Tuesday, January 27, 2009

We're really not all that far apart

Dan Savage's column last week has a passage that could come straight out of a standard abstinence-plus sex education curriculum, with a few word substitutions.

Look, JON, any faggot who wants to fuck you in the ass without a condom is the LAST PERSON ON EARTH you should be having sex with—anal or otherwise, condoms or no condoms. Guys who pressure you into having sex without condoms are having or have had unsafe sex with other people, which means that they're either infected already or will be shortly. If you don't want to get infected, your best course of action when a guy pressures you into having sex without condoms—or any kind of sex you're not comfortable with—is to pull up your pants and leave.

And since you're not particularly interested in anal sex right now, JON, I'd urge you to tell the guys you do go home with that you're just not up for getting fucked. An aversion to anal sex when you're young and just out and easily manipulated is something you should hold on to, JON, even cultivate. Skipping anal sex during your great-big-slut, just-coming-out, making-your-mistakes phase will greatly reduce your risk of contracting HIV and a host of other STIs. Then one day, with luck, you'll meet a nice, decent guy, also hot, who wants to take things slow—a guy who isn't a manipulative, selfish, barebacking piece of shit. And when you meet that guy, JON, you can explore anal with someone who cares about you enough to take it slow and wear condoms.

Anal sex, despite the impression created by HIV "prevention" materials you may have encountered, should not be a first-date activity. Reserve your asshole for guys you're serious about, JON, and for guys who are serious about you. The hot motherfucker you're seeing right now isn't worthy. Walk away.

What's particularly funny is the last paragraph with scare quotes around "prevention", seeming to insinuate that some materials intended to promote prevention set norms of earlier sex, precisely the motivation for abstinence-only proponents. Maybe some materials don't stress that restraint is the first choice, as is true for comprehensive/abstinence-plus curricula. If they don't, they should.

We are really not all that far apart. Nearly everyone thinks adolescents just coming to dating should take it slowly, protect their hearts and their health, and wait for a committed relationship. People differ on what constitutes a committed relationship, but irrespective of whether that line is at marriage or a committed relationship (whatever that means), it's the same skills.

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