It feels great to be a virgin again.

Sex is so over—I can't think why I even bothered with it in the first place. Gone are the lubricants, the condoms, the old copies of Details, and the pile of video porn that was stacked according to user reliability; I won't tell you I didn't get a little bit misty discarding The Pizza Boy—He Delivers, but then, goodbyes are always difficult, aren't they? I even threw out my CD remix maxi-single of Madonna's Erotica because, really, I don't need any complications at a time like this.

As with the other earnest young souls featured in Newsweek's recent cover story about "The New Virginity," I have George W. Bush and his manipulation of American values through federal funding to thank for my recent choice to just say "no." Like Lucian, an 18-year-old "renewed virgin" in the article who admits to finding sex pleasurable but emotionally complex, I've now realized how awkward and time-consuming it is to be forced to deal with real human feelings and have opted instead for night jogs. Lucian plans on abstaining until he's married, which he hopes is sometime by the age of 30; being older and more experienced, I'm figuring I can hold out until I'm about 50, when I will settle down with a tolerant woman who won't mind pitch blackness and saying, "Dude, we have to be quiet, because my girlfriend's asleep upstairs," in a desperate but commandingly mannish voice.

Oh, I know I'll be one of the oppressed now, like all straight, white, middle-class Christians are, but I don't care—I know George is looking out for us. According to Newsweek, the president has allocated $73 million for Special Projects of Regional and National Significance—which I'd like to nickname "SPuRNS"—to give only to those educational programs that encourage abstinence and stipulate that "sexual activity outside the context of marriage is likely to have harmful psychological and physical effects." All over America, apparently, our youth are being uplifted by Silver Ring Things—free parties featuring music videos, STD comedy sketches, and the chance to purchase a silver band that seals your pledge of chastity. And, oh, the fun they're having in schools now, watching slide shows featuring diseased penises.

Newsweek never mentions whether the subjects in its story furtively pound their privates like foaming bulldogs, though it's clear these kids can remain completely satisfied without nuisances like ejaculation. One young pair of abstainers in Colorado is captured ordering chicken Parmesan together: "They seem like a long-married couple," the article says, "except that they listen to the Dave Matthews Band, have a 10:30 weeknight curfew, and never go beyond kissing and hugging." (Sounds like a long-married couple to me.)

Meanwhile, I'm stuck here in a studio apartment without Matt Damon's bathtub scene in The Talented Mr. Ripley and the DVD zoom button. But I'll be OK. I've been informed how important this new morality is to our fervent Republican Congress: "There's certainly nothing in the election results that will push this in another direction," Newsweek quotes Oklahoma Rep. Ernest Istook Jr. Just think of the clean, pure future ahead of us. I know I am.


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