The Long, Hard Truth: A Guide to Young Sex

It seems a little odd that discouraging sex before marriage is the main theme in many high school sex-education programs, despite its ineffectiveness.
Dr. Roger W. Libby’s new book ‘The Naked Truth About Sex’ is ‘A Guide to Intelligent Sexual Choices for Teenagers and Twentysomethings’ and aims to educate young people about all aspects of sex, without preaching the ‘negatives’ of premarital sex. In fact, he encourages healthy sexual choices as a part of the human experience, instead of viewing it as something wrong or shameful.
Libby’s credentials include being a ‘board-certified sexologist’ as well as having a radio show in Atlanta called ‘The Pleasure Dome’ which takes sex-related questions from 15- to 22-year-olds.
The book is divided into nine chapters that cover everything from masturbation, to sexual identity, to safe-sex practices. Each chapter is followed by a Q-and-A section that includes questions submitted by young people with answers provided by Libby.
Libby recommends that teenagers wait until they graduate high school before they have sexual intercourse, although he acknowledges that many are not choosing to do so and they still need to be educated about safe sex. In fact, he cites statistics that 60 percent of people graduate high school having had sexual intercourse and he believes that this clearly points to the failure of our current sex-education programs.
Libby also recommends certain things to enhance sexual experiences, including doing Kegel exercises, eating sweet fruits to make your bodily fluids taste more pleasant and masturbating to explore your body and find out what feels good to you.
A point that Libby reiterates throughout the book is that he defines sex as not just intercourse, but includes things like making out and oral sex, because these are acts of sexual pleasure.
The book makes a very conscious effort to be easily understandable and Libby clearly wants his readers to know that he respects their independence and ability to make mature decisions.
One section of the book deals with ‘friends with benefits’ and the common confusion many young people have between love and lust. Although it was briefly mentioned in the book, Libby could have put more emphasis warning his readers about peer-pressure associated with the decision to have sex, which can come from either peers or from the media.
He also devotes an entire chapter to what he calls a ‘Pre-Sex Discussion’ or PSD, in which two people who are planning to have sex should discuss the emotional implications of their actions as well as what steps will be taken to ensure safe sex.
While Libby’s points are excellent advice for those who are inexperienced as well as those who have some experience with sex, he also assumes a high level of maturity among his readers, which may affect their interpretation of his advice.
There is no question that the information in this book would be much more effective at preventing unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases than what is being taught in most high schools around the country.
In general, this guide is a useful and even entertaining read, although I question its usefulness for a college audience. In reality, one probably can’t have too much advice when sex is involved, especially as it relates to one’s health and mental well-being.