When I read that former Saturday Night Live star Victoria Jackson was using her right wing Tea Party-supporting blog to tell the world that making out gets you pregnant, I had the reaction you probably had to the headline above. Sputter. Sputter. Um, what? Is this the next "let's put our kids in bubbles" scare tactic?
With her declaration "conservatives are proud if their children are virgins on their honeymoon. Liberals are proud if their children wear condoms in the eighth grade. Why would I want to be a liberal?" she is awfully easy to dismiss as just trying to shock. But I'm a mother. My kid has been getting a few too many kisses on the cheek at kindergarten. I had to read this. I've got to say, she's spectacularly wrong. And she's absolutely right. Jackson sat down to talk to her teen daughter about it, and the way she sees it, kids don't have romance anymore. They have sex.
My teenager then proceeded to tell me a long, sad story that involved the absolute absence of romance in the life of the modern-day teenager. My heart breaks for her generation. She said, "It's not a special, secret thing anymore ... it's a joke ... and it's not 'sex' or 'making love' ... it's 'smush, smash, bang, tap, hit ...'"
I'm younger than Jackson and I'm not from quite as strict a home as she describes (we listened to the radio, and I was allowed to watch movies rated higher than G by the time I was 9 or 10 ... we were quite the sinful crew). But growing up in a home without a television, in the day and age before Miley and Britney both, I wasn't exposed to quite the level of sexual innuendo in today's media.
And we didn't have a heck of a lot of romance either. This wasn't Bye, Bye Birdie, and getting pinned had a much naughtier connotation. Classmates lost their virginity at 15, 16. We lived in a small town in upstate New York with long cold winters and no public transportation. So you went to hang out at someone's house, started making out, and eventually got tired of it. There was nothing else to do, so sex eventually happened (although I should be clear, as my mother is reading this, that I did wait around for the guy I would marry -- this didn't happen with every guy).
And if your parents were like typical small town folks, they were both out working, leaving you two to your own devices. There's a reason every graduating class from as far back as I can remember in my small town has had at least one pregnant girl (or newly delivered baby in the audience).
Jackson is wrong. It isn't a lack of romance that gets kids pregnant. It isn't making out that gets you pregnant. It's boredom. And busy parents.
But she's also absolutely right. Making out does not get your pregnant in the "sperm meets egg" sense. If your kids are making out, it doesn't even mean you need to start dialing up the "Oh my God, I don't want to be a grandma" hotline anytime soon. But it can only last so long. It's like taking one bite of chocolate cake. And then another. And then another. How long before you have the whole thing gone and you have to move on to the apple pie?
The good news is this can be applied to the grownups too. If you're tired of all that "try to make a baby sex" after months of trying, maybe it's time to go back to making out for awhile. It will only leave you wanting more ...
Image via jonrawlinson/Flickr