I am over 50 years old, and I am STILL WAITING for my Mother to have “the talk” about sex with me
8-} *rolls eyes*
Not to fault my Mother, as it was part of the continuing religious message of her time (she was married circa 1950)… and how human sexuality was seen as both “God’s Miracle” (ie Childbirth) and also just the whole idea there was so much still UNKNOWN about how one’s body did work*
* In that Both the Masters & Johnson’s Studies and the Kinsey Reports weren’t widely circulated until the late 1960s & 70s
All the while of course, it was my Mother’s Generation that broke sex out of the closet to begin with… as Health & Medicine made HUGE inroads in the 1930s, 40s and 50s (such as the invention of Feminine Hygiene Products… and there becoming for available to the “average” woman).
Also, WWII brought about a bit more knowledge & info about birth control (condoms) being something that had been made available to soldiers overseas and they brought that info home with them (and so the demand for better birth control became both a Male & Female issue)
Lol… My mother may not have been much of a talker about her own sexuality… but I am guessing that she was sexually active in some ways BEFORE she married my father. It was quite common for girls of her time, to “give in” to their feelings for their sweethearts back in the War Years (either on their own, or thru Boyfriend or Best Friend pressure), with the knowledge that the guys might not come back alive (I do know for example that my Mom was Engaged during the War to a guy who never came home… although it is a topic that NO ONE in my extended family has really ever talked about). I also know that both her older and younger sisters, did some sexual experimentation of their own… one getting pregnant in her mid-teens, and the other running off with a married man in her late teens.
As much as my Mom was uninformed, my Grandmother’s (her mother) situation was even worse. My Gran was shipped to Canada during WWI to escape the war along with all her younger siblings (believe she was 16 at the time). They all lived with a distant relative whom she had never met. I understand that after coming from England (London area), coming to rural Canada was a HUGE shock… My Gran hated it. So the first young fellow who came along and caught her eye… was her ticket out of there. She married at 17 (circa 1920). She didn’t know a thing about sex… and told me once she had only just gotten her period a few months before (early 1900s, and that was the average… around age 16).
My Gran was a remarkable lady… and far more open about life than my own Mother… I attribute this to the fact that as we age, we all get a lot less tied up in all this social nonsense about sexuality (I certainly find it in myself). And come to realize that sex is just another bodily function, and a NORMAL part of life… and the ONLY time being a virgin is a BIG Deal is either when you are one, or are a Parent, hoping that your kids will hang-on as long as possible (in hopes that they won’t make any bad decisions, or be HURT in the process… be that physically, emotionally or morally, if one hangs a lot of value on the religious aspects)
So in her 60s and 70s, when I was a teen, and a young woman at University, she’d tell me things about her own life and that of her girls (which is how I got “hints” about my Mother’s History and that of my Aunts… lol, in that NO ONE ever dare mention this stuff otherwise)
Gran told me that when she got married, she loved her Boyfriend or Best Friend / Fiance / Husband very much. But didn’t have a clue about human sexuality. She said it was quite traumatic for her their Wedding Night and Honeymoon… and no surprise that she ended up immediately pregnant and having a baby almost 9 months to the day !!
And within 5 years, they had separated (she attributed their break up to a lack of communication), not surprising in that they barely knew each other… and there were sooo many things back in the day that couples just didn’t talk about. It wasn’t until the 1970s that she finally filed for Divorce once the NO FAULT DIVORCE LAWS came into effect… (because prior to that it was very difficult to get a divorce, never mind that it was seen as being a huge failure / shameful).
So here she was a newly liberated woman in the 1970s, counselling me a young woman in my late Teens to learn all I could about human sexuality, BEFORE I settled down (lol, I sometimes think she actually encouraged me to “sow some wild oats”… rather than just settling for the first guy that came along… THANK YOU GRAN)
— — —
So it was only natural, given the timeframe, that I a child of the 1960s, grew up in a household, where sex was a taboo topic from a religious aspect… but was gaining more ground from a social studies point of view (a lot of this hinging on the ground-breaking sexual revolution that was going on for women… an underlying factor of the Love Generation)
I was certainly part of that “change” on how human sexuality was being addressed / discussed even in the main stream.
I remember, I was in Grade 6 (so about 11 years old), and the Girls all got herded into a classroom, to have “the where do babies come from / period talk”… our Mothers were invited. They sat at the back of the room, it was super embarrassing. I don’t think my Mother was much different from anyone else’s, in that time in history, and social response, in that she didn’t follow up with any further “talks” after the fact… conveniently leaving it all up to the School and the folks at Tampax (they sponsored these talks, provided the movie, and gave us all booklets that had stories “about becoming a woman”… how wonderful it was to be a Teenager, the excitement of hanging out with friends… boys & girls, and maybe some Dating. And of course there were tucked away in the back somewhere, illustrations of the female reproductive system… and the “wonder” of having a period. There was NO INFO about males whatsoever… the words Erection, and Ejaculation was not to be seen at all).
Like a lot of girls of my time, I didn’t have a clue about that stuff. And never saw a real live (or movie) penis until I was in College. Nudity being just as taboo as sex itself.
Infact, that is pretty much HOW society was well into the 1980s… lots of Women Magazines talking about Women’s “issues” (periods, pregnancy etc) and HOW TO PLEASE YOUR MAN (hand-jobs, oral sex, positions), but almost no info on the mechanics of sex in regards to human sexuality and the nitty-gritty stuff like orgasms (and never a word about female orgasm)… if there was ANY info on that at all, it was all about HOW TO MAKE A MAN CUM… please him so much you’ll be a sex kitten / goddess in his eyes, and for sure he’ll never stray / leave you !!
8-} *rolls eyes some more*
So it is no wonder, that there were so many unplanned pregnancies well into the end of the 20th Century here inCanada… (and certainly in other parts of the world, where Sex Education is still very much a hotly debated topic)
Canada undertook some very big changes in Sex Education in the 1990s and beyond. I know my kids even at Catholic Schools, got a fair bit of info besides just abstinence.
But then again, I was a pretty pro-active woman in learning how to protect myself (let alone my children) since the 1980s.
When the kids were growing up, I was “The Mom” who used all the correct terminology for body parts pretty much right from the get go. Which a lot of my peers who were also Parenting, were horrified at… remembering conversations about my Daughter with other Moms, that sort of went “Oh my gosh, your 4 Year Old Daughter knows the words Genitals, Vagina and Penis”
Being upfront about their bodies, made moving on to talks about “private parts”, and “good & bad touching” a lot easier when they were heading off to school etc. And certainly laid the groundwork for discussions on where babies come from (around 8 to 10) and their own physical changes (around 11) and then onto frank discussions about sexual desires etc easier in their teens. We always made all discussions about HOW THEY FIT into the bigger picture… and the social impacts of sexuality as well as their immediate needs.
So a lot more than the DON’T DO IT or GOOD GIRLS DON’T messages that I got thru my teens. Lol, when my Mother discovered my Birth Control Pills as a full-blown adult (I was around 19) she went right off the deep end, called me a slut and wouldn’t talk to me for months… and this in spite of the fact that I INTENTIONALLY held off sexual activity until I was over 18, out of the house (my way of being respectful to my family’s beliefs etc)
But then again, my relationship was never great with my Mother… from the time, I grew a brain of my own and was no longer the little doll she could dress up and show off. (My mother not being a very mentally stable person to begin with). So needless to say the Teenage Years, Young Adulthood, and beyond have had all their own complex challenges.
How times have changed in 4 Generations of women… My Gran, my Mom, myself and my children. My own Daughter was a confident teen who came to me for advice, and although I didn’t necessarily condone her choices in regards to sex, nor did I promote it, or make it easy for her to have a sexual relationship as a teenager. There were curfews, and house rules (no boys in her bedroom) etc.
And she recently confided in me, that she held off having sex for a very long time vs her friends… only becoming sexually active in her late teens with a long time Boyfriend (I honestly had guessed that on my own). BUT what I was surprised at was she said, there was a lot of early “experimentation” with kissing, petting and such, that she clearly wasn’t prepared for (in that she now reflects back and says her emotions just weren’t mature enough to handle the stuff that happened) and the fall-out from it… in that she shared too much info with not trustworthy friends (or Boyfriends who talked). She said a lot of the stuff she sort of “regrets” happened as a Tween when she was 10 and 11.
Which clearly tells me that sexual experimentation has amped up considerably since I was a kid
I have a Girlfriend who works with kids in an Inner City School in a big city here in Canada… she tells me more and more of them are experimenting… or becoming full blown sexually active in their Tweens… with many Girls getting their periods in the 9 to 11 age group now… (I was 13 when I got mine… my kids were 12). And with all the info about there about sex… there is a lot of curiosity in this age group to check out things they’ve heard about, seen on tv, or read about (back in my day, most info came out of books) or off the Internet. Kids that age just generally know a lot more about “adult things” at a younger age… so she tells me there have been a lot of stuff going on in this age group (Grades 5 and 6)… including Heavy Petting & Oral Sex (for both Boys & Girls), and even fully sexually active kids and pregnancies for 12 Year Olds. She says the Sex Ed Classes are now conducted by the School Nurse (vs a Teacher just a few years ago), because the Questions the kids were bringing up were pretty complex and actually the Teachers who dealt with the kids one-on-one day-in-day-out found themselves in a position where they were embarrassed and “finding out too much personal info about their students”. Particularly so as at that age, kids don’t always have a FILTER and can sometimes say the most outlandish stuff that the rest of us might be a bit more restrained about saying in public. Remember here, this is all coming out of an Elementary School… not a Middle School or a High School !!
So Ladies, if I can share some advice…
Talk to your kids SOOONER than later. Because if you don’t someone else will… and as history continues to prove, the info that they get from their peers, or off the street isn’t going to be the most accurate or work in any way to give them the correct info they need to protect themselves or make EDUCATED decisions.
And I am a strong believer, that an Educated Person is still the person who makes the best decisions in life overall… not knowing stuff is never a good thing… and when it comes to sex, it can hurt you (or even kill you)