Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Sex Education

Hey, I'm back...the convalenscence continues, and I'm beginning to think one day I'll be myself again. But seeing as I haven't really been myself lately, I don't have a lot of current erotic adventures (real or fantastical) to relate.

Therefore I thought I'd post about erotic adventures of the past! Well, not exactly adventures. Still, I think you may find it interesting to hear about the sex education of Diana Laurence, right?

I came of age in the middle of the sexual revolution. My childhood was marked by exposure to rather exotic things that didn't necessarily make sense to someone reared on "Leave It to Beaver." I remember feeling shock, discomfort and fear hearing hippies talk about "free love" and seeing things like a photo of Charlie Manson being serviced by one of his followers. On the one hand, I had the romantic values you'd expect of a little girl who listened to a lot of Rodgers and Hammerstein soundtracks. But on the other, I watched "Laugh-In" and heard about "Barbarella" and "Last Tango in Paris." It was a confusing time to go through puberty.

One of the things about me that I guarantee influenced who I am today as a writer was the fact that I was blessed with a quality sex education. Not in school...there all you got was information on your anatomy and how to use tampons. No, it was--what a concept!--my parents. When I was a young teen they provided me with excellent books that discussed everything from masturbation to blue balls to wet dreams. And it was a good thing too; I was such an innocent at that time that I didn't know erections happened much less that boys in my classes were enduring them in my presence!

Both my mom and dad talked to me about what I read and created an environment where if I had questions at any time, I was comfortable asking. And believe me, my parents were not avant garde types by any stretch. They were private, and a little awkward about the subject, just like any parent would be. It was just that they believed it was crucial for their daughter to know about sex. They didn't want me to get VD, or pregnant, or even to get in a situation where I was confused or scared by what was happening to me.

The fact that my parents would talk about sex with me also conveyed to me that it was a natural, wholesome thing that needn't bring embarrassment or shame. Consequently, alongside my incurably romantic streak born of "The Music Man" and "Oklahoma!", I developed an appreciation for the erotic as something that could be good and beautiful and operate in perfect harmony with romance.

I have always been an outspoken proponent of sex education, both in schools and better yet, at home. Not only does it help kids be safer and wiser, it passes on a positive attitude and good mental health concerning sex.

So parents reading this, if you love your kids, don't neglect this area of parenting. Explain things so your children know their feelings are normal. Teach them about the sexuality of the opposite sex. Tell them the pitfalls and dangers, but also let them know you understand what it's like to be a sexual being. Share the advantages of abstinence in a non-critical way that respects their intelligence. Provide an environment that encourages their questions and responds to their natural curiosity. If this sounds intimidating, remember--keeping a sense of humor is key. There is a lot to smile and laugh about concerning sex, and there's nothing wrong with all parties acknowledging their shyness and embarrassment.

The point is to make sure your kids are informed. Sure, you can leave it to the less than adequate information they get in school. Sure, you can hope they find the right websites with sex information rather than the wrong ones. But the benefits of them learning these key life lessons from someone who loves them--you--cannot be overestimated.

One of the things I've always been most grateful for concerning my parents is that they cared enough to teach me about sex. I did the same for my own daughters, and it's something I will never forget.

No comments: