By Richard Bleil
When my mother thought it was time for me to know about, you know, *…s…e…x…*, she sat me down gruffly in the proverbial “comfy chair” (thank you, Monte Python), handed me a book and told me not to get up until I’ve read this chapter…and this chapter…aaaaaaaaaaaand this chapter. She also nervously told me that if I ever heard anything “on the streets”, and ever had any questions about it, I should ask. Of course, I never had any questions because anytime I was confused by something I heard on the streets, an answer was quick to follow. Of course, I had no idea if the answer was a good one or not, but I assumed my friends knew more than I did, so surely they were right. Right?
Compare this with my friends in Boston. He was a physicist at a very well-known college, she was a biologist from another highly prestigious institution, and I was a graduate student of chemistry at a third ivy-league institution. In exchange for room and board, I would watch their son, then in middle school, when he got home. Mom was American, and Dad was an immigrant from Greece, and they were highly liberal. In fact, in one of the strangest conversations I’ve ever had with this young middle school aged man, he was explaining to me, as we were enjoying dinner, why French tickler condoms were a waste of money because, you know, there are no nerves that far in.
By all rights, I probably shouldn’t be discussing this. I am not a psychiatrist, I have no formal training, heck, I’m not even a father. But, it’s not because I don’t know HOW to become a father, and I have had at least some practice at it. Heck, practicing to become a parent is great fun; I highly recommend it.
Personally, I believe that our society is rather uptight about sex and sexual matters, and I don’t believe it is healthy. Previously, I’ve written on kinks and their role in a healthy sex life. It’s funny; considering how sexually inactive I am, I’m actually in favor of safe consensual sexual relations.
And research seems to agree with me. When an administration successfully pushes “abstinence only” education, there is an uptick in teen and unwanted pregnancies. My cousin was one of them (many years ago). She was raised with “never never never”, but they didn’t tell her that, when she’s ready, she needs to… The end result was a high school pregnancy. She’s very honest, so when she said it was just one time, I know she was telling the truth. Nobody even told her that she would be most amorous, and therefore most vulnerable, when the egg is in place for fertilization. She never had a chance.
As I stated above, I’m not qualified to give advice, so, instead, how about if I just provide a few things to think about. My mother was put into an awkward position of “explaining” sex to me for two reasons. First, I had a stand-offish father who, in a traditional household was in the role that was supposed to explain sex to the male children but didn’t want to have much to do with us. Second, both of my parents were raised to believe sex is a taboo subject, a sin, and to be avoided at all costs.
Well, I can tell you for a fact that my parents DID have sex at least three times.
So, seriously, nearly everybody masterbates, a vast majority of humans do have sex (in fact, there is one religious sect that has gone extinct because of such strict adherence to “no sex”, even for procreation), so why is it so taboo? Sex can be bad when it is used as a weapon. Far too many people use it to control or hurt others. So, first, we need to become more open about the subject so we can both teach our children how sex SHOULD be about fun and not harm, and how to protect themselves against those who would misuse it.
Do you remember how awkward your parents were about sex when they FINALLY broached the subject? Do you remember how much fun sex is, especially the first time?
It’s time for a paradigm shift in our society. Regardless of religious beliefs, it’s time to acknowledge that nearly everybody will, at some point, engage in sex, whether it’s before or after marriage. There are some topics perhaps best not discussed too soon (even my friends had a “top shelf” of erotic art with subjects they felt their son would not be ready for until he is old enough to reach them), but middle school is not too soon to understand anatomy well enough to understand the flaw in the French tickler and, more importantly, how condoms protect not only from unwanted pregnancy, but diseases as well.
Just my opinion.