What has become of the young people of today, that they no longer cower in mortal terror at the very mention of sex? Instead of trembling alone at night in their rooms, paralyzed by the soul-shaking thought of one day having intimate relations with a member of the opposite gender, they confidently parade about the shopping malls in their sleeveless shirts and short pants, caressing one another's hands in plain view of other JCPenney's patrons.

Yesterday, while enjoying a sprinkled cone at the Dairy Queen, I experienced a fit of catatonic transfixion. Though I wanted to divert my eyes from the scene, some diabolical force held my line of vision fast. There, waiting in line, was a young woman of no more than 20 wearing a garment so clingy that her nipples seemed to protrude through the fabric. And the teenage boy behind the register did not even flee in terror, or so much as avert his eyes in panic! Instead, he actually eyed her longingly.

After the immodest young woman left, I unclenched my fists and tried to clean the melted ice-cream cone from where it had run off my quivering hand and onto my trousers. Was this the same country where, as a child, I hid behind trees at the beach for fear of seeing women in knee-length swim trunks? Where self-abusers feared they would grow hair on their palms? Where children were mercifully lied to about the meaning of certain words and would turn ghost-white at the mere mention of terms like "kiss" and "pet"?

When I was 16, the very thought of being near a girl left me trembling from a fear of the unknown. Could I impregnate her with a kiss? Could I obtain some dread disease from holding her hand? Back then, young people kept any interest they had in sex locked away, lest it devour them—not like the youths of today, who brazenly wear T-shirts with lewd slogans, talk openly about necking, and elbow their friends at the video arcade to point out some young lady's "coconuts."

No longer bound by terror's iron grip, the youths of today slip into movie theaters, fast-food restaurant booths, and high-school lockers to do the dirty deed. For them, the thought of what their partner might possess "down below" conjures up no images of needle-fanged leeches or barbed, venom spouting scorpion's tails. They have become so corrupt as to perform the sexual act in public, using the smoke and strobing lights of the disco halls as their cover. And when they are through with their unseemly acts, they do not even feel compelled to race home and douse their tainted loins in iodine!

The dirty sex is everywhere today, in magazines, on the radio, and in the Pringles commercials where the youngsters gyrate their hips lasciviously in mixed company and open their mouths wide to the camera. Every product has some sort of prurient innuendo built into its ad: Just Do It. Bigger Is Better. The More Potato Potato Chip. The Quicker Picker-Upper. In my day, the government would have forced that seductively grinning Bounty woman from the airwaves in the name of decency. But now there is a whole channel on which each evening I must watch the true and shocking stories of bare-breasted young cheerleaders, coeds, and nurses in 90-minute segments.

I was at the Kmart purchasing a mop and a roll of color film last week when a young female sales clerk bent over to pick something up off the floor, leaving a full view of her deepest bosom in my plain sight. Gazing upon the bosom, I immediately felt a deep, painful stabbing sensation in my chest and a wave of dread passing through me. It was a wonderful feeling, like so many I had felt in my days of youth. If only the youths of today could know such mind-shattering dread, perhaps this nation could stand tall once more.