The second year was the Human Sex ed. Class as we normally think of it. I actually drew out the diagrams of the male and female sex organs and talked first about the way they accomplish the reproduction part of sex. (as they used to say in “Silver Streak”, “What goes where and why.”)
My almost 11 year old was a little grossed out.
One of my main goals for this year was creating, forever, the idea that I was totally comfortable talking about this stuff. Now, to be sure, I am (as a counselor I talk about sex all the time with people)… but I really think that this is one of the most important goals here.
So act casual and calm, like you talk about this stuff all the time too.
Remember the guns in dad’s cabinet? I didn’t want him to think of sex as a taboo subject with me at all, but as comfortable a place as it would be possible to have about such an uncomfortable subject matter. If he wants to know more, he can always come to the expert. ( Laugh if you want).
As mentioned before, I was introduced to the world of adult sexuality via a magazine in the woods at about age 6. Because of that, I think sex as much more intriguing to me much earlier.
My son had had a crush on a girl since he was 8, so I know that he likes girls a lot; but as we drifted down the river, I noticed that he didn’t seem to really notice the young ladies in skimpy swimsuits like I think I would have at 11. I asked him about it and he said he really just liked the one girl and really didn’t think anyone else was pretty like her.
I think I coveted my son’s healthier progression into romance at that moment.
He was more grossed out by the biological side of things. I connected the spiritual aspects we had talked about the year before with the actual processes. I pointed out that two people so linked physically and with so much skin touching were sure to create a powerful bond spiritually as well.
I made it clear that he would see all kinds of false images about what sex is like – but that it is a very amazing way for two people to connect as an expression of their life-long devotion to one another. It is so intimate and so vulnerable, that anything less would not really be safe or wise.
Finally, I pointed out that one aspect of marriage is how it is like a castle in which the treasure of sex is protected; and how it is that one activity that is reserved only for people within marriage.
Again, I asked if there were any questions about the biology and anatomy of sex.
He quickly said no.
One quick note about this year’s discussion was that I taught him all the appropriate anatomically correct terms for everything as well. He already knew many of them, and many psychologists believe in teaching the medically correct terms from the beginning. We haven’t chosen to do that, but I can understand the motivations for it.
So that you know, during the year that followed, I got a number of questions from him about sex. Typically, they were questions about terms, or about what something that he saw or heard meant. Often, these weren’t technically questions – they were comments that he made as though he knew for sure, and then watched to see if I was going to correct him.
The only story he told that I wish I had foreseen was between him and his best friend.
His best friend found out that we had talked and that now Mark knew the secret.
He wanted Mark to tell him the details.
The reason I wish I had foreseen this is so that I could coach Mark on the proper way to handle it. Fortunately, he did well.
Mark told him that it was not his place to tell, and that he should ask his own father. The part I love best is that his friend asked “ok, just tell me this, does it have something to do with kissing?” Mark told him (paraphrase) “Not really, and I really don’t think you want to know.”
I fell a little behind on this, so hopefully sometime this week the 4th part will also appear here. Part IV