Young People Ask . . .

What if I’m Invited to “Hook Up”?

“Kids hook up just to see how far they can go with each other and to see how many people they can have sex with.”—Penny.*

“Boys speak openly about it. They brag about how they have a girlfriend but still have sex with many other girls.”—Edward.

“Those who invited me to hook up were very up front about it. Saying no doesn’t stop them!”—Ida.

IN SOME lands they’re called hookups. In other places they’re known by a different term. In Japan, for example, they’re called take-outs, says young Akiko. “There is also the term sefre, meaning ‘sex friend,’” she says. “The only reason for your friendship is to have sex.”

Whatever the label, the meaning is the same—casual sex with no emotional strings attached.* Some youths even boast of having what are termed “friends with benefits”—acquaintances with whom they can have sex without the “complication” of long-term romance. “With a hookup, it’s about instant gratification,” says one young woman. “You get what you want, then you can walk away.”

As a Christian, you should “flee from fornication.”* (1 Corinthians 6:18) Knowing this, you likely strive to avoid situations that could get you into trouble. Sometimes, though, trouble comes to you. “At school, many boys have asked me to hook up with them,” says Cindy. The same thing could happen at work. “My manager invited me to hook up,” says Margaret. “He was so persistent that I had to quit my job!”

On the other hand, don’t be surprised if part of you is tempted. “The heart is more treacherous than anything else and is desperate,” the Bible says. (Jeremiah 17:9) A girl named Lourdes found that to be true. “I liked the guy who asked me to have sex with him,” she admits. Jane had a similar experience. “My emotions were strong,” she confides. “Saying no was one of the most difficult things I have ever had to do.” Edward, quoted earlier, also admits that staying chaste is not easy. “Many girls have offered me sex, and resisting is the most difficult struggle I have as a Christian,” he says. “It’s hard to say no!”

If you have felt similarly to Lourdes, Jane, and Edward but did the right thing in Jehovah God’s eyes, you are to be commended for doing what is right. You may be comforted to know that the apostle Paul also faced a continual battle with wrong inclinations.—Romans 7:21-24.

What Bible principles should you keep in mind if you are invited to have casual sex?

Know Why Casual Sex Is Wrong

The Bible condemns sexual relations outside of marriage. Indeed, fornication is so serious a sin that those who practice it “will not inherit God’s kingdom.” (1 Corinthians 6:9, 10) To resist the temptation to engage in casual sex, you must personally view the practice as Jehovah does. Virtue must be your choice.

“I firmly believe that Jehovah’s way is the best way to live.”—Karen, Canada.

“Much is lost when one ignores Jehovah’s moral laws just for a few moments of pleasure.”—Vivian, Mexico.

“Remember that you are somebody’s son or daughter, a friend to many people, and part of a congregation. You would let all these people down if you gave in!”—Peter, Britain.

The apostle Paul wrote: “Keep on making sure of what is acceptable to the Lord.” (Ephesians 5:10) By acquiring Jehovah’s view of fornication, you will be able to “hate what is bad,” even though it may appeal to the imperfect flesh.—Psalm 97:10.

Suggested reading: Genesis 39:7-9. Notice Joseph’s brave stand against sexual temptation and what enabled him to resist.

Be Proud of Your Beliefs

It is not unusual for youths to stand up proudly for and defend a cause that they believe in. As a Christian, your privilege is to defend God’s name by your exemplary conduct. Don’t be ashamed of your nonnegotiable view of premarital sex.

“Make it clear right from the start that you have moral principles.”—Allen, Germany.

“Don’t be apologetic about your beliefs.”—Esther, Nigeria.

“Peers will not respect your position on hooking up if you say something like, ‘My parents won’t allow me to date.’ You have to let your peers know that you are not interested in dating them.”—Janet, South Africa.

“The boys I went to high school with knew who I was, and they knew that their attempts would be a waste of their breath.”—Vicky, United States.

Taking a stand for your beliefs is a sign that you are becoming a mature Christian.—1 Corinthians 14:20.

Suggested reading: Proverbs 27:11. See how your actions can actually defend the greatest cause of all time—the sanctification of Jehovah’s name!

Be Firm!

Saying no is important. But some might misread your refusal as playing “hard to get.”

“Saying no could be viewed as a challenge, an obstacle to overcome, making it more like a chase.”—Lauren, Canada.

“Everything about you—including how you dress, how you talk, who you talk to, and how you relate to people—should convey your refusal.”—Joy, Nigeria.

“Your no must be firm and resounding.”—Daniel, Australia.

“Be strong! When a young man made a suggestive invitation to me, I said, ‘Get your hand off my shoulder!’ and I walked away with a stern look.”—Ellen, Britain.

“You have to be blunt and say that you are not interested and never will be. This is no time to seem meek!”—Jean, Scotland.

“One boy continued to bother me with invitations and derisive comments. The time came when I had to be extremely firm. Only then did the harassment stop.”—Juanita, Mexico.

“You need to make it clear that it is never going to happen. Never accept gifts from boys who are trying to get their way with you. They can use it against you, as if you owe them something in return.”—Lara, Britain.

Jehovah will help you if you show yourself to be firm. Based on his personal experience, the psalmist David could say of Jehovah: “With someone loyal you will act in loyalty.”—Psalm 18:25.

Suggested reading: 2 Chronicles 16:9. Note how Jehovah is eager to help those whose heart is complete toward him.

Use Foresight

The Bible states: “Shrewd is the one that has seen the calamity and proceeds to conceal himself.” (Proverbs 22:3) How can you follow that advice? By using foresight!

“Separate yourself as much as possible from people who talk about such things.”—Naomi, Japan.

“Avoid associations and situations that could be dangerous. For example, I have known some who gave in to temptation when they were under the influence of alcohol.”—Isha, Brazil.

“Don’t give out personal information, such as your address or phone number.”—Diana, Britain.

“Don’t freely give hugs to your classmates.”—Esther, Nigeria.

“Watch how you dress. Your clothes should not be provocative.”—Heidi, Germany.

“Having a good relationship with your parents and talking about this situation with them is a strong protection.”—Akiko, Japan.

Analyze your speech, conduct, associations, and the places you frequent. Then ask yourself, ‘Am I putting myself in a position—or unwittingly sending out signals—that will make invitations to engage in sex more likely?’

Suggested reading: Genesis 34:1, 2. See how being in the wrong place had tragic consequences for a girl named Dinah.

Remember, “casual” sex is no casual matter to Jehovah God; neither should it be to you. The Bible says: “No fornicator or unclean person . . . has any inheritance in the kingdom of the Christ and of God.” (Ephesians 5:5) By taking a stand for what is right, you can preserve a clean conscience and maintain self-respect. As a girl named Carly puts it, “Why let yourself be ‘used’ for someone else’s instant gratification? Take care of what you have worked so hard to maintain!”

More articles from the “Young People Ask . . .” series can be found at the Web site www.watchtower.org/ype

[Footnotes]

Names in this article have been changed.

The terms can also refer to other intimate conduct, such as fondling and passionate kissing.

Fornication includes such things as sexual intercourse, oral and anal sex, homosexual acts, masturbating another person, and other acts between two people not married to each other that clearly involve the misuse of the genitals.

TO THINK ABOUT

▪ Although illicit sex may appeal to the imperfect flesh, why is it wrong?

▪ What will you do if someone asks you to have casual sex?

[Box on page 27]

▪ The Bible says that a person who practices fornication “is sinning against his own body.” (1 Corinthians 6:18) How is that true? See if you can think of some ways, and list them below.

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Hint: To help you answer the above question, consult Reasoning From the Scriptures, page 188, and Insight on the Scriptures, Volume 1, page 863. Both books are published by Jehovah’s Witnesses.

[Box on page 29]

A NOTE TO PARENTS

  “In school a classmate asked me to ‘hook up’ with him. It took me a while to figure out what he was asking for. I was just 11.”—Leah.

  The subject of sex is being introduced to children at a remarkably young age. The Bible long ago foretold that “the last days” would be marked by “critical times hard to deal with,” in which people would be “without self-control” and “lovers of pleasures rather than lovers of God.” (2 Timothy 3:1, 3, 4) The trend of “hooking up,” highlighted here in the article for youths, is one of many indications that this prophecy has proved true.

  The world today is vastly different from the one in which you were raised. In some ways, though, the issues are the same. So do not feel overwhelmed or intimidated by the bad influences that surround your children. Instead, be determined to help them to do as the apostle Paul urged Christians some 2,000 years ago: “Put on the complete suit of armor from God that you may be able to stand firm against the machinations of the Devil.” (Ephesians 6:11) The fact is, many Christian youths are putting up a commendable fight to do what is right, despite the negative influences that surround them. How can you help your children to do the same?

  One way is to use this information to open a discussion with your son or daughter. The “suggested reading” sections contain references to thought-provoking scriptures. Some highlight the true-life examples of those who either took a stand for what was right and reaped blessings or ignored God’s laws and paid the consequences. Other scriptures in the “suggested reading” sections contain principles that can help your children recognize the great privilege that they—and you—have of living by God’s laws. Why not plan to review this material with them now?

  Conforming to God’s standards always works for our good. (Isaiah 48:17, 18) Ignoring them inevitably leads to heartache. The publishers of Awake! wish you Jehovah’s blessing as you strive to inculcate God’s laws and principles into the hearts of your children.—Deuteronomy 6:6, 7.

[Picture on page 28]

You need to make it clear that it is never going to happen