Monday, January 19, 2009

Sex Education and the Curious Young Adult.

Apropos a rather toe curling and terrifying talk with Gothy about sex over the weekend, I can reliably inform you I am riddled with insomnia and questioning the wisdom of not drinking hooch when I clearly need a stiff drink every now and then.
How horrible to be young, how horrible and how marvelous. How exciting and fearful and dramatic and foolhardy.
It's hard to impart information onto the young about matters sexual- or indeed any other matter. On the one hand you want to wrap them in cotton until they are about thirty, ignoring their cries for freedom and independence by sticking your fingers in your own ear going 'la la la laaaa la' or offering up useful claptrap ala the Lilac One. 'You needn't think you'll be staying here when you're older'( sum total of the Lilac One's residential help to a fifteen year old Fatcat) and 'You better not come back here pregnant' ( sum total of Lilac One's sex talk)
On the other hand the adult must accept that an informed youth might take better care of themselves and not be afraid to talk to said adult should the need arise. But of course you also don't want to be too condoning lest they get the wrong notion, while simultaneously constructing a bridge so that they feel they can come to you.
It's like walking a tightrope, a terrifying scary tightrope where one false move could result in an STD, an eating disorder or an unwanted pregnancy or...I don't know, a whole other plethora of things that keep people awake at night.
'Honestly Gothy, you should really wait until you're absolutely sure you are with the right person.' I finished my talk on birth-control, dribbling weakly, pathetically sound biting my way to la la land.
Oh what crap. Teenagers, rampant with hormones, are incapable of hearing the underlying message which is to an adult no one is the right person unless you're over twenty-five and serious about shit and have had your heart broken by a fucking idiot and you've learned from it and anyway you're NEVER going down that path again....
I suppose it helps that my relationship with Gothy is such that she feels she can ask me all manner of questions about S.E.X. She thinks nothing of springing eyebrow twitching lines on the unsuspecting Fatcat. And it is good. Too long have teenagers waddled about in the mire thinking that 'pulling out' = birth control or that STDs are things that happen to other people. It's invaluable to be able to speak to a calm cool headed adult who will tell them what's what, even if that calm cool headed adult lays awake all night twitching and worrying about STDS and unwanted pregnancy and how to make a time machines that might send youthful young women back to a time when their biggest concern was whether or not Buffy would make it back from the dead. ( wot weeping).
Thinking back over my own sex education I was alarmed to find I didn't really have any, well none other than 'don't come back pregnant.' I knew the mechanics sure, but that was it. Nobody explained anything else, there was no talk of emotions or orgasms, the clitoris,( what a surprise find that was, like being in the Bond car and asking 'Say Sport, what does this red button do?) STDS, Chlamydia, cervical cancer, thrush, curved penis' hymens or any of the other things a young woman ought to know about. There was no chats about how not having sex might be AOK, how having sex ONLY when you're mentally ready and not because all your friends are doing it is AOK. Nothing about sex was AOK. And as a result it was deemed dirty, sinful, and topic non gratis with anyone who might set you on the straight.
I can't have that with Gothy. As much as foot cramp pains me, and as much as sleep eludes me, I do solemnly swear I will be that fountain of good information. I will attempt to guide, steer and chart courses through the murky waters of the fledgling sexually curious woman. I will not harangue and use stupid expressions. I will try to be realistic and forthright without being overly permissive.
I will sleep again, some day.



Anonymous sheepworrier said...

It's great that gothy has someone like yourself to chat to, FMC.
My sex education consisted of how a flower is pollenated, that we'll go to hell if we even looked at a girl sideways before marriage (christian brothers), and a poorly concealed porn mag (my mate's brother's). After that, everything else was rumour and guesswork.

11:07 a.m.  
Blogger Conan Drumm said...

That is completely uncalled for. I have one of these 'chats' looming and I know it's going to be a "Huh" fest from the other side of the table.

11:08 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Gird yer loins Conan, gird them well. Be swan like, all calm and graceful above water, paddling and toe curling furioulsy below.

Sheepie, heh, I went to a convent and we were shown an excruciating video by a nun, who then asked 'had we any questions' after.
Not surprisingly no one had any questions, or at the very least none we felt a nun could answer.

11:13 a.m.  
Blogger Twenty Major said...

I remember we were gathered, en masse, whilst in school to get a sex education talk from ... a nun. Honestly.

We were in 5th or 6th class, I think.

To enable people to ask questions without exposing themselves to ridicule we were allowed write them on a piece of paper and the nun would then read them out and answer them.

To the day I die I will never forget this wrinkly old woman opening the piece and paper and saying into the microphone:

"What is wonking?"

11:33 a.m.  
Anonymous sheepworrier said...

Well Twenty, don't keep us in suspense...

11:35 a.m.  
Blogger Twenty Major said...

Whatever she said was unable to be heard over the eruption of laughter.

11:40 a.m.  
Blogger morgor said...

ha, we got sex education from an short overweight woman with a beard and a camel toe.

Still better than a nun or christian brother though.

11:50 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had the most awesome sex ed teacher in 7th or 8th grade (public school). We weren't split into boy-only and girl-only groups, and and everything was open for discussion. To my great surprise now, everyone did ask tons of questions, from the most inane to the most serious. Between that and my subscription to Sassy magazine, I was easily the most informed of all my high school friends, even the ones who were having sex.

Spouse had some kind of biology-oriented sex ed in his Catholic school in 5th or 6th grade. The teenage sex talk came from his mother, and he says all he remembers about it was that Madonna was the devil.

12:19 p.m.  
Blogger Twenty Major said...

he says all he remembers about it was that Madonna was the devil.

I would posit there's a fair chance her gee is a doorway to hell.

12:30 p.m.  
Blogger gimme a minute said...

I am a reasonably content person, unusually untroubled at this time, but if somebody wouldn't mind just killing me dead before I have to go through this, I would very much appreciate it.

Thank you.

12:36 p.m.  
Blogger Conan Drumm said...

@Twenty... "enable people to ask questions without exposing themselves" hur hur...

12:43 p.m.  
Blogger Twenty Major said...

Sorry, Gimme, hate to be pedantic and such, but that should read:

...if somebody wouldn't mind just killing me dead before I have to go through this twice

12:43 p.m.  
Blogger Twenty Major said...

Maybe now would be a good time to buy them some kd lang albums.

12:43 p.m.  
Blogger Twenty Major said...

heh, Conan, it was a boys school. There was always one.

12:44 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

From what I recall, the nun looked terrified that there might be questions. It was relief and uncomfortable silences all round.
Seriously, what on earth is the point of asking a nun to explain sex to anyone? thyat would be like asking me to explain veganism. You know, it's stuff some people do but I neither get it nor understand it, but I know of it.

1:18 p.m.  
Blogger morgor said...

it's stuff some people do but I neither get it nor understand it, but I know of it.

and i know it's wrong.

2:22 p.m.  
Blogger gimme a minute said...

Thanks for that, Twenty.

And the sage advice too.

2:37 p.m.  
Blogger PI said...

It is a very difficult job. Mum just gave us little books to read and we talked amongst ourselves but in some ways it was easier because you just didn't before marriage.
Not the best thing in the world if your marriage isn't the bee's knees because then you feel cheated.

3:48 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Jaysus Pat, you at least get to test drive a car before you buy it.

Morgor, indeed!

4:19 p.m.  
Blogger Medbh said...

Sex ed class spent more time telling us about the stages of pregnancy than anything useful.

I went out and bought a used copy of "Our Bodies, Ourselves" at 15 to fill in the important information.

4:34 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

I had a whole pile of James Herbert books that I used for research- except it caused me to have A) a fear of large human eating rats,B) to believe a woman can orgasm spontaneously the moment a winkle taps Babs and C) men are always on top-mightly.
Like I say, when the Bond moment happened it was like slipping into Narnia by kicking the damn wardrobe door off its hinges.
I might also say my books were confiscated in school and not returned for a month, after which I can only ponder was must have been enough time to do the sisterhood round.

4:42 p.m.  
Anonymous sheepworrier said...

I thought you said James Herriot books there for a moment FMC - scary and disturbing images flashed through my brain.

"like slipping into Narnia by kicking the damn wardrobe door off its hinges."

Heh, wonderfully illustrative use of the english tongue.

4:57 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Herriot eh? Yep, by gum, that would 'ave been right sexy.

5:03 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have two 11 year old daughters I will be referring to you in the next year or so. Thanks.

5:18 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Double the trouble! I can handle it, I will be easier in a few more years, won't it? They'll still use the same terminology won't they? I'm not afraid. I always sweat like this.

5:23 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Oh why didn't I keep any of those James Herbert books?

5:24 p.m.  
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