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Life Lessons We Should Be Teaching Our Kids
By Irwin M. DaGuru
Contents & Teenagers’ Quotes Introduction My mother told me to never get married. You’ve never had a drink? You’re lying! I’ve got to stop downloading porn… Vincent’s talking about stuff he shouldn’t. Being a virgin is not cool! Everyone’s doing it. Abstinence is cool. You’re a baby killer! Oral sex isn’t sex. It’s okay to have sex if you wrap it up. Your first time should be special. Porn star is a cool job. Playboy’s not pornography it’s just appreciating beauty. Hugh Hefner is my idol! Lesbians are cool! People aren’t born gay. If two people love each other, then they should get married. My mother would kill me if I told her I was gay. There is no God. Religion is stupid. Boys are stupid. You should live together before you get married. I’m going to be divorced because everyone in my family is divorced. Conclusion: The perfect little family. p.9 p.13 p.20 p.33 p.44 p.53 p.75 p.77 p.79 p.83 p.87 p.92 p.94 p.99 p.103 p.116 p.123 p.127 p.130 p.136 p.142 p.150 p.152 p.156 p.158
As an educator, Mr. DaGuru encourages students to augment their vocabulary. Words that are underlined throughout the book can be quickly referenced in the glossary found on page 161. E-mail the author at firstname.lastname@example.org
Teenagers Say the Darndest Things Introduction As a public school social studies teacher I have interacted with many young people over the years. As one would expect in a social studies class, many topics are broached and many views are exchanged. Along the way, I have been shocked by the views of many young people today. It’s as if many teens today were raised by television and popular culture instead of by caring parents. Of course, we know that in some socioeconomic circles many kids don’t have two caring parents; a lot of what they learn about life and sex is absorbed through the media. Often when I hear what the kids today think and do, I am saddened. I wish all of our young people came from good homes with solid values; unfortunately, that is not the case. That is why I felt the need to write this book. So many young people need guidance and leadership on life’s most important issues but can’t find it in our modern society. With this book, I hope to provide insight on what matters in life and how to get there. The title of this book is a takeoff from an old television show that had a segment called ―Kids Say the Darndest Things.‖ On the show, the host would engage children in casual conversation and humor would result out of the children’s naïve and silly responses. The children’s lines were funny because 9
they were too young to really know what they were saying. Well, kids grow up and become teenagers. Although the topics of conversation change, teenagers also say some misguided and silly things. Instead of laughing, I often cringe. I wonder who filled their minds with such confusion. This book will correct the misguided ideas that I have encountered among today’s young people. It should be noted that student quotations throughout the book are actual quotes from teenage students of mine. Hans and Franz, a couple of characters on Saturday Night Live, used to use a line that I love: ―Hear me now and believe me later.‖ While I am confident that you will hear me now and believe me later, you would do well to hear me now and believe me now. The information provided here is sound guidance based on anecdotal, empirical, and published research. Heeding the counsel provided here will help you avoid mistakes that could drastically alter the rest of your life. You would be wise to incorporate it into your life today.
―My mother told me to never get married.‖
If your mother told you this, I would say that this is a situation where you should not listen to your mother. I can only assume that this student’s mother has made many relationship mistakes in her life and doesn’t want her child to repeat them. Unfortunately, some parents don’t have the right answers to help their children navigate life successfully; however, this book does, so let’s get started.
The Purpose of Life
I have heard various people on different occasions suggest that the world is a terrible place and people are bad; therefore, they have no interest in having children. In their view, it would be wrong to bring a new life into such an evil world. Ironically though, the world probably won’t look like a very appealing place until they do have children. 13
The entire reason for being on earth is to get married and have kids. Contrary to popular belief, your sex drive isn’t just for your recreational entertainment. Mother Nature wants you to procreate. Many times kids will tell me they want to be a musician, an athlete, or a doctor. That’s great and I wish them luck. However, many people put so much effort and emphasis on careers, money, and success, that they forget to plan their lives around their true purpose here on earth. If you look at life from a simplified perspective, you really only have three things to accomplish on your earthly mission: 1. Educate yourself 2. Get married 3. Raise children I know that to some young people that sounds pretty boring. I had one student tell me that he didn’t want to get married and have kids because he had loftier goals. His goals were, ―to make it big and get on TV.‖ A lot of young people may not realize it, but even people on TV get married and have kids. Hall of Fame football coach Bobby Bowden once said the following: ―Happiness is not money, and it's not fame, and it's not power. Happiness is a good wife, a good family and good health."1 14
In his career he has reached the apex of his field, but even he knows fame and fortune don’t mean much compared to fulfilling your principal mission here on earth. Of course, having a career or vocation is important because they allow us to learn, grow and serve our fellow man. Also, we have to earn a living if we want to eat and survive. However, when I hear people talk about their dream jobs or careers, I am reminded of an exchange on a television show from my youth called The Wonder Years. On the show, when the husband arrived home each day, his wife would always ask, ―How was work?‖ The husband’s response was pithy: ―Work is work.‖ No matter what you choose to do for a living, work will always be just that: work. The real joys in life come from building relationships with friends, family, and raising children. A recent survey showed that 90 percent of teenagers thought they were ―likely‖ to marry and have kids when they got older.2 No matter how unglamorous it may seem, it is probable that you will marry and procreate. It’s been that way since the beginning and it will always be that way.
If most teens intend to marry and have kids, why not plan and prepare to successfully achieve these goals in life?
According to a USA Today headline the goal of Generation Y (people born since the early 1980s) is ―wealth and fame.‖3 Who could blame them? This is how the world defines success, and no one wants to be a failure. Realistically, most people will never achieve great wealth or fame. So, here we will define success within the context of your three life goals. Goal 1. Educate yourself 2. Get married Success 1. Can you provide for yourself and family? 2. Have you committed yourself to someone worth spending the rest of your life with? 3. Have you raised your children to be responsible citizens? Are they ready and capable of fulfilling their purpose in life as established in this book? 16
3. Raise children
1. Educate yourself Education needs to be a priority because without it you will likely not be able to provide for your family in the manner that you would like. The ability to provide for yourself will be a source of great pride and joy for you. The inability to provide for yourself will leave you dependent on others and with a sense of failure. There is an old saying that sums up this concept: Self-reliance breeds self-respect. Education will enable you to be self-reliant. 2. Get married You probably think this is easy; however, with the number of broken families out there, you should think again. Notice how I defined success: committing to someone worth sharing the rest of your life with. There are a lot of people that you might find worthy on a purely sexual level, but they are not marriage material. Finding the right person is as difficult as any task you will face in life. But like anything that is really worth having, it is worth the effort and it can be done. 3. Raise children Anyone can have a child, that’s the easy part. Raising good kids is a lifelong process that 17
begins long before you have your first child. The decisions you make in your youth influence who you will become and will set an example for your future kids to follow. What you do or say as a parent matters much less than who you are as a person. Raising good and capable children will be a challenge, but making the correct choices throughout your life will make it easier.
It should be noted that the sequential order of the life goals matter. I don’t need to detail how mixing up the life goals will negatively impact your chances of success; that seems obvious. Nevertheless, people seem to put the cart before the horse all of the time. As a result, success becomes that much more elusive. Achieving the three life goals isn’t easy; nothing worth having is. In fact, to prove my point, stop and think for a second how many people you can name that married only once and stayed faithfully married until death? I’ll bet for every person you can name that has married only once, you can name someone who hasn’t. Doing the marriage and children thing isn’t easy.
I often hear people say, when you are on your death bed, all the worldly success you have achieved will mean very little if you were unsuccessful in your family life. I believe this is true, but let’s reverse that notion. Let’s assume that like most people you never actually achieve much of anything in your worldly career. Looking back on your life, how do you think you would feel if you had a great family that loved and respected you? To accomplish that would be much more satisfying than making millions of dollars or getting on television. Accomplishing the goals in order and successfully will bring you immense self-worth and save you from personal grief and guilt.
Remember: The purpose of life is to marry and procreate. Prepare now to take these steps properly.
―You’ve never had a drink? You’re lying!‖
Many times kids will ask me what I like to drink. After I tell them I don’t drink-and I never have-they usually accuse me of lying. I also get the same response when I tell them I’ve never smoked, used drugs, or had premarital or extramarital sex. After their shock wears off, they can sense my sincerity and they accept that I’m telling the truth. The next question I always get is: ―Don’t you want to have fun?‖ They just can’t comprehend that someone lives their life without doing all of the socalled ―fun‖ things. I hear about fun so much that I am growing to dislike the word. When I consider the harmful activities that people associate with ―fun,‖ I sometimes think it should be classified with fourletter words and banned from polite conversation. 20
If somebody tells me that we are going to do something because ―it will be fun,‖ I am immediately turned off by the idea. If I thought I would enjoy it, I wouldn’t need to be encouraged to participate in the first place. I cite this only to demonstrate that ―fun‖ is a subjective and relative term. What many young people-and even older peoplecall fun, are really distractions from truly satisfying activities. I do have things I enjoy that are much more uplifting than self-indulgent behaviors. I enjoy building meaningful relationships with friends and family. I enjoy learning; that’s why I became a teacher. I enjoy helping others. I enjoy setting and achieving my life’s goals. My principal problem with some people’s definition of fun is this: Short-term fun can impede achievement of long-term goals.
What’s Wrong With Drinking, Drugs, or Sex?
Often I hear students talking about things they do that they consider fun like drinking, drugs, and sex. Whenever I ask students why they do these things, many seem to see no reason not to. On top of the potential risk to your emotional and physical health, my main objection to these activities is that they are distractions and deviations from achieving the goals of education, marriage, and children. 21
What shouldn’t you do and why?
Many of the things that we shouldn’t do are what society calls vice. Vice can be defined in many ways: something immoral, wicked, or corrupt. However one definition from Merriam-Webster best fits my view: a behavior in animals that is detrimental to its health or usefulness.4 Although I don’t equate humans with animals, I do believe that a vice is an activity that is unhealthy or useless. Let’s address some specifics. What activities or vices should one not engage in? My list is as follows: Drinking Smoking Drugs Tattoos Pornography Premarital sexual activity Now, let’s recall the definition of vice. Ask yourself if the aforementioned activities are ―healthy‖? Then ask yourself if such activities will be ―useful‖ in helping you to be successful in achieving your goals of getting an education, getting married, and having children? I submit to 22
you that the answer is no on both counts. Engaging in vices isn’t necessary to educate yourself, marry, or raise good children. I’ll tackle each of these subjects individually, but first let me explain the collective problem with vices. One thing many of these activities have in common is that they can lead to loss of control.
Why is control important?
Control is essential to your well-being and happiness. Have you ever wondered why so many people fear flying? I don’t think it is due to widespread acrophobia. It is likely because between weather problems, mechanical malfunction, or pilot error, the entire experience is one over which the passenger has no control. Everyone has heard the statistic that the odds of dying in a plane crash are less than dying in a car accident. (Although some have put qualifiers on that statistic, the general idea is correct.) Why then do people fear flying more than driving? I believe people don’t fear driving because they think they are in control behind the wheel; they fear flying due to lack of control. Anxiety experts will tell you to not worry about that which you can’t control. This is generally accurate advice; however, I have one problem with it: everyone determines differently what is out of their control. It’s very common for poverty stricken 23
people to be fatalistic and hold a world view that events in life are beyond their control. In fact, I have had many students tell me that they don’t have much control over their lives because, ―Stuff just happens.‖ My response is this: Outside of natural disasters like hurricanes, tornados and earthquakes, stuff doesn’t just happen. If you choose to take control, you will have more control over your life than you realize. This is important because belief in one’s ability to control one’s destiny is essential to success. If you are the type of person that believes ―stuff just happens,‖ then you need help changing your fatalistic worldview. Luckily, I have a method to help you do this. The next time something goes wrong, find a way to blame yourself instead of someone else. Continue to practice this exercise and soon you will have a new outlook on life, as well as a lot of things you can work on improving. Allow me to show you how this works with a silly example using the oldest excuse ever: ―The dog ate my homework.‖ If you blamed yourself, you would say, ―I foolishly left my homework where the dog could eat it.‖ It’s kind of like people on the news that ―invest‖ money with a shady individual and then complain when their money disappears. Sure, the person who swindled the money bears some burden for stealing other people’s cash. But, the take-control 24
individual will blame him or herself for allowing their own greed to cloud their good judgment. You may have heard people speak pejoratively about ―control freaks.‖ No one likes to be controlled or pressured by others. But when you take responsibility for your own life and actions, you could become a ―self-control freak.‖ Selfcontrol freaks are in control of themselves and their lives. Becoming one would be very helpful in achieving your goals. Taking responsibility for yourself and control of your life will help you to avoid and resist the need to engage in vice. Now, let’s look at the vices individually.
What’s wrong with drinking alcohol?
Many will say that drinking in moderation is okay. Even religious folks will say that Jesus drank wine. The medical community is now showing some marginal medical benefits for the heart associated with drinking alcohol. It should be noted that they never encourage non-drinkers to start drinking for a minimal benefit that can be achieved by other means. I could bore you with statistics about drunk driving and alcoholism, but I won’t. Everyone knows that too much alcohol is destructive to oneself and others. Let’s look at a different aspect of drinking. 25
Why do people drink in the first place? I’m sure it’s not because they’re thirsty. In fact, alcohol is a cause for dehydration, not a remedy. Admittedly, I have never had a drink, but I don’t think people start because it tastes good. In fact, many have told me that it tastes like it smells. I have smelled alcohol and if it tastes like it smells, it can’t be that good. Many experienced drinkers will tell you that they do like the taste of a particular wine or type of drink. I suppose that one can acquire a taste for anything over time. The correlation between drinking and so-called good times is also a very real association for others too. However, the point is that people don’t begin solely because it is a palatable experience. It is my experience that people drink for two reasons: to connect with others and to escape. First let’s deal with the ―social drinker.‖ The problem with the social drinker is the message you send. If we agree that alcohol is not very palatable and you claim that you are not drinking for the physical ―buzz,‖ then why are you drinking? I believe that the social drinker is very much manipulated by the opinion of others. They desire to be viewed as cool and accepted by somebody or anybody that will let them into their social circle.
Alcohol serves as the lowest common denominator for many people. People will rally around it to have friends, even if the ―friendship‖ is based on nothing more than drinking. I have met people whose entire social network is based on drinking. They have a lot of drinking buddies and all you have to do to join the network is drink. If you think that alcohol is an essential part of socialization and relationships ask yourself the following: Do I suffer from low self-esteem? Am I so vacuous that I can’t make real friends or build quality relationships? Do I not have any worthy interests or goals in life around which I can build meaningful relationships? If you answer ―yes‖ to any of the above questions, consider that drinking socially is nothing more than a distraction from a more meaningful life. Along the same vein, if you do drink to get drunk, you have much bigger problems to confront. Some people drink to escape their problems. You would do yourself a big favor to invest your energies in confronting and conquering your so-called ―problems‖ instead of escaping them. The last point I would like to make on drinking is that it often puts you in the company of empty, 27
directionless people who likely are not working towards the life goals. I’m reminded of an old Jimmy Buffet song entitled, ―Why Don’t We Get Drunk.‖ In the song, a man approaches a strange woman at a bar and suggests they get drunk and screw. Does such a guy sound like marriage material? A guy willing to drink excessively with no sexual standards is not likely to make a good husband or father should an unexpected pregnancy result. Would a woman who accepts this proposition be marriage or mother material? I would think not. Let’s review my three reasons not to become a drinker. 1. Drinking is a distraction from your life’s purpose; it’s not necessary to achieve your earthly mission. 2. Drinking is a way to weaken your selfcontrol and good judgment. 3. Drinking often places you in the company of people not focused on fulfilling their earthly mission. Completely avoiding alcohol will help you to avoid trouble and should motivate you to seek healthy and
focused friends that are working to fulfill their threefold mission here on earth.
What’s wrong with smoking?
There is no need to explain the health ramifications of smoking. Surprisingly, some still take it up. However, the same social realities I’ve explained about drinking apply here. I have never smoked, but I don’t think people take it up because it is an olfactory pleasure. Much like drinking, people do it to cope or fit in. If fitting in with people who often smell, lack willpower, and have no respect for themselves or others is your thing, then you need to work on improving yourself and your life. Remember this, if you shouldn’t do it during pregnancy, you shouldn’t do it. This suggestion can also include all drugs and alcohol.
What’s wrong with drugs like pot?
See previous sections on drinking and smoking. See wasting time with losers. See frying your brain and wasting money. See illegal.
What’s wrong with tattoos?
I hate taking on this topic with students. So many young people are getting tattoos that to argue against them only makes you look old and out of touch. Maybe I am getting old, but in my day, only bikers, soldiers, prisoners, and wannabe rebels would get tattoos. No matter which group you belonged to, tattoos were for those who rejected mainstream society. Based on what students tell me, reasons for getting a tattoo these days can vary from, ―I think they are pretty,‖ to ―I want to honor my mother.‖ First, I’ve never seen a tattoo that I thought was pretty. Even if you think yours is pretty, you can’t possibly believe that you will love it forever. People constantly paint and remodel their homes because they get sick of looking at the same thing. So why do people think that their tattoo is somehow different and they will love it forever? Second, if you want to honor your mother: get an education, get a job, get married, provide her with some grandkids, and stay out of trouble. That is how you honor your mom.
One Internet blogger sarcastically suggests the following will occur if you choose to get a tattoo: When you get one, life just becomes so much easier-especially if it's in plain site all the time. You'll be respected at job interviews, admired at funerals and weddings, and even awarded good seats at fancy restaurants. Your whole life will change for the better, doors will open and new opportunities will come your way, all because of the awe and power of your incredible tattoo. Everyone loves a winner, and nothing says "I am an interesting and important person" like getting ink injected under your skin.5 Typically, people who have tattoos are those who have had a hard life. Ironically, as the blogger attempts to point out, tattoos will only make your life harder. Even if I haven’t convinced you not to tattoo yourself and you really believe they are cool, remember that cool by its very nature is ephemeral. When I was younger, florescent shoelaces were considered ―cool‖ and I haven’t seen anyone wear those in 20 years now. No matter how normal or mainstream some people think tattoos have become, they will always be viewed by most as lower class.
The vices I have discussed up to this point typically attract the followers in society. If you want to be a responsible individual and take control of your life you will avoid them.
Remember: Short-term fun impedes achievement of long-term goals.
―I’ve got to stop downloading porn because I’m getting too many viruses on my computer.‖
It would be nice if getting viruses on your computer were the only problem with looking at pornography. However, there are much greater problems awaiting those that indulge themselves in this activity. Pornography is mostly a problem for males but indirectly affects females too. Many people think of pornography as harmless fun; it is not. Unlike the other vices that are typically done with others, pornography is typically viewed alone and usually accompanied by masturbation. Many people will tell you that both pornography and masturbation are harmless; for a few loners who plan to live a solitary life that may be true. But if you are preparing to have a family, as you should, these activities will ultimately cause you problems. 33
What is the problem with pornography?
The purpose of pornography is to arouse men. I once heard it said that porn is for people who can’t get real sex. This is false. First, anyone can find sex if they want to. Second, pornography for many is better than sex. It is so powerful that people who are married or even fornicating are still attracted to it. When you are married, your sexual activity will largely be routine. Pornography can provide new and exciting women who likely look better than your mate and will do things no normal and decent woman would do. Quickly, sex with your spouse will take a backseat to your pornography habit. As you gratify yourself through pornographic material, you will have no libido or sexual drive left to engage in real sexual relations with your wife. Then, you will likely have to lie about why you don’t want to have sex. The result of your actions is that your relationship will surely deteriorate. When I was younger, the enemies of pornography implied that it was so arousing and powerful that it would turn men into rapists. Dr. James Dobson, noted defender of family values, did an interview with rapist and serial killer Ted Bundy before he was put to death many years ago. In the interview, Bundy claimed that one of his demons was
pornography and that every guy he met in jail was afflicted by it too.6 I’m not denying that pornography was a serious personal struggle for Ted Bundy, but the idea that pornography will turn normal men into animals is weak. What is being seen now with ubiquitous pornography is that the opposite is true. Feminist author Naomi Wolf explains that ―In the end, pornography doesn’t whet men’s appetites-it turns them off (from) the real thing.‖7 The truth is pornography isn’t causing men to attack women; instead, it is causing men to leave them alone and lonely. A few years ago I watched a television news magazine where the topic was troubled couples. They interviewed several couples and sent experts in to help their relationships. One couple that I was fascinated by was a husband and wife who had not had sex in two years. The woman, it turns out, was a dancer at an adult club where she met her current husband. Because of her line of work, she invested a lot of time in her appearance. She worked out and took the time to do the many things required of women to be beautiful in the eyes of men. If I recall correctly, she wasn’t too shabby.
Why then had her husband not slept with her in two years? The answer was that he had performance anxiety. If you don’t know what that means, let’s say he couldn’t maintain an erection long enough to achieve an orgasm for himself or his wife. A lot of men were probably watching this and wondering how this could happen? After several minutes of discussion, the reporter asked if he looked at pornography or masturbated. He affirmed that he did both. Here then is one problem with pornography: you don’t have an unlimited sexual drive. When you waste it on yourself, you will not be able to share it with another. For two years he had put off his wife, all the while engaging in his self-indulgent self-gratification on a regular basis. Is that anyway to treat your spouse? What would a woman conclude if her husband never wanted to have sex? She might conclude that her husband is cheating. He is either having an affair with another woman or the other woman is his pornography habit. Most respectable women do consider pornography to be the other woman, and in their eyes it is cheating. We all know that sex and the term ―making love‖ are used interchangeably in our language. If sex equals love and is a way to say ―I love you,‖ then what is the message sent when a man puts off sex 36
with his wife for sex with himself? The message to the woman is: ―He doesn’t love me.‖ Once again, you can see how pornography leads to the destruction of healthy relationships. In the summer of 2008 there was a high-profile case in the news that demonstrates this precisely. Christie Brinkley, during a custody battle with her former husband Peter Cook, took the opportunity to spill all the dirt she had on him. (If you are too young to remember Christie Brinkley, she was the top model of the early 1980s. She was beautiful, wholesome, and had a personality that glowed.) From that trial, we learned that her husband spent significant time and money viewing Internet pornography and masturbating. Of course after having his cyber affairs, he also had a real-life affair with an eighteen-year-old employee.8 Although she didn’t know exactly the cause at the time, Ms. Brinkley noticed something had changed in their relationship. She says, ―I would try to look nice and make a special effort and he'd say he was tired and that he'd put in a big day at the office.‖9 She also noticed that he was less affectionate in bed saying, ―We used to sleep like spoons together. And I'd ask him, 'Why don't you snuggle with me like that anymore?'"10
Here was the perfect all-American girl. And yet, in her husband’s mind, she was no match for pornography and masturbation. Another point to consider is this: just as pornography leads to impotence in real sexual situations, it is often suggested as a cure for the very problem it causes. Billboards and commercials often promote adult videos as a way to ―spice up‖ or ―energize‖ your sexual relationships; however, they do just the opposite. I would guess that many women feel sorry for men who are impotent-as if they are victims of some syndrome. Often the women themselves are blamed for the problem, or they may blame themselves. Because of this, women may fall for the lie that they need pornography in their sexual relationships to fix their husbands’ impotence. Again, let’s look at Christie Brinkley and Peter Cook as a case-in-point. Peter Cook admits that they used pornography as a "precursor to intimacy…in the last half of the marriage."11 I can’t believe that any woman respects a man who claims he needs pornography as part of their lovemaking. What he needs instead of pornography is some self-discipline and to think about his wife instead of himself.
Why expend mental energy to fantasize when you can get someone to act one out for you?
Ultimately, pornography is the lazy man’s way. What it provides isn’t anything that you can’t think up yourself, but using your head requires work, and mental energy. Contrary to popular belief, thinking is actually more tiring than physical labor. For evidence of this, take a look at the highest and lowest paying jobs. The thinkers make more than the laborers because it is harder work. ―So what is wrong with taking a short cut?‖ some will ask. I’ll attempt to explain this in simple terms. Think of your brain as a muscle. The more you use it, the stronger it gets. Engaging in sexual thought is exercising your brain muscle. When you look at pornography, you don’t have to use your brain muscle. Someone else is essentially doing the heavy lifting for you. We all know what happens to muscles when they are not exercised on a regular basis: they atrophy or weaken and become useless. The consumer of pornography will find it difficult having real sexual relations with a woman if he has allowed his mind to atrophy, as he will have become dependent on external factors for arousal. 39
Cutting pornography out of your life will require you to use your mind to sexually fantasize. This is not bad. Your brain is an essential sexual organ; putting it to good use will actually benefit your marital sex life. Pornography eliminates the need to use your brain and will cause sexual frustration, impotence, and will likely destroy healthy intercourse with your spouse. If you don’t believe what I’m saying about using your brain, let’s look at a quote from an article about Viagra-the supposed magic blue pill that people think will fix their sexual performance troubles: About half of men for whom erectile-dysfunction drugs are prescribed don't renew prescriptions, surveys indicate, and one popular explanation is the dumb-lovers theory. By that scenario, the husband takes his Viagra, sits down to watch TV and his wife tells him to come upstairs when he's aroused. That won't happen without foreplay or fantasizing, experts know, because the drugs aren't aphrodisiacs.12 What can we learn from this article? I think the lesson here is that sex takes work. Even with the chemical help of prescription medication 40
the Viagra pill alone won’t get the job done. You have to put in some required work in the form of ―foreplay or fantasizing.‖ And that is the key problem with pornography: it undermines one’s ability to work the brain and fantasize. With our pornographic culture, I fear that many young men out there have never even had the opportunity to fantasize. I grew up in an era when there was no Internet and cable was mostly stuff like CNN and the Disney Channel. When a young man hit his adolescent years and started to find women attractive he didn’t turn to pornography, he turned to fantasy generated in his own brain. This is a natural and useful skill. Due to the ubiquity of porn, sadly, many youngsters today will have to suffer from pornographic addictions and sexual frustration before they realize that it’s best not to mess with Mother Nature. Another objection I have to pornography is that it distorts people’s expectations of sex. This is due to the fact that it is visual in nature. Pornography reinforces the idea that you get turned on through your eyes. This is the view of a virgin or very sexually inexperienced person. There is a visual component to sex, but it is only for attraction. We are attracted visually which is why women spend so much time on clothes, hair, and makeup.
True sexual intercourse is anything but a visual experience. Society puts much emphasis on visual stimulation such as lingerie, strip clubs and porn. However, the best lovers understand that sex is mental and tactile. For all the emphasis society puts on the visual, the best sexual encounters will be with the lights out and in the dark. Only under those circumstances can you eliminate distractions and begin the work of engaging your mind and hands. Only by engaging your mind and hands can you truly have the most fulfilling sexual experience-which is all about mind and body-not eyeballs. Although some blind people are offended by the stereotype, it is often said that blind people make the best sexual partners. Where do you think this stereotype comes from? Whether it is true or not is debatable, but the concept behind it is a very accurate one: blind people have to use their hands and imagination. The non-visually impaired would be wise to learn this lesson. I sometimes wonder, with all the new and supposedly wonderful things to enhance everyone’s sex life, how in the world did people just a century ago even procreate? These days you are led to believe that your sex life is nothing without sexual images, videos, toys, Viagra, and variety. Most generations had none of the aforementioned items, so it is hard to imagine that people even bothered having sex for most of mankind’s short history. 42
How did they do it? The truth is none of those things are needed and are in fact distractions from really great sex done the old fashioned way. If you want to be a great lover, and most people in relationships do, then cut out pornography, cut out masturbation, and let nature work her magic.
Remember: Pornography weakens your brain’s ability to fantasize which will lead to performance problems. The best sex is mental and tactile not, visual.
―Mr. DaGuru, Vincent’s talking about stuff he shouldn’t.‖
What’s wrong with masturbation?
Many counselors and health teachers will tell you that there is nothing wrong with it. Even some conservative religious leaders will suggest that this is a healthy way to abstain from the ills of fornication or sex outside of marriage. In a strictly physical sense, that is true. You won’t impregnate someone or get sick and die from it. The case can also be made that your body has to do it. For males, the reproductive fluid will exit involuntarily if it must through the nocturnal emissions process. You could also argue that if it were truly unnecessary then Mother Nature could have made it impossible to do, the same way that people can’t tickle themselves. In spite of the justifications for this practice, I believe it is a harmful habit. Popular culture acts like it is a normal part of growing up. I suspect in 44
our pornographically steeped culture, that’s reality. However, before concluding that it is harmless, first consider my caveats against masturbation. The first problem with masturbation is that it is part of cycle deeply intertwined with pornography. We’ve previously discussed how pornography leads to masturbation. Well, those who masturbate crave pornography. The Impotence Cycle
As the graphic above displays, men who view pornography want to masturbate, and those who masturbate end up with performance problems. Then, the cycle continues when the masturbator returns to pornography to ―correct‖ their performance problem. 45
As I have also mentioned previously, using pornography will disrupt your ability to perform your marital sexual duties. For people that are struggling with these issues, you should know that if you cut pornography out of your life, you’ll find the urge to gratify yourself very infrequent. Eliminating pornography from your life will help break the impotence cycle. On a related note to women, don’t assume that your child or husband is immune from this. The best way you can help your family is to get rid of cable TV and the Internet. If you don’t think you can live without them, then as a minimum precaution you must use parental blocks and software to keep this stuff out of your home. Few males have the fortitude to resist pornography at their fingertips. The second caveat against masturbation and pornography is that it can be a gateway to homosexuality. The first time I heard this, I thought it was just a scare tactic. How does lusting after women lead to homosexuality? Since that time, I have heard of situations where people engaged in ―mutual masturbation.‖ This practice usually is the result of young people viewing pornography together. From that act, the kids then progressed to playing around with each other.
I have always wondered why young men are so eager to share pornography with others. I’d be willing to bet that pre-Internet, most men did not see porn for the first time because they bought it at the corner store. No, most youngsters where likely exposed to it by a friend. Why is that? I think that subconsciously young people know it’s wrong but they can’t explain why. So they share it with someone else to gauge their reaction, as if to say, ―maybe they can tell me what’s wrong with this.‖ Unfortunately, most young people are not equipped to understand what is wrong with it or to deal with the supercharged brain rush they get upon viewing it. However, I would caution a young person to get away from anyone who wants to show them pornography. Who knows what they have in mind. They may want to mess around not just with themselves, but you. If you have engaged in pornographic consumption and masturbation with a member of the same sex, you could be headed toward homosexuality, a problem which will be discussed later in the book.
The third caveat against masturbation is that it can be done everyday. I know, for males especially, the sexual drive is very powerful. Some males may feel the need to relieve sexual tension everyday. Seinfeld’s Kramer likened masturbation to shaving, implying that it is a daily occurrence. I once saw a comedian who did a stand-up act on self-gratification that I personally didn’t care for. His whole bit was about doing it everyday. He suggested that if he missed a day he would have to make up for it and do it twice the next day. I believe he is promoting a very bad habit. The inability to deny your sexual urges regularly will have negative consequences. If you feel like this is something to do daily, then you should think again. Even the best married couples don’t have sex everyday. People get tiredespecially when kids arrive, people get sick, women have ―that time of the month,‖ people get stressed and there are days where you need to skip sex. Learning to deny yourself regularly will be a valuable skill when you are married and need recovery time to prepare to perform your marital sexual duties. The media and entertainers seem to think that pentup sexual tension is the most uncomfortable thing in
the world; it is not. There is one thing worse than sexual tension and that is no sexual tension. The human body can’t perform its sexual functions non-stop day and night. Your body needs recovery time between sexual encounters. A book was published not too long ago entitled: Why Do Men Fall Asleep after Sex? Putting the science aside, I think it is your body’s way of beginning the recovery period. Sex in one respect is like a combat video game. If you have ever played combat video games, it is common to have a power bar. Every time you get punched or shot, you lose some power. If you get punched or shot too many times in a short period without recovery time, you lose all of your ability to fight back and you die. If, however, you can go an extended period without getting hit, little by little your power bar lights back up. Sex and orgasms are much like the video game power bar. If you do it too often, you lose your power and you become useless, but if you can go for periods without engagement you’ll get your power back. The longer you can wait the more powerful you become until you reach full power. Remember, the only thing worse than sexual tension is no sexual tension. Disciplining yourself will allow you the necessary power to stay in the game.
My final caution regarding this topic is the use of the word itself. I have a couple of reasons why I think the very word itself should not be used or discussed in public settings. First, most people consider it a private matter and do not wish to discuss it with others. However, it is not uncommon for this topic to be discussed among young people. I have even had students discuss it in front of the entire class, but this is wrong. Classroom management techniques dictate that one way to handle inappropriate behavior is to teach proper social skills. Just as I would tell a student that he is out of line in discussing such a matter in class, I think I should explain why it is also inappropriate for discussion in any public conversation. Besides the invasion of people’s privacy, the real reason it should not be used in conversation is that it is a very unique word. We all know there are at least two words for common sexual terminology: the more socially acceptable scientific term like sex or intercourse and the socially unacceptable term like the F word. Masturbation is the only so-called proper term that really has crossover appeal. It can be used in a very upstanding informational discussion about sexuality
or it could be used in a less than wholesome conversation for the purpose of arousal. I suspect guys who try and get girls to talk about this subject are trying to strike up some aural sexual entertainment for their own arousal. Regardless of how one views the word, there is really no need to mention it since it is not suitable for polite conversation. My final criticism of masturbation is that it is the lower law. In the Old Testament God gave many commandments in the form of ―Thou shalt not.‖ For example: Thou shalt not kill, steal, or lie. These commandments were mostly about not harming other people. In the New Testament Jesus gave more demanding commandments. Let’s review the story of the rich young man and Jesus. Once, a rich young man approached Jesus and asked him how to get to heaven. In return, Jesus asked the young man if he had kept the Ten Commandments. The young man replied that he had. Jesus then instructed the young man to sell everything he had and give it to the poor. The moral of the story to me is that it is not good enough to just respect others; we are to sacrifice and serve others. Denying oneself to serve another, that is the higher law. 51
This, then, is why I say masturbation is the lower law. Depending on your station in life, you may not be hurting anyone but yourself. However, someday you will likely be married and will need to have sex with a real woman. Sex in a married relationship is in harmony with Jesus’ command to live a higher law. The higher law requires you to sacrifice your wants and serve someone besides yourself. Masturbation and the accompanying pornography may seem like harmless entertainment for single people, but for too many men, they are habits that will be hard to kick once married. It’s best to learn to keep your urges in check for the sake of your future wife and family.
Remember: There is one thing worse than sexual tension, that’s no sexual tension. Learn now to keep your sexual urges in check.
―Being a virgin is not cool.‖
Why is sex tough?
Many of the vices described up to this point are mostly done socially and are viewed as a way for people to meet or attract other people. I once heard it said that loneliness may as well be classified as a disease in this world. In fact, it may be worse than a disease. If you think about it, people will go to greater lengths to avoid loneliness than diseases themselves. No one wants to be lonely. Once people are together be it for unhealthy activities or even healthy ones, the toughest issue of them all must be confronted: sex. Unlike the other unnecessary behaviors I’ve addressed, everyone has sexual appetites. It may be easy to avoid drinking and smoking if you are selfrespecting healthy person, but even the healthiest of people want sex. It is an innate appetite. I believe 53
that it is the most powerful of all the appetites because it appeals to all five senses: 1. Taste-you use your mouth to kiss and neck which is the first step towards sex. 2. Smell-smelling good is very attractive-the fragrance industry has sales in the billions. 3. Sight-we all know the value that is placed on looking attractive. 4. Hearing-The language of love is as attractive as contentious language is repulsive. 5. Touch-obviously one can’t have sex without touching. Unlike other things on my list of ―don’ts‖ sex is not bad. There are many things in life that you could and should do without, but sex is not one of them. Sex is so important to the goals of marriage and children that a good portion of this book is devoted to it. Used properly it will fulfill your life’s purpose and enrich your marital relationship. Used improperly, it can destroy your future, marriage, and family life.
Why wait until marriage to have sex?
I am always shocked when I hear of young people having sex. Many of them don’t seem to mind mentioning it in front of me, which I also find shocking. When I encounter such kids, I always ask them, ―Don’t you think you’re too young to have sex?‖ The answer is usually ―No.‖ I guess I should have seen that coming. Of course, by asking the 54
question, I’m trying to convey that teenagers are in fact too young for sex.
Why do teenagers engage in sex?
Boys typically tell me that sex is fun, it feels good, and being a virgin is not cool. Girls typically tell me it brings them closer to their boyfriends or to keep their boyfriends happy. There may be an element of truth to all the answers. But none of these answers are acceptable. Allow me to argue the other side of the coin. Sure it’s fun and it feels good, but is being a teenage father fun? Is having no education and no future with a child to support fun? I would think not. Many young men say being a virgin is not cool. Who cares what other people think? It’s easy to say, ―Who cares?‖ The truth is that most people do care, but they really shouldn’t. Does having sex somehow validate that you are likeable or attractive? Many kids do feel that having a boyfriend or girlfriend will prove to themselves, and others, that they have something to offer. If your self-esteem is already so low that you don’t believe in your own personal worth, then having sex and messing up your future and possibly someone else’s will certainly not fix that.
Having sex doesn’t validate you or prove anything. Some of the most unattractive girls in school have gotten pregnant. From the female perspective, girls have told me sex to them was meant to strengthen or bond their relationship. I once had a student explain this to me in a conversation that went something like this: Teacher: Student: Teacher: Student: Teacher: Student: Teacher: Student: Teacher: Student: Don’t you think you are too young to be having sex at fifteen? No. Why did you start having sex so young? I wanted it to bring my boyfriend and me closer together. Did it work? For a while, we’re not together anymore. So this was your last boyfriend? No, he was two boyfriends ago. Aren’t you afraid of getting pregnant? Yes, my current boyfriend and I try to be careful because I have already had two abortions.
Do your parents know about this? They know I’m having sex, but they don’t know about the abortions, they would be crushed.
I suppose that having sex may help save your relationship in the short run. As far as your longterm relationship prospects, you can refer to the previous dialogue as anecdotal evidence of the ineffectiveness of this technique.
Why should I wait on sex until after I’m married?
I have five reasons to wait on sex. There are surely many more. Feel free to add to my list. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. You’re too young. It’s great to learn to wait. The chase is more fun than the kill. It builds self-esteem. Sex is overrated.
1. My number one reason is you’re too young. Some websites out there have tips to help you decide if you’re ready to have sex. One lists ten questions to ask yourself such as: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Are you doing this because YOU want to? Do I know my partner well enough? Is it legal? Do I feel comfortable enough to do it sober? Do I know enough about sex? Will I be glad when I am older that I lost my virginity at my current age? 7. Can I talk to my partner easily? 8. Do I know how to have sex safely? 9. Do we both want to do this? 10. Does sex fit in with my personal beliefs?13 According to this website, if you answered ―yes‖ to all of the questions, then you are ready. How can a teenager possibly be mature enough to answer all of those questions honestly? I really liked the question that asks you to predict your future feelings: ―Will I be glad when I am older that I lost my virginity at my current age?‖ The only way to know the answer to that question is go ahead and lose your virginity and then wait 10 or 20 years.
Most adults couldn’t honestly answer these questions either. I have a much simpler list (only 2 questions). First: Have I attained enough education that I am able to support myself, spouse and potentially a child should one result from our sexual activity? If you can answer ―yes,‖ then proceed to the next question. Second: Am I married to the person that I wish to be the mother or father of my child? If you answered ―yes‖ to both questions then you are ready. By the time you are married and stable, you will likely be past your teenage years and mature enough to honestly answer these two simple questions. 2. It’s great to learn to wait. Have you ever heard the cliché ―Good things come to those who wait‖? Well, it’s true. One researcher in the 1960s conducted an experiment based on the concept of delayed gratification. Delayed gratification means putting off something you want now for something better later. 59
To identify those that were able to delay their gratification, a marshmallow was placed in front of some kids and they were given a choice. They could either eat it and be done, or if they waited a few minutes, the researcher would give them a second one. The researcher then tracked the kids from the experiment throughout their lives into adulthood. The research showed that there was a high correlation between success and self-control. The kids who waited for the second marshmallow had higher SAT scores and better academic records. The kids who ate the first marshmallow and passed on their opportunity for a second were found to have lower self-esteem and more challenging adulthoods including drug use.14 What does delayed gratification have to do with sex? First, delaying sex and marriage until you are older will help you make a better choice when selecting a spouse. Also, people that hold off on sex until marriage will enter their marriage with no children, thus building a strong nuclear family from the ground up. A more recent study looked at a group of kids who delayed sex and a group that didn’t. The study only measured kids who were still virgins at 18 versus kids that had lost their virginity before that age.
By the time the subjects had reached middle adulthood the study found the 18-year-old virgin group: Completed an average of one additional year of higher education. Had incomes that were 20 percent higher than the non-virgin group. Had half the risk of divorce as the other group. The study also showed that: The virgin girls were more likely to have a positive net worth (this means they have more money and assets than debts or money owed) and a drastically reduced risk of welfare dependency.15 Learning to wait as a teen can help in other ways. First, you will free up more time to pursue your educational goals. And second, you will learn to resist sexual temptation. Don’t think that when you’re married and having sex you will never be tempted again. Sexual urges and temptations will never go away, even if you are having married sexual relations. If you were to indulge every sexual urge you had, you would never have a stable relationship, families would cease to exist, and civilization would crumble. 61
Learning to control your sexual impulses will greatly benefit you, your future spouse, and kids. Sexual indulgence serves no purpose in accomplishing your long-term goals. There is no better time to learn to discipline oneself than at a young age. 3. The chase is more fun than the kill. One thing females should know about males is that they have a hunter’s mentality when it comes to women. A male will do or say anything to get what he wants. I am not implying that men lie when they do this. Many men probably believe what they are saying at the time, but the females should be very cautious not to fall for a male’s advances. One of our most recognized presidents, John F. Kennedy provided us with a very insightful quote when he said, ―The chase is more fun than the kill.‖16 What does that mean? It is well documented that Kennedy was a womanizer. Cheating wasn’t just about sex. I’m sure he could have had sex with his wife if he wanted. What drives men is the chase. ―Can I get her?‖ they may ask themselves. Also from the chase comes the rush of meeting someone new, flirting, and falling in love. Serial philanderers can’t give up this source of excitement in their life
and thus cheat time and again. Simply put, men find chasing women fun. How can young people use this information? For males, you need to recognize that the feelings you have that drive you to pursue women are insatiable. You may in fact believe that she’s pretty and that you love her and that the two of you will be happy and together forever. However, no woman can satisfy your desire to hunt or chase. Once you have sex, you have accomplished the ―kill‖ that JFK refers to. After the kill, the desire to hunt new prey will return. For this reason, you should not rush into sex believing that it will make you happy or satisfied. It can only accomplish that temporarily-usually just hours. For females, you need to realize that the male hunter mentality can be helpful or hurtful to your cause. Most women want a stable relationship and eventually to have a happy marriage. If you cave into male sexual advances to get or keep a boyfriend, there is no guarantee that giving up sex for him will advance your agenda of a long-term relationship and eventually marriage. In fact, once the male has achieved his ―kill,‖ he may be ready to move onto the next hunt. I’m not suggesting that after one sexual encounter he will leave you, but after just a few the mystery is gone and male curiosity for new challenges and 63
conquests will re-emerge. The desire to hunt will return. Don’t fall into this trap. Comedian Bill Maher once joked about female attempts to please men this way: ―No woman in America would ever get breast implants‖ [if she really understood the male mind]. ―It’s never about big or little or short or tall or blond or brunette … It’s about old and new.‖17 If this is true, that is very discouraging for women. The good news is this: the male hunter mentality can be channeled to help your cause. How can females channel the male hunter mentality? Simple, you place ―the kill‖ (or sex) after marriage. There are three benefits to doing this. First, placing ―the kill‖ or sex after marriage will increase the odds that you are not being duped by a philanderer. Second, it will increase the odds that you are with a man that is mature. Third, it will also increase the odds that you are with a man who is provident, placing the needs of his future family above his immediate wants.
But what if I decide to wait and he does leave?
Saving sex for after marriage is a weeding-out process, and this is yet another reason to wait. Just because a guy wants to have sex with you does not mean that he loves you. A much better sign that he loves you is his willingness to commit long-term through marriage. One of the most recognized models in the world explains this concept well. Adriana Lima is from Brazil and is widely recognized for her work with Victoria’s Secret and Maybelline. When asked if her suitors were okay with her decision to save sex for after marriage she said, ―I don’t care. They have to respect that this is my choice. If there is no respect, that means they don’t want me.‖18 I love her response because it is so succinct and so accurate. If a man won’t respect your wishes, then he doesn’t want you. That’s a pretty simple guideline to live by. Saving sex for after marriage will help you lose the losers. 4. Waiting builds self-esteem. Some people will say that it’s easy for someone beautiful (like a Victoria’s Secret model) to pick 65
and choose, but I’m not that pretty or don’t have that kind of self-esteem. Well, if you think you’re unattractive and you’re insecure, ask yourself this: Why would anyone be interested in you anyway? Let me make a few points to those lacking selfesteem. There is someone for everyone. Beauty doesn’t automatically bring self-esteem. There are countless cases of attractive women who get plastic surgery because they still don’t think they’re pretty enough. For every man who likes skinny girls, there is a man who wants a girl with curves. The curvy girls want to be thinner and the thinner girls want more curves, usually in the form of bigger breasts. No one is entirely happy with their appearance. There are many cases of beautiful women who have been dumped multiple times in their lives. Looks will not make you love yourself more or make your relationships easier. Relationships are much more complicated than that. There is nothing wrong with a healthy amount of hygiene and looking your best. Looks do make life easier in many ways, but finding love and happiness are not directly linked to appearance.
Self-esteem is linked to happiness and healthy relationships. How do you build your self-esteem if you are lacking it? Many people mistakenly think that if they can impress the world with looks or ability others will like them, and they in turn will like themselves. If you believe this, I would suggest that you revisit the concept of self-esteem. The only way to build selfesteem is not to impress others or the world, but to impress yourself. Some of the things I have accomplished that I am most proud of are of very little value to the rest of the world. One example is saving sex for marriage. One survey shows that approximately 7 percent of males and 21 percent of females were virgins on their wedding day. So that means a male virgin at marriage is in the 93 percentile.19 I’m sure the world doesn’t care about such a statistic. However, I know that in the face of temptation I stayed true to my morals. And staying true to my beliefs has helped me accomplish a wonderful marriage and family life. I can’t help but feel good about that. I also believe that my kids will one day appreciate that too. Doing what’s right instead of what’s easy and putting the needs of others over your own-and I
don’t mean sexual needs-are effective means of building your self-esteem. Let’s take a look at a related quote from Helen Keller. She says, ―Happiness . . . is not attained through self-gratification but through fidelity to a worthy purpose.‖20 In this case, waiting on sex until after marriage is a purpose worthy of your fidelity. I believe that remaining faithful to sex after marriage will produce a healthier marriage and kids who respect you. Then you will truly have self-esteem.
5. Sex is overrated.
I must confess the first few times I made this statement in public I had no idea how it sounded to other people. I quickly came to find out that such a statement may be offensive to one’s spouse, in my case, my wife. So let me explain myself. Sex is a wonderful part of a healthy marriage. When you are married and have regular access to it, it does not consume your thoughts nearly as much as the single person who doesn’t have it. I once overheard a student who was a teenage mother observe the following: ―Have you ever noticed that the people always talking about sex are the ones not doing it?‖ There is a lot of truth to her observation. And it should tell you a lot about sex itself. Once you’ve 68
had it, you realize there really isn’t much to talk about. I once heard a quote on sex that is rather insightful, ―Sex is like air, you don’t miss it until you don’t have it.‖ I don’t know who said that, but it’s a pretty accurate statement. When you don’t have it, you think you need it and it is forever on your mind. When it is a regular part of life, you really don’t pay much attention to it and you may even take it for granted. For happily married people, it is something you do to satisfy an appetite as well as bond your loving relationship. So when I say sex is overrated, by no means do I mean it’s not worth the effort. It is, however, not worth rushing into. Having sex before you’re ready will not improve your life and can possibly ruin your life. So make sure to put sex in its context and wait until it’s time: after marriage. You may be severely disappointed if you attempt sex before you’re married and find out it is just not that great, despite what all the magazines and media tell you.
How do you cope with the abstinent life?
Hopefully, I’ve convinced you to wait until marriage to engage in sex. However, you may be saying to yourself, ―I don’t have it and I miss it like air!‖
How then does one cope with the abstinent life? I would suggest the best way to remain abstinent is to remain focused on your goals of education, marriage, and children. Instead of focusing on what you want but shouldn’t have, like sex, focus on getting what you want in the long term. 1. Occupy your mind. Many sexually inexperienced people tend to think of their reproductive organs as the source of sexual pleasure. This is a mistake, as the true source of sexual pleasure is your brain. This is why sexual fantasy is so inviting. You can be ―turned on‖ just by engaging your brain in sexual thought even when your genitals remain untouched. Sex therapist Laura Berman says that for women, ―Our main sex organ is our brain.‖21 I don’t know why she singled out women, because this is also true of men. You can’t sexually climax unless your mind is focused on the task at hand. Your brain must be engaged. This is important to understand because you can’t be turned on if your mind is occupied on more productive things. Take time to focus on learning new things. When your brain is occupied on productive means you can’t even focus on sex. This reminds me of a comical exchange from a 1980s film called The Naked Gun. The following exchange demonstrates my point:
Woman: I heard police work is dangerous. Officer: It is, that’s why I carry a big gun. Woman: Aren’t you afraid it might go off accidentally? Officer: I used to have that problem. Woman: What did you do about it? Officer: I just think about baseball. If you missed the exchange, there is a little double entendre there. But the point is sex can’t occupy your mind if you’re focused on something else. So focus on sports, focus on music, or hobbies. Most of all, focus on your education and your future. How are you going to make a living and support a family? When you have that figured out then focus on women, marriage, and sex-in that order. 2. Don’t date until you’re an adult. The next best thing you can do to avoid pre-marital sex is to not date too young. I have students that tell me about their past boyfriends from second grade, middle school, and high school. The natural progression of male/female relationships is to proceed to eventual sexual intercourse. Therefore, dating someone exclusively at a young age is very dangerous. You might start with holding hands or kissing, but there will come a time when you get more comfortable and you’ll want to do more. It is best to just not date when you’re a minor.
Dating takes up a lot of time and requires you to focus your free time and money on someone else. Only when you are out of high school should you begin to think about dating. At that point, it is okay to date because should you find the right person you can also begin to think about marriage. Marriage of course, is the real goal anyway.
How far is too far?
Some guys want to get with a girl just for the thrill of sexual activity. But mature couples may actually have dated and waited long enough to believe they are in love and they will want to express that love in a physical manner. Eventually, you will have to decide how far is too far. What is permissible behavior for those in relationships that are trying to preserve sex for after marriage? Here are a few ideas to help couples remain abstinent until they have committed to each other through marriage. 1. Stay away from erogenous zones.
If you don’t know what erogenous means then think of any naked body part that would be pixilated if you’re watching standard cable. These zones are areas that would be covered by a typical bathing suit: breasts, nipples, and reproductive genitalia 72
would qualify here. These zones are very powerful and touching them can quickly arouse both male and female. Make sure they are always clothed and that your hands never go under the clothing. Robin Williams once joked, ―God gave men a brain and a penis but not enough blood to run both.‖22 What he is saying is that once a man is aroused, the increased blood flow below the belt diminishes blood flow to the brain and it stops functioning properly. Although in a literal sense his observation is not true, he is on to something. A man’s will and resistance are severely weakened when he arrives at a high state of arousal. So stay away from the places on the body that will divert blood flow from your brain to highly sensitive reproductive parts. If you don’t, your judgment and your willpower will be compromised. 2. Keep four on the floor when alone. They taught you this in grade school so you didn’t fall out of your chair. But in this case, I’m talking about a couple’s feet. You can’t really get in a comfortable sexual position if you both keep your feet on the ground. Four chair legs on the floor will help you from falling out of your chair, while four human legs on the floor will help you from falling in the carnal sense of the word. 73
3. Set a date for marriage. If you really think you have found the one, then get married. Setting a date will give you a goal and a finish line to work towards. Abstaining is much easier when you can see the light at the end of the tunnel. A final thought on saving sex for after marriage. I once had a discussion with a young lady who believed that sex meant nothing. I explained to her that sex before marriage was dangerous and an abuse of the power to procreate. She responded: ―The power to procreate? It’s just sex!‖ Ultimately, sex before marriage devalues sex itself and the institution of marriage. If one can justify sex before marriage, it’s that much easier to justify sex outside of marriage after you’re married.
Remember: The sexual appetite is tough to control because it is the one appetite that appeals to all five senses; however, it can and should be controlled for the sake of your marriage and family.
―Everyone’s doing it!‖
I’m particularly troubled by this notion. Research shows that, ―One of the strongest predictors of risk for early sexual intercourse…was the perception that his or her peers were having sex.‖23 The reality is that everyone is not doing it. It may seem like everyone is doing it because many people lie and say they are-especially boys. One recent survey shows that over half of the high school population-53 percent-are abstaining.24 A portion of the other half may have only tried it and quit. The percentages of teenagers who are actually sexually active on a consistent basis are the minority. A majority of high-school kids are not sexually active.
Another survey showed that not only are many young people abstaining from sex, but the numbers that are refusing to date in high school are also on the rise.25 This is a very positive trend, because you can’t fall into the sex trap alone. Dating seriously for a long period of time and then trying to remain abstinent is doubly difficult. One student surveyed had the right attitude, ―Romance takes up a lot of time.‖26 Instead, she would like to focus on socializing in groups and preparing for college.27 These are both worthy goals for highschool teens.
Remember: More kids are not doing it than are. You should be part of the majority.
―Abstinence is cool.‖
Those that are abstinent are often are praised by adults, and even some of their peers, for their choice. Some adults believe that if they say ―Abstinence is cool!‖ enough times maybe kids will believe it. Kids aren’t stupid. If it were really cool then adults would be practicing it too. All kinds of people would be flocking to the practice and they would be making it a permanent lifestyle decision. This of course doesn’t happen, abstainers long for the day that they can leave the practice. Instead of saying abstinence is cool, we should be teaching that abstinence is right. Society will likely mock you for your decision to remain abstinent. A small group of students at Harvard recently started a club to promote abstinence. Some of the supposedly brightest 77
students in the world at Harvard have taken it upon themselves to mock the abstinence group. One student said his friends ―take pleasure in loudly, and graphically, discussing their sex lives just to taunt him [for practicing abstinence].‖28 In our society, it’s not an easy road to travel. Abstinence may not be cool, but it’s right, it’s necessary, and it is worth it.
Remember: Abstinence may not be the ―cool‖ thing to do, but it is the right thing to do and will be worth it.
―You’re a baby killer!‖
Abortions, along with homosexuality, are the only two topics that most kids actually have an opinion on. Usually it is not a well-thought-out opinion, but most kids do have a simplistic gut reaction to both of these topics. All other political topics: taxes, war, foreign and domestic policy, are considered ―boring.‖ That’s probably because they don’t have anything to do with sex. Abortion typically comes up during our discussion of the political parties and their platform positions. I hate to bring up the topic because I know there is always someone in the room who has had one and it is such a delicate subject. On one occasion, I had a girl confess to the class that she had had an abortion. In response, another girl cried out ―You’re a baby killer!‖ We don’t need public discourse like that in the classroom or anywhere. During a typical discussion on this issue, most students are not shy about sharing their views79
usually in the form of blurting them out. After we have heard the various viewpoints, eventually someone will want to know where I stand, ―Are you for abortion or against it?‖ Being the moderator of the discussion, I typically try not to choose sides. However, I do like the way the kids phrase the question. They apparently haven’t heard of the popular marketing slogans ―pro-choice‖ and ―prolife‖ yet. And as far as I’m concerned, they really have asked the right question. You are either for abortion or against it. The truth is just about everyone on both sides of the debate is against abortion. And this is why the debate itself is sort of silly: To say you are prochoice somehow implies that you are anti-life; to be pro-life implies that you are anti-choice. The unfortunate thing about labels is that they cause us to circumvent discussion of the real issues. If we must use labels, I would call myself ―pro-choices.‖ Excepting for rape victims and the one-time-only Immaculate Conception, people don’t just become pregnant. Pregnancies are not communicable diseases. This entire political discussion is formed around the idea that pregnant woman are victims of some force out of their control. In fact, one British newspaper used the term ―victim of uncontrolled fertility‖ to describe a woman with an unplanned pregnancy.29 Rape victims and the Virgin Mary-if she is part of your religious tradition-are the only 80
women I can think of that didn’t have a choice. Everyone else actually gets choices. What are your choices? You have three: 1. First, you get to choose if you will have sex. 2. Second, you get to choose if you will use contraception. 3. Third, you get to choose how much contraception you will use. If you really feared pregnancy that much, you might consider using more than one method. You get three choices right there. Everyone should have those choices. If having the one choice (of getting an abortion) is popular enough to garner support from roughly 50 percent of the population, then having three choices should be an even more popular political position. I believe, however, we are really having a veiled debate when it comes to this issue. I think social conservatives are really more concerned about rampant fornication, adultery, and recreational sex than they are about when life actually begins. Prolifers don’t want teenage girls and single women to become mothers any more than the pro-choice crowd does. What really upsets the conservatives is the way that sex, once primarily about bonding marriages and 81
procreation, has been reduced to frivolous recreational entertainment. Conservatives can’t stand the idea that society would allow the elimination of nascent life just to maintain the liberal fantasy of free love without consequences. Permitting consequence-free sex has inarguably deteriorated the nuclear family which should be the cornerstone of society. I suspect that the drive to outlaw abortion is less about the right to life and is more: To remind people of the importance of personal responsibility. To remind people of the reality of consequences. To remind people of the sacredness of sex and that the power to procreate should not be abused outside of marriage. In the end, the legality of abortion really isn’t that important. If you take responsibility for your life and follow the guidance in this book, you will never be in a position of having an unwanted pregnancy. The majority of abortions performed are on single women. For happily married people, a pregnancy, even unplanned, would always be a welcome addition to the family.
Remember: Everyone, except rape victims, gets choices prior to conception, use them wisely.
―Oral sex isn’t sex!‖
This topic typically comes up anytime the name Bill Clinton is mentioned in the classroom. Many kids today don’t see other forms of sexuality as sex. Students often agree with Bill Clinton that unless there was actual intercourse, it is not sex. One sex educator says, ―When you talk to kids, you cannot convince them that (oral sex) is sex…it is frightful, frightful, frightful.‖30
So if no one’s going to get pregnant, what’s the big deal?
Oral sex is wrong. It’s wrong for teens and it’s wrong for adults. There is really no time or place where a self-respecting person should engage in this practice. My main objection to oral sex is that it is a one-way street. The beauty and wholesomeness of sexual intercourse is that it is a mutually beneficial act. Done properly, intercourse permits climax for both 83
the male and female at the same time. Sodomy, in either of its forms, is about the pleasure and domination of one partner over another; that’s why it’s out of bounds. Unfortunately, many teenage girls have taken to the practice of oral sex as a way to get attention from boys and still keep their virginity. They may be keeping their virginity in a technical sense, but they are losing their self-respect-if they ever had any to begin with. A few years back television journalist Katie Couric did a special on teens and sexuality. She found that performing oral sex was quite common for teenage girls. I was pleasantly surprised when she asked the question on my mind, ―What is in it for the girls?‖31 The answer, surprisingly enough, was ―selfesteem.‖32 The girls seemed to think that they would feel good about themselves if they had attention from boys; easy oral sex is a good way to get a boy’s attention. Women with real self-esteem understand that when a man really wants a woman, he will be preoccupied with pleasing her sexually, not the other way around. It’s amazing to me that young girls are willing to service a boy for free, when I suspect oral sex used to be something deviant grown men paid prostitutes for. 84
Sometimes I wonder where these girls’ parents are. But we live in a different world. Many parents don’t address these topics due to awkwardness or ignorance. I believe the majority of normal adults don’t do this; therefore, it is possible that they just don’t believe this stuff is going on. The world I was raised in was very different from the world today, now we live in a pornographic culture. These days sodomy is displayed as normal, when for the millions of people that came before us, such acts were sin. Sodomy, for most of human history, was banned under the law of man not just the law of God. The original debate of course is whether oral sex is sex? Allow me to delineate the definition of sex with a couple points. First, ask yourself: If I were married, would my spouse consider my actions cheating? This would certainly negate President Clinton’s narrow definition of sex. Second, are bodily fluids and sexually transmitted diseases exchanged by this type of behavior? If the answer is yes, then I think that counts as sex. I once heard a religious leader comment on the fact that he was often asked about the morality of oral sex when counseling couples. I liked his response, which was: If you have to ask, then there’s your answer. 85
No one asks their pastor if copulation in marriage is okay. Everyone knows that it is, and that it serves a God given purpose. There is a lot of sexual fantasy that you can do without in real life and be just fine; sodomy is one of those things.
Remember: Sodomy used to be against the law of God and man. It has no place in a healthy relationship or marriage.
―It’s okay to have sex if you wrap it up.‖
One issue I encounter with young people over and over is the idea that sex is okay as long as you use a condom. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised by this view, since that is the message on teen-oriented television shows. Condoms are the answer to all of our problems they tell us. Used properly, they prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, while still allowing you to play around and have sex. This must be one heck of an invention. I can’t blame television solely for this view. Several kids have told me that their parents know they are having sex, and that it’s okay with them as long as they ―wrap it up.‖ So out of curiosity I challenge their logic with, ―Do you?‖ I’ve yet to get a definitive ―yes‖ from any 87
student. Usually the answer is ―sometimes.‖ ―Sometimes‖ sure defeats the purpose of the condom doesn’t it? Condoms are one of the biggest hoaxes in America. One thing adults and the media don’t seem to tell kids is that condoms diminish the sexual experience so much that you are really missing out on the fun. Sadly, many kids probably start out with a condom for their first attempt at sex, only to realize that it wasn’t the wonderful experience that they were told about. The next logical step is to attempt sex the way it was intended: flesh on flesh and skin on skin. The truth about condoms is this: they are unnatural. You can’t place latex rubber over your skin and get the true sexual sensation. It would be like telling people that masturbation is unsanitary and that to sanitize the practice you need to put on a surgical glove. Not many people would bother under those conditions, and it’s the same with condoms. I once saw a PBS special about fighting AIDS in Africa. With the best of intentions of course, health educators went to a brothel in Angola. This particular brothel’s customers were mostly soldiers from the army that were away from home often. Regrettably, they frequented prostitutes and then would pass along diseases to their wives back home.
Instead of trying to convince these adulterers to simply remain faithful to their wives, the health workers promoted condoms as the solution. The prostitutes were all for it because I’m sure they didn’t want to get AIDS. Plus, sex with paying customers was just a job for them; they weren’t really in it for the pleasure anyway. The soldiers on the other hand, weren’t quite sold on the idea. One health care worker explained to a soldier that AIDS is deadly and can be prevented with condoms. This soldier responded that he would rather have unprotected real sex and run the risk of death than use a condom. I’ve cited an extreme example; however, the point is that sex with a condom isn’t really worth it. The only way you can have real sex, with no worries about disease or unwanted pregnancy, is to get married and stay monogamous. Then, and only then, can you truly enjoy sex the way it was meant to be. Let’s stop for a second and ponder the purpose of condoms. Why do you need a condom? I would suggest that on top of protection from disease and pregnancy, condom users want protection from their sexual partner. Using a condom says: I don’t know you very well, I don’t trust you, I don’t want there to be any evidence that 89
we even did it, so don’t count on this being a longterm thing. Why waste time on someone you don’t trust and don’t want to commit to? Next, condom promoters always tell us that sex using the birth control pill doesn’t protect anyone from the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, thus the need for mandatory condom usage. Consider the following scenario: Your partner tells you they have AIDS but not to worry because they have condoms on hand for protection. Would you still engage in sex at that point? If you knew for a fact that a potential partner had the deadly disease of AIDS, I’ll bet that all of the sudden a condom wouldn’t feel like that much protection. I believe that nearly everyone would turn down that kind of sex. Let’s say that your partner has a non-fatal STD. Would you still put on a condom and risk it? Again, I’ll bet the answer is ―no‖ for most people. There is an air of mistrust and risk around condom users. If you think the situation is unclear enough to warrant a condom, maybe you shouldn’t be having sex. Condoms are for risk-taking non-committal types. You should invest your energy in a relationship that 90
has trust and marriage potential. Then, after you’re married, you can consummate the deal with pleasurable risk-free sex.
Remember: Condoms take the fun out of sex. Real sex is flesh on flesh and skin on skin. This is another reason to wait until marriage and do it right.
―Your first time should be special.‖
I’m sure everyone does want his or her first sexual experience to be wonderful. But there is a high probability that it won’t be. I’m sure we have all seen television shows or movies where someone loses their virginity and it is romantic and wonderful. I have even seen shows where the person felt weird after the encounter and even had regrets about whether it was right or not for the relationship. But I have yet to see a show where some young virgins attempt to lose their virginity and fail. In real life, sex is not as easy as you may think it is, or as television portrays it. Let me describe some of the obstacles many people face: Can’t find the entrance. Found it but can’t get in. Got in but it hurts for her or him. Got in and male finishes but female doesn’t.
Sex is unbelievably complicated for the novice. Many guys think that because they have read Maxim articles and seen pornography they know all they need to know to execute the mission successfully. This would be like saying that because you read Sports Illustrated and watch SportsCenter you can play quarterback in the NFL. Your first time will probably be more frustration than pleasure. For truly disciplined couples where both parties are new to sex, it may takes hours, days, weeks, months or years to figure out sex. Some couples who have been together for years still can’t achieve mutual orgasm through intercourse. I believe it can be done however, but you need to talk about it and work at it.
Remember: Your first time likely won’t be special. In fact, it may take some time for you to figure it out, so no need to rush into it.
―Porn star is a cool job.‖
Only a kid who has no idea what he is talking about could possibly believe this. But I have had several kids argue this idea with me. Let me begin with the truth about porn stars. People in this industry typically fall into four categories: They hate their parents or don’t know them. They want fame and attention. They are drug addicts. They can’t make a living by normal means. I’m not trying to condemn porn workers. In fact, if we truly cared about these people we would step in and stop this industry that allows people to destroy their lives. I do, however, want to point out that nowhere on the list is the category of ―people seeking fun.‖ Porn workers are not in it for that reason because it is not fun, as I’ll explain. 94
First of all, much of this stuff isn’t real. Let’s compare pornographic film sex with real life sex. Real sex: Is done mostly in the dark or dimmed lighting. Lasts only minutes. Is done in relative silence. Is done with a man on top of a woman in the oddly named missionary position. Pornographic sex: Is done under bright lights-it has to be if you’re going to film it. Seems to go on forever-it has to if you’re going to sell it. Who would pay for a twominute video? Involves exaggerated moans and shouts-they actually hirer people to do voiceovers and then edit them in to make this stuff sound more exciting than it really is. Involves unrealistic positions that most people couldn’t pull off or sustain for more than ten seconds. Remember that a pornographic movie is just a movie.
What makes movies interesting? They involve several constantly changing camera angles to keep your attention. They carefully construct an aesthetically pleasing ambience-most movie stars aren’t ugly. They add music and voiceovers to heighten and sensationalize emotions. People experience vicarious fantasy through movies. Again, this is why I tried to explain that your first sexual experience would be nothing like what you think you know about sex. Pornographic movies, just like regular Hollywood movies, are crafted to be better than reality. If a movie were like real life, why would you bother to pay and see it? The same goes for pornography. If it were like real sex, then people wouldn’t pay to see it. The second reason porn star is not a cool job is the law of diminishing marginal utility. ―What is that?‖ you may ask. The law of diminishing marginal utility is a concept from economics class and states roughly that the more you consume a product, the less pleasure you derive from it.
One economics website explains it like this: Say you go to a buffet and the first plate of food you eat is very good. On a scale of ten you would give it a ten. Now your hunger has been somewhat tamed, but you get another full plate of food. Since you're not as hungry, your enjoyment rates at a seven at best. Most people would stop before their utility (or usefulness) drops even more, but say you go back to eat a third full plate of food and your utility drops even more to a three. If you kept eating, you would eventually reach a point at which your eating makes you sick, providing dissatisfaction.33 Sex is supposed to be pleasurable and special. If you do it all day, even simulate it all day, each scene or encounter would become less satisfactory. Eventually, not only won’t you find pleasure in it, you will likely hate it. There is an adage out there about earning a living that says, ―Do something you love for a living and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.‖ That doesn’t apply here. Taking something you love and making it work will cause you to hate it. And, who wants to hate one of life’s greatest pleasures?
Remember: The law of diminishing marginal utility applies to every aspect of life, not just economics. You can have too much of a good thing.
―Playboy’s not pornography, it’s just appreciating natural beauty.‖
I once had a male student tell me that Playboy is not pornography, ―it’s just appreciating natural beauty.‖ One young college student at a Playboy ―talent‖ search justified her attempt to appear in the magazine by saying ―It’s not like it’s pornography…It’s glamorous.‖34 Hugh Hefner too likes to promote this sophistry. When asked whether or not he thought of centerfolds as provocative he replied, ―I've always found the centerfolds something other than erotic…You take a picture and you call it pornography, then you see it with different eyes.‖35 So according to Mr. Hefner, some people see Playboy as pornography because they have been told that is what it is. 99
The interviewer went on to ask if Mr. Hefner believed pornography existed, to which he replied, ―Yes, and there's beauty, too…what somebody else likes is pornography and what you like or I like is erotica. It's like beauty, it's very subjective.‖36 Well, I don’t think we have an either/or proposition here. It surely could be beautiful and pornographic at the same time. There was a Supreme Court justice name Potter Stewart that has been quoted myriad times on the issue of obscenity saying, ―I know it when I see it.‖37 I’m not saying the Playboy is obscene, but it is pornography and you’ll know it when you see it. Then again, who am I to tell Hugh Hefner what he sees. For the sake of argument, let’s assume that he does just see beauty. That then would be another reason to avoid his products. To actually make it to the point where beautiful images of nude women don’t arouse you anymore is truly a sad state of affairs. As we discussed earlier, too much of anything will eventually lead to a decline in the derived pleasure until it has no pleasurable effect at all (remember the law of diminishing marginal utility). Unfortunately, looking at his ―beautiful‖ photos all day may have caused Mr. Hefner to reach that nadir. 100
Beauty is addictive? Let’s say that you are on that special elevated plane with Mr. Hefner and you don’t see pornography but are able to appreciate only the beauty in Playboy. Did you know that beauty can be addictive? Brain researchers using MRI machines have been studying how the brain functions. The researchers have discovered that beautiful images and addictions light up the same portion of the brain. Research shows that a male looking at a beautiful woman is like a gambler eyeing cash, a hungry person who sees food, or a drug addict who sees a fix.38 Have you ever heard on the news about some person who got fired for looking at pornography on his work computer? (I actually heard another one of these stories the day I was writing this.) Most people probably scratch their heads and wonder why anyone would do something so stupid. Now we know. For some people, beautiful pornographic images are a drug and there’s not much you can do when an addict needs his fix. If you are into pornography, you should consider that you may be a drug addict. If you don’t think it’s harmful or that you’re addicted, then accept my challenge to stop. Give it up for a couple months, six months, or a year. I hope you can. The only downside is that you may miss your fix. The upside is that you will get your natural libido back and 101
your mind will begin to create its own fantasy the way nature intended.
Remember: Playboy is pornography and you’ll know it when you see it.
―Hugh Heffner is my idol!‖
Every year when my class studies the 1950s, I show a documentary on how conformist the decade was. There is also a segment in the same video on the minority of 1950s non-conformists. In that section of the video there is a ten second blurb on Hugh Hefner and his new magazine Playboy. The mere image of this man inevitably evokes commentary from the class. Young men can’t help themselves when they see their idol. Surprisingly, he has quite a following among young women too. It is not uncommon to see girls wearing Playboy jewelry and clothing at school or around town. The Girls Next Door, a cable show about Mr. Hefner and life at the Playboy Mansion, has a 70 percent female demographic.39 If women truly understood the harm this man has done I think they would feel differently. Nevertheless, young people universally admire him. I should note too, not only do young people admire 103
him, the media seem to love him as well. Everyone wants an interview and no one challenges him on anything. Unfortunately, the media are complicit in perpetuating the Hugh Hefner charade. ―What charade?‖ you may ask. Well, most young men foolishly think that Hefner is living the life. He’s got total freedom and girls, girls, girls, just waiting on him hand and foot to fulfill his every desire. Of course he has sex with all of them, the kids tell me. One young man told me, ―Of course he’s cool, who wouldn’t want to wake up to that every morning.‖ Let’s look at three common beliefs about Hugh Hefner and then I will address each one. First is that Hugh Hefner has the life because he’s free and has tons of beautiful girls around him. Second is that he is sleeping with these girls. Third is that he is a revolutionary. 1. Hugh Hefner has the life. It is commonly believed that Hefner’s life is great because he’s free and has lots of hot women. If that were the life, why would he give it up? The guy has been married twice and has four children between both wives. He even claims he was faithful during his marriages. Admittedly, the first was before the Playboy successes, but the second was right in the middle of his iconic lifestyle in the Playboy Mansion. 104
Let’s look at Hefner’s words from a 2007 NPR interview. When asked about his three girlfriends from the television show The Girls Next Door, he says that he has come close to finding a ―soul mate‖ in Holly Madison, one of the three female co-stars of the show.40 The interviewer then asks him if it weren’t for the TV show, would he be monogamous already. Hefner responded, ―That’s a pretty good call.‖41 Allow me to interpret his answer: I’m already not sleeping with all of my ―girlfriends,‖ but the reality of the situation won’t help promote my ―reality‖ show. So let’s move on. He even declares that he will be with her (Holly Madison) ―for the rest of his life.‖42 He also describes himself as a ―romantic‖ who has ―always been looking for a one-on-one relationship.‖43 This, he explained, is why he attempted marriage a second time in the 1980s. He went on to declare that the failure of the second marriage was ―her fault‖ and that he was always faithful to the marriage and thought the marriage was to be the ―epilogue of his life.‖44 In that last line, Hefner declares that if his wife hadn’t screwed up the marriage, he would still be 105
married to her. Then the American public wouldn’t be expected to believe over the last decade that he has had three, four, or seven girlfriends at a time. If Mr. Hefner were living such a great life with all these beautiful women, why put the brakes on a good thing? Even after Hefner happened upon the ―good life,‖ he tossed it aside to attempt family life again. There must be something more to life than beautiful women for the world’s greatest bachelor to give it up. Hefner’s private life reinforces the premise of this book: that the whole purpose of life is not to recklessly engage in hedonistic pursuits. Instead, life is about family, marriage, and children. Since I first began this book, Hefner and Madison have split up and Hefner admits to being ―down in the dumps.‖45 The reason for the breakup was that Madison wants marriage and children which Hefner can’t or won’t provide.46 This again backs my message. Why would Hefner be ―down in the dumps‖ over a breakup if lots of beautiful and easy women were the key to happiness? Why would Holly Madison separate herself from the source of her fame and fortune if that brought her happiness? Simple, she wants to fulfill her life’s mission of marriage and children. I’m sure the attention and the money were nice, but they just weren’t enough.
By the way, after his divorce Hugh Hefner did the right thing and provided his ex-wife and their two children living quarters on the Playboy Mansion property. He says the reason is: ―In the best of all worlds, children should be raised by both parents."47 Of course the media never talk about Hugh Hefner the father or family man because it’s just not good for business. Why do people, even after failed attempts, continue to marry and have kids? An old Janice Joplin song lyric answers this: ―Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose.‖ People who are truly free have nothing. When you have nothing to lose, you have nothing to live for. Even Hugh Hefner, the world’s greatest bachelor, knows that. Hugh Hefner is no different than any other man, he just wants someone to love and appreciate him for who he is. Multitudes of paid girlfriends on your arms can’t change that. 2. Hef is sleeping with them all. One article I came across while researching this topic suggested that Hefner has slept with over 1000 women. That same writer also admits that he, like most media that interview him, ―didn’t ask personal questions.‖48 The same writer goes on to comment about Hefner:
His brand of absolute candor precludes disclosure…I decided I'd rather hear his fascinatingly polished rendition of the truth then to go rooting around for some other version.‖49 That was probably a good decision since Mr. Hefner likely would have stonewalled any effort to get some truth, and possibly could have ended the interview. Is he sleeping with them all? Let’s take a look at some quotes from the women themselves. In the January 2005 issue of Esquire magazine, Pamela Anderson addresses this very question: Yes, Hef’s sleeping with them all. For real! I’ve actually walked in on him. See, one time I was over at the mansion with some friends. . . . I decided to walk around the house a bit. As I was walking around, I ran into one of the girls. And she’s like, ―Come upstairs.‖ So I went upstairs, and there’s Hef on the bed . . . there’s all these girls naked. It was like watching a movie. . . . I realized, okay, this is really happening. And then I heard this voice from downstairs . . . and it kind of snapped me back to reality. I ran back downstairs.50 108
Let’s make a couple of points here. First, the very wording of her account makes her story sound fabricated. Notice how she begins ―one time.‖ That is awfully close to ―once upon a time,‖ which is how fairy tales begin. And, I believe this account is an adult fairy tale. Second, if Mr. Hefner were sleeping with them all, then why would Pamela Anderson not know about it? And why would she have to accidentally happen upon this event to discover this? Shouldn’t the woman who holds the record for most Playboy covers have slept with him already?51 At the very least, shouldn’t a Playboy icon like Anderson have been invited ahead of time to this ridiculous get together that she describes? After the extensive work she has done for Hefner’s empire, isn’t it hard to believe she never had the chance to sleep with the king of the Playboy castle? In the same interview Pamela Anderson does give us one truthful nugget of wisdom, ―Come on, people! It’s never what it seems.‖52 In Stuff magazine, Playmate Victoria Silvstedt was asked about life at the Playboy Mansion. When asked if people are ―constantly screwing there,‖ she dealt a dose of reality:
I was expecting that. I stayed in the guesthouse, and I was like, I’d better lock my door because you never know who’s going to knock on it. Maybe they want to have an orgy here! But it wasn’t as wild as I thought. I would go every day into the hot tub after my shoot, and I was kind of waiting. Let’s see, what’s going to happen? Nothing!53 I’m sure the Stuff interviewer was so disappointed with that answer. Someone at the Playboy Mansion clearly dropped the ball when they didn’t teach this foreigner how to answer questions like Pamela Anderson. One last piece of evidence that Hefner is not sleeping with them all is a quote from his second wife Kimberly Conrad. Conrad, who was featured in the magazine, recounts how she began to date Mr. Hefner: You know I was there to do my shoot, Conrad said, describing their courtship. You know, six, seven months later, he asked me out. He was in a transition. He and his girlfriend had broken up. So he asked me out . . . and I declined a couple of times. I wasn't sure. And then finally we went out and had a great time.54 110
She clearly didn’t sleep with him to get in the magazine. She admits that she turned him down a couple of times months after her work was done. It wasn’t until months later that they even went on a date. One thing that everyone at the mansion knows is that Playboy is fantasy. Hefner is playing a role. When he’s not pretending to be the world’s greatest bachelor and luckiest lover, he’s just a man. Well, I should qualify that, he’s not just a man, he is a great businessman. He is marketing the fantasy of larger than life beauties and unlimited sex with no consequences. If you still want to live in his fantasy world then keep dreaming. 3. Hefner is a revolutionary After examining several interviews with Hugh Hefner I noticed that he has very craftily attempted to carve out a place in history for himself by portraying himself as the great sexual liberator of the modern era. Some observers even try to credit him with starting the sexual revolution. This I believe is all part of his marketing strategy. Two lines he has used over and over to help sell the magazine are: 1. ―The 1950s were a very repressed time.‖ 2. ―Playboy was rooted in the notion that nice girls like sex too.‖ 55
Let’s breakdown the marketing genius of the revolutionary Mr. Hefner here. ―The 1950s were a very repressed time.‖ His marketing angle is this: Repression is bad and if you don’t consume his pornographic product you are repressing yourself. Of course the very word repression elicits thoughts of dictators, tyrannical governments, and censorship. No one likes that, so let yourself go and buy his magazine. Deep down, you know you want to, and you’re helping to defeat repression. By the way, Hugh Hefner knows that repression is not bad. In fact, he admits the most devastating event of his life was when his soon-to-be first wife had an affair on him.56 I’ll bet if she had ―repressed‖ her feelings and remained faithful that would have been okay with him. I’ll also bet the great sexual liberator has ―repressed‖ his feelings before too. He would have had to, if he remained faithful to his marriage, as he claims he did. He would also have to repress his feelings in the future if he plans to be monogamous, as he claims he would for the right girl.
―Playboy was rooted in the notion that nice girls like sex too.‖ Here the marketing approach is that you don’t have to feel guilty as a consumer, because the girls in his magazine like being photographed nude for your sexual pleasure. So from now on paying them to do so will no longer be considered exploitative. (By the way, I’ve never understood the argument that pornography exploits women, in my eyes it is really exploiting men.) So, if you consume his product you’re not bad; in fact, you’re good because you’re providing the market that makes this new female liberation possible. This is a real win-win-win situation. Men win, women win, and Hugh Hefner wins! The only way I could credit Mr. Hefner with being the leader of the sexual revolution, is if we could document that Playboy somehow led to the invention of the birth control pill. I suppose in one respect we can call Mr. Hefner a revolutionary. He did open the door to mainstreaming pornography in American culture and we can’t deny that. However, I’m still not sure how promoting more solitary male masturbation is helping those ―nice girls‖ who ―like sex too.‖ If anything, Playboy magazine has been a setback for sex-loving women everywhere. 113
Playboy and pornography in general, should be viewed as a threat by women. Anything that competes for the time, attention, money, and sexual pleasure of your mate is a threat to all women and their relationships.
―Sir, you’re a man, you can’t tell me that you don’t like that stuff.‖
Anytime I explain that Playboy isn’t what it seems, young men will immediately declare that I must like it. Hey, what man doesn’t love beautiful women? Though I probably would be more impressed with Playboy’s product if the women were actually real. The truth is these women don’t exist. Unfortunately, I think some kids lacking carnal knowledge really think these women are real. 114
I previously quoted a student as saying anyone would, ―want to wake up to that.‖ I’m positive that no one wakes up or goes to bed with women looking like that unless they sleep with the actual magazine. Playboy’s product is a lot of smoke and mirrors. I’m less impressed by these women and more impressed by the: plastic surgeons, makeup artists, hairdressers, photographers, lighting coordinators, airbrush and Photoshop artists that make them so visually appealing. The magazine takes nice looking women and makes their hair blonder, their skin tanner, their eyes bluer, their lips glossier, their breasts bigger and their cleavage deeper. It’s almost like a dream. And in fact it is. Sure, the images are beautiful. But they are far from real and never innocuous for people in real relationships. Just because you like something doesn’t make it right. If you can justify partaking of something just because you like it, then adultery would be okay. And we know that nearly everyone agrees that it is not.
Remember: When the cameras aren’t rolling, Hugh Hefner is a family man and a romantic looking for a soul mate.
―Lesbians are cool!‖
In a social studies class, it’s hard not to have the subject of homosexuality come up once in awhile, particularly with the gay marriage movement in this country. It is one of the most controversial topics in society. Females are typically more tolerant of homosexuals than males are. However, I can’t count the number of times I have heard a young man declare his opposition to homosexuality and then qualify his remarks with the observation that lesbians are ―okay‖ or ―cool.‖ Let’s take this opportunity to examine this sexual fantasy. Why do guys like lesbians? First off, let’s clarify the terminology here. I would contend that guys don’t like lesbians at all. In fact, the same young man that declared, ―Lesbians are cool!‖ was the first to say ―yuck‖ when the class 116
viewed a news clip of two lesbians at the altar in a gay wedding ceremony. Lesbians are women who like women; they typically don’t make much effort to appear visually attractive to men. In fact, some aspire to look like men. The lesbians on the news clip that inspired the ―yuck‖ remark had spiked hair and waist lines that well exceeded their bust lines. And since they don’t exist to please men, real lesbians certainly don’t film their sexual encounters for confused young men to watch. What my student really means when he says ―Lesbians are cool,‖ is that he likes the thought of girl-on-girl action. In fact, the pornographic fantasy that he holds, and I suspect many other men hold, is one of two shapely women with augmented breasts, that have been made up to look very glamorous, with lots of curly hair, make-up, and lingerie. Here, then, is the appeal of the girl-on-girl fantasy. First, it’s doubly appealing on a visual level. Because men don’t find men attractive, to see a man and a woman together would essentially produce only 50 percent of the potential pleasure that could be derived from a given fantasy. Therefore, replacing the man with a woman produces a visual double whammy. If one gorgeous girl is exciting, then two is even better.
Another appeal of the girl-on-girl fantasy is that the women are acting or behaving in a sexually aggressive manner. For example, think about how many movies or TV shows insert scenes of a woman seducing a man. I suspect that men love the idea of a sexually aggressive woman for a couple of reasons. One, if she is so turned on that she is trying to arouse him, then he doesn’t have to do any work. Two, the sexually aggressive woman is an exciting fantasy for men because it is so far removed from reality. Men are the natural sexual aggressors; anytime a woman assumes the role of doing the work of arousal, this is very appealing to the naturally lazy male. Remember, in the section on pornography I mentioned that one reason men are attracted to pornography is laziness-they don’t have to think or work. So, the girl-on-girl scenario has a double dose of the two key ingredients of all male sexual fantasy: visual beauty and female sexual aggression for male arousal. Of course, in the male fantasy, the women are not lesbians at all. Ultimately, the entire event is not about the sexual pleasure of the women, but about the sexual arousal of the man. Once they have succeeded in turning on the male, he will want to have sex with them, which is really of no interest to a true lesbian. 118
As you can see, the so-called ―lesbian fantasy‖ is anything but. In reality, it is the most malecentered, superficial, heterosexual fantasy there is. So next time some foolish young man announces that he likes lesbians, remind him how mistaken he really is.
Don’t confuse fantasy with inspiration.
Fantasies are a real problem for a lot of men. Many men mistakenly confuse sexual fantasy with inspiration. Sometimes you get a good idea that should be acted on, this is what we would call inspiration. Sexual fantasies are never good ideas so unlike inspiration they should never be acted upon. Let's put male fantasy in perspective. There used to be a sexual advice show on MTV many years ago called Loveline. There would always be young men on the show who wanted to have a ―threesome.‖ Comedian and co-host of the show Adam Corolla always retorted, ―How many penises do you have?‖ His point is that sex is really just about two people: a man and a woman. There is really nothing for a third person to do and a man can’t satisfy two women at the same time anyway.
―Threesome‖ fantasies are just that, fantasy. Acting this out would be impractical and a let down. Also, any girl that would agree to such a thing must really have no self-respect and likely isn’t good wife and mother material anyway. Not to mention, such an arrangement would be impossible if you subscribe to the notion that sex is for married people. So how should men handle these fantasies? Think of sexual fantasy as fuel. Fantasy is the fuel that runs the male sexual engine. You won’t have a successful sexual relationship without it. So keep some fuel on hand but keep it where it belongs: in your head. Many people and popular magazines propose that fantasies should be explored. One article suggests that talking about your sexual fantasies with your mate is a great way to spice up your sex life.57 I believe that this is a very bad idea. The only point of talking about fantasy would be to implicitly make suggestions about stuff you think you’d like to see or do. Suggesting or acting out fantasy will surely lead to great disappointment. The reason for this is that the fantasy is always better than reality. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that your fantasy if acted upon will be greater than the fantasy itself. This concept was accurately on display in an episode of The King of Queens. The show’s star, 120
Doug Heffernan, wanted to buy a stripper pole for his wife to entertain him. In the end, he regrets it as he realizes she can’t match in reality what he had been imagining in his mind. By the way, young men should also know that most respectable women aren’t willing to do the stuff men think is so great anyway, so don’t bother asking.
Why do the media promote these fantasies so much?
Again, the answer is simple: It’s good for business. However, do not mistake all the misleading talk for reality. Beth Ostrosky, Howard Stern’s second wife, confirms this. Howard loves to engage in perverted and foul talk on the radio all day. However, Beth tells us that’s not the real Howard. She says: I’ve made a conscious decision not to listen to his broadcast. I know my man is the kind, sweet one who walks in the door at the end of the day-not the one on the radio.58
Remember: Sexual thoughts occur naturally, which is another reason you don’t need pornography. Sexual thoughts are the fuel for the male sexual engine. Use your fuel to generate sufficient sexual arousal for marital copulation. The fantasy will always be better than reality; therefore, there is no sense in discussing, proposing, or acting out a fantasy. Male lesbian fantasies are in reality anything but.
―People aren’t born gay!‖
Are people born gay? I think most people do believe that gay people are born that way. For some, it is hard to accept this idea because it contradicts their religious beliefs. I’ve had students tell me, ―God wouldn’t create gay people.‖ Is homosexuality a case of nature, nurture, or choice? Homosexuals will often say, ―Do you think I would choose to be gay and have all of the problems that come with it?‖ To which I would answer, ―No.‖ Who would choose such difficulties? Why would anyone willingly bring so much disapproval on themselves? Many look to science to answer these questions. Although many scientific studies shed some light on this subject, they are really irrelevant to our point. For the sake of argument, let’s concede that homosexuals are born that way. 123
If gays are born that way, then what’s wrong with homosexuality? I have two objections to homosexuality. First, homosexuality is a huge obstacle if your life’s mission is to marry and procreate. Second, embracing homosexuality is a futile attempt at satisfying insatiable sexual appetites. If we can say that people who have same-sex attraction are justified in following their sexual compass, then how do we make the case for male heterosexual monogamy? I don’t know of any heterosexual male that is born with monogamous tendencies. All men, before and after marriage, still see other woman they are attracted to. Attraction to other women does not end on your wedding day-remember that men are hunters. If it were that easy to turn off your sexual urges, I believe people would. As a result, there would be no cheating, no adultery, and no broken homes. In fact, the world would be a wonderful place with every family led by a committed mother and father. I realize the idea that married men still want other women offends many females. Once, when making this point to some females, I got a lot of resistance and was told I was wrong. A friend of mine came to my defense and pointed out that going back thousands of years a commandment was given to not commit adultery. If men were naturally 124
monogamous, no such commandment would have been given. Therefore, if heterosexual men can’t satisfy their sexual appetites through heterosexual relationships, can we project that homosexual males cannot satisfy their lustful desires through homosexual relations? I believe we can. Then why indulge your same-sex attraction if it cannot bring sexual satisfaction? I once read a book where the author was speaking on the subject of the male sexual appetite. In an effort to explain the folly behind adultery, he pointed out that, beyond immediate pleasure, cheating would never bring satisfaction or relief from your sexual lusts. He went on to point out that if having an affair did actually satisfy your appetite for say a month or a year, you could conceivable make a case for adultery.59 The main idea here is that sexual appetites cannot be satisfied; therefore pursuing your sexual orientation, be it towards the same sex, or for straight men towards extra-marital sex, is truly a waste of time and effort. There are many good men and women out there who have families and remain faithful in spite of sexual temptations and orientation. The reason they do not indulge themselves is because their relationships with spouse and children are not worth losing over sexual flings and momentary pleasures. 125
The same idea can be applied to homosexual sexuality. I believe the family bonds one could create by denying one’s homosexual urges and embracing the traditional nuclear family would be worth much more than just pursuing sexual relations with someone you think you want. Remember that family life can be satisfying, while sexual relationships cannot. Gays are not the only people that struggle with sexual urges and desires, straight people do too. However, people choose marriage and procreation because it provides a more satisfying existence than the futile attempt of trying to satisfy insatiable sexual appetites.
Remember: Gay people probably are 18 that way. So Lesson born what? They can still marry and enjoy procreation. I believe thatAllowed to Gays are Already would be more satisfying than a life devoted to your sexual Marry orientation.
―If two people love each other then they should be able to get married.‖
Some will say that marriage is about two people who love each other; you have to marry the one you love. Many times students tell me that when two people love each other, there is nothing you can do about it. I disagree with that notion too. First, I do not believe in the concept of falling in love. I will acknowledge that attraction, lust, or infatuation could result from minimal exposure or contact. But love doesn’t just happen. If you believe that people just fall in love, then you have to believe that people fall out of love. If people can fall out of love, then you would have to be okay with the idea that your spouse may come home one day and tell you that they don’t love you anymore. They may want to leave you for someone else. You would have to be okay with that because, just as they once fell in love with you, they have now fallen in love with someone else-as if this is something out of their control. 127
If you’re not okay with that idea, then you, like me, must believe that love is an action. You choose when, where, and to whom you will give it, as well as from whom you’ll receive it. Like most actions, it only happens if you allow it happen. Love is a choice, not a destiny. Therefore a homosexual can choose to not love someone of the same sex. And they can also choose to love someone of the opposite sex. I have one additional point on love and marriage. Throughout history, and in various cultures, people never married for love as most marriages were arranged. These families succeeded because people knew that marriage was about children and survival, not about romantic love. I do not believe, however, that these marriages were miserable. As people experience life together and build families, a genuine love is formed. Sexual orientation may not be a choice, but who you decide to ―love‖ is.
What is the purpose of marriage?
People who marry do so to participate in the procreative process and partake of the joys that children and family bring. When a man finds a woman he wants to marry, he is making the statement that she is worthy of procreation and there should be more people like her. Procreation allows 128
people to declare that in this world, there should be more people like their partner. If you don’t feel that way about someone, don’t marry them and don’t have sex with them. However, the fundamental reason for marriage is children. Every child’s genetic composition is 50 percent from the mother and 50 percent from the father, thus, children are shared property. Marriage allows a legal arrangement to recognize dual ownership of the children. If humans reproduced asexually there would be no need for marriage. To me, this is the main reason we don’t need homosexual marriage. Since gay relationships do not produce offspring, there is really no purpose for it. No legal arrangement is required for someone to declare his or her love for someone else.
Remember: Love is a choice not a destiny. Marriage has nothing to do with recognizing love and everything to do with recognizing dual ownership of the children that will be produced.
―My mother would kill me if I told her I was gay!‖
During a discussion on gay marriage, I heard many students say that their parents would be very disapproving of the idea that their child was gay. On the contrary, I think most parents would be very understanding and compassionate if a child told them they were struggling with that issue. What these kids really mean is that if they told their parents they were going to embrace their homosexuality, then their parents would be upset. This is understandable. Telling your parents you’re going to embrace your homosexuality is, in some ways, like a death in the family. Just as a young person’s death robs their loved ones of all their hopes for the future, embracing homosexuality also robs your loved ones of all their hopes for the future-mainly the prospect of grandkids, cousins, nieces and nephews. 130
Some will claim that gay couples can still have families through adoption. The problem with gay couples starting families through adoption is that such a scenario is not fair to the child. A child deserves a mother and a fatherideally their own mother and father. Not two dads or two moms raising someone else’s child. I recently read an article about a gay male couple that adopted a son. Sadly, when Mother’s Day came around, this little boy asked his two dads about his lack of a mother. Their response was, ―If you had a mommy, then you wouldn’t have two daddies, is that what you want?‖ Instead of hurting their feelings and answering ―yes,‖ the child replied that he wants ―two daddies and a mommy.‖60 (That kid is good. With answers like that, he should consider a career in politics.) I guess you can fool a child into believing two daddies is normal, but even a five-year-old can tell when something’s missing.
What makes a family?
No matter how much society tries to redefine the family, when it comes right down to it, kids want their mom and their dad to raise them in a loving home. One of the gay fathers I just mentioned made the following claim, ―Love makes a family, not biology or gender.‖61 I think he’s 0 for 3 in his observation. Define ―family‖ how you wish, but gender and biology make nuclear family ties that never break. Let’s look at some examples. First would be the case of adoptions. Adopted kids, even when given a loving mother, father, and family life, often still seek out their birth mom or dad. The children that grow up and don’t search for their biological parents still have to wonder about them regularly. Why is this? Obviously, these kids want to know about their genetic background and ethnic heritage. So even when raised under the best of conditions, adopted kids are still curious about their biological parents. Biology does create families. And because we don’t reproduce asexually there is not a person alive who doesn’t have a female mother and male father, thus gender is also a necessary ingredient to family formation. 132
For an example of these powerful genetic links, let’s look at some cases of children from sperm donors. With Internet technology, many kids who did not know their genetic families can now satisfy some of their curiosities by connecting with their half siblings and fathers that are scattered around the country. One sperm-donor father recounts his experience when he contacted some of his kids: Several years after my divorce, I found the Donor Sibling Registry, a website where donor offspring can find their half siblings and, sometimes, their donors. Rachael, one of the moms, had listed her two kids, Aaron and Leah, under my donor number. When I saw their names and their ages — 6 and 3 at the time — I got very weepy. Oh my God, these were my kids! Within hours, we were talking on the phone. Rachael asked, "Is it okay if they call you Dad? Would you prefer they call you Donor?" I was fine with Dad, and that's what they called me when Rachael brought them out to see me from Massachusetts. Today I have relationships with four of my children.62
Again, biological family ties never break and are never forgotten. Biology does matters when it comes to family. Lastly, love is not actually a required ingredient to make a family. Some people who barely know each other have sex and reproduce. In fact, I know an acquaintance whose parents were young when they had sex out of wedlock and created him. He hates his parents for how their shortsighted selfishness robbed him of a real nuclear family. Last time I checked, he was no longer speaking to his mother or father. There is no love in that family. But because of biology and gender, his mother is still his mother and his father is still his father. And it all happened without love. To prove my point, I would challenge this gay couple to produce offspring of their own with just their love. I’ll bet they can’t do it, because biology and gender do in fact make families; love, by itself, does not. So while love is a nice thing to have in a family, biology creates moms, dads, and genetic connections that cannot be broken, regardless of who raises the child.
Remember: Although love enriches family life, love doesn’t make families, biology and gender do.
―There is no God!‖
There is no debate more worthless than whether or not God exists. Yet, courting controversy, the media love this debate. They line up noted religious leaders to argue God’s existence with noted atheists. In just the last few years, I can think of three such debates: Kirk Cameron (from the television show Growing Pains) vs. the Rational Response Squad on Nightline; Rick Warren, author of The Purpose Driven Life, vs. Sam Harris, a best selling atheist author; or Al Sharpton vs. Christopher Hitchens another best-selling atheist author. What do these debates accomplish? I think nothing other than to affirm people’s already existing beliefs. Why can’t believers and atheists just get along? I think that the believers would like to find converts to their belief system so that others can find joy in hope. They hope that this life has meaning or purpose.
Of course, much of their hope is based on a belief in a continued existence beyond death. On more than one occasion I have heard it said that there would be no religion if there were no death. The implication is that people’s fear of death leads them to fantasize about stuff that we just can’t see, like God and the afterlife. I think that observation is way off. Believers don’t fear death as much as they fear a pointless life. Religion and a belief in God give one hope that life actually means something. On the other hand, many atheists are also seeking converts. Their mission is not to eliminate others’ hope, but to liberate others from their constant struggle to find meaning in this life. I think that we can all agree that finding meaning in life is a great struggle. According to the atheist, if this life is all there is, then we can stop wrestling with the meaning or purpose of life and stop asking the big question of ―Why?‖ Ultimately, this debate is a question of hope vs. liberation. I suspect that whichever of these two concepts you value most will determine which camp you fall in. If I were selected to judge one of these debates, I would declare them to be a draw because both sides are right. No matter which side makes the most compelling points, perception is reality.
If you believe God or a force greater than you runs the world and your life, then for you it’s true and you will act accordingly. On the other hand, if one refuses to recognize or submit to a higher authority, then for those atheists there is nothing greater than themselves. The atheist believes that science explains the universe. I think most believers can accept this point of view. Science has explained so much about our universe. We should thank the scientists for all the wonderful discoveries and contributions they have made to mankind. But the believer says, ―I still have questions beyond the physical realm.‖ Bill Nunan, a scientist, wrote an essay on his faith for NPR. As a scientist with a doctorate in physics, he is still wrestling with that big question of ―Why?‖ He says: Physics does not explain the difference between sound waves and a song, or the difference between sex and love. Physics explains my body, but not my soul.63 He concludes that although science explains a lot, it doesn’t answer everything and there are still going to be unanswered questions. Give them some time, Bill, and they will probably try to explain your soul.
Some scientists have already tried to explain why humans believe in God. They got out their MRI machines and provided explanations about chemicals and neurons in the brain. A couple of researchers concluded that people believe in God because they are biologically programmed to do so.64 To that my response would be: Why? If it is true that we are biologically programmed to believe in God, then why is that? No matter how many questions science claims to answer there will always be one more: Why? So, if you refuse to continue the struggle to find meaning and answers in life then enjoy your liberation-and likely depression-in the atheists’ camp. But, if you’re down for the struggle and still believe that there is an explanation for all the unresolved questions of life, then relish your hope in the believers’ camp. Most people do believe in purpose and meaning, which is why 90 percent of the population claims to have a belief in God.65 Of course, they do want answers, but they know we won’t get them all here on this earth. There are many things we just can’t know and I think that’s good. If we truly had all the answers, explanations, and solutions, then the game of life would essentially be over. I don’t think we are ready for that just yet.
God vs. Science
This debate is almost as irritating as the existence of God debate. First, it’s hard to talk about God because the very word or concept means different things to different people. Some people think He micromanages the universe, while others see Him only as a creator. Still, others see God as only a name for a higher power than us. (There is indisputably a higher power than human beings as I have yet to see one human conquer death. I know that some of you are saying that Jesus conquered death, but if you believe that, you also believe he was more than human, so that still makes the statement true.) Regardless of how you view Him, there is no evidence that He has done anything to contradict science. Most of this debate is based on the idea that scientific findings have contradicted the Bible. If science has proven the Bible inaccurate, then let’s stop declaring that there is an ongoing debate between God and science and start calling it ―Science vs. a Literal Interpretation of the Bible.‖ Creationism vs. Evolution Whenever we talk about the Scopes Monkey Trial of the 1920s, it inflames passions in a classroom just like society at large. Inevitably, in my classroom someone will say, ―I didn’t come from a 140
monkey.‖ A lot of people refuse to believe that we came from a monkey or apes or chimps. Most people don’t know that evolution doesn’t claim that we came from apes or chimps. It does say that we share a common ancestor. Who or what that is we don’t really know. So the creationism vs. evolution debate will continue. The real lesson of this discussion is that anyone who claims to know how something happened six thousand, six billion or 60 billion years ago should be treated with skepticism.
Remember: Science can explain your body but not your soul.
―Religion is stupid!‖
Although I try to dissuade people from sharing religious views in the classroom, kids are kids and the subject often comes up, especially when homosexuality or abortion are mentioned. To many kids, and many adults in our country, homosexuality is wrong ―because the Bible says.‖ It’s kind of hard to have a legitimate topical discussion when that is the only view expressed. Nevertheless, on one occasion I had a girl pipe up to declare, ―Religion is stupid.‖ I suspect that many in the general population agree with her statement. Often on Sunday morning I will turn on the local news, as I do every other day of the week, and the broadcast is the same old stuff: crime, weather, and sports. However, I always lament that there is one thing different about the Sunday news broadcast: no traffic reports-at least not related to congestion on the roads. Social scientists and researchers always talk about how religious the United States is compared to Europe, but when I’m out on Sunday morning, I don’t see it. I drive freely to my 142
destination without any of the delays that I find on my normal weekday commute to work. If America is so religious, how come people don’t go to church? I think the answer to the question is that most people don’t understand religion. One argument against religion that I hear is that we don’t need to go to a church building to have a relationship with God. I agree with this premise; however, church isn’t about you and God. You can talk to God in your own home if you wish and would likely have more privacy than at church.
What is the purpose of religion?
A few years back, a Jewish rabbi attempted to make the case for religion in a book titled: Who Needs God? In his book, Rabbi Kushner explains the purpose of religion: The word ―religion‖ comes from the same Latin root as the word ―ligament.‖ It means, ―to bind.‖ What is does best is bind us to the people around us. Religion is not only a set of statements about God, religion is also a community, the family through which we learn what it means to be human, and by which we are reinforced in our efforts to do what we believe is right.66 143
Rabbi Kushner is saying that at its most fundamental level, religion isn’t to put people in touch with God, but to put people in touch with people.67 Religion helps us overcome loneliness and isolation while at the same time reinforcing our moral belief system. Take a look at the world around us. There are many activities that are legal and acceptable in the secular world that I personally find unnecessary and unhealthy: gambling, drinking, smoking, fornication, and adultery to name a few. Notice that the aforementioned activities are activities that people engage in to connect with other people. Where, if not to church, do conscientious people go to overcome isolation? A good church provides a community where the rules are different. A community where it’s not acceptable to lie, cheat, abuse yourself, or harm others. It should be a community where the rules are tougher, but the relationships are more fulfilling. Whereas the world offers ways to connect to other people, religion offers a more salubrious way. In 2003, Newsweek published some research in an article on faith and healing. The results showed that people who embrace religion live longer and are more likely to live well. See the follow chart:
Life Expectancy Attendance No church Less than weekly Once per week More than weekly Death Age 75 80 82 8368
The same study also showed that religious people were less depressed, more likely to quit smoking and drinking, as well as exercise more.69 I’m not usually a proponent of statistics, but studies and ample anecdotal evidence conclude that religion provides people a reason to live and live well. That’s good stuff.
How to choose a church?
It is not the purpose of this book to suggest specific religions, but I do feel that many people have rejected religion because they don’t feel its utility. There are many churches where you go, you listen, and you leave. I can see why people would not be interested in getting up early on a weekend to do that. I have alluded to what a church should do earlier in this section. For more specific guidelines, see if a church is worthy by determining if it requires service, sacrifice, and self-improvement.
Service Pay attention to what is required of you if and when you join. Do they permit you to serve in the functions of the church? Do they provide opportunities to serve outside of the regular services? I once had a co-worker who was looking for a church to attend. She told me that she was looking for a church with inspirational sermons that would uplift her and make her feel good. Although those are nice, I believe that she has the wrong attitude. She views church as a place to take and receive from others. Truly happy churchgoers view church as a place to share and give of themselves to others. Once 60 minutes did a piece on children who lost parents in the 9/11 attacks. Some of these kids formed a group to help support each other in their loss. One teenage girl shared a lessoned she learned after 9/11: After 9/11 happened, I was lying with my sister – I remember telling her, 'I’m so sad. How, how, how am I gonna make myself happy?' And I figured it out. It’s by making other people happy-other people around you. It’s by doing good deeds for other people. That’s how—that’s what makes me happy.70 146
She’s right that serving other people does make us happy. It’s great to teach about serving your fellow man, but much more rewarding to actually do it. A church that includes service opportunities will be able to claim it practices what it preaches. Sacrifice A lot of people don’t want religion for this purpose alone. ―It’s too hard…I don’t have time…I can’t afford to give monetarily or God doesn’t need my money,‖ they say. Many churches today cater to this mentality. They try and make it easier on their members by requiring as little as possible from them. Television church services are so easy to attend you don’t have to leave your living room. Convenient though that may be, that kind of religion really defeats the purpose of religion. A pastor from Virginia wrote a piece in the Washington Post where he suggested that the key to getting more men involved in church is, ―not to ask less of them and make them more comfortable-it’s to ask more of them and maybe even make them uncomfortable.‖71 Although he is correct about men, this is true for all people. People feel good about themselves when they sacrifice for others and contribute to the greater good. 147
Self-Improvement I believe some people, in an effort to glorify God, end up demeaning man. They will continually reference man’s sinful nature and tell you, that because of your sinful nature, you need God. It’s true that everyone commits sin and everyone can benefit from God’s influence in his or her life. Don’t, however, let the man-as-sinner concept justify wrong behavior and hold you back from being the best you can be. You may have heard the saying ―Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.‖ If you want to glorify God, you will do your best to live His will, do what is right, and become like Him. The more righteous we live our lives, the more we glorify God and the happier we will be. The very popular country singer Shania Twain was attracted to her faith in part because it challenged her to live a better life and improve herself. The following is a quote from an interview she did with Reader’s Digest in January of 2005: RD: You practice the Sant Mat religion, which, according to what I’ve read calls for vegetarianism and daily meditation, strict avoidance of premarital sex, alcohol and drugs. What appealed to you about Sant Mat? 148
Twain: The basic principles are no different from anything that respects the Ten Commandments. Good principles about living a healthy, positive life…I was always in search of self-improvement. That’s what Sant Mat does for me.72 If you find a church that offers opportunities for service, requires sacrifice, and a means to improve yourself, then you will be on your way to a more rewarding and happier life. Religion is not about being told what to do. Good religion gives you identity, provides community and a framework through which to view and endure life’s vicissitudes. Making big decisions in one’s life-like who to marry for example-will be much easier if you know who you are and what you are about. Lastly, besides helping people to live individually happier lives, religion is a keystone to happier marriage and family life. One study shows that fathers and mothers that are actively religious have happier marriages, spend more time with their children, and are more likely to get and stay married.73
Remember: Religion is a key ingredient to being healthy and happy.
―Boys are stupid!‖
Even though I am a male, I actually agree with this statement. Often girls who are having relationship problems will tell me about their frustration with boys. I tell them that it is true boys are stupid and that they shouldn’t date them. ―Who are we supposed to date then,‖ they ask. My response is always, ―Girls and boys shouldn’t date at all. When you are women, then begin to date, and you can date men.‖ For many young people, that’s still not clear enough because they don’t know how to define manhood and womanhood. I’ll help out here and provide a simple definition: A man or a woman is a person capable of supporting himself or herself.
How much more mature and knowledgeable about life will you be if you are out of mom’s house and earning your own way in the world? On a similar note, many women will claim that there are grown men who are stupid, too. I would also have to agree with this in some cases. But here, I will shift some of that blame to women themselves. How can women be responsible for male stupidity? This, also, can be explained by economics: supply and demand. Most men if they care about a woman will live up to the standards set by the woman. If women accept men who make poor choices and accomplish nothing, they create a market for underachievers. As is true in all free market systems, supply and demand will reach equilibrium. So if women willingly lower the bar and date immature men, then some men will never improve themselves and will remain bums. Supply will meet demand. Women should know that they’re in control and that they have the power. Men will meet the bar if women set it high or low.
Remember: Boys are stupid so don’t date them. Boys before act get married and men will youas stupid as you let them.
―You should live together before you get married to make sure your relationship will work.‖
One thing many people don’t know is that people who live together before marriage have a greater chance for divorce than people who don’t. Why is this? If pretending you’re married will give you greater insight into the person you think you want to marry, then living together should provide all the information necessary to make the right decision. Statistically, however, we see a higher rate of divorce for cohabitating couples than those that did not live together before marriage.74
To be clear, I’m not suggesting that cohabitation leads to divorce; it is not the cause, but there is a correlation.
How does living together lead to divorce?
Marriage experts believe that the difference between those that live together before marriage and those that don’t, really comes down to the mind-set of the participants. Noted marriage counselor Dr. Willard Harely contrasts marriage mentality with the mentality of those who choose to live together: Couples that live together before marriage get into the habit of following their month-to-month rental agreement (where you can leave at the end of the month). In fact, they often decide to marry, not because they are willing to make a lifetime commitment to each other, but because the arrangement has worked out so well that they can't imagine breaking their lease, so to speak. They say the words of the marital agreement, but they still have the terms of their (month-to-month) rental agreement in mind. Couples who have not lived together before marriage, on the other hand, 153
have not lived under the terms of the month-to-month rental agreement. They begin their relationship assuming that they are in this thing for life, and all their habits usually reflect that commitment.75 Living together before marriage does not help marriages. Instead, it fosters casual views towards commitments and relationships that weaken the important institute of marriage. The same people that believe cohabitation is beneficial are likely the same people that say you should sleep together before marriage to see if the sex is good. Remember, as we discussed earlier in the book, your first sexual encounter and likely many more after that may not be so good. So how can you sleep with someone and determine whether the sex is worth staying for? In most people’s cases, after much practice and communication they have learned to have good sex, but they would never have gotten to that point if they split up after one or even a few bad sexual encounters. When you have proven that your relationship is one of stability, respect, and commitment then you can move on to marriage. Living together and
experimenting with sex will be of little use in choosing a good marriage partner.
Remember: Living together doesn’t help your future marriage. Instead, it fosters casual views toward sex and commitment.
―I’m going to be divorced because everyone in my family is divorced.‖
I sure was sorry to hear a student tell me this. But she really wasn’t kidding. Her aunts, grandparents, and parents were all divorced. She really believes that it’s part of relationships and just something people do. To her, no relationship is really long term. The truth is that some people’s marriages have a great chance of surviving. Researchers at Rutgers University have shown that having certain key factors in your favor can reduce your chances of becoming a divorce statistic.
These factors include the following: Having a middle class income of $50,000. Having a baby after marriage. Marrying over the age of 25. Having your own family of origin intact (vs. divorced parents). Having some religious affiliation. Have completed some college.76 The researchers summarized their findings this way: So if you are a reasonably welleducated person with a decent income, come from an intact family, are religious, and marry after the age of twenty-five without having a baby first, your chances of divorce are very low indeed.77 There are two important things to recognize from this information. First, except for your parents’ marital status, every factor is in your control. Second, notice that following the life plan as I have established here: education/career, then marriage, then sex, and then children, will place you out of the risky categories for divorce.
Remember: Following the guidance in this book will reduce your risk of ending up divorced.
―You have the perfect little family.‖
A couple of years ago, a student talked me into allowing my wife to show off our new baby to the class. After my wife and baby left, one student remarked ―Sir, you have the perfect little family.‖ Although my life is filled with as many stresses and problems as the next guy, in the area of family, my life is very good. I spent some time earlier talking about the importance of the nuclear family because so many of my students don’t have one. I hear their comments and often their pain when they talk about how their parents have let them down. You can’t always fix your parents’ mistakes, but you certainly can decide now not to repeat them. 158
We’ve mapped out the course for success and happiness, now it’s up to you to implement it. You, too, can have the perfect little family if you adhere to the counsels outlined in this book.
Let’s recap some key points:
Recognize that you will marry and have children someday. Plan accordingly to make sure these events happen in the proper order and on your terms. Vices like drinking, drugs, and out-ofwedlock sex are deviations and distractions that will place you in the company of people who aren’t focused on the worthy life goals of education, marriage, and family. The best way to ensure that you’ll have a strong nuclear family is to save sex for after marriage. A truly good marriage prospect understands the concept of delayed gratification-denying current wants for something better later. Don’t date until you are an adult. Teenage relationships are trouble waiting to happen. Do not marry solely for love. I believe you can think you love someone who would be an unfit parent. Ask yourself if you would want your potential spouse to be your mother or father? If the answer is no, then don’t marry that person, it’s not fair to your children. 159
For men, once you’re married, put your wife first. Sex is your opportunity to serve your wife. Remember pornography and sexual experimentation have nothing to do with real sex. Have children, and when you do you’ll realize that you never really understood love until they came along. Reread this book often if you need strength to resist the temptations of this world.
Glossary All definitions have been referenced from: http://www.merriam-webster.com Definitions have been summarized by the author. Introduction Augment (and p.117)-to increase or make bigger Broach - to open up a subject for discussion Empirical - based on observation or experience Ironically (p.13) - a difference between the actual result of events and the normal or expected result Apex (p.15) – the highest point Pithy (p.15) – short but meaningful Elusive (p.18) – hard to grasp or obtain Subjective (p.21) - affected by personal views, experience, or background Acrophobia (p.23) – fear of heights Fatalistic (p. 24) - belief that events are fixed in advance and humans can’t change them Pejoratively (p. 25) – to put down or belittle Palatable (p.26) – acceptable to the mind or taste Vacuous (p27) – empty or lacking in ideas or content Olfactory (p.29) – relating to the sense of smell Ephemeral (p.31) – lasting a very short time Impede (p.32) – to slow the progress of Ubiquitous (p.33) - all over the place or everywhere Aphrodisiac (p.40) – an agent that arouses sexual desire Tactile (p.42) – of or related to the sense of touch Caveat (p.45) – warning or caution 161
Fortitude (p.46) – strength, backbone, determination Aural (p.51) – relating to the sense of hearing or ear Innate (p. 53) – an essential part of you that you’re born with Philanderer (p. 62) – said of a man who has casual or illicit sex with a woman Insatiable (p. 63 and 124) – incapable of being satisfied Provident (p.64)-preparing for the future Succinct (p. 65) – a precise expression without wasted words or concise Fidelity (p. 68) – state of being faithful Double entendre (p. 71) - a word or expression capable of two interpretations with one usually risqué Erogenous (p.72) – sexually sensitive or producing sexual excitement Carnal (p. 73) – relating to the body or relating to lower bodily pleasures and appetites Circumvent (p. 80) – to get around or go around, to avoid Nascent (p. 82) – recent or new Delineate (p.85) – to outline with detail or accuracy Copulation (p.86 and p.122) – sexual intercourse Brothel (p.88) – house of prostitution Consummate (p.91) – finish or complete or make a marriage official through intercourse Novice (p.93) – beginner Vicarious (p.96) – performed by one person for the benefit of another Adage (p.97) – a saying Sophistry (p.99) - subtly deceptive reasoning or argumentation 162
Myriad (p. 100) – a great number Nadir (p. 100) – the lowest point Perpetuate (p. 104) – continuing forever Charade (p. 104) – deceptive act Epilogue (p. 105) – the concluding section of a work Hedonistic (p. 100) – doctrine that pleasure or happiness is the sole good in life Repress (p. 111) – to prevent the natural or normal expression of something Exploit (p. 113) – to take unfair advantage of Innocuous (p. 115) – harmless Futile (p. 126) – useless or serving no purpose Dissuade (p. 142) – to advise against Salubrious (p. 144) – promoting health or well being, healthy Demean (p. 148) – to lower in status, character or reputation Vicissitudes (p. 149) – a hardship in life beyond one’s control Equilibrium (p. 151) – a state of balance between opposing forces or balance
Bowden, Bobby. ―Always one from the quipper‖ USA Today. http://www.usatoday.com/printedition/sports/20091202/c2bow den2_st.art.htm (accessed December 5, 2009) 2 Wetzstein, Cheryl. ―Youths fear decay of family‖ The Washington Times, April 27, 2007. 3 Jayson, Sharon. ―Generation Y’s goal? Wealth and fame‖.USATODAY.com. http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2007-01-09-gen-ycover_x.htm (accessed January 10, 2007). 4 http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/vice (accessed August 15, 2008). 5 Ishkur. ―Tattoos‖. Ishkur.com http://www.ishkur.com/editorials/tattoos.php (accessed August 15, 2008). 6 Dobson, James. Life on the Edge.Dallas, Texas. Word Publishing, 1995. 7 Wolf, Naomi. ―The Porn Myth‖. nymag.com. http://nymag.com/nymetro/news/trends/n_9437/ (accessed July 22, 2006). 8 Baram, Marcus. ―Brinkley Forgives Husband’s Ex-Mistress‖ abcnews.go.com. http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/story?id=5299820&pag e=1 (accessed July 3, 2008). 9 Ibid. 10 Ibid. 11 Ibid. 12 Greve, Frank. ―Viagra was supposed to change the world. Did it?‖ McClatchy Newspapers. http://www.mcclatchydc.com/goodnews/story/16142.html (accessed May 13, 2007). 13 De Boer, Bonita. ―Are You Ready for Sex?‖. Avert.org. http://www.avert.org/sex.htm (accessed October 21, 2006). 14 Stanley, Colleen. ―Where does your sales team stand on marshmallow issue? Grab it and run?‖.Memphis Business Journal. http://memphis.bizjournals.com/memphis/stories/2008/08/11/s mallb4.html?jst=pn_pn_lk (accessed August 16, 2008).
Finger, Reginald, Tonya Thelen, John T.Vessey, Joanna K. Mohn, Joshua R. Mann. ―Association of Virginity at Age 18 with Educational, Economic, Social, and Health Outcomes in Middle Adulthood.” Adolescent & Family Health, a Journal
of the Institute for Youth Development, April 2005.
Bedell-Smith, Sally. ―Candid about Camelot‖. Usnews.com. http://www.usnews.com/usnews/news/articles/040517/17smit h.peo.htm (accessed June 13, 2006). 17 Evans, Rory. ―Men’s upgrade addiction.‖ Glamour, August 2005, pg. 108. 18 DePaulo, Lisa. ―Interview with Adriana Lima.‖ GQ. April 2006 pg. 192. 19 SIECUS Report, Volume 26, Number 1 October/November 1997. 20 Keller, Helen. thequotationspage.com. http://www.quotationspage.com/quotes/Helen_Keller/ (accessed August 17, 2008). 21 Sherr,Lynn. ―When it Comes to Orgasm, Women Work Harder.‖ abcnews.go.com. http://abcnews.go.com/2020/Story?id=2497517&page=1 (accessed October 3, 2006).
Williams, Robin. askmen.com. http://www.askmen.com/celebs/men/entertainment_ 60/robin_williams/index.html (accessed August 6, 2008).
Conlon, Michael. ―Sexy media a siren call to promiscuity?‖ Yahoo Inc. http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20060403/hl_nm/sex_dc (accessed April 4, 2006). 24 ―Teen births continue to decline.‖ Worldnetdaily.com. http://wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=50259 (accessed May 19, 2006). 25 Herrmann, Andrew. ―Fewer teens looking for a date‖. Chicago Sun-Times. http://www.suntimes.com. (accessed May 19, 2006).
Ibid. Ibid. 28 Alderman, Jesse H. ―Harvard Club Promotes Abstinence‖. Boston.com. http://www.boston.com/news/education/higher/articles/2007/0 3/22/harvard_club_promotes_abstinence/?rss_id=Boston.com +%2F+News (accessed March 22, 2007). 29 Hall, Celia. ―More women have abortions as it loses stigma‖.Telegraph.co.uk. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/1535347/Morewomen-have-abortions-as-it-loses-stigma.html (accessed November 28, 2006). 30 Wanbaugh, Michael. ―Parents warned of new sex trendstudy says more than half of all teens have had oral sex‖. South Bend Tribune. http://www.southbendtribune.com/apps/pbcs.dll/artifcle?Date2 0060402&Category=News0 (accessed April 4, 2006). 31 Couric, Katie. ―The 411: Teens and Sex a Katie Couric Special‖ http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6872269/ (accessed August 19, 2008). 32 Ibid. 33 Investopedia.com. A Forbes Digital Company. http://www.investopedia.com/terms/l/lawofdiminishingutility. asp (accessed August 19, 2008). 34 Weber, Dave. ―UCF women take it (mostly) off for feature in May’s Playboy‖. Orlandosentinel.com. http://www.orlandosentinel.com/new/local/orange/orlplayboy2406oct24,0,2395175.story?coll=orl-home-headlines. (accessed October 24, 2006). 35 Colin, Chris ―A Conversation with Hugh Hefner‖. Salon.com. http://www.salon.com/people/feature/1999/12/28/hefnercon/ (accessed August 19, 2008). 36 Ibid. 37 http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/conlaw/obs cenity.htm (accessed August 19, 2008). 38 Stossel, John. ―Lookism: The Ugly Truth About Beauty‖ http://abcnews.go.com/2020/story?id=123853&page=1 (accessed September 29, 2006).
Montagne, Renee. ―Hugh Hefner on a Life Less Ordinary‖ http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=972800 8 (accessed August 20, 2008). 40 Ibid. 41 Ibid. 42 Ibid. 43 Ibid.
Ibid. Lang, Derek J. ―Hugh Hefner opens up about Holly Madison breakup‖ http://www.usatoday.com/life/people/200810-08-hefner-breakup_N.htm (accessed October 20, 2008). 46 Ibid. 47 Hugh Hefner profile.‖Hef: The legend wore silk pajamas‖. CNN. http://www.cnn.com/CNN/Programs/people/shows/hefner/pro file.html (accessed August 20, 2008).
Colin, Chris ―A Conversation with Hugh Hefner‖. Salon.com. http://www.salon.com/people/feature/1999/12/28/hefnercon/ (accessed August 19, 2008). 49 Ibid. 50 Sager, Mike. ―What I’ve Learned (Pamela Anderson interview)‖. Esquire, January 2005 pg. 72. 51 Bio on Pamela Anderson. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000097/bio (accessed August 20, 2008). 52 Sager, Mike. ―What I’ve Learned (Pamela Anderson interview)‖. Esquire, January 2005 pg. 72.
Bova, Dan. ―The Swede Life‖. Stuff magazine. http://www.stuffmagazine.com/articles/index.aspx?id=862 (accessed August 20, 2008). 54 Hugh Hefner profile.‖Hef: The legend wore silk pajamas‖. CNN. http://www.cnn.com/CNN/Programs/people/shows/hefner/pro file.html (accessed August 20, 2008).
Jennings, Peter; Linda Hunt. The Century: America’s Time: Episode 9 Happy Days. ABC News. 1998 56 Gross, Terry. Interview with Hugh Hefner aired December 5, 2003. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=153423 7 (accessed August 20, 2008). 57 Droze, Kim. ―Rev Up A Stalled Sex Life: 10 Tip‖. Ediets.com. http://www.ediets.com/news/printArticle.cfm?cid=1&cmi=13 54199 (accessed October 21, 2006). 58 Klam, Julie, ―What’s it like to live with Howard Stern.‖ Glamour April 2006 pg. 301. 59 Prager, Dennis. Happiness is a serious problem. New York. HarperCollins Publishers, 1998. 60 Gandossy, Taylor. ―Gay adoption: A new take on the American family‖. CNN.com. http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/06/25/gay.adoption/index.html (accessed June 27, 2007). 61 Ibid. 62 Wolff, Jennifer. ―What is a father? The genetic parent‖. The Donor Sibling Registry. http://donorsiblingregistry.com/whatisafather.pdf (accessed August 21, 2008). 63 Nunan, Bill. ―My personal leap of faith.‖ Npr.org. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=910984 4 (accessed March 26, 2007). 64 Gajalin, Chris A. ―Are humans hard wired for faith?‖ Cnn.com. http://www.cnn.com/2007/HEALTH/04/04/neurotheology/ (accessed August 21, 2008). 65 Taylor, Humphry. ―The Religious and other beliefs of Americans in 2003‖. Harris Interactive. http://www.harrisinteractive.com/harris_poll/index.asp?PID=3 59 (accessed August 21, 2008). 66 Kushner, Harold. Who Needs God. New York. Simon & Schuster, 1989. 67 Ibid. 68 Kalb, Claudia. ―Faith & Healing.‖ Newsweek, November 10, 2003. Pg. 47.
Ibid. Pelley, Scott. ―Tuesday’s Children.‖ CBSnews.com. http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/09/08/60minutes/main1 989753.shtml (accessed September 13, 2006). 71 Brinton, Henry. ―What will bring men back to church?‖ The Washington Post, December 19, 2004. 72 Nash, Alanna. ―On her way‖. Readers Digest. http://www.rd.com/your-america-inspiring-people-andstories/country-star-shania-twain/article27348.html (accessed August 21, 2008). 73 Wilcox, Bradford W. ―Is Religion an Answer?‖ http://www.fatherhood.org/download_files.asp?DownloadID= 54 (accessed April 9, 2009). 74 Popenoe, David. ―The top ten divorce myths.‖ http://marriage.rutgers.edu/Publications/pubtoptenmyths.htm (accessed August 21, 2008). 75 Harley, Willard. ―Living together before marriage.‖ Marriage Builders. http://www.marriagebuilders.com/graphic/mbi5025_qa.html (accessed August 21, 2008). 76 ―The State of Our Unions 2004: The Social Health of Marriage in America,‖ The National Marriage Project, June 2004. http://marriage.rutgers.edu/Publications/SOOU/TEXTSOOU2 004.htm (May 18, 2005).