MLIA, but every once in a while when I need a "feel good" fix I head on over there. The quips and anecdotes are occasionally a bit inane, but every once in a while you get a gem like this one:
My grandfather noticed a new ring I was wearing and asked me about it. I explained to him that it was a purity ring and what that meant. He looked at me a bit strangely and said, "I think you should get a Nike ring." When I asked what that meant he said, "Just do it."
I just ADORED that response and wished my kids had a grandfather like that! But what makes this relevant now...what brought it to mind, was this not so insignificant detail about the new health care legislation that Obama recently signed: $250 Million for Abstinence Education. Basically the bill includes a provision for schools to get funding for sex education, but ONLY if it focuses on and promotes abstinence rather than responsible sex. This is wrong on so many levels! But basically, as the article says, this approach has been proven--quite simply--to NOT WORK! If you give kids an all or nothing choice without educating them for anything in between, invariably they will end up somewhere in between...and will be totally ill-equipped to deal with it. However, I have a different angle on this particular issue.
I WAS one of these kids. Because of my religious upbringing, as well as an absolute CERTAINTY that if I ever did it without protection I would most definitely get pregnant (something that was pretty much confirmed by the success of our first-ever pregnancy attempt), I abstained from sexual intercourse with with my now-husband until our wedding night. So, from age 19 to 23, after four-and-a-half years of dating, yes...I was a virgin on our wedding night--albeit a technical one. By that I mean we had indulged in just about everything ELSE but intercourse, but still....
So, was I glad I didn't indulge in unprotected sex? Of course! We had our first son after four years of marriage and that was a smart and good decision. Having a child before marriage would have been stupid, not to mention damn inconvenient, even with a committed partner. However...having been there and done the abstinence thing...I would never recommend it to my children. Or anyone. And I certainly wouldn't recommend it for that length of time.
I'm not talking about the common fear that if you never have sex with a partner before marriage you have no idea if you're compatible or not. If you're involved in kissing, foreplay and perhaps some oral, then I think you've got a pretty good idea of how the other partner will perform in bed. I certainly did. I had no disappointments in that area. However...after so many years of denial. Of trying to "turn it off" and/or call a halt to things just when they were getting...interesting. It is not an easy thing to simply...switch it back on again. Sexual desire and behavioural conditioning don't really work that way. Let's just say our honeymoon was less an exercise in passion and more an exercise in scaling hurdles. Trying to get past this innate sense that "this is wrong." "I'm not supposed to be doing this." "Why is this suddenly okay?"
So there was Pavlovian conditioning, religion-inspired guilt, not to mention getting past the huge image of what sex is supposed to be that I had built up in my mind over the years.
Eventually I got over it. Obviously. But it did take a lot of time and work on both our parts. So, that's my "been there done that" argument against abstinence. Just get all those hurdles off the track, people.... so you can just run with it!
So read, comment, ask questions, rant and rave...but most of all enjoy and open your mind to possibilities!