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voice in the wilderness
December 17, 2005 10:54 PM   Subscribe


 
Intresting that of the three cards to use human-form clipart, all three were pictures of dudes.
posted by delmoi at 11:08 PM on December 17, 2005


Just in time for Christmas
posted by Bighappyfunhouse at 11:20 PM on December 17, 2005


wow...and here i was thinking that was just another witty family guy punchline...
posted by Doorstop at 11:50 PM on December 17, 2005


There's an April Fools prank that could get out of hand pretty fast.
posted by 517 at 12:02 AM on December 18, 2005


that third link is disturbing... I hear more and more about 16 year olds and younger having sex and it is sad. I think there needs to be less "safe sex" being thrown at them and more "abstinance" thrown at them.

Someone was telling me today of a 10 year old mother. Also, I was talking to a 16 year old who "loves her boyfriend" so she and he are getting married.

This is getting out of hand. Am I the only one appalled at this?
posted by subaruwrx at 12:11 AM on December 18, 2005


517: My first thought too, though I expect that no one will really wait until April.
posted by Kickstart70 at 12:20 AM on December 18, 2005


Interesting. Someone send a box of these to Anonymous.
posted by scarabic at 12:20 AM on December 18, 2005


"safe sex" being thrown at them and more "abstinance" thrown at them

how about just educating them, giving them the pertinent facts and not dictating to them what to do?

I mean, this chart oughtta scare people straight (so to speak):


posted by Heywood Mogroot at 12:32 AM on December 18, 2005


how about just educating them, giving them the pertinent facts and not dictating to them what to do?

Eh, I don't know. Telling kids what to do has been a way of child rearing since like people crawled out of the ocean. So maybe there's a little more substance to it than "educating" a bunch of 10-16 year olds and expecting them to make an informed, proper choice. You really think that's a good idea? You ever, like, been around teenagers? You think these are people who are going to make smart decisions? Give me a break.
posted by xmutex at 12:34 AM on December 18, 2005


Roses are red,
Violets are blue.
I have the clap,
And so might you.
posted by Justinian at 12:34 AM on December 18, 2005


oh christ, yeah, that's not gonna be abused at all. what a miserable idea.
posted by spiderwire at 12:36 AM on December 18, 2005


How about telling 'em what to do, and telling 'em why that's the right thing?
posted by scarabic at 12:37 AM on December 18, 2005


how about telling 'em what to do AND THEN THE CHASTITY BELTS.
posted by spiderwire at 12:40 AM on December 18, 2005


...Inspot administrators in San Francisco said fewer than 1 per cent of emails sent out since the service began there had turned out to be hoaxes.

Who knows how that stat will act once this gets going across the country.

One city councilman in West Hollywood...described the anonymous postcard route as a "chicken way" to pass on vital personal information.

This was my first thought about the whole thing. I imagine a teary conversation (maybe screaming match) with people I've slept with as a vital part of getting an STD. Then again, I haven't slept with a lot of people (and probably won't, way things tend to go) so maybe it'd be different if I had to do that 20 times. That said, I think Blue Mountain needs to get in on this.

As for the kids, my middle school teacher friends tell me giving head is the new french kiss. Jesus.
posted by carsonb at 12:46 AM on December 18, 2005


How about training them from youth to make good decisions, and teach them about sex. Earn their trust, tell them not to, let it all go.

Seriously, how bad of a parent can you be to let your 10 year old get pregnant?
posted by subaruwrx at 12:48 AM on December 18, 2005


I think we should educate our children on the elements of fire safety, trust their good judgement, and then give them a blowtorch and let it all go.
posted by carsonb at 1:02 AM on December 18, 2005


I already got one as a Christmas card prank from a friend (who was not a former sexual partner).

"What the - wait a minute, we never - awww, you ass."
posted by deusdiabolus at 1:13 AM on December 18, 2005


oh christ, yeah, that's not gonna be abused at all. what a miserable idea.

I just used them as Christmas Cards.
posted by Citizen Premier at 1:16 AM on December 18, 2005


And, it seems it was not an original idea...
posted by Citizen Premier at 1:17 AM on December 18, 2005


This brings to mind an idea: before shtupping someone, imagine having to tell them down the line that you've got an STD and they may have been exposed. If you can't imagine doing that in some way other than an anonymous wimp-ass e-mail, then maybe you should just go home and masturbate.
posted by Dreama at 1:20 AM on December 18, 2005


And, well, teaching abstinence in school is a good idea, but if that solved problems then we wouldn't need schools at all--just good preachers. Fact is, it's better to have kids having safe sex then just plain old sex. Or maybe we should teach kids that vaginas have teeth and anal sex turns your dick brown.
posted by Citizen Premier at 1:21 AM on December 18, 2005


Vaginas with teeth... I like where you are going with this Citizen Premier.

What else can we tell them? Your penis falls off the first time you have sex?
posted by subaruwrx at 1:24 AM on December 18, 2005


What else can we tell them?

Oh, how about that sex for purely physical reasons often leads to regret. And maybe we could talk to them about the characteristics of a good, loving relationship. And how to communicate well. And how nobody should stand for contemptuous or abusive treatment.

I know I will be teaching my daughter about all of these things. And pregnancy prevention, and stds, and so on.
posted by beth at 1:40 AM on December 18, 2005


Oh yeah, and while we're at it can we also teach them about how (most) real women aren't like the women in porn who seem to love being degraded? I think that's a valuable lesson as well.
posted by beth at 1:42 AM on December 18, 2005


beth writes "real women aren't like the women in porn who seem to love being degraded?"


I'd say they love the massive paycheck more than the whole being degraded thing.
posted by brundlefly at 1:53 AM on December 18, 2005


Since when does sex for purely physical reasons lead to regret? Not true so far as I can tell.
posted by Justinian at 1:53 AM on December 18, 2005



Since when does sex for purely physical reasons lead to regret? Not true so far as I can tell.


Since God-Jesus made the sex rules, of course!
posted by Citizen Premier at 2:33 AM on December 18, 2005


Since when does sex for purely physical reasons lead to regret? Not true so far as I can tell.

I never claimed it did by definition. Read what I wrote. I said "often". I was talking about my own experience.
posted by beth at 3:31 AM on December 18, 2005


carsonb--

I'd almost buy your blowtorch analogy if (1) the need to use blowtorches was a fundamental human drive, akin to the need to eat or the need to avoid pain; and (2) If for most adults, the regular, competent, creative use of blowtorches was an expected part of life, and an essential aspect of any long-term romantic relationship.

What else can we tell them?

That the guy or girl they're ass-over-tea kettle in love with right now may well seem like a bad joke in five or ten years. That this will be an even worse joke if they owe that person child support, or if they have incurable, chronic weeping sores thanks to that person.

(I've also thought up lots of sobering-yet positive, empowering things to tell my notional children about this subject, but the one abo
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 3:46 AM on December 18, 2005



Oops. Sorry. Ignore the broken parenthetical at the end of that.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 3:46 AM on December 18, 2005


I find it bizarre that the cards are so much like expensive advertising, & with cute phrases - almost jokes. I'm ignorant of money making and the web.

In theory, do the creators of the website make money off this?

Here's mine.
posted by Amizu at 5:51 AM on December 18, 2005


well, that link only works temporarily. But I tried sending it, and it sent immediately - no "are you sure you really want to send this?!" message.
posted by Amizu at 5:52 AM on December 18, 2005


"Once you give it up to a boy, they think they run things. . ."

Virgin.
posted by Marnie at 5:55 AM on December 18, 2005


Palmcorder, they're not gonna listen. The hormones rule. :-\
posted by keptwench at 6:21 AM on December 18, 2005


> how about just educating them, giving them the pertinent facts and not
> dictating to them what to do?

Q. What's pink with red stripes? A. A baby playing with a razor blade.

Subaruwrx was explicitly talking about Underage-Americans, i.e. teenagers. Children. You can "present pertinint facts" to childrens' minds 'til the cows come home and chances are excellent they won't go in. (That's true of adults also, of course, but we haven't given up on the children yet.)
posted by jfuller at 6:22 AM on December 18, 2005


Inspot administrators in San Francisco said fewer than 1 per cent of emails sent out since the service began there had turned out to be hoaxes.

anonymous service and they can generate such statistics? that statement from "inspot administrators" is the hoax.

weird that none of the answers to the questions on the third link simply said, "if you are 13 and someone has sex with you, that person can go to prison for the rest of their lives, or can be prosecuted as a sex offender just for asking."
posted by 3.2.3 at 7:48 AM on December 18, 2005


Guilt free, nice, just never send one to me please!
posted by RhidianJ at 7:55 AM on December 18, 2005


You really think that's a good idea? You ever, like, been around teenagers? You think these are people who are going to make smart decisions?

Actually, my teenage children *do* make smart decisions.

Getting them to do what I tell them though, is another matter all together.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 8:18 AM on December 18, 2005


But's it's like terrorism--you only have to be wrong once (or drunk, or high, or whatever) and your life is fucked. What gets me is how many people think all STD's (including AIDS!) have a cure. Scary. More internet porn for me, please.
posted by bardic at 8:30 AM on December 18, 2005


What else can we tell them?

That sex is overrated, and a nice cup of tea is much preferable.

(But we won't tell them that Boy George said that, and that he was having a hangover anyway, so he didn't really mean it...).

Lies, scare tactics, and a sprinkling of moralism have always proven very effective with teenagers! No reason to change approach.
posted by funambulist at 8:32 AM on December 18, 2005


*But* need more coffee
posted by bardic at 8:36 AM on December 18, 2005


that third link is disturbing... I hear more and more about 16 year olds and younger having sex and it is sad. I think there needs to be less "safe sex" being thrown at them and more "abstinance" thrown at them.

Except that those 16 year olds are going to be 18 year olds, 21 year olds, and probably married 30 year olds eventually. So when do you start teaching people how to make responsible and informed decisions regarding sex and sexuality?

jfuller: Subaruwrx was explicitly talking about Underage-Americans, i.e. teenagers. Children. You can "present pertinint facts" to childrens' minds 'til the cows come home and chances are excellent they won't go in. (That's true of adults also, of course, but we haven't given up on the children yet.)

Living in a community with more than its share of people between the ages of 18-22, I'd disagree with the idea of a hard and fast line of adulthood. But let's get the facts rather than the fraud on the table. EVERY safer-sex program I've ever seen teaches that abstinence is the best way to reduce one's risks of pregnancy and STDs. EVERY SINGLE ONE. The primary debate from what I can see is whether it is a good thing to withhold information these people will need as they enter into adult sexual relationships.

I also think it's rather foolish to ignore the fact that kids are learning about sex in other ways, including exploring their own bodies, and conversations with their peers.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 8:39 AM on December 18, 2005


Some people seem to live in bubbles surrounded by white picket fences, right down the street from their harmonious white-collar congregation - where everyone is happy and life doesn't suck. My child won't do it if I tell them no! They do as I say!

So many people pass all sorts of judgement when they think eveyone out there is just like them. Anonymous post cards??! GASP!! Well you know what - maybe they didn't get off guilt free... but at the same time maybe they got their message through to someone they wouldn't have known they have an STD otherwise and ended up saving a life (or hundreds of lives).

Some people think eveyone has perfect little fucking automotons running around on the carpet that are going to follow every golden rule. If divorce rates show us anything - most families have plenty of 'fuck up' in them, so don't color yourself surprised when things don't turn out the way with your kiddies as planned. Better to have taught them to make the right choices than to put down a site that tries to help.

Fucking pretentious subaru drivers...
posted by matty at 8:40 AM on December 18, 2005


When do kids that age even have sex? I am having a difficult time thinking back to the opportunities that I would have had to have sex when I was that age. Couldn't drive anywhere. I sure as hell wasn't allowed to go to nighttime parties where there was drinking, etc. My parents would have let me have a girl over, but we certainly would not have been allowed to be alone anywhere.

I think that parents can shut down the opportunity, which would then go along way toward preventing it from occurring.
posted by flarbuse at 8:53 AM on December 18, 2005


My kid went to a year long program called OWL (at age 12-13) where they learned everything about love and sex. They saw couples (and singles) of every description doin' it (B&W drawings....less pornographic somehow than photos). They talked about love. They talked about birth control. They talked about STD's. Now I of course feel better about her decision-making capabilities, because she knows a hell of a lot more than most kids do about sex. And I don't worry about her encountering porno, which every kid will, anyway, on this internets thing...

Most parents would be too squeamish to send their kids to a sex ed class that includes butt-fucking and masturbation information....but a class that consists of telling kids "DON'T DO IT!" is not a class.
posted by kozad at 8:56 AM on December 18, 2005


I think that parents can shut down the opportunity, which would then go along way toward preventing it from occurring.

I can see how you might think that. However, I left home at 15, in order to escape from my overly controlling, domineering parents, and as such, got into far greater trouble than I ever would have done by being allowed to see girls alone and be at parties where there was alcohol.

And the streets are full of kids just like I was.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 8:59 AM on December 18, 2005


cool! sent one to everyone in my address book!
posted by quonsar at 9:11 AM on December 18, 2005


What else can we tell them? Your penis falls off the first time you have sex?

oh god it's so true :(
posted by cmonkey at 9:31 AM on December 18, 2005


My wife has co-workers who are desperately afraid that their daughters will get pregnant before finishing high school. My wife doesn't understand why they focus so much on protecting their daughters from having sex, period, without putting any effort into educating them about how to be safe if and when they do have sex. I mean, how can a parent who started having sex in high school expect their own kids not to do the same? My wife and I started having sex in high school, we used protection properly every time, and 15 years later we still have no kids.

Who knows. When I do finally have a kid, I guess I'll find out for myself how much fun it is to deal with all of this. Of course the way things are going, by then kids will probably be having sex for the first time at the age of 3. We know for a fact that kids are hitting puberty faster than they used to.
posted by caution live frogs at 10:23 AM on December 18, 2005


> I left home at 15, in order to escape from my overly controlling, domineering
> parents, and as such, got into far greater trouble than I ever would have done
> by being allowed to see girls alone and be at parties where there was alcohol.

Ever had one of those "Oh wow, I coulda hadda V8" moments when it dawns on you that, had you played it your parents' way, you wouldn't have gotten in trouble at all? Just wondering.
posted by jfuller at 11:47 AM on December 18, 2005


I hear more and more about 16 year olds and younger having sex

Disgusting!

Imagine! The little bastards are having their first sex experiences younger than we did!

We need to beat them with sticks! Terrify them! Lie to them! Rape them! Cut off their clitorises and foreskins! oh, wait, we already do all that - Well, let's do it harder!

Actually I tend to agree with St. Paul's teaching that Christians should be taught to live a life of perfect abstinence and celibacy. The sooner they all die out, the better for everyone else.
posted by cleardawn at 12:20 PM on December 18, 2005


I wonder how many of the people preaching abstinence to kids are abstinent themselves.

Stop whining, kids, and remember to stay abstinent - your stepmother and I are off to bed now...
posted by cleardawn at 12:37 PM on December 18, 2005


I'd just like to send out a "thanks a fucking lot, guys" to all of you who abused this system by sending out emails to all your buddies for a laugh.

Partner notification for STD/HIV is a crucial part of trying to control STDs and to get people into appropriate medical care, and this is an innovative (not flawless, of course) method that COULD prove to be very effective. Of course, though, it'll be that much harder to evaluate it as a tool and see if it could work because you guys are absolutely hilarious "OMG u hv the CLAP! rofflcopter!!!!1"
posted by tristeza at 4:31 PM on December 18, 2005 [1 favorite]


tristeza: No, that is the evaluation of the tool. It's too easily abusable (and not just for pranks -- think about exes taking revenge), which makes it a bad idea.
posted by spiderwire at 4:59 PM on December 18, 2005


Ever had one of those "Oh wow, I coulda hadda V8" moments when it dawns on you that, had you played it your parents' way, you wouldn't have gotten in trouble at all?

Nope. Not even after having kids of my own. I was just one of those kids that are temperamentally incapable of kow-towing to authority -- to the extent that I've always been somewhat happy to cut off my nose to spite my own face.

Even today, I see my choices at that time as being miserable and being dominated, or being miserable and being free. Trouble or not, I'd still choose the freedom. What eats me up was it really didn't have to be that way if only my parents had a little bit more flexibility and a little bit more common sense.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 5:40 PM on December 18, 2005


spiderwire, you have a great point. The good news is that this is not a tool that's just been cobbled together and thrown out there - there have been years of research and hundreds of thousands of dollars put into these projects and the creators are well aware of the abuse potential so they can screen for that and evaluate whether or not it's longterm viable.

I think I just took it personally when I read all the jokers upthread taking such glee in fucking with someone's very hard-won project.
posted by tristeza at 6:39 PM on December 18, 2005


tristeza: I think I just took it personally when I read all the jokers upthread taking such glee in fucking with someone's very hard-won project.

Who knows how many of them actually did it, though. I have to admit that it was my first thought, too (I didn't) and I considered making a joke about it. Seeing as I don't have any STDs, to the best of my knowledge, that seems a reasonable response. I just didn't post about it

Clearly this is something that you care about, so I think I understand your frustration, but it's certainly not a new thing that people are making light of a serious topic on teh intarwebs. :)

Also, the only two people who claimed to send them were Citizen Premier and quonsar. Do you, uh, read a lot of their comments? ;)
posted by spiderwire at 8:11 PM on December 18, 2005


10 year old mother.... Also, I was talking to a 16 year old who "loves her boyfriend" so she and he are getting married.

I think the 10 year old mother story is probably apocryphal, just from a biology standpoint.

As to 16 year olds getting married...I don't have an issue with that, personally. Considering the state of most marriages in the US, I'd be willing to bet that the chances of a teen marriage succeeding are just as good/bad as the chances of most everyone else. (Bias...I married my first husband when we were both teenagers. It was a good marriage for most of a decade, then...it was really, really awful...but age was never a factor in the dissolution of our marriage. )

Frankly, and I say this as someone old enough to be the mother of teenagers, it's absurd to treat all teenagers as children. Some are not...not physically, mentally, emotionally. Do they have the life experiences of their parent's generation? Of course not...but to treat a 16 year old like they are a 5 year old is absurd. Some teenager are ready to make steps that people decades older may not be ready to make.

Despite marrying young, my first husband and I still got college degrees, still went to graduate school, still had careers, started businesses, became successful by almost any standard American measurements of success.

Demanding that children ignore their own biological imperatives is absurd. Good lord, don't you remember what it was like? Cause it was a long-ass time ago, and I can still remember how a fingertip run across the back of my neck was enough to make me want to strip naked and make the beast with two backs where ever I happened to be at that moment. (Scorpio, doncha know.)

The only way to convince people of a biologically sexually active point in their development to not fulfill that monkey-brain impulse to fuck constantly, is to educate them about the consequences. With no bullshit, and no overwhelming puritanical moral overtones.

Just the facts. You can die. You can get pregnant. Abortion may or may not be an option, depending on where you live. There is no cure for AIDS. Explain the responsibilities and costs of treatment for curable STDs. Chart a budget of what it would cost to have a baby. Show them what the responsible side of sexuality is, so they realize it isn't just all slippery good fun.

But don't deny that it's slippery good fun and that most adults spend an inordinate amount of time thinking, planning, praying for it, and doing it. Kids know when you're lying.
posted by dejah420 at 8:15 PM on December 18, 2005


Actually, I do want to say something more about this.

This is not an innovative method, as far as I can tell. Why not just create an anonymous email address? How would that be any different than the relay function? It could easily be done. If you know you have an STD and you're actually concerned enough to let the other person know, I can't imagine that this site "lowers the bar" of difficulty enough to actually encourage you to let that person know.

However, I think that it does pretty clearly lowers the bar sufficiently to allow for pranks and revenge (i.e., I can't imagine many people creating a fake email address for this purpose, but this site affords both ease and credibility to the message), which strikes me as contrary to the central problem of STD prevention, which is reducing the stigma and fearmongering.
posted by spiderwire at 8:19 PM on December 18, 2005


dejah420, that's some interesting perspective. For the most part I agree with you. (You are however, wrong about the age at which a woman can get pregnant and the correlation of age-married and divorce rates. I do find your personal experience with marriage at a young age heartening, but you were certainly the exception to the rule.)

I think that you do hit on some things that really deserve highlighting.

First, that a no-bullshit, non-puritanical approach is important. However, I think we'd do well to keep in mind that the flip side of that coin is often a great deal of fearmongering. I went to a very liberal high school where the theory seemed to be "be honest but scare the shit out of them," so we got to go through the whole rigaramole of slides etc. And it worked -- I was terrified of STDs.

Funny part about this -- amongst all that fearmongering, I got a pretty inaccurate picture of the real world. At some point later, when I thought I might have an STD (didn't), it wasn't until that point that I learned it was a curable STD. And doing more research, I learned a great deal about just how low-risk a group I'm in, and that changed a lot of things for me. If my earlier health classes had just acknowledged that we'd all be having sex at some point and tried to educate us on how to do it in a more realistic way, it would have been a lot more effective than just trying to scare us away from it.

Demystification seems to me to be the key here. For many of us, sex with multiple partners isn't that high-risk of an activity. But I bet it sure as hell seems like it if you get an STD. It's a risky activity, to be sure, but keeping kids in the dark either by overstating or understating the risks just makes them more curious, IMO. If we were to talk to them about it like adults, my feeling is that they'd be a lot less fascinated by it.

Sort of like underage drinking -- many, many kids do it (and put themselves seriously at risk) simply because they haven't been taught to drink like responsible adults: socially, in controlled situations, not to excess. What I've witnessed about teen pregnancy and marriage has more often than not struck me as being about that rush to grow up than early maturity, like you're suggesting was the case for you.
posted by spiderwire at 8:46 PM on December 18, 2005


Legislation of morality, meh. It is a damn good thing (for me) there wasn't some rule banning my great-grandparents from getting hitched at age 14. Instead of worrying myself with other's idiocy, ignorance and indiscretion I'm going to educate my own kids and let the process of natural selection sort out the rest.
posted by HyperBlue at 10:07 PM on December 18, 2005


Wait, wait... You can get diseases from sex? Shit...
posted by Football Bat at 10:30 PM on December 18, 2005


We wouldn't even need sex education programs if parents were willing to just take their kids to the local vet...
posted by Citizen Premier at 2:33 PM on December 19, 2005


We wouldn't even need sex education programs if parents were willing to just take their kids to the local vet... --Citizen Premier

Well, I think having your teenagers spayed or neutered might be overkill. (hee)
posted by dejah420 at 7:23 PM on December 19, 2005


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