Steve left the following comment to yesterday’s post:
Another friend tried to convince me that fucking was ipso factor rape, which was the most serious crime in the world, more serious than murder and you would automatically be hanged for it. I pointed out that children continued to be born, so either that wasn’t true or there were an awful lot of unhanged rapists walking around, even acknowledging that the children were theirs. He then informed me that fucking did not produce children, kissing did. I thougt someone must have lied to him, but when I grew up I thougth that his parents may have tried to give him some sex education, and he had misunderstood it/.
This gave me an idea to discuss what sex education we all received.
I grew up in a country where sex was not discussed and even the word “sex” was not mentioned in polite company. At least, that’s how things were in our social stratum.
When I became curious about human reproduction at age 12, I decided to consult the fount of wisdom that was the Great Soviet Encyclopedia. I was completely innocent on this subject and had no idea that men had any involvement in reproductive processes. I had this vague idea that women decided when they wanted to grow a baby inside of them and men were not necessary for this in any capacity. We had a neighbor who gave birth to a baby girl without getting married or ever being accompanied by any man (that I knew of, obviously) which was what gave me this idea.
The article on reproduction in the Great Soviet Encyclopedia was filled with long, confusing words that sounded obscene (I mean, “zygote” or “gamete.” I’m still embarrassed whenever I hear these words.) When I finally managed to decipher the article, I was shocked.
“No,” I decided. “Of course, people don’t do these nasty things. Maybe some horrible people do them but nice, normal people definitely don’t.”
This was when I understood why my parents always said that the Great Soviet Encyclopedia was filled with lies.
N. also researched sex at the same age and using the same method. We, the Soviet children, were not very inventive, it seems. His parents, however, did not have the Great Soviet Encyclopedia. They owned a shorter version titled the Small Soviet Encyclopedia. The word “sex” wasn’t there. The closest word to “sex” that it contained was the word “sextant.” N. stared at it for days, trying to figure out why something that looked so innocent was supposed to be this huge mystery. This was when he realized that all adults were idiots.
When I was 14, my great-grandfather finally brought me a brochure that explained human sexuality in a reasonable, calm, and comforting way. I still remember the first sentence from it: “Sexuality could and should be among the best, most beautiful parts of human experience. And if it isn’t, that is a result of how badly we handle the sexual education of the growing generation.”
And how did you learn about sex?