'm afraid to have another relationship cos I think it will surely involve sex. I know in theory you can say no, but hey, what guy is going to stick around with me when he can get it from any other girl on the street? It doesn't seem realistic. When I think about sex I just get scared, cos I feel like I don't know at all what to do, and its not like I was even an adventurous teenager so I can't give head or anything either. I really don't know how to do anything except kiss. But I'm sure most guys are expecting way more than that! I don't want to become a slut just to learn but I can't claim to be a virgin any more so I don't know what to do. In my ideal world I'd like to be with a guy for at least a year before sleeping together, maybe wait til marriage, but I am scared to even admit that's what I want cos I know its not normal. Please help! I'm worried that being so messed up about this will mean no decent guy will want to be with me.

On Innovation and Inclusivity in Sex Education

I'm posting most of the text of the lecture I just gave at the University of Texas through the NSRC Regional Training last week. A bunch of people there asked for it, and it was a great experience for me (how awesome was it to be in a room full of current and potential sex educators? VERY). So much of what I said really sums up where I'm at with this work right now, have been going and want to keep going. Obviously, every current and potential sex educator in the world wasn't or couldn't be there, so here is my offering to all of you -- including you peer educators, formal and informal -- and I hope it's something you can use and be inspired by.

You might also notice that some of this lecture borrows some bits from a couple other pieces I've written recently, namely this one.

My name is Heather. I'm turning 39 this spring, and I'm a full-time sex educator.

I was asked to come talk to you to about how to be both innovative and inclusive with sex education.

In many ways, sex educatio

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We waited two years for good sex together... and even after sex, we're still waiting.

Jennifer asks:

I only started having sex about 3 months ago. I'm 20 and I made my fiancee wait almost 2 years. The problem that I noticed is that I never orgasm when he's inside. He has no problem with using his fingers on me but why can't I when he is inside. I mean I can feel it coming and it feels great but it never happens it's like I get sooo close and I'm on the edge and then I just stay there and I know he's frustrated cause he thinks it's his fault so he tried harder and harder each time to try to find positions I like and such. We are trying to use more foreplay to see if maybe if I'm close beforehand, and it will make things easier but I'm still waiting. It's soo frustrating cause I enjoy the closeness of sex with him but it's not very fulfilling.

We're saving sex for marriage, but he wants to have anal sex.

May asks:

I am 22 years old and my BF is 23 years old. We are both virgins and we both want to stay virgins until marriage. We have been together for 3 years now and lately he mentioned to me that he wants to have anal sex. I want to do it but I want to ask if he should wear a condom. Also, will it hurt?

He was sweet at first, but then I said no to sex...

Anonymous asks:

I'm a 15 year old virgin and at the beginning of the summer holidays a met this guy through a friend of mine. We got on really well and started dating about a week after we met. The only problem is now we've been going out for a few weeks he's started to change, he's not as sweet and caring anymore and has started to try to get me to do more sexual things with him. He says his last girlfriend and him had sex after two weeks and doesn't understand why I will only do basic things. Up until now I've found it so easy to tell people I don't want to do something, but I've told him I don't think we've been dating long enough to do anything serious and he won't listen. Please give me some advice, I'm worried soon I won't have the guts to stand up to him and I don't want to be rushed into anything I don't want to do.

Marriage: The Only Right Choice for Everyone...well, except for you. And you. And you.

Who gets left out, ignored, dismissed or denied when someone states that sex, good sex or real intimacy or love should, can or does only happen within the context of monogamous marriage, or when any given couple has only had one spousal sexual or romantic partner in a lifetime?

More than a few people.

  • gay, lesbian or bisexual people in same-sex romantic or sexual partnerships in most parts of the world, including those with families
  • people whose life or committed partnerships are platonic or affectionate friendships, same-sex or opposite-sex, not romantic or sexual marriages
  • people under the legal age to marry
  • those who are or who have been married and who did not or have not found all or any of those things within their marriages
  • rape or incest survivors, when others or culture class rape as sex
  • those who have been married and were abandoned by their spouse
  • couples who are not yet married, and intend to marry but are sexual together now
  • those who are married to someone who has extra
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