When I visited middle and high school classrooms to talk about sexual choices, I handed them a chart similar to this one. I even brought poster-sized laminated charts to hang on the classroom wall.
Might as well see what sexual gambling looks like—I called it the sex roulette chart.
Scare tactic? Yes, and on numerous occasions I was accused of using STD statistics as emotional manipulation. But how often do we ignore the facts and roll with our feelings?
Every choice has a consequence and for preteens and teens, it’s easier to go with the flow of hormones—unless you have a better reason not to.
Everyone deserves to know their odds if they’re going to gamble. Even Planned Parenthood changed their propaganda from “Safe Sex” to “Safer Sex”.
But let’s pretend there was an invincible latex shield that prevented any sexually transmitted infection, would that stop sex roulette? STDs aren’t the only danger. Loss of intimacy is worse—never having the chance to really bond with your mate—something sex was designed to do. It’s all about oxytocin—that heaven-blessed hormone that’s released during sex, bonding the couple together. Think of a fresh piece of duct tape. Real sticky. But when you use the same piece of tape over and over, it loses its ability to stick. Same with multiple sex partners—it’s like repeatedly breaking the bond. After awhile, it makes it hard to stay bonded to anyone. This is something “Bob” knows too well.
Bob loved sex. He hated commitment. He wasn’t one to keep track of his sex partners, but once he was into his thirties he began to realize that none of his girlfriends mattered to him—and worse, he didn’t really matter to anyone else either. Most of his friends had “settled down” so now he was on his own more often. But what was worse than the loneliness was the emptiness of sharing his bed with someone he didn’t really know. Sex Roulette for Bob cost him a secure relationship. Now instead of sitting in a bar, he’s sitting in church. He’s looking for peace instead of personal pleasure. He’s rebuilding his own heart so he won’t break any one else’s. It’s the best place to begin.
Sex Roulette was particularly cruel to “Cara and Mike”. Neither thought sex was a big deal before they were married. But after the honeymoon, ever so slowly their discontent came to bed with them. Oh, they didn’t recognize it at first, but Cara wondered if she measured up to the other women Mike had known. And then Mike couldn’t seem to stop the lust he felt when he looked at other women. Secretly he couldn’t imagine having to remain faithful to Cara the rest of his life. One of Cara’s friends asked her to come to a woman’s Bible conference. For the first time in her life, Cara realized she’d never forgiven Mike or herself for the past. She now held one piece of the puzzle that would help put her marriage back together.
Sex is fun and exciting and Hollywood portrays all the heightened emotions. Sadly, movie-sex is rarely attached to marriage where it belongs.
If I had a chance to talk to teens again, I’d still give them the STD chart, but share that there is something far more special waiting for them if they save sex for marriage. Sex Roulette doesn’t gamble money; it gambles hearts and lives and it always ends the same—no one wins. And marriage needs a lot more winners.