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October 05, 2004

Comments

joe

"But I also recognize that regretting having sex early is invariably worse than regretting not having had sex earlier!"

How could you possibly know that?

Hugo

Anecdotally, joe, from about 250 to 300 young adolescents with whom I've done workshops in the past decade.

Narratives about how young women feel about first sex experiences abound -- and the number who regret not having had sex earlier is indeed tiny. They could, of course, all be lying.

joe

You have made a good point, in fact my intended one. How many of these extremely limited number of kids(250 to 300) could you, or others with similar ideals, have “saved” ensuring that these kids were “reasonably certain that they are emotionally, physically, and spiritually ready for sexual activity.” I think Christ had a better plan, and is probably why he instituted it—no sex prior to marriage.

Emotionally, how can you or others see into the hearts of a child and determine whether they are in fact emotionally prepared for the enlightening information you would give them. How are you sure they get enough information—because you cannot— to base a decision? You don’t take on any of their guilt one way or another. If they error given your enlightened ideals they still suffer the “greater guilt” and you none.

Physically, or biologically, I guess that is a near given. But physically related to emotions or spirituality, there arises may problems. Treating ones body like a temple, does this include enlightened experimentation?

Spiritually, I will say, this is were your ideal is bankrupt. I would like to see John take this up. Not only would he do a better job… maybe I will take a shot at it later.


Hestia

I'm surprised, Joe, that you think anyone should have sex. Surely you can't see into the emotionally complex, spiritually unwise hearts of most adults any more easily than those of children.

joe

isn't that my point, Hestia. why use this arguement on children if it is no good for adults-- the idea that we can understand the complexity of the issue and therefore should be giving advise. maybe the point i am trying to make is, yes people should think sex out, should be informed, it should be a "choice", and even a "hell, yes". i would bet though most people are incapable of honestly doing that. we are not all knowing--we do not know the effect of every cause. simply, we do not know how people will responed given advice, or being pushed in the right direction. in think christ was avoiding all of this-- the complexity of making decisions where one cannot possibly know future outcomes.

Astarte

Hugo: Ick, pink.

I lost my virginity when I was fifteen, and I didn't think anything of it. I don't even remember the name of the guy I did it with, but I remember how it felt. It was daring, bold, and, I have to admit, a great deal of fun, even if he was scared to death. Truthfully, I think the fact that I didn't whither like a little flower set him off a bit.

However, a few years later, I joined a Born-Again Church. I don't remember the exact sect, either ... I want to say Children of Christ, but I could be wrong. Anyway, I was instantly told that I was a horrible person and I *should* feel awful because I was no longer a virgin. I should beg for forgiveness, and I couldn't understand why. Up until that point, and, to be truthful, after, I didn't feel guilty about it. I didn't feel like I was objectified (the experience was consented to by both parties, and I think we both had a lot of fun), and I didn't feel as if I'd made some mistake that I should forever regret. It was sex. It was natural.

So, what I'm saying is that places like the church I went to often do MORE damage to girls who choose to have sex than living WITHOUT those places have.

The feeling that I got was that I was supposed to be terribly upset over what I'd done, and the fact of the matter is that I wasn't. I honestly didn't really feel a lot about it, other than sore and ... liberated.

DJW

I must admit, Hugo writes about this very well and convincingly and I find myself nodding along. It took Astarte's post to sort of jog my memory and realize that most women I know well enough to know this sort of detail about them feel more like she does about the experience than the women Hugo describes. In fact, this sounds quite familiar to me (minus the born again a few years later stuff, and not remembering the guy's name).

Michelle

In your last post, you left a comment about being emotionally ready. That is a good point. I think few are with any given partner, teens or adults! I would certainly include my previous self in that group.

Me, I was intellectually ready. I was tired of hearing about it, reading about it, and not experiencing it. Yes, the argument can be made that I might also want to experience other unhealthy things because of curiosity, and that would probably be correct.

Anyway, my point is, it was not a decision based on being pressured by others. I was the first in my "crowd". I had to be in the know. Curiosity cannot be ignored...

Amanda

My fear is by over-emphasizing waiting to teenagers, adults are making themselves seem too distant and not available to the young people they've taken on to help. I know that I was told by my parents to "wait" but not marriage but maturity. And that alone made them off-limits for people to confide in. I had to arrange everything myself. My younger sisters, however, came to me because they knew that they wouldn't get lectured on whether or not they were ready but just handed some condoms and told to be careful.

mythago

to wait for that deep, powerful, "hell, yes" moment

How are teens supposed to distinguish this from normal "OMG my hormones are killing me" feelings? Telling them to wait until they're adults doesn't work for teens who are perfectly convinced they're grownups.

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