Q Dear Miss Abigail:
I’ve been seeing my boyfriend for six months. He pressures me to have sex, but I don’t think I’m ready. What should I do?
A Dear Dina:
“Wait until you are ready!” is the right answer, I believe. But for a bit more information, let’s read from Sense and Nonsense About Sex, co-authored in the fabulous sixties by Evelyn and Sylvanus Duvall ~ “top sex and marriage consultants” according to the back of the book. I can always count on the Duvall’s to provide useful tips about maintaining control. Lucky, lucky me.
1962: Expressing Feeling of Love and Sex
Our young people must themselves have a considerable knowledge of what conduct is right, and the self-control to behave themselves. Here are some suggestions that may help.
The first essential is to know clearly what your own moral standards are, and what you will or will not permit. It is the boy or the girl who is ‘iffy,’ who has not made up his mind in advance and developed the controls to stand by his decision, who is most likely to get into trouble, not only regarding sex but in all matters.
Secondly, if you want to maintain the ideal of chastity, it is not wise to permit yourself or your date to become unduly aroused sexually. Be especially careful about heavy petting. In many, many instances, fine young people who had no intention of actual sex relations have gotton into serious difficulties. It all began so innocently. They merely sat down in a secluded spot to watch the moon with their arms around each other. But one thing led to another. Before they became aware of what had happened, they had both become aroused to a pitch that fairly swept them off their feet. Sometimes they became parents of a baby for whom they were not at all ready to provide. Even if one or the other had ‘come to’ before actual intercourse had taken place, the result was a distressing experience that spoiled the date and placed a barrier between them.
How much petting is proper for you who do not intend to go ‘all the way’? One simple answer is this. Stop before, or at least as soon as one or the other becomes ‘uncomfortable.’ Who should decide? The one that becomes uncomfortable first should. The one who actually has the moral standards will. Until you know what the moral standards of the other person are, and have come to know him or her fairly well, watch your step. Be alert to the signs that the other may interpret as your permission to go further than you intend. Unless you know from previous experience how much the other can be trusted, don’t let yourself get in a position where the other can take advantage. . . .
But suppose that the other person either intends to go all the way, or is shy about telling how he feels, what then? Use the same sense that you would if you were driving along a strange road. Go slowly and with caution until you have had enough dates together so that you both know what to expect.
Who is responsible for upholding the moral standards ~ the boy or the girl? The answer to this is easy. The moral standards should be upheld by the person who has them. Furthermore, on any date, each person should know what the moral standards of the other person actually are, so that there will be no embarrassing misunderstandings.
Source: Duvall, Evelyn M. and Sylvanus M. Sense and Nonsense About Sex. New York: Association Press, 1962.
~pp. 85-86 ~