Sunday, September 04, 2011

Let's Talk about Sex, Baby...

I'm fairly sure this goes back as far as the times of Caveman Daddies bating Caveman Mammies upside the head out of sight of curious Caveman children but sex education is not easy. Anyone that claims it is should be looked at. Seriously.

Being a child of 80's Ireland in a Catholic school meant our 'education' was an annual night for 6th class ONLY & their mortified parents. Our educator? A lone Nun that, after prayers, would sit on a stool at the top of the hall and proceed to answer questions about sex, from a pile of anonymous scribbles, providing they weren't 'too dirty'. What did we do? We placed bets on who could think of the dirtiest questions, scribed them in our left hands and tried to guess who's question she was reading by the level of steam rising from her habit. It was the 80's, entertainment was thin on the ground.

The only help we got from this night was the instruction to ask our Mammies & Daddies to buy us a 'special book', I still have memories of a, not too distant, relation asking and asking and still gathering the courage to ask for his book, long after his goatee was needing a daily trim.

This is NOT my relation..

It's awkward, end of. Having been a teen Mam, obviously not grasping the finer points of sex education myself, I knew this was something I'd want to change when the lads started asking questions. And boy did they start early. I was fending off 'Yeah, but how?!' from a 5 year old until the best answer I could give was 'Well the man is like a plug and the woman is like a socket, K?' Neither eloquent nor all encompassing but serving to quell the questions, for a while.  I've tried to adopt the always Answer Honestly policy, well as honestly as I can without information overload and it seems to be working. 

 Random sex analogy 10 yrs ago? The web have a pic for that!

The lads are 14 & 15 now, I remember being 14 and/or 15 and it's not easy. We talk openly about feelings and thoughts so 'issues' are just common place chats. 'Pah' I hear you say, well I'm not completely naive. I know for every question there's 5 that go unasked because I'm a girl and they're boys, that's a fact. At those times I'm hugely grateful for a big bro that, although lives in another country, is never farther away than a text/call/email or FB message. According to the boys he's the definition of all things manly so if he says 'Don't go for the feel' the consensus is not to go for the feel (I hope). 

There's also the little invention of the interwebs, embarrassing questions are never quietened quicker than a 'Why do I' google search and seeing the automatic questions asked. As for visually graphic television shows such as The Sex Education show where, this week, I learned that its a myth that dwarves have enormously large penises (A myth, most likely, perpetrated by dwarves themselves). Or Embarrassing Bodies where 'John from Uttoxeter' need not bother his GP with growths anymore but has no problem dropping voluminous trou in front of a web cam for all to inspect his questionable undercarriage.

John, Please!

Try, as I have, to avoid information overload with the lads when it comes to sex, the information is out there, in abundance. I'm resigned to the fact that I'm not their only source of knowledge but I am a source. Only thing I can do is be here for them and try my very best not to be slightly jealous that their love lives are, without doubt, more promising than mine. Those gorgeous swines. 

G'wan tell us... How did you learn about those durrty birds & bees?


Lorraine said...

Great Post, Sue!

Our proper talk was in third year and was very basic. One of the girls asked about condoms and we were told by the instructor that she wasn't allowed to tell us about contraception because it was a convent school.

We also did the "who can put the rudest questions in" game, some of 'em were priceless!

Unknown said...

Mixed school so our sex ed class was one class ... In 6th with titters and not knowing what was going on ... And virgin megastore being the first place I saw condoms ... I think we were too repressed

Do you feel better having sons than having daughters .. My mam used to get Morto and tell me the facts of life when she had a few drinks on her

Sue Jordan said...

Thanks Gals, deffny feel better that they're boys but the thought of being a Granny before 40 gives me nightmares!

I can remember my Mam talking to me in the loo Mags & my sis at the door shouting 'Lemme in! I know you're talking about bums in there!' :D

Unknown said...

I learnt from Judy Blume's Forever. I bought this book recently and it is so funny now i know how the sex thing works

Breige said...

I remember having sex education in 1st year of secondary school. For some reason, only my class had it, the other class of 1st years never did! Strange. The information wasn't useful really, at this stage I already knew (My mother, never one to discuss things like this, gave me a book when I was in 6th class. However, I was curious child and had already read a book about it in 5th class from the library!).

Not really related but Lorraine's post above reminded me of something that happened in my school. We were in English class in 6th year and something came up about someone being gay (not in the class, an author or someone we were studying). Someone asked the teacher something and she said she wasn't allowed to speak about that, it being a convent. I think sex education is so crap in school because of the church. Seeing as condoms are one of the easiest forms of contraceptive for teenagers to get their hands on (not to mention preventing STIs), it's ridiculous that they can't be mentioned in sex ed. We got a talk about abstinence at school. Which is great and it can work but it's not the full story, every option should be mentioned. Sex education in schools can be so clinical, there's barely any mention of feelings or the emotional side of things. At least there wasn't when I was there.

As for information overload on the internet, it's true that there is so much information on here. I found a user on YouTube, Laci Green, she speaks about sex and sexuality, health issues, body image issues, emotional side to relationships in a show called Sex Positive. Probably better for teenagers to watch if they want information but I found it interesting to listen to

Y said...

It was a book for me. It actually had more information that I asked for, including masturbation and such! Yikes!

Anonymous said...

Im sorry but the picture on that book is absolutely HILLARIOUS i wish id got one of those in school ha ha !!!

S said...

I remember my Mam telling me the whole gory story when I was around 11 or 12, complete with very technical book with diagrams of bits and bobs going into other bits and bobs. I was suitably disgusted, did not want to know, and learned all my info from Just 17 and Sugar problem pages!!!

I have a 6yo son, and t'other day he pointed at my stretch marks when my top rode up. He asked me what they were, I told him they were marks that Mammies get after they have babies. He goes "sure maybe you're pregnant again, are ya?" I nearly DROPPED. Asked him where he heard that word, he said he was playing his Nintendo DS and one of his cows was pregnant and then had a calf!

He has asked me a few times where we 'got him', up until now I'd just said 'Mammy's tummy' and brushed off the usual 'but how did I get in there?' questions.

I'll be loading my lad up with condoms when he hits a suitable age, feck that, better safe than sorry! God...the thoughts of it.. :(

cornflakegirl said...

Great post Sue.

I've either blocked it out or we never ever had a formal sex education class of any kind in my school, I've no idea which.

My Dad always answered our questioned truthfully as soon as we asked them so we didn't have to have one 'big' talk at any stage.

stonebabies said...

Oh morto was right! I remember a "friend" was just handed a sanitary towel (matress) by her mother when she had her first period with no instructions at all on how to use it. The poor girl just did her best & nearly gave herself a brazillian when it came time to take it off! She now knows sticky side down.