Abstinence on the Rise at UVM?

With the beginning of a new semester brings yet another uneasy problem to the forefront of our lives here at UVM: promiscuity and its effects on college age students. Growing immorality, STDs on the rise, the decay of the modern nuclear family; although these signs are hard to ignore, it is the personal stories from UVM students regarding this epidemic I found most disturbing: Hamish, 18, could pass for a street-smart 28. He started thinking seriously about abstinence five years ago, when a national outreach program began teaching classes at his church. The classes reinforced what he already knew from growing up in rural Wisconsin–that discipline is the key to getting through your teen years alive. Earlier this year he dated a 21-year-old assistant appliance saleswoman from his neighborhood, until Hamish heard that she was hoping she’d have sex with him. “We decided that we should just be friends,” he explained, “before she cheated on me or worse…diseased me.” Jessica, 19, had had problems with sexuality her whole life until she decided to choose abstinence, the intelligent decision. “I was always being approached by men to have sex and I was like, `Yeah, let’s do this.’ I realized something though,” Jessica explained while extinguishing a mid-morning cigarette, “I realized that to be myself, I just have to be myself. You know what I mean? That’s why I chose abstinence.” Donalde, 27, had encountered the same problems as most teens have dealing with sex. He could never find the right woman, or even someone he could trust. It seemed like pre-marital sex held far more problems than Donalde was willing to deal with. “Look, I told you I’m not a virgin. Now drop it. No, look. There was this girl this summer, and… I don’t have to explain this to you. Now could you please leave my room” It was just like a well respected professor had once told me about non-virgins, that `…they live in a world of shadows. Their sex crazed minds can’t handle non-sex stimuli. They might be thinking about sex one minute, while you’re talking about how you were dating a 21 year old assistant appliance saleswoman, then all of a sudden… BAM! Their sexed infected mind snaps, goes into berserker mode looking for any sex it can find. Can’t trust `em when they’re like that…anything could happen…anything. That’s why abstinence is best.’ If UVM wasn’t going to combat the problem of promiscuity, then I was. I decided to start UVM’s first abstinence club. I originally decided on the acronym N.I.M.B.Y., but was forced to change the name after a different organization, fighting a lesser cause, claimed trademark infringement. I finally decided to call my club, Students for Mature Undergraduate Tough-love. I began my club with a press conference announcing our formation and our positive “Let’s Not Eve” message. Surrounded by small mountains of abstinence pamphlets, abstinence sweat suits, foam number `1′ hands that said: “I’m #1 because I don’t sleep around! YOU HEAR ME! I DON’T SLEEP AROUND!”, I approached the abstinence podium built by one of our members. Unaccustomed to dealing with the press I was quickly tricked into saying, “virgins are awful”. The sound bite was played over and over again on local news channels and radio stations. What they failed to mention in their coverage was that I was responding to a question posed by a junior reporter. The question was hypothetical, something about celebrated actor Burt “Seat-of-the-pants Humor” Reynolds, so abstract even Ari Fleischer would have responded by saying, “virgins are awful” (I learned later it was customary to not respond to hypothetical questions during any type of interview). That same reporter then followed up her hypothetical question by asking if I had started my abstinence club to `meet virgins’. Enough was enough (I felt exactly like J-Lo in Enough), I ended the press conference right then and there. I needn’t describe the media circus that came to encompass my life other than to say it was incredible. Of course there was wide spread speculation that I created S.M.U.T. for the sole purpose of meeting virgins, that even if I had been serious about abstinence, I should have had someone else hold our first press conference. Although I was immediately banned for life after the press conference from the club I created, even though I’ll have to pay for the purity rings, the limos, the champagne, the motivational books/tapes, the abstinence lifestyle, I’m not bitter. So as I sit here, staring at the paparazzi who have been camped out on my front lawn even since the “virgins are awful” fiasco, I am left thinking about the lessons I learned from my experience with abstinence here at UVM. Lessons that I’ll one day be able to pass onto my own children. Lessons like: Don’t trust the media, Be yourself, Abstinence is best, etc.