Christians have made a mess of sex, and not in a good way. They’ve created a Schizophrenic attitude toward a completely natural, human desire. They teach abstinence and guilt and unhealthy attitudes. Sure, blame it on the Puritans, but all of America’s big religions are culpable.
If you think about it, the entire Adam and Eve story is crazy. A lonely God created Adam, who was also lonely. So then God decided to make Eve, only to set them up for a fall with a manipulative snake, a phallic creature that outsmarted Eve. OK. So now they know about s-e-x. They had forty-seven children, but only two boys survived. And you know the question that everyone asks next: Well, how did they have children?
Somewhere along the line, man started figuring out how babies were made. And the guys started to realize, hey how do I know this kid is mine? And the gals started to ask, hey how do I know who my baby daddy is? And the Stone Age came along and man knew that he could fashion weapons and tools so that he could 1. Make stuff and 2. Kill people to take their stuff. So they started “stuff accumulation.” But they needed to know who to give their stuff to when they died. (Bear with me.) So that’s when people needed to know exactly whose baby belonged to whom.
Whew. Then church came along: The Roman Catholic Church, which was not, of course, the only church, but it was sure big and powerful. The more kids parishioners had, the more members the church had. And the more money it had. But that worked best in families, where there was income that could be used to support the family as well as tithed to the church. The church became adept at controlling women: no, you cannot participate in the service; you cannot be a priest. You cannot use birth control. You cannot decide to terminate a pregnancy—any pregnancy. You cannot. You cannot. You cannot. You have to model yourself after the Virgin Mary. Pure. Chaste. Not slutty like those prostitutes in the Bible.
So, that is the very, very short version of why we have so many issues with sex in our country, which has since been aggravated, as I mentioned, by our Puritanical roots. So how do we help our kids develop healthy attitudes about their bodies and about sex, especially since we don’t have religion to throw at them?
I agree with Christians on one thing—our bodies are temples. I’ve told my kids this over and over and over again. It’s the same for boys and girls. You have to respect it—not only in the way you treat it, but how you feed yourself and whom you share it with. I started this talk early because I didn’t want my kids to learn about sex from someone else, a kid in class or some stranger in the park. Sex is serious business. It is good business, but something you should not enter into unless you’re an adult. By then, you will have (hopefully) established good relationship skills. By then, you should be able to list out the reasons why you like a girl or a boy. Christians got it right in teaching their kids to save themselves—but not because it will keep them “pure.” Because sex is not bad or dirty. They should save themselves because sex is emotionally costly and physically risky. You do not want a kid you’ll have to live with or a disease you’ll have to live with for the rest of your life. These are the things I tell my children.
I hope they will wait until they find someone really special. Because they want to share this experience with someone they know and really like, not just share an experience with a stranger. Sex is not something given or taken, but shared. For both genders.
Feel free to share how you do it (the sex talk) at your house.