You know that talk a child gets just before they enter their adolescent stage? Well, I got that talk, the only difference was that mine was a very scary version. You see, in our culture back then most parents were not very comfortable talking about sex with their children. That job was left to the aunt but with people moving far and wide in the end your mother was left to do all the work and boy did she do a shoddy job of it. In order to stop me from indulging in any sex her plan was to tell me stories that would stop me from even dreaming about having sex. (they worked for a while though) I remember the day my mother sat me down to tell me how I should not have sex before I was married. Mind you she didn’t even use the word sex; I am still to remember what term she used but I just concluded she meant sex. She told me that if I got too close to a boy or even let him touch any part of my body her back would break. THE HORROR!! I didn’t even date anyone during my teen years because I was obviously scared shitless. Why would I want a boy anywhere near me? So that my mother’s back breaks?? That was definitely going to happen on my watch, I love my mother too much to cause her any harm!
And so I sailed through my teen years until one day a boy I fancied started writing me letters. I was obviously excited and kept this my little secret. I remember going for a walk with him one afternoon and then before we said goodbye he kissed me! OH MY FREAKING GOSH!! I was terrified! I ran all the way home, locked myself in the bathroom and kept looking in the mirror to check if my parents would be able to tell if I had been kissed. I was miserable for the rest of the day and when they came back from work I acted normal but my heart was pounding so hard I felt like it was going to jump right out of my throat. The next morning and the weeks to come I woke up worried thinking my mother’s back would surely break after that kiss! But of course nothing happened and years later I started dating, I even had sex (protected of course) and no one’s back ever broke. LOL
I had to learn about sex through school mates and talks the women who would occasionally come to school and talk about not allowing anyone to touch your body. They didn’t actually say anything about safe sex or contraceptives and the whole shebang. And so I had to read about most of the things in books and or overhear my sisters talk about condoms then I figured that’s what you were supposed to use. To be honest that was the only form of contraceptive I knew of; that and abstaining. I still feel that my mother could have done a better job of informing me about sex and not have me wonder and seek answers from outside sources. She did a very good job of letting me think that sex was a very bad thing not to be talked about, had or enjoyed because something terrible would happen to you. At the same time I don’t blame her because she grew up in a time where such talks were unheard of.
I asked a few friends around me to tell me how their “birds and the bees” talk when they were younger and this is the feedback I got:
“Ahh, I don’t remember being told anything by my mum. She just told me no boys before finishing school.”
“She gave me the finer details about sex when I was around 16. Even told me how people have sex so that little boys wouldn’t trick me with the don’t worry it isn’t sex line.”
“She never said anything.”
“I had sex figured out from my teacher.”
“We never had the talk she just said if you get pregnant don’t ever come back home.”
“Stay away from sex because you will get pregnant! If a boy tells you he loves you run for your life!”
I am happy and sad at the same time with this kind of feedback. Happy because it shows that I wasn’t alone in being told ridiculous things in the name of no sex before your time. Sad because we were not given enough information about what sex really was even though we were still too young to understand it. At least one person out of all my friends actually got to know what sex was the rest of us have to figure it out by ourselves!
When my daughter gets to adolescent stage I will sit down with her and we will have an honest and open talk about sex and not hide anything from her so that she knows how to protect herself and be aware of the on goings of her body. I won’t scare her or tell her any lies because I want her to know she can come to me and talk about anything at anytime.