Some 800 sexologists were asked at a recent world congress whether they would rely on a condom for protection if they had available the partner of their dreams and knew the person carried HIV. After a long delay, one hand was timidly raised in the back of the room. The speaker was irate. She told her audience “it was irresponsible to give advice to others that they would not follow themselves”.
Such advice centres on the myth of safe sex – a myth encouraged by a Federal Government-sponsored booklet in the December issue of Cleo magazine. A Liberal senator recently condemned the booklet saying most people “would have been disgusted with the articles”.
Supporters of the booklet, including Health Minister Dr Carmen Lawrence, retorted that young people were sexually active and needed such information. I have seen the sex guide and I have to agree with the senator – it is atrocious. Considering that the average reader of Cleo is a 12 to 16-year-old girl, this stuff is sexual dynamite.
We learn, for example, that bondage and sado-masochism are perfectly acceptable, provided you “keep all the equipment clean”. When whipping, make sure “that blood does not come into contact with any broken skin”.
We are also informed that a golden shower (urinating on your partner) is just fine, as long as you “avoid getting urine into broken skin”. Of course, oral and anal sex (described in full detail) are hunky dory as well.
Dr Lawrence defends the booklet, saying that kids are “doing it” anyway. But are they? Are most 13-year-olds engaging in bondage, golden showers and anal sex?
And if they are, many parents might rightly be asking, are not “guides” like this largely responsible for that behavior? By describing such behavior in “value neutral” terms, such guides appear to be endorsing them.
This guide is one lung ode to the mantra of safe sex via condoms. But given the failure rate of condoms, our young people are being encouraged to play Russian roulette.
Not one word is made of abstinence in this guide. Family Minister Rosemary Crowley has admitted that $250,000 of our taxes went into this booklet. It’s odd the way the Government advocates safe sex, when with every other unsafe behavior (smoking, drugs, drink driving) it tells us to just say no.
Why the double standards? Why not teach abstinence?