I’ve already noted my opposition to the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. That makes me sound like I’m all for unplanned pregnancy, but no. NCPTUP should probably change their name to “National Campaign to Shame Young Women With Sexual Desires,” if their “hip” new website, “Sex, Really” (google it), is any indication.
Apart from being rather dazzlingly ugly in terms of design and layout, “SR” features the pseudo-scientific “advice” of one Laura Sessions Stepp. You remember Laura Sessions Stepp, right? The author of a book about how
tramps young women today are ruining themselves and America with their slutty misguided attempts to act like dudes, total animals who must be reined in by righteous women with their knees pressed tightly together? Yeah, her.
Anyway, this new site claims to be for both men and women in their 20s, but even the briefest perusal makes it quite clear that this is aimed at women. There’s a story called “The Dog Ate My NuvaRing” (delightfully wacky, I’m sure), YouTube clips on pregnancy, and the first podcast, also available in a SHOUTY ALL CAPS TRANSCRIPT, which is about the dangers (to women, of course) of having sex too soon. “Too soon” doesn’t mean “before you want it,” though. It means “before you’re in a committed relationship and quite possibly married.” And the dangers under consideration here don’t include unplanned pregnancy. The assumption is that women who have sex will, naturally and inevitably, develop feelings for the dude they’re boning (and of course, we’re talkin’ dudes, ’cause lesbian relationships never have these problems), and these are not likely to be reciprocated, because ladybrains and dudebrains are totally different, see, when it comes to lovin’. That’s sex… really?
“But wait, PhDork,” I can hear you saying, “I thought you said that this blog-thing was sponsored by an organization whose explicitly stated mission was to prevent unplanned pregnancy! Why wouldn’t that be the central issue?”
Good question, my friends. Good question.
It’s one thing to be against unplanned pregnancy. It’s quite another to use that unquestionable good as a trojan (heh) horse to smuggle in your message of “Good Girls Don’t. You Whore.” And that seems to be what “SR”–and it’s backing organization–is about.
I’m mostly monogamously-inclined myself, but I’ve had a meaningless fling or seven. I’ve had my heart broken, and I think I’ve broken at least one myself (I’m not proud of it, just honest), but it was never the sex that caused it the hurt. It was the behavior outside the bed/car/tent/kitchen/cemetery that was the problem. And even though I have been hurt, and I have made choices I regret, ’cause, you know, I’m human, somehow I’ve managed to maintain a good relationship with a highly decent dude (even though we were getting horizontal quickly enough to make Session Stepp clutch her pearls). The more focus people, especially slut-shamers like LSS, put on programming and controlling others’ sexual behavior, particularly in the traditional, heavily gender-coded ways (AKA women use sex to get love / men use love to get sex; sex is degrading, save it for the one you love, etc.), the more seriously fucked up people are going to be about both sex and love.
I can’t say, however “SR” is not without its charm. Primarily in the following comment, in response to its inaugural podcast:
Love the play bars that show the progress of the podcast!!