What my abstinence-only high school taught me about sex

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Photo Credit: Mel Westfall | Daily Texan Staff

I loved my high school, but I didn’t love the abstinence-only sex ed. When you’re told by your school that your parents are supposed to give you the details and vice versa, there’s a good chance your first attempt at sex will climax in a hospital visit.

I would have much preferred an awkward condom presentation from a gym teacher over a teen pregnancy — don’t worry, I got neither — but it seems the school system is more concerned with saving souls than with saving futures.

Here’s a tidbit of what I learned in high school about Satan’s favorite calorie-burner:

You have to get married first.

It’s a feeling like no other — spending a day with friends, family and a priest before returning to the honeymoon suite of your local Holiday Inn for your first time, the whole time nervously sweating all over each other. In this case, the phrase “practice makes perfect” does not apply.

We were taught that marriage is the only way to be sure that the decision to have sex is a good one because of its permanence. The truth is, marriage isn’t for everyone, and that’s not a bad thing. 

You are forever bound to the first person you sleep with.

Maybe you’ve heard this one because I certainly have: When you’re a virgin, you’re a fresh, untouched and beautiful stick of gum. Once you get chewed, you become equal to trash. The first person you have sex with is your spouse — the person you’re with for life — so pray long and hard that you chose correctly, since there are no second chances.

The only thing this lesson accomplishes is bringing intense guilt to nonvirgins and tying people together in unhealthy high  school relationships. 

Contraception is the devil.

Wearing a condom is like putting a wall between you and the one you love, so if you don’t go in raw, you’re not getting the full spiritual benefit. Even worse is the pill, which causes cancer at a higher rate than cigarettes! Can you believe that? Don’t. We have to stick to “natural family planning” because even if it goes wrong, it just means that a higher power intended for you to get pregnant.

This means most of the STD rumors at my school weren’t just rumors, and that pregnancy was a welcome alternative to disappointing our families by preventing a life. In fact, 1 in 7 of the girls I went to school with got pregnant within two years  of graduation.

Porn melts your brain.

Just to add the unpopped cherry on top, my school kept us from learning the truth by teaching us about the dangers of porn addiction. We were taught that we shouldn’t have to resort to porn to learn the basics of sex while being denied information on the basics of sex. 

While porn may yield unrealistic expectations about sex, it provided some education for all of us southern kids in need of a tutorial. To prevent the next generation from thinking that coitus involves swinging like you’re in Cirque du Soleil, schools should educate students about the inaccuracy of porn instead of openly rejecting it.