It is not likely that I’m going to check this book out of my local library:
Her new book, Sex & Lovers: A Practical Guide, has just come out in the UK and there is quite a buzz about it – it is The Joy of Sex for the young generation. Only it is much more explicit – which, for some, is a problem. In these porn-obsessed times, is it really the moment to bring out a graphic book about sex for teens? […]
More than that, the book is illustrated by photographs of real-life teenagers engaging in sexual activity. They range from rear views of teenagers holding hands in the buff to some images that are too explicit to describe in a family newspaper.[…]
“I had no idea it would be so controversial,” says Henning. “I set out to write a book that demystifies sex. Most teenagers think about sex all the time and their parents do not know how to tackle the subject. They feel embarrassed to discuss it.
No idea, eh? I’m sure your publishers are just stunned and shocked by the firestorm of media coverage. Oh gee, might the hype cause sales to shoot up? What a surprise!
I’m going to skip all together the list of items/graphics/images that I hope the book does not contain. What I do hope the book covers? I will again quote from Jennifer Fulwiler’s phenomenal article, Why I Lost Faith in the Pro-Choice Movement:
I was looking through a Time magazine article whose infograph cited data from the Guttmacher Institute about the most common reasons women have abortions. It immediately struck me that none of the factors on the list were conditions that we tell women to consider before engaging in sexual activity. Don’t have the money to raise a child? Don’t think your boyfriend would be a good father? Don’t feel ready to be a mother? Women were never encouraged to consider these factors before they had sex; only before they had a baby.
The fundamental truth of the pro-choice movement, from which all of its tenets flow, is that sex does not have to have life-altering consequences.
I hope the book, and other books like it, ask teens to reflect on those questions. Guess what? You might get pregnant or get an incurable STD because no method of contraception is 100% effective. If you do get pregnant, you will have to consider the ramifications of that decision. Teen parenthood? Adoption? Abortion? Those are very much life-altering decisions.
If you’re going to have sex, think it through. Don’t take it lightly. Heck, maybe even put it off until marriage. That guarantees, 100%, you won’t get pregnant or get an STD while you’re in high school.
And this doesn’t even address all the emotional and psychological aspects associated with teen sex…but I’ll leave that for another post. Or for Andrea when she is on one of her “Prude Revolution” kicks.