I'm on hiatus while working on a manuscript for a new book. In the meantime, please enjoy these classic Savage Love letters pulled from previous columns. I will be back October 1st, when the book is finished. —Dan
Originally published May 14, 2009:
I'm a 17-year-old girl. My 16-year-old boyfriend doesn't like condoms, and I don't like what birth control pills do to my emotions and my skin. Now what?
Pregnancy Isn't Looking Likely
My response after the jump...
I'll be with you in a minute, PILL. But first...
More stupidity and opportunism: Bristol Palin is now a spokesperson for an organization that encourages teenagers to abstain from having sex. "Regardless of what I did personally," Bristol advised America's youth last week, "abstinence is the only... 100 percent foolproof way you can prevent pregnancy."
Here are a few other 100 percent foolproof ways to prevent pregnancy, Bristol, right off the top of my head: mutual masturbation, oral sex, anal sex (aka "saddlebacking" when practiced by Christian teens), outercourse, sex toys, cybersex, GAY SEX. There are actually lots of "foolproof" ways for teenagers (and adults) to be intimate without risking an unplanned pregnancy.
Instead of telling teenagers to say no to sex—which will work about as well as telling them to say no to drugs—we should tell them there are ways to be sexual that carry no risk of pregnancy. But if they do decide to have sex, of course, they're going to need to know about and have access to contraception and the "morning after" pill—and, yes, abortion services. But if we continue to present being sexually active as either/or—either abstinence or vaginal intercourse—we're going to see more outcomes like yours, Bristol.
When you explain to nervous, inexperienced teenagers that they don't have to jump right into full intercourse—that there are degrees of intimacy, and risk, and they can have enjoyable sexual experiences without vaginal (or anal) penetration—they're often relieved. (And just imagine what we could have been spared—all of us, Bristol, from your family to Levi's family to the McCain campaign—if Levi had limited himself to inseminating your tonsils.)
So, PILL, here's what you do: Enjoy outercourse, oral, masturbation, and sex toys—and tell your boyfriend that these aren't consolation prizes for teenagers, but honest-to-God sex acts that adults enjoy—until you and your boyfriend find the condoms and lube that work for you.