This question recently ran in Dear Abby:
DEAR ABBY: My boyfriend "Adam" and I are high school seniors. We have been serious for only three months, but we've been dating for more than a year. He is sexually experienced, but I am not - I'm still the "Big V."
On prom night, I want Adam to be my "first," but because I have been disappointed in the past, I don't want to be left heartbroken. I love Adam with all my heart - he's all I want in a guy. But I feel torn about what to do. Should I go ahead and "seize the day"? Or should I make him wait? Please help! - TEEN GIRL IN THE GAMBLING STATE
DEAR TEEN GIRL: Your boyfriend may be a wonderful person, but to lose your virginity simply to celebrate prom night is not a mature decision. Sex carries with it responsibilities - and can result in unplanned "surprises," as the following letter shows. Read on...
I'll spare you having to read the whole the letter which is about a young woman who gets pregnant in high school, marries the father, has the baby, gives up an education at a prestigious university, basically feels she threw away her life. This cautionary Afterschool Special tale is, I guess, meant to impress upon TGITGS the utter irresponsibility of having sex with her boyfriend. See what happened to that other girl when she had sex??
OK. There are many reasons not to have sex, especially if it's because of pressure from someone else. And lots of people have less than magical first times, although it does get a whole lot better. But Abby's answer is right out of 1950s.
Dear, dear Abby: I hear there are things out there called contraceptives. I'm not exactly sure what they are since our school won't teach us about them, and advice columns won't talk about them either. But rumor has it that I can have sex and not get pregnant if I use them properly. Not only that, there are also some pretty good ways to protect me from STDs. Why are you keeping them a secret? When did you join the abstinence lobby?
If TGITGS loves and trusts her boyfriend and wants to see what all the fuss is about sex-wise, the advice Abby should give is "If you're going to have sex, protect yourself from pregnancy and STDs, so you don't end up forced into a life, any life, you didn't choose."
[Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.]