Friday, June 13, 2008

True Love Waits: Read my butt


So this article at Huffington Post just cracked me up. Apparently K-Mart is cashing in on the chastity, abstinence craze by promoting sweat pants with the words "True Love Waits" sluttily-embroidered across the tush.

Uh huh. I suppose that's putting the message where it's most likely to get attention... or perhaps it's a tease... postmodern irony? "True love waits until you yank down my pants?"

There is a way to recover from the absurdity of the "true love waits" campaign.

1) Toss your "Preparing for Adolescence" tapes. Outdated, and Dr. D gets just the teensiest angry when he reminds youngsters how hell-ward bound they are if they cross that most important moral line of all: abandoning the poor. I'm not sure what he thinks about sex.

2) Buy your kids multiple promise rings so that they can reclaim their virginity a couple of times, if needed.

Or you could follow the advice of a sensible friend of mine, an RN for the last 25 years.

I have not yet used this plan because I found out about it a little late. Our kids tell me they already know what to do and when and why and what not to do and why not, "And Mom I'm not stupid!" If my kids were younger and our family wasn't right smack in the middle of teens years and "Will and Grace" reruns, I might have done it.

Still I throw it out for those of you who still have time.

Buy some condoms and put them in a basket under your bathroom sink. Tell your kids where they are (no need to explain how to use them - the Internet and TV sit coms have taken care of that). Let them know that they have no excuse not to use them because they are here, free, and Mom and Dad will never ask you about them or whether or not you used them.

Then, of course, you can have the big talk about intimacy, STDs, pregnancy, too many partners, and so on, with the aim of dissuading early sexual activity but not promoting irresponsible sex. (Ask me how many homeschooled girls I know who've gotten pregnant on "true love waits.")

You might also want to throw in some comments about orgasm, sexual arousal, passion, and the fun of sex too. After all, it is and they figure that out.

Or you could just buy the sweats. Same diff, right?

8 comments:

Bilbo said...

Julie,

Do they have True Love Waits apparel for guys? If they don't you may want to jump at the entrepreneurial opportunity before someone else...and...you want to put the logo on the front for the guys...because...the word love is placed in a perfect strategic location...don't you think?

Carrie said...

I still say it's 90% about relationship...the one between the parents and the teens. Condoms anonymously available under the bathroom sink undermine that, imo.

I can honestly say I don't know of any teens at church or in the local homeschool community that have gotten pregnant in the past 10 years. That might color my opinion about what works and what doesn't when it comes to helping teens avoid early sex and pregnancy.

I also know what my own daughter's experience has been through teen years, a 3 year engagement, and now marriage. Seeing that relationship develop has had an impact on me, too. Along with good communication with parents, a healthy approach to sex also requires teens/young adults be in a mutually committed relationship.

jo(e) said...

OMG. I had to click through to the link to see if you'd made this all up.

Sentient Marrow said...

Yeah, you know... I'm buying the sweats! A good message across the ass is just irreplaceable as a teaching tool!

Yours Truly said...

lol, Dali. I thought this was a joke...will have to click through the links myself.

Carrie, I don't know of many homeschoolers who have gotten pregnant either, at least not till they went off to college. BUT, could be lack of opportunity. I don't mean that flippantly, rather most homeschoolers do not date. At least around these parts.

Susan

iluka said...

Carrie,

I appreciate your position, although I may not have the same issues with premarital sex that you do. Parenting involves a lot of tough calls. I've known parents who, in desperate misery, gave their drug-addicted daughter money for heroin, so she wouldn't resort to prostitution. I've faced the same sort of decisions with my daughter's eating disorder. Bulimics will sometimes resort to prostitution and theft to finance their habit. (My daughter once put $3000 on her Visa card in two months just buying junk food.) When does trying to reduce harm become enabling?

I don't live in a Christian household so in spite of my personal discomfort with teenage sexual activity (a hangover from my mother's very negative, although not religious, attitudes towards sex) I feel I would be fighting a losing battle in doing anything more than trying my best to encourage responsible sexual behavior. My son actually waited longer than I expected to become sexually active and, as far as I know, has only done so with his current girlfriend of 2 years. He held off with his very willing previous girlfriend because he didn't think either of them was "ready" and he is actually quite disapproving of promiscuity. He has been very open about everything - I know which "pill" his girlfriend is on. I still worry that sex overcomplicates teenage relationships and that the sort of casual, virtually anonymous sex that some of his friends engage in is demeaning - especially for the girls who trade it for attention and sometimes drugs. I also worry about his girlfriend getting pregnant, in spite of being on the pill, because neither of them is mature enough to handle that complication. Nonetheless, I do the best I can - which for me at this time is to encourage safe sexual practises, emphasize that sex can have serious consequences that he needs to be prepared for and keep the communication lines open. And yes, I've bought condoms and stuffed them in his bedside table.

julieunplugged said...

Personal experiences seem to create our views about sex as much as culture, religion etc. (Many of us - me included - to religion when our culture fails us hoping that we can control what was out of control in our own lives.)

For me, sex meant danger, meant ruining a perfectly good family. Harnessing that force through abstinence and virginity seemed the obvious way to avoid danger.

Well, apparently that has its own consequences in many adult lives that I won't go into here. But I don't think a "one size fits all" approach to sexuality works. So I'm all for education, sensible explanations of self-protection and advocating for love, maturity and self-respect in that mix.

What I would tell a 16 year old versus a 20 year old versus a 25 year old would change too.

julieunplugged said...

Oh and I wanted to say:

Carrie, I thought I said the parents would put the condoms under the bathroom sink, tell the kids they were there, explain why they are being provided and then not ask questions. How is that anonymously under the sink?

Relationship, as you say, is important between parents and teens as far as sex goes. Totally agree there.

I know three girls locally who were homeschooled who got pregnant outside marriage and many through my larger connections (as homeschool business owner). And I know many who became sexually active without pregnancy because I find out through my kids... mothers often don't seem to know what's really going on.