Writings

Sex part 3


Just now my daughter shared with me one of her brilliant thoughts. She said, 'Mommy, why are all the animals girls'. I said, 'What do you mean love', thinking she was referring to a documentary about lizards that she'd just seen, 'The documentaries show all the animal wild life, both girl and boy animals'. 'No mommy', she said, 'I mean the toy animals, I've looked at all my teddies and none of them have penis so they have to all be girls right?'
Sex part 3
A very pertinent point she had my daughter, seems our collective consciousness is so petrified of penises and the urges that they symbolize, that we've just censored them out of our childrens lives. I immediately went up to check the Ken doll Iomi inherited from me and drew a sigh of relief when I discovered a smooth yet slightly raised area around his groin that provided our Ken with at least a semblance of a penis, not the impressive phallus that one perhaps would expect that the conqureour of Barbie would have, but at least there was something.
This reluctance from society, culture and religon to recognize gender, dicks and pussies as a natural part of life, very early on shapes our view of sex and gets even more damaged during puberty, when we are repeatedly warned of the perils of sexuality, how dangerous and detrimental it is so most of us by the time we approach the possibility of actually having sex are already very confused. I'm now of course talking about my generation, how the new batch of youngsters handle the enormous gap that is between the extensive information and wide sexual variety of sex that is available through the internet, and the version your teachers, parents, healthcare workers and other public voices tell you is acceptable. What a freudian nightmare these kids must go through.

I'm thinking how I will educate Iomi about sex. Her first question to me in the matter was a surprising one. I was going through the basics of it with her a few months ago and she was so surprised when I in passing mentioned that it is very enjoyable. 'Mommy, so girls can also enjoy sex?' she asked, her image of sex mainly being the one provided by Richard Attenborough. I think I answered something in the line of, 'Oh yes, and many more times in a row than boys...'. She thought a bit about it and then moved on to another subject, probably storing this bit of information in the same department as any other practical piece of information she recieves. But her curiosity, although fresh is definitely there. A conversation that gave me a lot of food for thought.
My dilemma is this, I have had a wide variety of sexual experience, both moments of exctasy and immense pain. I would love to shelter her from ever having a painful sexual experience, don't want her to have to go through neither physical or emotional pain when it comes to sex, but then again, I can't. That is impossible. If there is anything I do know about sexual experiences is that they are all very personal and cannot be really explained. We can warn, inform and provide a simple version that hopefully doesn't scare and that roots itself in installing confidence in your childs ability to discern what and when feels right for them. And I want to tell her as much as possible without the embarrased undertone I encountered from my parents whenever the topic of sex came up. And at the same time not create too much confusion around the subject, which is a distinct possibility if I give her too much detail in my explanation. 
I am very happy that we don't have television, so she won't be messed up that way. I still find it so incredibly sick and down right stupid that we are showing horrendous violence with people hurting and killing eachother, that thrillers where the devious villain is plotting elaborate acts of violence pass the watchful eyes of the invisible censors, even in the cartoons that are produced for children, but we still can not show the pro-creational dance. Isn't that crazy? And even more so, isn't it weird that we are still taking it without a fight or at least a debate. There are gay rights, racial minority rights, feminist rights...but nobody is standing up for reopening and reassesing the misunderstood case of sexuality with the view of freeing it from these ancients stigmas and bringing light to it's multifacetted nature. We must still be petrified of getting intimate on some level, and still somehow feel that it is OK to hear songs on the radio where dick pussy and fuck are censored, but news about massacres and random acts of violence are told, debated and being given extensive airplay. Crazy! Destruction still wins 1-0 to creation and we think that is normal.

So I guess I feel a bit lonely educating my little girl about all the complexity that sex involves. It's not really extensively discussed in the school system here, not very surprising, given that Catholic moral studies is still on the schedule... 
Sweden at least in the seventies eighties had a very healthy notion that sex was a normal healthy part of life and needed space in the educational system, it didn't help me much, but the taboo around it was lifted in the public eye, we were encouraged to talk and giggle about it.
We had a great teacher when I was in the fourth grade, who when describing the orgasm to us compared it to the relief your feel when you after you having held back for a long time finally give in and scratch your mosquito bite or measel rash or chicken pox or...well, you know the feeling. He wasn't so far off that teacher. 
Now I still have a few years before Iomi will want to know those more detailed aspects of sex, but I will definitely keep this particular 'scratching the itch' metaphor in mind, when we get there. And I so hope that we as a collective will grow up a bit before then, so that there is room for a more open discussion about sex. I think it deserves it.

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