Last edited: March 08, 2005

Sex and the Disgruntled Teen

More proof that *not* having sex is sad and dangerousóeven in Texas. What is wrong with us?

SF Gate, February 25, 2005

By Mark Morford, SF Gate Columnist

Abstinence is a gnarled wart on the big toe of hot wet life. This much we know.

Or, rather, more specifically, those silly little abstinence programs wrought by the neocon Right and jammed uncomfortably into Americaís increasingly crumbling and confused public schools and all of which aim to force-feed teens bogus evidence that sex is deadly and icky and fraught and poisonous and should be avoided completely if not somehow surgically eradicated, and if you really must indulge in things prurient and sticky then please go home and whip out your Bible and be sure to avoid your dadís Hustler or the shower massager you little demonic heathen slut. Such programs are bogus and false and misleading and harmful and stupid and wrong. In a nutshell.

Did you see this story? Itís the latest finding, the outcome of the most recent and quite thorough nonpartisan study, from Texas A&M no less, surveying teens in 29 Texas schools and all proving once again that these insidious and dangerous programs have absolutely zero effect on curbing teen sexual appetites and activity, and, if anything, actually induce teens to have more sex.

Itís an outcome the likes of which we have all seen a thousand times before and for which we all can already pre-emptively guess the results, and that makes any moderately enlightened or sexually aware or even slightly educated human anywhere on the planet only say, well, duh.

After all, hormones have always trumped uptight conservative dogma. Sex and testosterone and raw human heat always laugh in the gnarled face of any oppressive and misdirected authority that attempts to curb it or reject it or shut it all down. Just ask all those gay priests in the seminary, shuffling between beds every night, just after lights-out. Shhh.

Of course teens are having sex anyway, in straight-up defiance of what they sense is pure governmental ignorance and outright lie. But the nasty catch is, as a direct result of these insidious programsóprograms that cannot, for example, contain any information about birth control or sensual awareness or moist philosophies of pleasureótheyíre just doing it badly.

Which is to say, you want to virtually guarantee more unsafe sex and increased rates of teen pregnancy and more disrespect for the flesh and a tragic ignorance of all things sensual and delicious and naked in the world? You want more sullen teens and violent youth culture and a virulent 50-percent divorce rate among people who have no idea what good sex is really all about? Keep advocating those abstinence programs, senator.

After all, donít we all know, you might reasonably ask, that when you stab at the blood-rich heart of youthful prurience and aim your uptight dogmas in the general direction of all those white-hot urges currently flooding through just about any human body like Coors through Jenna Bush, you merely create a negative charge, a deep resentment, all coupled with general bitter mistrust of authority and the urge to smack your establishment misinformers (i.e.; parents governments teachers bosses seething joyless Christian gods) upside the head with the pig iron of their own sad ignorance? Really, donít we know this?

I mean (you might further inquire, your bones of indignation now aflame), have we learned nothing from repressive third world regimes and dictators and fundamentalists and the Catholic Church? Have we gleaned no lesson from those who would deign to shove happily rigid doctrines down the throats of the masses only to see that oppression regurgitate as war and discord and a black cloud of joylessness and spiritual poverty and degrading sacklike clothing?

Look. We all know that telling teens to abstain from sex is like telling tequila to abstain from the lime. Telling teens to repress their burgeoning beautiful natural chemical lustful cosmic urges that have been only recently delivered to them on the wings of salacious and well-lubed angels is like telling a fervent piano devotee that Mozart is a hack.

People who advocate such nastiness should be ashamed. Ashamed and humiliated and then flogged with the dead fish of their own tepid and miserable sex lives. Just an opinion.

So then why the hell do we do it? Why do abstinence programs exist? Why does BushCo (and why do even some irritating Dems) insist on wasting millions of dollars pushing such worthless and dangerous curricula through our schools, programs that limit the minds of our youth and taint their bodily awareness and work about as well as the war on drugs? Donít you already know the answer?

One reason and one reason only: the programs are a flaccid bone thrown to the quivering dogs of the Midwestern born-agains, that rather desperate and deeply unhappy sect of overly religious voters whose fear and dread and homophobia helped Bush con his way into a second term and who have somehow, some way swiped the reins and who have an unexpected choke hold on the national agenda. Period.

And oh my great goddess would it not just be goddamn shockingly fabulous if we could somehow be bold and different? If we could, for example and across all of Americaís public schools, teach the absolute opposite of abstinence? What a utopia we could envision. What a radical and gorgeous and messy and funky and delirious new world we could perhaps slowly, slyly nudge into being. Donít you think?

Which is to say, what if our schools, from kindergarten on, from our earliest textbooks and curricula and chalkboard diagrams, contained unashamed and unembarrassed and all-natural and healthily playful and (as time and age permitted) deeply informative and honest and raw and real information about human sexuality, all woven naturally into the curriculum much like math and reading and biology and revisionist world history and all those lies about World War II and Vietnam and Communism and religion? I mean, can you imagine?

And what if said information was designed to be all about natural, respectful, consensual sexuality, as honest and fleshy and complicated and potentially harmful but as ultimately gorgeous and peculiar and raw as human sexuality is so stickily wont to be?

Would that not, as I truly believe it would, be a major step toward curing many of the ailments plaguing our youth, and, by extension, our culture?

In other words, would a relaxed, sex-positive education planted like a hot seed from a very early age not affect a gradual and rather luscious sea change in the overall sexual attitudes of the culture, much the way you can slowly train the ear to hear nuances in music in or the eye to see the divine in nature the tongue to taste God in a bottle of Lagavulin 16? Youíre goddamn right it would.

Which is, of course, exactly why the Right canít have it. And why the culture seems so many light-years away from allowing such a mentality to invade our children and taint their precious minds with thoughts of what it means to truly respect the luminous flesh of the body and take all responsibility for its machinations and gyrations and quivering needs.

We simply donít believe we are allowed to enjoy life in such a way. We simply are not here to dig deep into what it means to be human, fleshed, meaty and tremulous and whole. This is the prevalent dogma of our current leadership, the unhappy worldview of the currently dominant quasi-religious Right, the violently antihuman ethos of our time.

The body is a disgusting shameful vehicle and the Earth is an exploitable sandbox to be abused at will and life is merely miserable purgatory where you scratch and claw for money and power and survival while you eagerly await ... what was it again? Oh right. The Second Coming. Charming. And right now, sadly, a belief thatís all too prevalent.

So on they go, these silly programs, sucking millions of tax dollars ($160 million next year alone, despite all the studies) all wasted on teachings that are a running joke to sentient adults and a degrading slap at our youth and a giant middle finger to what the sexual human experience is all about.

Good thing teens see right through it all and have more sex anyway. But how very sad that we simply refuse, absolutely refuse, to open wide the thighs of education to teach them how to do it right, full of juicy respect, reverence, delight and true understanding. Oh, what a world we could make. Donít you think?

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