Having read part 1, you’ve seen how fucked up my personal sex education was from my parents. The only reason I’m a fairly happy, healthy, and adjusted adult now is because of three things:
1. We had mandatory Health class (sex ed) in High School. While it was not the best place to learn about sex at least the fundamentals were discussed; the risks, safe sex, etc. The only problem with High School sex ed was that it was very abstinence focused… and High School students are not abstinence focused… so there’s this disconnect between what they’re trying to say and what we were actually listening to.
It’s better to wait to have sex.
I’m not going to wait… hee hee.
Abstinence is the only way to avoid STDs.
Only stupid adults get STDs… I’m going for a BJ at the party this weekend… hee hee.
Anal sex is dangerous too.
You can have anal sex? Fuck yeah! Added to the High School bucket list… hee hee.
But at least some of the basics were covered in sex ed, better than nothing at all.
2. When I got to University I found their massive library, which contained just about every book every written (as far as I was concerned at the time) and had a huge “Sex” department. I devoured that department. I’m a really logical kind of guy, so when I find dozens of manuals, descriptions, advice, tips, history of, books on a subject I really dig into them. That’s where I got most of my sexual education from. I also got a lot of different cultural perspectives on sex that would later help shape my own sexual identity. For example, did you know that Samurai were only allowed to cum once a week? They didn’t want to lose their warrior spirit, their manliness, represented by their sperm. They could have sex as much as they want, just not cum. Imagine that, a country of warrior-men that are constantly half-hard, engaging in sex, but only cumming once a week. They didn’t focus on their own pleasure, their discipline and self respect held them at a different level than most modern societies. That became an instrumental perspective, much my lovers’ delights over the years.
3. Cat. Cat came from a family that was pretty much the opposite of mine and wouldn’t put up with any of my family’s bullshit lessons. My family refused to talk about anything awkward, personal, or intimate and Cat wouldn’t put up with that. She made me open up and talk about everything, which was vital. I learned that my family wasn’t normal, that real people communicate with each other in deeply personal ways. Being forced to open up was an integral part of growing into adulthood for me.
So, despite my parents best efforts I managed to become a fully functioning, sexual, adult human being. I never contracted any STI/STDs, I never had any children outside of marriage (that I know of), and while I broke a few hearts I never truly fucked anyone over. I have managed this through luck, circumstance, my hunger for knowledge, and a general sense of decency and pride.
How on Earth am I supposed to avoid making the mistakes that my parents did? What kind of positive lessons can I take from my own experiences and pass on to the next generation?
To start with, I am going to do exactly the opposite of everything my parents did and said to me about sex. No physiological PBS sexual documentaries, fuck no. No avoiding awkward topics or shunning my kid for having questions.
My daughter is turning 9 this year. Here is the draft to my future self for my “Birds and Bees” conversation with my daughter in the (disturbingly) nearly future:
Life is a complex, wonderful, and beautiful thing. There are so many experiences out there just waiting for you. Many of these things I’ve done myself, your mother too, and both of us will always talk to you about anything and everything. We have a lot of life experience, lessons learned, we want you to have the best possible life. Sometimes we might be a little hard on you, but that’s because we’ve made mistakes and we want you to avoid those if you can. If you are ever wondering why we say or do things, ask us and we will explain why that’s how we feel.
Sex is only one of the many wonderful things about growing up and becoming an adult. It’s a beautiful, natural thing that will be a part of your life. One of the things that I have learned about sex is that it’s best experienced with in loving, respectful, and comfortable relationship. You want that first and every other sexual experience to be really, really special. It should be with the right person, at the right time, at the right place, where both of you are happy and willing to share with the other person. If you aren’t comfortable, for whatever reason, it’s best to wait so that your first time will be a special and wonderful experience. Or the second time, or the third. Sex should always be a positive thing in your life, if you ever feel a situation isn’t so positive than you should avoid it. There’s nothing wrong with waiting, or with not waiting, you are the only person that can make those choices. Talk to us, we will always be there to offer opinions and guidance because we want you to be happy with your choices afterwards.
That is why if you have anything you want to talk about, anything at all, you can come to me or your mother and we will be happy to sit down with you and have an open, honest discussion. It can be about sex, relationships, work, college, cooking, anything at all. We might not always agree, but we respect you and will support you in whatever choices you make in your life. We will always be there for you, we will never push you away, and you will always be our daughter.
I’m hoping that the shittiness with adolescence and my parents has contributed to the wisdom that I now have as an adult. Hopefully that wisdom, those lessons learned, can lead up to a much better experience with my daughter and me and Cat. The whole experience should be more natural, organic, and healthy. Hopefully the letter and my perspective will point us in that direction.