During the '50s, when there was no sex, the Jesuit retreat master would tell us, "Boys, sometimes you are going to find yourselves having what we call Impure Thoughts. And when that happens, boys, I want you to play basketball."

Thus in the concrete courtyard outside the cafeteria at St. Aloysius Gonzaga--before classes, between classes, in any weather, in the demon energy of our hormones--we played basketball. A boy would launch a set shot from the outside that rose steeply and dropped like a mortar shell. Swish! Another teenage pregnancy averted.

Basketball as birth control: the sublimating trajectory of ball to...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!