I thought this was awesomely, sadly hilarious.
Remember that I am a reformed Evangelical and Young Republican. What’s happening on Capitol Hill notwithstanding, this is exactly how the dialog on sex has been managed at every church I have ever attended. Information about sex is treated like If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.
If you give a kid information about sex, he might want to have it! I’ve got news for all of you who have never seen Blue Lagoon. Even if you never tell Christopher Atkins how babies are made, just as soon as Brooke Shields’ coconuts are grown in, he’s going to have a hankering to tap that. Michael Jackson sang about it. It’s called Human Nature (any excuse to post this song, as it is one of my all-time favorites. Ugh, I miss MJ.)
Most of us want to have sex. Many of us want to have lots of it. The only thing that kept me from sexing my way through high school and college (aside from my curfew and a very invested parent) was a healthy fear of STDs and pregnancy…and the realization that there was plenty of friction to be had without intercourse. But I had information! Not from my school, or my family, but from my best friend, who came over to my house when we were 16, and dumped a pursefull of condoms, sponges, and gels onto my dining room table and said, “Lane, I know your parents aren’t going to tell you about this, so I am.”
And she gave me the VD talk, and the latex v. lambskin talk, and the pregnancy talk, and the things-you-can-do-otherwise talk, and the promise that I could always come to her if I needed to. I thank God I had her because her information was tight. That one hour probably saved me a lifetime of itchiness.
Not every best friend has that cache of quality information. For instance, had you come to me prior to that conversation, all I could have told you was that when a man and woman love each other very much…they get married, and then they do it. Then they have a baby, and they quit speaking to each other.
I honest-to-god thought you could get pregnant if some semen crawled up your leg. And I was really suspicious about oral sex, too. If it had the word ‘sex’ in it, I thought it might cause a case of the babies. Thank God for my friend!
Later on, when a younger girl came to me for advice, I drove her to Planned Parenthood. I didn’t know squat, but they certainly did. And they saved her a lifetime of itchiness, too.
As an evangelical, I was totally on board with teaching abstinence and with remaining celibate. But here’s the thing with that: Not everyone is an evangelical, and not every child is raised to that expectation–that’s just first of all. Not even all the evangelicals can keep it in their pants, no matter how long they have been practicing celibacy. *cough*
No, we need solid, open conversations about sex. Frank, unemotional conversations about what it is, how to have it, and how to deal with every potential aftermath, including Bunny Boiling. We need frank conversations about physical, mental and emotional health. We need frank conversations about self respect, and respecting others. And we need to cut out the slut-shaming and girl bashing. You notice that no one is talking about how to keep the boys from mounting the girls? Only tearing down the girls who are willing–and even the ones who are unwilling, in some cases.
Let’s take care of each other, yeah? And be good to one another? No matter how many notches are on the bedpost.