DEAR READERS: Last Wednesday I devoted my column to the third in a series of responses I received from readers when I asked them to tell me how they successfully say no to sex. Today we'll hear from the teen-agers:
DEAR ABBY: I'm a 13-year-old girl, and I, too, am being pressured to have sex. The boy has been my best friend for as long as I can remember. I know I should wait, but it's hard to say no. I tell him, "Being a teen-ager is tough enough. I don't want to risk STDs or getting pregnant." Girls shouldn't have sex until they're ready to commit. It makes life too complicated. I'm signing my name, but please don't print it. -- WANTS TO WAIT, PUYALLUP, WASH.
DEAR ABBY: I'm only 13, and I said no before the guy even asked me. I told him, "I'm too young and I'm not planning on having sex until I'm married." With AIDS out there, that's a good plan to me, and I encourage other teen-agers to wait. -- 13-YEAR-OLD IN MILWAUKEE
DEAR ABBY: I'm a 16-year-old virgin. I have been asked several times if I would have sex. I asked each boy, "If I was to get pregnant, how would you deal with it? Would you drop everything to support the baby?"
A lot of girls I know think they'll lose their guy if they say no. I say, if that's how it is, what do they think he'll do when he hears they're pregnant or have a disease? My position is: When I know my baby will be brought up in a loving home with the help of a good father, that's the day I'll take that leap -- and not before. -- CARRIE FROM KNOXVILLE, TENN.
DEAR ABBY: I'm a teen-aged girl getting ready to enter college, and I've had plenty of experience saying no. The most important thing to remember when you say no is to really mean it. Be completely serious, and if you have to, leave the location. You'd be surprised how many guys understand when you say no.
This is probably what your parents and teachers have already told you. It's all true; it really works. But only if you speak plainly. At the risk of sounding like a mother: If a guy doesn't stick around after you say no, he was probably only after sex in the first place. -- SAYING NO IN HAMPTON, VA.
DEAR ABBY: My ex-boyfriend asked me for sex on many occasions, and every time I had the same answer: "No." How did I do it? By sticking up for myself and what I believe in; by knowing I didn't have to if I didn't want to; by realizing I was not prepared for such an intimate relationship; and by asking myself, "Do I really want this?"
Some advice for other teens like me: If you're doing it for him, because he supposedly wants to show his love for you, don't even think about it. Don't sacrifice yourself for his satisfaction. It's not worth it.
Now some advice for parents: Please, talk to your daughters about sex. Tell them they don't need to do it with a guy to prove their love. We need your assurance more than anything. You may use my name. -- DAISY YOKLEY
DEAR ABBY: I'm a rare jewel among today's teen-age girls. I'm a 19-year-old virgin, and plan to remain one until I'm married.
When my boyfriend and I began dating, I told him up front my views on premarital sex. He didn't take me seriously at first and tested me, which led to a big fight. He now understands that I don't believe in sex before marriage and he respects me for it.
My advice: Be honest, open and straightforward about your views in the beginning, so there will be no misunderstanding. And if he can't accept it -- drop him! -- A PROUD VIRGIN
DEAR READERS: Next Wednesday, I'll devote another entire column to this important subject. Stay tuned ...
What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS, and getting along with peers and parents is in "What Every Teen Should Know." To order, send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, Ill. 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)
4520 Main St., Kansas City, Mo. 64111; (816) 932-6600