I was 5 years old when I walked in on my aunt and uncle having sex in the basement of the family home. I thought they were playing barn yard animals, so I hopped on his back while he rode my aunt and yelled "go horsey". I am sure their mortification far surpassed mine once I was old enough to realize that what transpired under the covers was not meant for anyone but the two of them. I also thought, what the fuck, make sure the door is fully closed and possibly locked you sick fucks. This was the same aunt that told me that I needed to keep my neck and ears clean in case some boy might want to nibble on them when I was older.
My mother, a large uber catholic that married the one man that got in to her pants, producing a son 8 months after the wedding, hammered in to my head that sex is dirty, and only for marriage. And porn, porn is the devil's magic and "your father is disgusting for having those videos". When she caught me with my hands down my pants she made me confess that same day to the priest because only dirty kids that might turn in to homosexuals play with themselves. I would like to insert here that these are not my beliefs at all. I would also like to further point out the fact that my mother is not a bad person, but she is small town girl with a small town mind, she grows in thought and soul every day.
So maybe my view of sex was a little fucked when puberty hit. There was not much that I did know, and the knowledge collected to that point went from clean ears for the off chance that some random guy kissed my head, to not being a dirty sex girl that enjoyed dirty sex. At the age of 13 I asked questions like "what's a blow job" and "what are woodies". R-rated movies helped my imagination, but it mostly left me with the idea that slow jazz should be playing while I non-awkwardly tumbled on top of a fire truck or in the back of a vintage car on the Titanic. In my mid 20's an ex would further hinder my sexual journey by being disgusted with masturbation and vibrators. I thought I was disgusting, that there was something wrong with me.
So when I was asked by a close family member to give their preteen kid "the talk", I was flattered but scared. Although the kid was older than I was when I decided to join in on the "rodeo", this talk could be the very first introduction to sex this kid will have. Would I be graphic and scientific? What if I said something that made them feel disgusting? Should I be gender neutral so that they are comfortable exploring their sexuality? My mind was everywhere!
When the time came to execute my speech, I made sure to do so in a car, on a freeway, so the kid had nowhere to go, with no choice but to listen. I gave him/her the following information -
1. Maturity is required when deciding to partake in sexual activities, but it doesn't always happen.
2. You should be respect the partner you are about to be sexual with, and they should respect you as well. Love is an emotion that can be fleeting, but respect, respect holds steady leading to love and friendship.
3. ALWAYS USE PROTECTION
4. Sex should be fun. This was important for me to convey, given my history (I will save that story for another post). It should not be forced, it should not be a chore, or a tool. The idea of sex with a person you respect and care for should give you the feeling of euphoria, not dread.
5. No one should touch you in an unwanted manner, nor should they force you to touch them.
6. Herpes and AIDS are forever.
7. I will always be there for you. You don't have to tell everything, and I won't ask questions if you don't want me to, but I will always be there for you, without judgement.
The conversation was awkward and we were both happy when the last statement was made. And when this kid starts high school, or when they start dating, I am sure I will have the conversation again, because I don't want them to think they are alone, that they are disgusting, or dirty. And maybe they won't need to talk to me again. Maybe they will have others to turn to who will provide insight and life experiences without the awkwardness that we once had during our talk. But I can only hope that they love and embrace who they are and who they will be.