“Let’s talk about sex baby, let’s talk about you and me. Let’s talk about all the good times and the bad times that may be” (Salt n Pepa). What better way to start off this subject than with a rather embarrassing story about myself. When I was in grade 5, my next door neighbour and her best friend, who were in grade 6 invited me to participate in an air bands song for school. The song they picked was “Let’s talk about sex”, please keep in mind we all attended a catholic elementary school. So here the three of us were in the audition room dressed in spandex shorts, white tee shirts, and all of our hair was done up in the 90’s waterfall ponytails so we could do the spin around our heads move. The three of us got up, lip synched, and danced the whole song from start to finish in front of a row of teachers. None of us had a real clue about what the words meant, or about the racy dance moves that we were making. We were 10 and 11 year old girls just performing a popular song. Needless to say we didn’t get a callback to perform in front of the school. I almost wish that one of us could recall the look on our teacher’s faces, but like I said, not one of us had any clue that the subject matter and dress was in the least bit inappropriate. I did get to perform the next year though when tackling Phantom of the Opera, and I think my partner and I even got second or third place so clearly I wasn’t deterred from the previous year’s setback.
My mom taught me about the birds and the bees at 7. There was nothing particularly scaring about the event, just a normal healthy conversation that left me without any fears of this big scary new concept. I can barely even remember what was said, and thus I think she did a fantastic job regarding the sex and providing a safe place that I could ask questions with just minor embarrassment. To me sex was just an activity for adults, which was where babies came from somehow or other. Hence why attempting to perform the above song for my elementary school peers just seemed like a real non issue. There was no taboo, or so I thought at the time. The only time I think I was ever a little perplexed about the idea of sex was when I saw stains on my parent’s sheets. I asked if my mom spilled something in bed, and she just factually told me it was semen and I didn’t pursue that line of questioning. My 7 years old brain just couldn’t comprehend that concept, not in a harmful way or anything, but having little frame of reference I just left it alone and went on with my childhood.
I hope that I can provide a similar childhood when it comes to sex education for my children. My mom may have been terrified to talk to me about it, but truly she never showed it. She was factual and answered my questions simply and without any unnecessary explanation. Just the base facts many of which I wouldn’t understand until my teenage years.
I have been lead to believe by many of my peers that I started exploring my body at a much younger age than they did. I cannot recall the first time I discovered what happened when I put a vibrating toy up against my private parts, but I recall that I was in junior high and that it was before I started menstruating (late bloomer and all). This was a fun way for me to pass the time and it felt really great I am not too shy to admit. I can only speak for myself, but I do think that because I masturbated and it felt really great I had no eagerness with which to experiment with sex. I was taught that sex was for adults, that there was risk of STD’s (now more regularly termed STI’s) and I was perfectly satisfied all by my lonesome. I read a diary entry of mine recently in which I recounted that I figured sex was a gateway to just wanting more of it and I wasn’t ready to go there yet. I went on to say that there were far too many risks involved, and besides there was no one in my life that I was even slightly attracted too. I must have thought I was so mature writing that.
My last blog was really focused around being sex positive and where that possibly could have gone astray evolutionary speaking Roots Blog. I was raised in a sex positive or at the very least neutral environment. I was not raised with any Catholic guilt that made masturbation a sin or any of those things that many of peers experienced. My frame of reference for this key component was a very solid one. Understanding the roots of anything is key for exploring what is around the corner, and sex for me is no exception especially as I place it very highly in my relationship wants and must haves. So of course I have to ask, how did your sexual education impact your views on the subject growing up and how you approached your body and perception of sex?