Monday, April 9, 2012

Sexual education

I was told about sex when I was five, because I had found a condom and asked and because my parents didn’t believe in lying to their children.

This is what they told me about sex (leaving out more technical information):

Adult people have sex. They have sex for any number of reasons. They have sex with any number of people. They have sex with any number of people at the same time. They have sex with people of any gender. Sometimes, they have sex in committed and faithful relationships, sometimes they have one-night stands, sometimes they cheat. As long as everyone involved is okay with it and informed of it, this is okay. Sex is normal human behaviour and it is not harmful in and on itself.

Sometimes, however, having sex will spread illnesses. Some of these illnesses are not cure-able. Using a condom will protect people from spreading or contracting these illnesses.

Some day, you will have sex, too. Use a condom. Don’t do anything you don’t want. Don’t let anyone hurt you. Keep yourself save and it will be okay.

This message has been repeated to me time and time again, by parents, teachers, other responsible adults.

Despite my father’s prejudices, he made very sure to let me know that whatever I chose for myself, he would fully support my desicion. He would not try to change me and he would not refuse help if I ever needed it.

I was never in my whole life discouraged from having sex by anyone. I was always told to do what felt right and felt good to me.

At nearly nineteen, I am still a virgin, I have never even kissed anyone.

Why am I writing this down?

Well, people seem to be under the impression that being raised in a sex-positive environment will automatically lead people to engage in lewd behaviour, have tons of sex, get themselves or others pregnant, be promiscuous or sexually deviant.

I stand not to say that this behaviour would be wrong or should be condemned.

I stand to say that telling kids about sex early on, in a positive or neutral way, will keep them safe, will keep them informed and will keep them from feeling hurt or terrified or ashamed.

I stand to say that children need not be hurt by knowing about sex.