The 7 Stupidest Ways We're Promoting Abstinence
Abstinence-only education starts with the idea that teenagers listen to adults and manages to get even stupider. It's working to turn the only life-threatening problem in the world that can be fought by balloons into a biblical plague. We've reached a point where even the Pope OKs some condom use, and he thinks about sex the same way non-Popes think of the Ark of the Covenant: imagining what the other side has while believing that looking directly at it will melt the soul from your body.
Also, we'd do both with Indiana Jones.
Abstinence-only education turns sex education into an oxymoron, deliberately not teaching people things we know about. It's what happens when a species breeds so successfully, they start showing off. It's the reproductive equivalent of riding a bike with no hands and eyes closed: They'll keep pumping away for a bit, but pretty soon they'll screw up and their crotch will hurt. The only way to teach something so stupid is to be extremely stupid, and that's the only thing these campaigns got right.
Derek the Abstinence Clown
A clown throwing machetes while screaming about sex in a room full of children technically counts as abstinence education, but only because they'll never live long enough to reproduce. And because picturing that scene psychically sterilized you. Sorry, "spoiler." Derek the Abstinence Clown demonstrated that using condoms was risking your life by making children lie underneath him as he juggled knives. Which isn't actually "demonstrating" anything, but nobody within hurling range was prepared to disagree.
For safety we only picture him with balls, which still prevents ours from working for several hours.
He doesn't even wear makeup, because he's already so horrifically clowny that you can feel it crawling off his bare skin from a digital photograph. He got into abstinence clowning when he mistakenly identified his ability to absolutely prevent any sex as a superpower.
After the story broke, Derek's YouTube video was removed, then his entire website was removed, then the hiring agency -- which had received an $800,000 federal grant -- starting contacting websites and demanding they remove all photographic evidence. So we've got federally funded agents destroying all proof of an escaped blade-tossing genital-targeting clown. Sorry, conspiracy theorists, but everything you've ever been terrified of was pathetic compared to that. And from now on we're going to consider "using protection" to include at least three sheets of plate steel over every building entrance.
The Purity Teddy Bear
If sex makes you picture talking teddy bears, don't have sex. If you do, sex really will lead to tragedy, expense and pain: specifically a huge Care Bears toy receipt, scissors and polypropylene cotton chafing.
Can she see that bear, too? Because there's no good answer for her either way.
People taking sexual advice from teddy bears don't need abstinence videos; they need parents who don't leave them unattended near van-filled parking lots quite so often. The video is a double sexual tragedy, because you've got two teens who care enough to spend hours together setting up cameras, roleplaying and using props. That's better than most people manage with sex. And I don't think they meant their video to highlight one of the main problems of abstinence. Look at them agreeing not to have sex until they're married:
Now look at them married:
They "waited" exactly as long as it took to change into a wedding dress and get to the church, and real people often skip the first step. A spouse is someone you can share your life and dreams with. Puberty settles for "alive" and "will let you." Then the lack of birth control means that they have to stop having sex before they've gotten any good at it, and two people who didn't even know if they could stand each other in the first place suddenly have to deal with a combination of all their worst traits that shits itself. Abstinence causes more broken homes than hurricanes.
The All Blacks
Abstinence is about suppressing your primitive urges. The All Blacks are the ultimate expression of them, mastering our caveman impulses to take important objects from other groups by stomping them into a different fossil strata. And they've elevated them to a level beyond science and art. The only reason they haven't evolved into pure energy beings is that it would make them worse at grabbing the ball. Which doesn't change how they're worse representatives for calmly resisting physical actions and impulsive behavior than Romeo and Juliet.
That was legendary All Black ex-captain Sean Patrick asking New Zealanders to abstain from sex for six weeks, which is a damn weird thing to do while driving an electric pink fisting-mobile on loan from a pride parade.
"Seriously, Sean, a giant motor-driven plastic fist is the perfect vehicle for a non-sexual message. Now get in and drive it for me while I set up my video cameras. Yes, like that."
If trying to restrain your sexual urges means thinking of a squad of burly rugby players, you are one important revelation away from cutting the legs off your jeans and being much happier. He implores viewers to power an All Black victory in the 2011 Rugby World Cup with "Abstain for the game!" Even as a joke, the idea of avoiding sex for sport is ludicrous. Was he trying to create an army of orgone-overcharged All Blacks to descend with throbbing fury? Because that would work. No team would stand against that. A tank battalion wouldn't stand against that.
"That's not fair, now I STILL feel inadequate!"
The campaign symbol was wearing a black rubber ring with a logo on your ring finger, and nobody will convince me that's not visual code for doing something filthy with fun strangers. When your sexual cues have moved past basic color-coding to specific symbols and materials, your idea of a sexual fetish would be most people's idea of biological metaphysics. And picturing highly trained physical specimens while pushing your flesh through an all-black ring isn't abstaining; it's the power of imagination, and will soon need some tissues.
Bristol Palin is the embodiment of the abstinence movement: She says having a kid sucks and lives in an alternate universe where contraception doesn't exist. Because you need an entire alternate universe where nothing prevents disastrous mistakes to explain how she has a reality show. Normally the family members of famous people should be spared nonstop media attention because they're innocent, but she reversed that moral code (and the entire direction of human progress) by using her newborn child to get a reality TV show.
"How much media attention for this fresh human child?"
She was scheduled to receive over $15,000 to appear at a Washington University panel on abstinence. The students campaigned and got the appearance canceled, proving that they didn't need any advice on abstinence, as they clearly knew how to say no to an idiot trying to screw them and leave them listening to infantile crying. The cancellation of Bristol opened the talking slot for Dr. Katie Plax, head of adolescent medicine and associate professor in the department of pediatrics, medical director of teen health at the Washington U. Health Center, and leading cause of bewildered questions of "Jesus Christ, Washington U., why wasn't she on the panel already?"
Washington U.'s first choice for a panel on grief counseling.
Bristol would do a better job of sex education with $15,000 by printing pictures of herself on boxes of condoms and distributing them, though that would backfire and work as abstinence education. And because it's something to do with abstinence that would actually work, she didn't do it.
A Fox News Columnist
I have nothing against abstinence itself. If you want to save your special first fumbling embarrassments for the one day you and and your love have built your entire lives around, go right ahead. It's like vegetarianism: It just means that the rest of us enjoy more delicious flesh. But when Fox News columnist Stephen Crowder woke up freshly married and sticky, he decided that everyone else was having sex wrong. This sexual white belt leaped into the Ultimate Fucking Club of everyone else in the world and told us that he didn't fuck our mothers, but only because the filthy harlots had clearly already had sex and would therefore be crap.
I can shove myself a full two inches into another human body, FEAR ME!
He writes like a first year poli-sci student in a news comments section -- he's just discovered this amazing new thing and he's out to explain it to the rest of us morons. He informs us that anyone popping the freshness seal on their genitals without written permission from God -- enacting His Holy Genital Activation Slip through the divine agency of a bored desk official -- just didn't get laid as well as he did.
"I've ticked the 'multiple' box, now she HAS to have orgasms."
He bases this argument on one data point. That is scientifically stupid. In fact, basing a comparison of two things on only one is the sort of stupid you only get when backed-up hormones dissolve important parts of your brain. The column decries "floozies" and "harlots" while crowing "I win," like reading Ezekiel of the Old Testament getting his first blowjob, and I know for a goddamn fact which of those two actions Stephen has experienced.
People buying pewter collectibles warning against sex are like a nuclear submarine crew warning against sunburn: They've already gone to a dark place beyond such problems, and for the sake of all humanity, we pray they never get the chance to deploy their payloads.
When you're carrying around a message that twee, chlamydia actively swims away from you. This coin turns Barry White CDs into the yowlings of a hundred cats, and the owner can't hear the difference over the hundred they already own. The product description recommends it for your child or spouse, and anyone who can casually lump those into the same market probably shouldn't be in charge of sex education. And if you're going to throw your teenage kids fake money instead of talking to them about sex, you might as well wait a few months until they're working in a strip club.
The sponsored ads on the same page listed rapid wedding invitations, facts about genital warts, purity rings and safety covers for swimming pools. In its crude way, even the adbot computer is desperately trying to let these people know about plastic wrappings that can keep you from getting in trouble when diving into fluids. When Amazon's targeting algorithm is better at sex education than you, you should just let your kids learn everything about sex from totally unreasonable porn videos, because at least now you're finally being honest about what they're already doing.
Dancing Rap Jingle
Mississippi has been using abstinence education in an attempt to disprove evolution by forcing it to run backward. At the 2009 "Abstinence Works: Let's Talk About It" meeting, their main strategy to prevent hot teenage boning was a jingle. Five thousand teens were lined up and encouraged to rap "Stop, don't touch me there! You know this is my no-no square!" It's a rap written by someone so old, they only remember sex as "like wetting the bed, but you need two people."
When you won't even refer to genitals without infant talk like "no-no square," you may be ill-equipped in a battle against boning. There are aliens with a better understanding of hu-man mating ports because they found the Pioneer plaque and know "triangle" would be better.
Though they've gotten the odd idea that Earth men are friendly and have crotch loops.
If you're wondering if this stupid song came with a way to act out the lyrics, you already know the answer, because you used the word "stupid." Teens danced around drawing an invisible square box around their crotches with their fingers. Because if anything will avoid sex, it's dancing together while pawing at your own crotch. Did we mention the event had the rap sung by cheerleaders?
Because those are a great way to stop teens from thinking about sex.
Those teens aren't prancing along because you've overridden the fundamental drive of all life-forms. They're obeying because it genuinely isn't their problem yet. When hormones hit their brain like a battering ram made of a firing Saturn V booster, your precious little jingle will work like a toilet-roll umbrella: Those kids will be defenseless, soaking wet and covered in stringy white material. You're sending them into a battle against their own bodies unarmed, and they only think it's a battle because you told them so.
Recommending that teenagers shouldn't have sex until they know what the hell they're doing is a great idea. Refusing to teach them about the cheap, widely available products that can prevent them from ruining their lives when they do something hormonally stupid -- which is a teenager's entire biological function -- is generational manslaughter.
For more sexual madness, check out The 7 Most Terrifying Sex Toys Ever Patented and 15 Real Sex Toys That Will Give You Nightmares. Both of which work better as abstinence education than any of the above.