Thoughts with Richard Bleil
Linda was stunningly attractive. Her deep blue eyes in stark contract with her jet-black hair, petite and beautiful. And she was very sexually active. But her first words to me were “I’m not sleeping with you. Hi, my name is Linda.”
But that did give us the opportunity to become truly great friends. She was bisexual, so we would share our perverse thoughts about women we would see. At the time, I was not sexually active. I wasn’t a virgin (although just barely), but my periods of inactivity tend to last for years, certainly not by choice. I was in graduate school, young, surrounded by beautiful women so, yes, I wanted to be active.
One day we decided that, because I wanted to be active and she was very active, we should buy condoms. This was when AIDS was still new and very frightening to anybody active, or wanting to be so, and deadly. For me to have condoms was simply the proper way to protect any partner I wish I had, but for her keeping some near her bed was self-preservation. So, we decided to encourage each other, and go buy condoms together.
Standing together in the drug store at the condom display, we contemplated the various styles and types. Ribbed for her pleasure, straight, with a receptacle, without, lubricated, unlubricated, large, regular, but none labeled as “small”. I suppose that, even for men who need small, they simply wouldn’t buy any labeled as such.
As we looked, a woman pushed her cart down the cross aisle. She glanced down our direction, and quickly looked away, rapidly pushing her cart on. I noticed her, but we were still discussing the options. A minute or so later, that same woman pushed her cart along the opposite cross aisle. Seeing us, she shook her head and quickly moved off. I mentioned this to Linda. The third time she crossed, she quickly came down the aisle, reached past us and just grabbed the first thing she could. I looked where she grabbed and realized she had plain unlubricated without the receptacle. I feel bad for her to this day.
Linda and I settled on the Trojan variety pack, three style with two condoms each. It was perfect, she took three and I took three. I’m guessing she went through them rapidly, but mine went past the expiration date before I had a partner. But that’s not the point of this blog.
It’s a fun story, but what I wanted to discuss is how uncomfortable topics of sexuality are, even topics of responsibility and safety. This, in my humble opinion, is a great weakness in our society. Yes, believe it or not, despite the title and the topic of this blog, I actually want to make an important point.
When I was growing up, my mother always used to say, “you can ask anything you want.” The problem with this is that, when questions arise in middle and high school, the answer is usually quick to follow. My “talk” was mom pushing a book in my hand (I think from the Catholic church), saying “read chapters three, four, and five.”
Kids won’t talk with you about sex, if you don’t talk with them. And the appropriate age? Honestly, I think the sooner the better. Use formal terms, like vagina, penis and breasts, so as not to make the topics taboo. I don’t know if it’s true or apocryphal, but I remember a story where a girl told her teacher that her daddy “licked her cookie”. The teacher responded saying, “I’m sure your dad will get you another one,” not realizing that the girl was taught that “cookie” meant “vagina”. The abuse continued for a considerable time.
As soon as a child is old enough for pedophiles to find them attractive, the conversations should begin. Appropriate versus inappropriate touching is a good place to start but teaching them how to discuss their sexual organs is a great way to get their questions answered, and to reduce the taboo nature. Let them see mom and dad with tender touching. Not sex, not directly anyway, but kissing, hugging, and how the child does not have to kiss or hug anybody if they don’t want to. And when children accidentally walk in on mom and dad, please, in my opinion, avoid tell them that they’re “just wrestling”, or “playing”. Use it as an opportunity to talk about what they are doing, and why “inappropriate touching” is truly inappropriate. I truly wish we could overcome the taboo nature of sexuality. I can guarantee you that I have readers that are uncomfortable with reading this blog. I don’t believe this should be the case.