Monday, December 5, 2005

All the good things and the bad things that may be

My cousin Taylor is in middle school now. That means that it won't be long until sex ed. From my perspective now, that seems awfully young, and I'm sure it seems even weirder to his mother. But, I guess, at that age, I pretty much knew it all anyway. I learned the basics of procreation on the playground in kindergarten, along with a copious number of swear words I'd never heard before, as that was my first mass interaction with other kids my age. I didn't have all of the details right... There was no romantic or erotic connection involved; as far as I knew. Sex was just some fun activity for adults that sometimes ended in babies. The oral and anal varieties, which I of course knew under less clinical names, were just other fun things that adults did, and were no more related to intercourse than, say, urination. At the time there was even quite a debate as to what the "weiner" was actually called; surely no name as silly as "peanus" could be it. By sixth and seventh grades, thanks to sex ed and more playground wisdom, I learned the official terms like "masturbation" and "cunnilingus" and "menstruation," but not much I didn't know about before, except perhaps the existence of STDs.

As well-informed as I was about all matters in-and-out at the time, it still seems very weird that someone I see as a "little kid" probably knows all these things now too. At the end of the fifth grade, my best friend swore to me that his one and only goal for the summer was to "get a girlfriend and then fuck her every day." He had a particular girl in mind, even, and a rough plan as to how that was going to happen. We went to different middle schools, and when he called sometime during the next year, I brought it up as a joke, and he handily avoided the topic. I don't think he was successful.

I wonder if his friends have similar goals already.

I feel like I should feel bad for being curious about all these things. My fascination with the taboo demands that I know. I'd honestly like to know what he knows and what he talks about—it would be interesting. But, long before that becomes a possibility, the "creepy old man firewall" falls into place and I decide it's best to just wonder. I always find myself really wanting to know what I can't or mustn't. Because, you know, a few more datapoints of the bizarre are probably not worth emotionally scarring a child.

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