DEAR READERS: Yesterday I printed some of the avalanche of mail I received when I asked readers to tell me how they just said "No" to sex. During the rest of this month I'll devote one column a week to other terrific responses.
DEAR ABBY: Parents are their children's most valuable sex educators and should not only provide them with "the facts," but also make sure they are familiar with the most frequently used "lines" they'll hear, so they won't fall for them.
They include: "You would if you loved me." "Everyone's doing it!" "I won't hurt you." "I'll still respect you." "I'll stop when you say so." "No one will ever know."
It's important that young women practice what they'll say before they are faced with the situation, because in the heat of the moment it's often too late. Josh McDowell, the author of "How to Help Your Child Say 'No' to Sexual Pressure," has provided the following pressure lines and possible answers:
Line: "Everyone's doing it."
Reply: Then you won't have a problem finding someone else.
Line: "If you love me, you'll have sex with me."
Reply: If you love ME, you'll respect my feelings and stop.
Line: "Want to get in the back seat?"
Reply: No, I'd rather sit up front with you.
Line: "Sex will only cause our love to grow."
Reply: Into what? Parents?
Line: "You don't know what you're missing."
Reply: That'll make two of us!
Line: "Don't worry, I'll use protection."
Reply: You're going to need protection when Daddy finds out what you're trying!
-- JOYCE LE BRIGHT, MILFORD, DEL.
DEAR ABBY: My response to boyfriends who want sex: "Show me an income, enough responsibility to be a good husband and that you want to be a great father, and I'll have sex." It worked for me.
Girls who are afraid of being rude should remember: Don't be afraid of being rude, because once he finds out that he's going to be the father of your child and will have to support it until it's of legal age, he won't think twice about being rude to you by denying he's the father and trying to ditch you and the baby.
The "reward" for a date should be your company. It shouldn't be sex. -- DEBORAH FROM TACOMA, WASH.
DEAR ABBY: My daughter dated a young man she was crazy about for only five weeks when he began pressuring her for sex. Here's what she told him: "OK. It'll cost you about $75."
He asked her why.
"You'll need it for the license, the minister and the motel," she replied.
He said, "I get the point." Three months later he married her. -- PROUD MOTHER IN TAMPA, FLA.
DEAR ABBY: The concerned counselor who told you the teen-age girls she counsels are getting pregnant after "going out" with a guy needs to update her knowledge of the modern vernacular. The phrase "going out" has replaced "going steady," and carries with it the implication of an intimate, long-term relationship that probably does include sexual intercourse. Those teen pregnancies she's encountering are more than a case of girls being unable to "just say no." -- JERRILYN KAPLAN, ALAMEDA, CALIF.
DEAR JERRILYN: You're right about the vernacular, but not necessarily correct about the teen-age girls.
DEAR READERS: My next column on how to rebuff unwanted sexual advances will appear on Wednesday, Sept. 11. Stay tuned!
DEAR READERS: If you would like your letter considered for publication, please include your name, area code and telephone number.
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.)