**The following post is a bit mature, but good-humored in nature. A warning to some family members before reading.
Summer is a time when…well, like Spring there is just something in the air–Nature calling on all creatures to procreate. And right now. And anywhere for the love of all that is holy.
Birds, rabbits, deer…and of course our compatriots of the human race.
Yet, for all the talk of sex, and internet porn for that matter, Americans are still rather uptight about it. However, thankfully, most of us at one point or another attended a health class. And at that health class you were probably in sixth or seventh grade, maybe even later like freshman year, you sat next to your friends wondering what the big deal was. At least I was. I mean seriously, what is the big deal (I can hear some of you giggling already. I know, I know).
That class is like a rite of passage, you have to sit there while you awkwardly (I doubt anyone is comfortable with their developing bodies in puberty, or as Eddie Izzard calls it “the plague“–seriously recommend watching the clips) listen to some teacher spout on about what the body parts are and how they develop.
Well, you would be embarrassed unless you had Mrs. S as your seventh grade science teacher. This is her favorite part of the year–Sex Ed.
I can think of no better oracle introducing someone to human sexuality other than Mrs. S (we all had that one teacher). This maternal fairy godmother-looking sixty-something grandmother and science enthusiast loved teaching Sex Ed and she was quite vocal about how much she loved it. To her there is nothing to be shy about, and by all means raise your hand if you have questions.
Being shy was okay, but soon enough this old lady was going to make you laugh giving you detailed information on…almost everything. What is a French tickler? Does ribbed for her pleasure really work? Mrs. S demonstrated how to put condoms on properly (it has been awhile, I think she used a banana) as the last thing you want is a faulty application and boom baby or STD or both (this was before the whole absentance movement). She almost gave instructions on the particulars of the act, she came so close, but there was still a line (the biggest section was actually body upkeep–like best ways to clean one’s self while the body developed).
Her beliefs were simple, knowledge gave you the power to make good choices, informed students are better than pregnant or diseased students (and for the love of all if you are going to do it ladies you should enjoy it so find what works for you and do not be afraid to speak up). This is the human body and this is just one of its functions.
Seeing a little old lady rock sexuality gave me hope that this kind of enthusiasm did not have to go away with age. Above all there was nothing to be ashamed of.
That bluntness and frankness she passed on did leave an impression on me, and it is not forgotten. As a nerd I transferred my curiosity of learning to this subject occassionally. Yes, I have studied, read up on it, would recommend the book Bonk by Mary Roach as a humorous and informative read in regards to sex. I believe you can be too serious sometimes so I like a bit of humor and levity. After all, did you know that early Roman comedies often focused on sex? Sure there was some toilet humor, but mostly it was sex that got a laugh (if you think about it, it is kind of funny sometimes as fun as it can be).
I have had frank discussions with friends and family that I keep confidential as duh, who would speak to me again if I leaked my source of information? I still love learning about it (do not know if that is the taboo appeal, the comedy appeal, or the basic Nature appeal)…almost wanted to go back to school and get a Masters in the subject, but expensive. Granted, other than Mrs. S the best teachers are our lovers anyways.
That may be why I was a bit shocked at what is going on in the US of late, and have felt a bit of the whiplash of it. For example writing this is a risk. Just because I am a woman talking about sex does not mean I am easy or a slut. When did this become a thing? The insidious passive, and sometimes overt, violence against women–the she was asking for it thing? Are some men (I know it is not all, there are some really great guys out there) that threatened? Or so disempowered this is how they feel better about themselves? This is why I am so grateful for the true gentlemen out there. Thanks guys.
I wonder if it is cultural? When I visited Europe years ago with my sister and a friend of ours we were astonished by the openness of sexuality. In Paris, we were shocked by soft core porn right on channel four (best line ever as the woman seduces the man he said, “But there is so much more we could do.”). In Germany the shops right by the train station, and the special about the BDSM cruise on channel 31 (news documentary not that graphic). I recall how one gentleman explained to me how the body was so accepted in France for his girlfriend to feel sexy she wore lingerie; whereas in America for a woman to feel sexy just getting naked was enough most of the time.
Think of the economic boon to lingerie makers if nudity and sexuality was less taboo. This could benefit the whole country, men and women (gay or straight we could totally expand). I am not saying nudity everywhere, there are limits…but if as a culture we evolved just a bit, boom! Victora’s Secret would not be able to keep up with supply and demand–voila! Competition beyond Fredrick’s is made, more employment…we could totally solve the economic crisis. We have the answer to the Recession folks, and it is in our pants.