Sunday, October 20, 2013

Sex Ed, According to Mom

I am taking a Human Sexuality class in college this semester. Now, I know what you're thinking. "After giving birth to five babies, doesn't she already KNOW everything about sexuality?"

You'd think, right? But I am learning many new things, not the least of which is how clueless and draconic some of the thinking still is among the 18-23 year old generation who are my classmates.

The professor, a 60-ish woman with a severe military crew cut perched atop an otherwise twinkly countenance, minces no words. She throws words like "vagina, penis, pubis, sperm, ejaculation, urethral orifice, clitoris and labium majorum" around with abandon. The class snickers and shifts in their seats.

She ask about their sexual careers and their opinions of their sexual partners. Some of the answers were shocking. "I likes me a virgin," one boy said (I am not kidding). "Nice and tight." "If a boy behaves badly, I think it is the girl's fault," said one young woman. Oh, my God!

At this point, my hand is waving wildly in the air. The professor, who has heard it all before, smiles and gives me the floor. "I am a mom of both boys and girls," I say, my voice failing to hide my upset. "this is not a game and it is not a contest. You are not counting coup. This is a fellow human, with feelings and emotions. A daughter, sister, friend. Son, brother, comrade. When you see this in the other, you must give them the respect and carefulness they deserve and need from you. Only then with each of you discover the explosive miracle of intimacy. Only then."

Silence, and more shifting. Some boys slide lower in their seats. I can hear their silent words. "Who let my mom into this class?" A couple of girls sitting near me shoot me grateful smiles. The professor pauses for only a second, then proceeds. "Who else wants to share?" she asks.