The following is just one of a bunch of pieces I’ve been working on for a project tentatively titled Pornotopia: The Ins and Outs and Ins and Outs of Sex and Erotica. Enjoy!
Part of my writing life used to be answering teenagers' questions about sex. I liked answering those questions; one, because I loved feeling the righteous fury of educating kids on sex - when so many have this mad-ape delusion that if you don't teach them, they won't do it; two, because it fascinated me to hear what kids were up to, and what their level of ignorance/knowledge was; and three, it was a way of making sure that at least a few of them wouldn’t have to go through the hideous morass of outright lies and twisted, embarrassing myths that flying around the schoolroom, playhouse, or network news show.
Very little came up in those years that flat-out punched my buttons. Sure there were a few abuse cases (“talk to your teacher, a policeman, an adult you trust.”), a few coming out heartbreakers (“you are not alone”), and a few just plain obnoxious ones - like the 'kid' who sent me 500+ messages in a single day (I got him kicked off his ISP) - but nothing that's really made me froth at the mouth. Until, that is, I got my 501st virginity question.
“My boyfriend licked me, am I a virgin?”, “My boyfriend fucked me in the ass, am I a virgin?”, “A girl touched my special area, am I a virgin?”, “My girlfriend blew me, am I a virgin?”, “I had cybersex with a mouth-breathing, VD infected, Mormon traffic cop - am I a virgin?”
The one thing I couldn’t say during my stint in that in that polite venue I can finally say now: WHO THE FUCK CARES!?
Sex, in this day and age, can kill you. Forget HIV, Hepatitis that can kill you faster, and nastier. Even if you're not gonna die, you can still spend the rest of your days in pain from something like genital warts, or herpes - and don't forget those old favorites, crabs, gonorrhea, syphilis, and many, many more. Of all things kids should be worrying about VIRGINITY AIN'T ONE OF THEM!
I have one thing to say to anyone out there who wants to give me a hard time for giving these 'sweet, innocent kids' a hard time: FUCK YOU!! What do YOU think should be more important to kids: virginity or DYING?! And before you start slinging that bullshit about abstinence, get this through your thick skull: In all the years I answered those questions only a bare dozen were “I’m thinking about” or “what if I?” Every other one was after the fact: there's this poor kid sitting there on his/her bed after they’ve and the first thing you’ve taught them to think is “Am I still a virgin?”
But I shouldn't be so pissed at them: they're just kids after all, just young sprouts trying to grow in the poor light and weak soil you’ve give them. Nah, I don't really blame them for their ignorance and misguided priorities.
I BLAME YOU!
I tried to do my part to get those kids to realize that sex is wonderful, special, damned lots of fun, and - if you’re not careful - potentially fatal. The least you could have done was back me up on this: talk to your kids about condoms and safe(r) sex, try to teach them that even if they aren't planning on having sex they should still know how to do it safety. Teach kids about love, trust, respect - and what you can catch by dirty toilet seats (crabs) and what you can't by kissing (HIV). Teach them that virginity is dogshit compared to life, and how to live to a ripe, and randy, old age.
They're YOUR kids, after all - I just answered their questions. YOU raise them.