Thursday, January 17, 2008

In which I'm a little non-liberal

Downstairs in the mail room there are stacks of magazines up for grabs, addressed to employees who no longer work here. I can get some serious gems down there (Real Simple, Vanity Fair, Shape) or the sometimes some not-so-gemmy (Southern Living, Golf Digest). The other day I came across a publication I'd never seen on our shelves before: trusty Seventeen.

I myself never subscribed to it - I always got the dorky mags - but I somehow managed to pore over each and everyone during my youth, usually at a cooler friend's house, sometimes on the floor of my cousin's closet which held piles and piles of them. It was more sophisticated than YM, more traditional than Sassy - kind of the Redbook for teens. It definitely talked a good amount about boys and dating, but the quizzes and info revolved more around how to pull off plaid and whether to kiss on a first date instead of the heavy stuff.

Not to get all creepy conservative on you, but I found the following excerpt, from the February '08 issue, a little startling:

"You may have noticed among your friends or the girls at school that most of them don't have sex regularly; it's usually unexpected - like when someone's parents are out for the night. Sure, it may seem romantic to think of sex as "just happening" - as if you'll get swept off your feet in this big passionate moment. Although planning ahead may take away from the spontaneity you always imagined, it will actually make sex more enjoyable."

Now don't get me wrong, I'm all for sex education and supplying birth control to teens. Most likely, if they've got the opportunity to do it they will, so let's help them stay safe and un-preggers. But there is just something off about this whole passage, no?

Since when are teens worried about falling into a rut and missing out on sexual spontaneity? And is "enjoyable" sex even possible for girls when they're dealing with hormone-crazed, skinny-bummed, hit-it-and-quit-it teenage boys? And should we really be working hard to make sex super enjoyable for 15 year olds? Maybe it should be a little awkward and uncomfortable at first. Kind of like getting your wisdom teeth pulled or standing in your bathing suit for a scoliosis check. Oh, adolescence. How I mourn your passing.


  1. You're completely right, but if you really want to blow your mind, check out the message boards. There's stuff on there about pro-ana, how to bone your boyf, and other sordid and assorted trash.

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