Sunday, November 14, 2010

What My Mother Said ...

aag has been hosting the 2010 Scarleteen Sex-Ed Blog Carnival.Being "a woman of a certain age" my sex education was most likely very different from most participants but I think each and every one of us agree that SCARLETEEN, must remain available to every single person that needs/wants it.

On the eve of my wedding in 1973, my mother gave me her one and only “sex talk”.  She told me to, “Use the Margaret Sanger method of birth control.”  As a 19 year-old that had visited Planned Parenthood three years earlier for birth control pills, I just nodded and smiled.  I had no idea who Margaret Sanger was or what “method” she had to avoid contraception.

Back then, the sexual revolution was just beginning.  There was no internet or even open discussion of sex, sexuality or sexual orientation. “Health” class in school was painful for both the teacher and students. It wasn’t very enlightening.  Learning about sex was trial and error.  Before HIV/Aids, some “errors” were taken care of with shame and antibiotics. Others were resolved quietly, quickly and without any discussion whatsoever.  Roe v. Wade had just been passed but pregnancy outside of marriage was treated as a contagious disease and if someone had an abortion, it was talked about in hushed, horrified tones.

Most of our sexual knowledge, such as it was, came from friends, older siblings, the Encyclopedia Britannica, romance novels, True Story magazines and our own experimentation.  Being a good researcher with an inquiring mind and healthy curiosity was what got most of us through our hormonal teen years and unto adulthood.  Unfortunately, many of us, struggled with “sex talks” when our own children appeared on the scene.

When my first child was born in 1977, I knew that I wasn’t going to wait until she was almost an adult to start discussing sex with her.  I wanted her to be informed and prepared well before her first sexual experience.  I also knew that she would want a way to find out things for herself to expand her knowledge.  With limited resources, still only books and discussion, I wanted to be sure she got the correct information and not the “street” stuff I’d heard when I was growing up.  The two books I used as bibles were, “Woman’s Body – An Owners Manual” and “Our Bodies, Ourselves”.  I read them for guidance and knowledge for myself and my daughter and let her read them later on.  While these books along with others, made talking to my child about maturing and sex easier, I know it wasn’t a perfect solution.  My daughter is now married herself and is trying to get pregnant which is one reason I’m supporting and promoting, SCARLETEEN.

While most of my generation has raised their children, their grandchildren can benefit from the multitude of information presented by Scarleteen.  It’s an invaluable resource for not just for “tweens”, teens and young adults but for their parents, guardians, and grandparents.  In investigating Scarleteen, I’ve even learned some things!  I would have been much more well informed I would have been as a teenager and mother if this website would have been available to me.  I have given the link to my daughter and my son.  He’s had his sex talks with both me and his father but as a man in his ‘20’s, I still think Scarleteen will expand his knowledge of himself and his sexuality. 

 Parents worry about their child's education, being informed sexually is an extremely important part of any child's full life education. Scarleteen needs YOUR support. Please donate to keep this invaluable resource on the 'net for you, your children and their children. 


14 blew out from under the bed:

Indi said...

nitebyrd ~ my sex education consisted of my dear mummy giving me a brochure to read, it may well have been in fuckin chinese.. I didn't understand it, birds n bees? More like Alien v Preditor!



Sunny said...

Hmmm, I never had a sex talk with my mom. In fact, I think my father still believes his granddaughter was the immaculate conception.
Woulda been nice to have had this info back in the day.

Because of the aforementioned, I started early with my kid. The earlier the better I believe 'cause when it came time for the hard questions we were so used to talking about sex it wasn't awkward.
I'm pretty sure this worked as she was comfortable coming out to me at 13.
I recommend being open and talkative to anyone I know with young kids. This site will be a good thing to give those that may not be as comfortable talking about it with their kids as I was with mine.

Thanks for the info!!

Jen Fooled Around said...

Yes back in the day... when Mom sat me down for 'the talk' I remember feeling like I was in a Charlie Brown cartoon. All I heard was "wah wah wah" and she handed me the book.

Thank you for sharing the link.. parents these days need all the help they can get.

Heff said...

PLAYBOY magazine. It's all I needed, lol.

Indi said...

Heff ~ why am I not surprised at that comment *wink*... I said *W I N K* hehehe



Sandra said...

I completely agree. I'm all about the honesty when it comes to sex talks with my kids. I can say 'masturbation' around my boys and nobody blushes...well, except my husband, but we're not talking about him.
Sounds to me like we would so get along! I really admire you.

Zombie Mom said...

I agree. I talk openly with my daughters and I want them to always know they are free to come to me and my husband with questions.
I don't remember ever having "the talk"...but I do remember that horrible film in 5th grade when all the boys went to the playground and we girls had to pass around a maxi pad....

Gucci Mama said...

I dread the sex talk with my kids. There, I said it. I do not at all look forward to using words like "penis" for any goddamn reason.

Commence ridicule and laughter.

Jennie @ Modern Mamaz said...

I'm 27, married and pregnant with our third baby and I still haven't gotten the "sex talk" from my mom. I'm also certain that my dad thinks I'm the Virgin Mary because that's the only possible way I could have conceived, of course.

Anonymous said...
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Casdok said...

Im still waiting for that talk from my mum too!

Dianne said...

My parents simply denied that sex existed
I pretty much figured it out for myself

my son was always uncomfortable when I spoke to him about sex but he listened
I used to leave condoms in his sock drawer with a note saying to let me know if he needed to talk

years later he told me he was grateful for that

ZomBee said...

I agree with Dianne. That's what I had at home growing up.
This made me wonder, how do boys learn to masturbate? It's not like we all get a manual showing grip styles and proper technique.
Guess it just comes naturally.
Sorry but with girls it's a bit easier but then they have all the advantages anyway.

Now days the kids just know so much more and so much sooner. You have to trust them in one of the hardest decisions in their young lives. It's really hard to think straight when the blood is pumping and hormones are flowing.

nitebyrd said...

Indi ~ My mother was 61 when I was 16. She'd only had one other child 20 years prior. She really had no freakin' clue. My half-sister and I are different as night and day.

Sunny ~ My ex-husband refuses to even THINK about his daughter having sex. He'll be positive that any grandchildren she produces will be a miracle. What's with fathers? LOL Talking to kids early and often is very important and SCARLETEEN is just an amazing resource!

Jen ~ Usually when my mother or sister were speaking they sounded like Charlie Brown's teacher to me. They kept wanting me to be a secretary. How freaking boring!

Heff ~ My friend and I would sneak away with her brother's Playboy's. It was how we found out about pubic hair! Little Annie Fanny always made me laugh even though I wasn't really sure what she was doing!

Indi ~ Heff never surprises me. Scares me sometimes but never surprises! ;)

Sandra ~ I thought that my generation would be more open with their children but based on my kids friends, I guess not. I always told them the truth about everything important. I did lie about Santa, Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, etc. but actual "life" stuff, their questions were always answered honestly. Sometimes answers went over their heads, so we'd tone it down. It's definitely important. Next time you come to FL, we'll meet for a few drinks!

Zombie Mom ~ OMG! Really! A MAXI-PAD! LOL Did the boys get to put a condom on a banana? My mother bought me Kotex pads when I first got my period. They were HUGE and needed a belt, back then. I tried one and went to the pharmacy for tampons!

Gucci ~ No you don't! Say it over and over to yourself and go read SCARLETEEN before the talk, you'll be able to say PENIS and VAGINA and SCROTUM, with out even a little giggle.

Jennie ~ You are a strong woman. I had to wait almost 8 years after the first kid before I gave in to having another. Don't be silent with your kids, tell early and often and you know - bookmark SCARLETEEN! LOL Fathers, so clueless with daughters!

Casdok ~ Oh! She is late, isn't she! ;)

Dianne ~ My son would turn red as a beet but I persisted. I'd buy him condoms too. He's a bit shocked now that so many girls his age and younger have children and how many of the girls and guys are dealing with herpes! You did good with you son!

ZomBee ~ Now you know that from the time y'all are born, your penis is your best friend! You men hang on to it like it's a lifeline so rubbing it just comes natural. Trying to find a clitoris is much more difficult! As for knowing more, yes - they do but it's important they know it correctly. My daughter actually asked once if what her friend said is true. You know, the old, "You can't get pregnant doing it standing up!"

So for everyone that's jittery about sex talks with your kids or you came from a NO SEX home, y'all know where to go, right?