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"No Regrets" - A Summer School Romance

July 17, 2023

(left, not Stevie)

As a change of pace, 
a memoir which 
shows how morality
has changed in
50 short years.

In those days, a woman's virginity meant something.  I was an earnest young man; I didn't want to be her "first." I wasn't in love with her. I wasn't ready for marriage.  I didn't want to be "the one." I didn't explain. 

updated from June 14, 2017
by Henry Makow Ph.D.

She stayed after class to listen to my conversation with the professor. The course was Eighteenth-Century English Literature. 

The year was 1971. I was 21, working as a reporter on the night shift at the Ottawa Journal, finishing my BA at Carleton University. 

She was a kindergarten teacher in Collingwood, a resort town north of Toronto, the pretty daughter of an Anglican minister.  

Her father obviously had wanted a son. Her name was "Stevie."

We left the building together and ended up in her room in residence. I don't remember if this was the first day or later. In any case, we engaged in what in those days was called "necking." 

After, she asked me if she was pregnant. I assured her that she wasn't. We had not had intercourse. She had not removed her panties. 


After she returned to Collingwood, we kept in touch by mail. She wrote about her frustrations with parents who kept their children at home because they couldn't provide lunches, yet had money for other things. 

She talked about living alone in a cottage in the woods.  Her father had told her to stop being so friendly to everyone in town. "I certainly don't intend to expend energy on precautions that may never be needed." 

She mentioned a certain socialist political candidate who wanted to visit her to talk about the issues of the day. Sure.

I wrote about my frustrations with the callow night-shift editor who complained I didn't produce "copy" fast enough. 

I mentioned taking dictation on the phone from the newspaper's Editor-in-Chief. The editorial was bold and fearless but the editor sounded like a mouse. He kept asking me if he should tone it down.

We made plans for Stevie to visit at Christmas. She especially wanted to go to a New Year's Party. 

 Jan 1, 1972 

She had high expectations of the party, but it was a big disappointment. It was thrown by another reporter and the people there were not high enough on the social ladder for her. 

As we drove home in the freezing cold, she berated me for forcing her to mix with such lowlifesBy the time we arrived, I was fed up and gave her a piece of my mind. What did she expect? I wasn't invited to any other party. What made her so superior?

This dressing down had a magical effect on her. She was a virgin. Up to then, she had kept me at bay. But now she wanted to placate me. She removed her top and showed me her breasts. 

After a hot make-out session, I managed to wear down her resistance. She was aroused and consented to intercourse.

But something odd happened. I couldn't do it. 

I was not impotent. I had had plenty of sexual experience, having already lived with a woman for a year when I was 19. 

My conscience was bothering me.

In those days, a woman's virginity meant something

I was an earnest young man; I didn't want to be her "first." I wasn't in love with her. 

I wasn't ready for marriage.  I didn't want to be "the one." I didn't explain. 

Stevie went back to Collingwood. A few weeks later I got a letter. 

"What happened at New Year's can never happen again." She ended our relationship by saying something that made my jaw drop. 

"I can't have Jewish babies," she wrote. 

I wasn't thinking of babies. 

This was 51 years ago. Stevie is probably about 70 years old now. Our prime is over. I hope her half-century was good. Mine was partly squandered due to arrested development due to trusting the mass media.  

Thanks to my conscience, I don't have a significant place in Stevie's memories. I feel good about my decision. 

Women should consecrate their sexuality to their husbands and families. Physical intimacy should be commensurate with emotional intimacy.


Scruples - the game of moral dillemas

Comments for " "No Regrets" - A Summer School Romance "

C said (June 15, 2017):

Wow, Henry--All I could think of was the song "Unanswered Prayers."

Not that she was on your radar.

She sounded naive enough but had a really bad mean streak. I can only cringe to think what that trait and "experience" combined did on her.

But maybe she lived and learned (like you did).

Diane said (June 15, 2017):

I loved the story today. It took me back 25 years ago. One night, my junior year, I refused to give a guy I was dating my virginity-- he spent hours trying to persuade me, but I did not give in. This was the post feminist late 80s when everyone else was having causal sex. Years later, he called out of the blue and asked me to marry him. He said he thought of that night many times. It probably would have been a good marriage, but I was in another relationship when he called. Other women at the university had convinced me of the joys and freedom of casual sex and it led me astray in so many ways. Youth is gone, lessons here to stay.

TONY B said (June 15, 2017):

Yep, Henry, when women acted more like women, men acted more like men. The difference was actually appreciated.

Wade said (June 15, 2017):

I am 73...remarkable how we have some of the same memories and regrets. I felt the same way about virgins and passed several opportunities.

Henry Makow received his Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of Toronto in 1982. He welcomes your comments at