Essay on Abstinence vs Sex EdbyBakeboss©
As a person who grew up in the fifties and in the Baptist church, I feel qualified to speak on abstinence education. The way I was raised second base was a sin even dancing was a sin. The only effect this had on me was to make me a terrible dancer. To deny a teen-aged lad with a body full of raging hormones a release or at the very least, some understanding dialog to me is a greater sin.
It was ironic that I didn't get to second base with a girl until I went to Church Camp. It was here where they grouped all of us 'Christian' boys and girls together and then forgot to include someone to be around to remind us 'To just say no.' Another thing was the girls could experiment with a guy that was not from the neighborhood. The thinking being even if the fellow blabbed it wouldn't get back to the girl's parents. Whatever the reasoning was didn't matter, for every evening ended with a prayer meeting and then we were sent to our cabins where we immediately snuck out to meet at the lake. These were innocent times and so were we so nobody went too far. The important part of this time in my life was that I learned that girls liked kissing as much as the boys and some of them liked to go even further.
As soon as I got back to town, I began dating in earnest. I received my sexual education at the drive in movies in the back of my '49 Merc. As with most things self taught it was trial and error but you soon learned from your mistakes or you sat home on Friday night. Safe sex was not a subject taught in these late night classes and many a young girl learned the hard way that even doing it once could get you pregnant. All of this was done in secrecy, as no girl would admit to going all the way. Alas, the poor girls who got 'knocked up' as was the vernacular of the day were shunned. It would be an interesting statistic to find how many first babies took only seven or eight months to deliver as compared to second or third pregnancies. Plain and simple these were the rules to the game we all played yet no one talked about them.
Once I turned twenty-one, everything changed as now I could go out drinking. You meet a different class of woman in a bar, well for one thing, there are usually drunk, but also most are there to meet a man. The thing I learned between the ages of eighteen and twenty-one is that the dating pool you had in high school has now dried up. After twenty-one a completely new field of woman are now attainable and most are three sheets to the wind and ready to try someone new. Even if you went home, alone you usually had a good time so it was like a win, win situation. I woke up many mornings not knowing where I was or who was in the bed with me. This game had unwritten rules as well with both people not wanting to look the other in the eye as you tried to find you clothes. Instead of good-bye, there was the mandatory, 'I'll call you,' as you back out the door.
Then all of a sudden 'The Age of Aquarius,' was upon us and all the rules changed. Now young folk were saying free love and if it feels good do it, certainly not as we'd been raised. It would be simplistic to say that Hippies and free love ruined my marriage but in truth my marriage was already a shamble and all the new lifestyle did was to point it out to me. We were both living a lie and when we separated, it was as if a great weight was lifted off our shoulders. We actually became closer after we admitted the spark was gone and even the sex we had after we were no longer a couple was a good as ever.
I have an unsubstantiated theory on sexual habits in the fifties and sixties. I believe there were just as many unmarried people having sex in the fifties as there were in the sixties. It was just in the fifties a female would never admit to having sex so it was all done on the hush and hush. In the liberated sixties, it was not only all right for a female to have and enjoy sex, many bragged about it. Therefore, I contend that it was the same amount of sex but in the sixties, it was done more out in the open.
The sixties were blissful times for a boy raised on abstinence training. 'The Pill' had just been put into production and I believe there more females on the pill than not. At this time in our lives, there were no aids or other STD's that couldn't be cured with a little penicillin. To be honest I have no idea how the condom industry survived as there was no reason to use their product. After my wife and I separated, I moved to Hollywood and into an apartment complex that was basically a non-stop orgy 24/7. It was sex, drugs and rock-n-roll so what else could you possible want. It really was great while it lasted and I'm not sure who stopped first, free love Hollywood or me. I just gradually decided that I didn't want to do this anymore and so I ended up with one girlfriend as we left Hollywood together and moved back into the suburbs.
The two of us let our sex life turn into romance and from romance to a long lasting love. All I can say now is that we are still together and have built a life for the both of us. It wasn't karma nor was it love at first sight, it was living together and learning to love and appreciate each other. We didn't preach free love to our children but we tried to be open with them and answered their questions as honest as we could. As for my first wife she stayed in the burbs living the fifties life. She is now on husband number four and has never really found happiness.
No matter how it is taught, I do not believe abstinence-training works. All it does is send the young people into hiding and then all of a sudden you have a son whose girlfriend is pregnant. We should be teaching our children that sex is a natural function. That sex feels good and yet there are consequences that can last a lifetime if precautions are, not used.