Sex Has a Price Tag: Discussions about Sexuality, Spirituality, and Self-respect

( 18 )

Overview

“If I only had known what could happen, I would have made a different choice!”

After a decade in a crisis pregnancy center, as well as counseling both Christian and non-Christian teens and speaking to millions of students through the years, Pam Stenzel has heard this statement many times. From girls and guys like you. And yes, sex is glorious. Sex is God-given. But sex outside of God’s boundary has far-reaching consequences—a price tag of incalculable costs.

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Sex Has a Price Tag: Discussions about Sexuality, Spirituality, and Self Respect

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Overview

“If I only had known what could happen, I would have made a different choice!”

After a decade in a crisis pregnancy center, as well as counseling both Christian and non-Christian teens and speaking to millions of students through the years, Pam Stenzel has heard this statement many times. From girls and guys like you. And yes, sex is glorious. Sex is God-given. But sex outside of God’s boundary has far-reaching consequences—a price tag of incalculable costs.

Sex Has a Price Tag is frank but also sympathetic. Inside are searing personal testimonies, medical stats, and practical solutions; encouragement in the form of Biblical examples; support and networking options, alternatives to dating situations, and advice about abstinence, urges, the physical and emotional effects of sex, as well as where to go for help and dealing with friends, parents, and your own self-respect.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780310748854
  • Publisher: Zondervan
  • Publication date: 3/3/2015
  • Pages: 144
  • Sales rank: 707,783
  • Age range: 13 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Pam Stenzel is an internationally respected expert on sex, love, and relationships. With an M.A. in counseling psychology, she possesses an in-depth understanding of the perils that young people face as they make adult choices. Pam is an in-demand communicator who has appeared on numerous national television and radio programs, including the Hannity and Colmes Show, the Sean Hannity show, The Dr. Laura Show, The 700 Club, and Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher. The founder of Enlighten Communications, Inc., she is the award-winning creator of a number of videos on the subjects of sex, abstinence, and relational issues for teens. Her books include the recent Sex Has a Price Tag. Pam travels nationally and internationally, speaking to over 500,000 teens annually. She lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Crystal Kirgiss teaches writing at Purdue University and is the author or co-author of more than ten books, including What’s Up With Boys?, Sex Has A Pricetag, Girls, Guys, and A Teenager’s Daily Prayer Book. She’s been married to Mark, a Young Life area director, for 25 years and they have three college-aged sons. Crystal also writes the monthly “Guys” and “Girls” columns for YouthWalk magazine.

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Read an Excerpt

Sex Has a Price Tag


By Pam Stenzel, Crystal Kirgiss, Rick Marschall, Lorna M. Hartman, Linnea Lagerquist

ZONDERVAN

Copyright © 2003 Youth Specialties
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-310-74885-4



CHAPTER 1

Things You'll Never Know


It's the first day of junior high Health class. You're sitting in the back row with your friends. You can't decide if you're excited or nervous. Scared or thrilled. You've been waiting for weeks to learn about important stuff, like s-e-x, but you're not sure you want to be learning it from Mr. Henderson—the seventh-grade basketball coach and personal friend of your parents who also happens to go to your church.

When Mr. Henderson walks into the room, you know things aren't going to be good. He looks mad. No, he actually looks worried. Or maybe scared. He clears his throat, glances at the room, turns to the chalkboard, and starts drawing a diagram. His hand is trembling.

At first the picture looks kind of like a smiley face—two eyes and a little mouth. Then it starts to look like a frog. Make that a smiling frog. Two smiling frogs. Wait ... make that two smiling frogs doing a strange dance. Without turning around, the teacher says, "Today we'll be discussing the reproductive systems of boys and girls. If anyone giggles, we'll just forget the whole thing and do worksheets for the next six weeks."

He points to the first smiling dancing frog-looking thing and says, "This is the female reproductive system, comprising fallopian tubes, ovaries, uterus and vagina." He points to the second and says, "This is the male reproductive system, comprising urethra, penis, and testicles."

At the mention of testicles, you and your friends start giggling uncontrollably.

The teacher slams down his piece of chalk, shattering it into dust particles, and frantically erases the board. The back of his neck starts turning bright red and his ears quiver nervously. In a stern but shaking voice he says, "Take out your workbooks, class, and turn to the chapter on personal hygiene. This week we'll study B.O."

So much for that.

Nothing is more likely to kill the thrill of junior high sexual curiosity than the mention of human perspiration.

Sexual curiosity is normal, especially in young children. In their innocence, they realize that a great mystery surrounds the human body and its many functions. In fact, mystery is exactly the word the Bible uses when describing the relationship between a man and woman.

So how did we end up with the picture of sex so prevalent in today's society?

Let's look at school first. Sex education has managed to reduce the mystery of sex to a simple biological function.

"The male penis enters the female vagina. Presto. Sex."

Of course, schools must cover all the bases, so they add the following.

"Sex, by the way, can result in pregnancy or the contraction of an STD, so be sure to use a condom. Let's all open our sample condoms together and practice, um, using them, um, I mean, take a look at them, shall we?"

And then, for good measure, they add one last thing.

"Remember, don't have sex with anyone until you're ready."

With any luck, everyone will pass the class and a whole new population of sexually educated teenagers will hit the halls.

If you missed the unit at school, no problem. Just spend a night in front of the TV.

Girl: "Oh, Jack. We've known each other almost a whole 15 minutes. Don't you think it's time we cemented our love by sleeping together right here, right now?"

Jack: "Yes, yes, yes. And since our time slot is almost over, there's no time to talk about the pros and cons. Let's just do it, confident that no one will get pregnant, contract a disease, experience any guilt feelings, or regret having slept with such a loser."

Girl: "Thank goodness every sexual encounter is always great and perfect. Who'd want to spoil a sweeps week episode with a disappointing, unfulfilling, and believable act of sex?"

Or maybe you'd rather watch a movie.

Boy: "Hey there, young beautiful lady. Why are you going to jump off the side of this boat into the dark churning waters of the angry ocean?"

Girl: "Because, even though I am beautiful and wealthy, I haven't yet found a dashing young man to sweep me off my feet and have sex with me, thus proving that I am valuable and worthy to walk upon this earth."

Boy: "Hey, if that's all you want, I'm not busy for the next few days. Whaddya say we spend, oh, maybe 48 hours pretending to get acquainted and then get down to business, if you know what I mean. That way, if the boat sinks and one of us drowns, the other one will have great memories for the next 50 years."


Give me a break.

Our society, which claims to know so much about sex, really knows nothing. Actually, less than nothing. If society knew the truth about sex, it would have to remove sex from every TV show, every movie, every book, song, and magazine. Do you know why? Because sex, the way it was intended to be, could never be reduced to a screen, a CD, or a piece of paper.

Here are some topics that schools and the media will never tell you about sex.

1. Sex is the most awesome, amazing, indescribable, unbelievable, extraordinary tool for giving pleasure to someone you love, but ...

2. It promises to be awesome, amazing, indescribable, unbelievable, and extraordinary only in the context of a committed, lifelong, one-man-one-woman relationship (known as marriage), because ...

3. In addition to being awesome, amazing, indescribable, unbelievable, and extraordinary, sex is often embarrassing at first and always messy (assuming everything is in good working order), and ...

4. Who would willingly risk embarrassment with a person who hasn't proved trustworthy?

5. Why engage in a behavior that is dangerously costly in every instance except one (more on this in chapter 4)?

6. Who'd spend $59.95 on a cheap stereo that will last for only a few months, when you could invest that money for a few years, let the principal and interest grow, and then buy a quality system that will last a lifetime?

Granted, that's a simplified version of things, but you get the idea.

CHAPTER 2

I Do, I Don't


From the way it's flaunted all over TV, magazines, music, movies, and books, you'd think sex was one of humanity's greatest inventions. The world takes a lot of pride in its sexual knowledge and ingenuity. Society seems to think the biological differences between men and women had no purpose at all until someone got this crazy idea of trying to fit Boy Part A with Girl Part B.

Which makes more sense to you—Adam and Eve accidentally inventing sex after bumping into each other one day in the garden? Or sex being part of the original plan when men and women were created?

In my opinion, it's obvious that sex was part of the original plan—why else would male and female bodies be different, and how else could the human race have survived? In that case, which makes more sense to you—that sex was intended only for reproductive purposes? Or that it had some deeper purpose involving a special relationship of love between two people?

What's more, it's obvious that sex was never intended to be a simple biological function whose sole purpose was to produce more humans. If that were the case, the only reason people would ever have sex would be to create another human being. When's the last time you heard of some guy using this pick-up line:

"Hey, baby, I'm feeling a deep desire to produce another human being, so whaddya say we have sex even though it's blah, boring, and neither one of us really wants to do it"?

Right.

In fact, creating another human life is the one thing many people don't want to do when having sex. Think about it for a minute: what are sexually active teens most afraid of?

Pregnancy. Clearly, then, they aren't having sex in order to carry on the human race.

Let's review—

1. Humans did not create sex, God did.

2. Since God created sex, he's the one who understands it the best.

3. Since God understands sex better than anyone, a person who wants to have great sex (and why would anyone want to have rotten sex?) needs to know what God says about sex.


Lucky for us, God isn't keeping the truth about sex a secret. He's one hundred percent willing to give us the inside scoop. Here it is—

Sex was created for one, and only one, situation—marriage. Sex will be all that it can be in one, and only one, situation—marriage.

People who are having sex can be divided into two groups—those who are married and those who aren't. Some people would like to add a few more groups—those who are almost married, those who think they might get married, those who've discussed getting married, etc. Those labels are just an attempt to blur the lines between two clear alternatives, something we're all really good at. If the lines are blurred, it's easier to make excuses for our decisions.

How many times have you had a conversation like this—

Parent: "Did you take out the garbage?"

You: "No, I forgot. I lost track of time. I was busy doing homework. But I meant to take it out."

Parent: "Oh, well if you meant to take it out, that's good enough for me."

Whatever.

Either you took out the garbage or you didn't.

Either you're married or you're not.

If you are not married, sex is not meant for you.

It's that simple.

Unless my Bible is missing a few pages, I've never read anything about Adam or Eve saying, "Hey God, before committing to this whole man-woman-lifetime-relationship thing, can we have a few weeks to, you know, try things out and see how it goes? I mean, if the sex isn't good, you're going to have to do a little more of your dust magic and create some options for us."

What a nightmare that would have been.

Or how about this scenario—Adam to God: "Hey, thanks for the woman. I'll use her to learn the ropes, you know, get this whole man-woman-sex thing figured out. Then when I'm really experienced, I'll let you know, so you can create someone new and exciting for me."

Please.

Here's another one—Adam to Eve: "I'm interested in hooking up with you now and then. Let's have sex whenever I'm feeling the need. But the rest of the time, I expect you to stay on your side of the garden. And don't be calling me every night just to talk and stuff. I'm not looking for a commitment or anything. If you need to talk, call God."

So much for the sensitive guy.

There are probably a million reasons why God made marriage the dividing line between those who should have sex and those who shouldn't. I'm going to give you two.

First, sex is best in the context of marriage. God's guideline gives you the best.

And second, God's boundary provides the best and protects from the worst.

Clearly, God's way is best. There can be no more blurring of the separating line. It is marriage.

If you haven't said, "I do," you'd better not be doing it.

CHAPTER 3

There's No Gun Pointed at Your Head


Now that we're all clear on the boundaries for sex—

if you're married, go for it if you're not, don't

—there shouldn't be any more confusion, right?

Wrong.

The question teens (especially Christian teens) ask me most often is, "If I can't have sex until marriage, then what can I do? How far is too far?

Where's the line between having a good time and remaining a virgin?"

In other words, "If I'm not married, how far can I go?!"

Many teens (especially Christian teens) are willing to live within a clear boundary line of "no sex outside of marriage" as long as they can create a loophole for certain sexual activity. How is this done? The same way all other loopholes are created—by blurring the lines. In this case, the goal is to make the line dividing "sex" and "not sex" as fuzzy as possible.

I used to think teens were the only ones confused about the definition of sex. But in the past ten years, it's become obvious that a lot of people—even former presidents—are confused about this. Obviously, it's not an age problem.

This might be news to you, but intercourse—the male penis entering the female vagina—is not the only behavior that constitutes sex. If you've done a lot of other "stuff" but always stopped short of intercourse, thinking this meant you hadn't had sex and were still a virgin, you may not like what I'm going to say. But I'm going to say it anyway. Why? Because you are too important and too special, and your life is too precious to live without the truth. My job isn't to make you feel good or bad about yourself. It's to give you the truth as clearly as possible.

The medical line that defines sex is this: Any genital contact at all, whether hand to genital, mouth to genital, or genital to genital, is sex.

To put it another way, if you've had any genital contact at all, you've had sex.

These are some of the names for different kinds of genital contact—hand job, oral sex, "outercourse," blow job, etc. You've heard them.

Teens often say to me, "Get real. Oral sex isn't really sex."

There isn't a single married couple who would buy that line. Can you imagine a married man returning from a business trip, informing his wife he'd had oral sex with some stranger, and saying, "But it's no big deal because oral sex isn't really sex."

Or a married woman telling her husband, "You know that guy who works with me and has an office beside mine? Well, sometimes we enjoy touching each other in the genital area, but it's okay because we never get totally naked and we never have intercourse, so it isn't really sex."

So much for being married happily ever after.

If you were married, would you let your spouse get by with that? Would you give your husband or wife permission to mess around with another person as long as they promised not to have intercourse? Of course not.

In the previous chapter, I said that the purpose of sex is not just to reproduce human beings. If it were, then intercourse would be the sole sexual act. Rather, sex is a physical expression of the commitment, trust, and interdependence that defines marriage. That means that sex starts long before a husband and wife are alone in their bedroom. When he puts his arm around her in the morning and says, "I love you," they can be having sex. When she squeezes his hand and smiles at him in a crowd of people, they can be having sex. When two people are married, they can have sex almost anywhere, any time. How great is that?! Who says God doesn't want you to have fun? He wants you to have a great time—which is only possible in the right context.

Several years ago, researchers did a study on who was having the best sex. Conventional wisdom says that the people who are having the best sex are those who've had a lot of experience with a variety of partners, and who feel free from rules and regulations about sexual activity—in other words, the people who have sex whenever they want with whomever they want.

Guess what?

Conventional wisdom is wrong.

According to the studies,

married Christian women are having the best sex.

That's right. Church women are the most satisfied group of sexually active people. I'm betting their husbands are pretty happy, too.

How cool is that?! Scientific research clearly supports what God's been saying from the very beginning. He's known all along how we can live life to its fullest. If we'd pay more attention to what he says, we'd all be more satisfied and content.

Masturbation is another kind of sexual activity. Essentially, it consists of having sex with yourself. There are many different opinions about masturbation, even within the church. In chapter 8, I'll lay out some of the physical and emotional consequences of masturbation.

Now that you know the medical definition of sex, let me draw a really clear line in the sand. In order to avoid all risks associated with sex and to live within God's boundaries, you must not cross this line: No genital contact of any kind outside of marriage.

Or this: Thou shalt not touch anything that is covered by a modest, grandmother-approved bathing suit.

Is the line still fuzzy?

If so, read the guidelines again.

Even after seeing the clear medical line in the "what is sex" sand, some of you might still have questions. Instead of asking, "Is everything up to but excluding intercourse okay?" now the question is, "Is everything up to but excluding genital contact okay?"

These are the kind of people who, if given the big wad of cash we talked about in the first chapter, would be asking, "How much am I allowed to spend?" instead of "How much could I save?" These are the people who are determined to spend at least something, just because they can. If that describes you, consider changing your question to this—"How can I save every possible penny now so that I can invest it, let it earn interest, and then spend and enjoy it even more later?"

Here's a new's flash for you–

waiting for sex has never hurt anyone.

I guarantee.

Guys, you won't die. Nothing will fall off.

Girls, you won't turn into a prude. The world won't cast you aside.

Rather, you will become known as someone who has depth, character, integrity, trustworthiness, and self-control. Someone who isn't controlled by a sexual drive like some animal, who stands for something, who's stronger than hormones, and who respects both yourself and others.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Sex Has a Price Tag by Pam Stenzel, Crystal Kirgiss, Rick Marschall, Lorna M. Hartman, Linnea Lagerquist. Copyright © 2003 Youth Specialties. Excerpted by permission of ZONDERVAN.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

Contents

INTRODUCTION, 6,
CHAPTER ONE Things You'll Never Know, 12,
CHAPTER TWO I Do, I Don't, 20,
CHAPTER THREE There's No Gun Pointed at Your Head, 28,
CHAPTER FOUR There's No Such Thing As A Free Lunch, 38,
CHAPTER FIVE Physical Consequences—Pregnancy, 48,
CHAPTER SIX Physical Consequences—STDs, 62,
CHAPTER SEVEN Emotional Consequences—Deep Hurt, 78,
CHAPTER EIGHT Spiritual Consequences—Soul Trouble, 90,
CHAPTER NINE Choosing a Personal "Financial Advisor", 102,
CHAPTER TEN Some Strategies on Saving for the Future, 118,
LETTERS TO PAM Real letters by real kids from real life, 132,
BIBLIOGRAPHY, 142,

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Customer Reviews

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    Posted September 24, 2011

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