An open letter to the OU on their new pro-abstinence campaign
I know we’ve had words in the past. Well, at least, I know you and Kelsey have had words in the past and that I published them. But I digress. It’s very important you listen to me just this once, and that you listen clearly:
If you don’t want Jewish kids to shtup before they’re married, don’t lie and tell them that the reason they shouldn’t is because condoms are ineffective. You’re spreading dangerously false information that can actually increase the likelihood of Jewish kids contracting sexually transmitted diseases, which can pose a serious risk to their lives.
If they’re going to have sex — and trust me, they’re going to, whether you like it or not (whereas abstinence education is a proven failure) — you should encourage them to do it safely, otherwise you won’t only be dealing with a problem of promiscuity, but with an even bigger STD problem in the Jewish community than that which already exists.
Furthermore, if you’re serious about fighting intermarriage and promoting Jew-on-Jew coupling, you’re going to have a really hard time doing so when you’re scaring Jewish kids off from being intimate with one another. The Jewish establishment is spending millions annually to encourage Jewish kids to sleep with each other. Michael Steinhardt alone has spent a fortune trying to encourage Jewish kids to jump in the sack. Do you really want to counteract all their efforts by making sex with your fellow Jew a terrifying proposition? (Actually, now that I think about it, if you really want to stem the tide of unwedded sex in the Jewish community, wouldn’t you be better off keeping your kids home instead of sending them on trips to Israel?)
You’re sending mixed messages. Kids are confused enough as it is. Don’t make it more confusing. Lead by righteous example.
Honestly, if such a path is truly emesdik (truthful), you can make a case for tzenuah (modesty) and being shomer negiah (not touching the opposite sex) without promoting lies in the process. It’s unethical and it constitutes lifnei eiver (placing a stumbling block before the blind).
Frankly, I think your campaign would be more successful if you tell kids how much kinkier it is to wait. Tell ’em how dressing modestly is more erotic because it leaves more to the imagination, seeing how the mind is the most erogenous zone. Tell ’em how being shomer negiah and observing the laws of niddah (ritual purity) are really hot because it builds up the tension, making your partner’s most minor touch even more explosive. Show ’em the parallels between the frum approach to sexuality and sado-masochism. Hell, give ’em some incentive!
But don’t lie. Because they know you’re lying. Your kids probably know more about this stuff than you do (thanks, Internet!). And if they know you’re lying about this, you can be sure they won’t believe you about much else you have to say.