Steve Said No: A Compelling Message for Teen Abstinence

In the last edition of Connector, we ran an article called Wet Mascara, a story about a high school girl who said no to sex. This time we’d like to share the same point-of-view, this time from a guy’s perspective. It was originally published in Voice Magazine and written by Steve Denniston.

“I sit here in the dark on the hood of my car overlooking the city, and I’m full of indecision, frustration and hurt. I feel like going and driving up in the hills as fast as I can with the music on so loud I won’t even be able to hear the engine or the squealing tires. But instead, I’ve chosen to sit here in silence, by myself, trying to sort out my thoughts and staring at the lights of the city.

“I think back to the discussion we had tonight. You just couldn’t handle my morals. You misunderstood what I said. ‘Do you think I’m pretty?’ you asked. Do you think I’d bother with someone I thought was ugly? I had always noticed you in the crowd. You always stood out; you probably always will. ‘Do you love me?’ you asked. Do you think I’d go out with someone for three months if I didn’t think there was a future? I put a lot of time and effort into trying to make you feel like you were someone very special to me.

“‘If you think I’m pretty, and if you love me, then why won’t you? I love you too.’ After all I had said, you still didn’t understand. And so you left my car to go find someone who thought you were pretty, who loved you, and who would also take you to bed as that final proof. All you said during the ride home was, ‘Forget it, it’s not worth the trouble.’ I knew you didn’t mean you had dropped the argument. You had dropped me.

“That wasn’t the only time we had talked about having sex. You had pressed me other times, and I had declined then too. I guess about the time I ran out of reasons, you ran out of understanding, and you weren’t about to listen to me again. You thought my reasons were stupid or, as you put it, ‘little petty excuses.’

“She thought my ‘excuses’ were stupid, but are they? You can’t deny that the more you play around with fire, the more likely you are to get burned. The less you sleep around, the less likely you are to get something that will change your life for the worse.

“But, for me, it wasn’t only the AIDS scare, it was more than that. It’s always been easier for people to say ‘I love you’, rather than mean ‘I love you.’ I always loved you, even when we fought. You just couldn’t see that. And it was this love that kept me from taking you to bed. How can I make you understand that love is patience, not lust?

“I’m also not ready for the pressures of a sexual relationship and what it brings. It just isn’t only fun and games -it just isn’t being close – it’s also responsibility. You could get pregnant, and I wouldn’t even go into that. I’m not ready to be a father.

“When we first started dating, I wanted to get to know you better. Most couples usually say that, I guess. After a few months they think they know each other and they’re ready to progress into something bigger and better. I think about my best friend whom I’ve known for seven years. To think I knew him in two months is ridiculous. I still find out new things about him that surprise me.

“What it boils down to is this: what is going to help our relationship grow more? Being close and intimate physically, or talking and learning more about each other? When we fight, what solves our problems more often – a kiss or talking it out?

“Intimacy is something else we differ on. You thought being intimate had to be physical. In your opinion, the closest form of intimacy is sex, which you wanted. For me, intimacy doesn’t have to be physical – talking can be intimate.

“And, finally, I’m a Christian, and I have a responsibility to keep myself pure in God’s eyes. He wouldn’t look at us, realize we were in love and decide sex was okay just because we loved each other. If you tried to destroy every reason I thought of, this one would still stand. You will never change my relationship with God.

“Having thought all of this through now, I guess I feel a bit better. The hood of my car where I’m sitting is getting cold, so I guess I’ll go home. It still hurts that you’ve left me. I still feel frustrated. If you could have understood, it might have worked out. But my indecision is now gone, my beliefs are firm. I just hope you won’t get hurt living the way you believe. I know I won’t.”

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