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Sunday, November 16, 2008

They Never Taught Me About Sex

OK, well, that’s not entirely true, is it? Witness The Boy, the delightful and sometimes obnoxious result of a night of wining, dining, and wining some more.


But I don’t recall sex being taught in school.

True, there was a vague and disturbing one-hour class in fifth grade entitled “What You Need To Know Once You’ve Become a Woman”. The boys were sent out of the room, and a mimeographed series of sheets were circulated by the teacher, Mrs. Suomi, with hand-drawn uteri, advice on not swimming during your “cycle”, and oddly sweet phrases on the bottom of each sheet like “The menstrual cycle is the monthly weeping of a disappointed womb.”

The 70s were a lot of fun; and if you weren’t there, you should’ve been. Sex was recreational and good for the skin! I realize how crass that sounds today, but it certainly worked for me.

Of course, we had misinformation like “You can’t get pregnant the first time”, “You can’t get pregnant if you do it standing up” and my favorite: “If we don’t do it, I’ll get Blue Balls and die”.

But what is The Street for if not to fill your head with ridiculous lies?

In the years since then, by the way, I’ve yet to read of one single case of Blue Balls, let alone a fatal one.

I’m starting to think that guy might’ve been lying to me.

Still, there are now schools in the U.S. that teach abstinence-only sex education; and that makes me laugh.

I like to laugh.

Nature, the driving force behind the parties of our youth, the need to be where the crowd is, the urge to rub up against things without fully knowing why, wants you to have sex in your teen years. Do we really think it wise to advocate an abstinence-only platform? Do we really think that they won’t have sex if they don’t have the words to describe the action or access to birth control?

How about we just tell them all about it, provide them with the information on what it’s about, why we are driven to it and all the reasons we should think about waiting on that urge?

Or would that just be too decadent?


Braja said...

I can't comment on this as I was brought up in the same period as you but over there we were taught never to speak about sex in public. I just did, so there goes that ideal.

Pearl honey, Liza Bean Bitey has been outed on Jlo's blog...

Red Squirrel said...

What you advocate is how they do it over here. Well, in the late 80's anyway ;-P

derfina said...

*nostalgic gleam in my eye*

Ahhh. Those crazy 70s. Sex, drugs and rock and roll. Sex was cheap recreation rather than a potentially lethal situation. Those were the days!

Indrayani said...

Really Interesting post!!
You will find this wierd, but in my land, India,sex is a subject that still cant be openly talked about anywhere..
No schools provide any kinda sex education...parents deny its existence and in general we are just expected to go figure it out ourselves...
One of the world's largest population and this!Bunch of hypocrites , I know..
Like your style!
Keep writing..!!

check out my blog when you have the time. I am a struggling writer my self and Would love to get your comments etc on my posts!

Take care!

Pearl said...

Hi, Braja.
Really? Why? They might want to -- that's a pretty big population over there!
And what?! Liza Bean's on another blog?!

Hi, Red!
Glad you've popped by. I love your site and have added a link from mine to yours. :-)

Hi, Derfina.
Ain't that the truth, and ain't ya glad ya were there?!

Hi, Indi!
I absolutely will stop by your post. And as I asked Braja earlier, "Why"? That's a serious question, btw. I think it's a dangerous thing to deny something as prevalent and basic as sex, not to mention just good fun. :-) Ah. That's the 70s in me again...


The Grandpa said...

Sorry, Pearl. What you say just makes too much sense to ever be considered for the curriculum. ;0)

Pearl said...

Braja, I absolutely love love love your story and have linked to it. :-) Too cool.

I spoke to Liza Bean, but frankly, that cat's hungover and completely useless today. I'll be running to Nala Pak later to pick her up some Palak Paneer.

That dang cat.

Barbara Blundell said...

I'm still waiting for the lessons

Pearl said...

Hi, Barbara.
So the "Big Book of Sex and Spinning" available online under your name is counterfeit?

Kevin Musgrove said...

Ah... the seventies in England...

We had a Sex Education Film, which seems to be entirely about boys' ability to pee standing up without wetting his own legs. Having thus been tutored on How To Do It the Chaplain told us Not To Do It and then the Headmaster told where not to do it.

They don't know they're born these days. And with sex education like that it's a miracle they ever were.

Braja said...

OK, firstly? I said we were brought up not to talk about it but when did you ever meet an Aussie from Scottish stock who did what they were told?
Second, if Liza Bean has a hangover, well, I'm not surprised. She was squaffing red wine like there was no tomorrow. She can hold her liquor... actually she can't, she has no thumbs, and it was all thru a straw, which might explain the copious amounts she imbibed.
Third: Barbara's book is a classic and is in demand in all the great stores in India, that incredibly confused nation who wrote the Kama Sutra then all went home--alone!

Braja said...

btw, I'm having a lot of fun. Am I the only one? I think not.

Brother Tobias said...

I don't think we ever had 'blue balls' in the UK. Perhaps you can only get them in certain time zones? In my experience we learnt most things from each other; formal sex education at school was behind the game, and parental advice was too excruciatingly embarrassing to contemplate!

Kimmie said...

I think because of all you say in this post (having been a teen in the 70's), I am VERY upfront with my kids. We talk about anything and everything - and it makes them Soooo happy. I think to hear it from mom, to hear it at home, to have ALL your questions answered (well the ones I know the answers to ;) ... it's a huge relief for them. I'll keep the information flowing - and I'll hope like heck they make good choices.

vinny said...

I remember my sex education rather well. It was conducted by "Big Mike" from the rugby team and classes started every break time behind the bike sheds. Not a lot of effort went into what could, would and will happen but the literature he procured from his fathers newsagents was always well received.