Monday, September 15, 2014

All sexed up and nowhere to go

Recently an article in my local daily newspaper posed the age-old question, “when is it time to tell kids the facts of life?”

There's always a debate — it flares up every couple of years or so — about how to teach kids about sex. Sometimes parents just turn it over to the schools to teach maturation classes. Adults have so many problems with the subject that the kids have to learn it on their own, gathering information as they can.

I say tell kids the truth from the git-go. Don't sugarcoat it, don't try to smooth it over. Tell them that sex will mess up their heads in ways they can’t imagine right now, and that they’d all be better off taking a vow of lifelong celibacy. Since they’re like I was and won’t listen to reason, take another tack. Tell them about the mechanical act of sex, then tell them they have to satisfy their sex partner.

I was a kid in the late 1950s and early 1960s. When it came to sex I was as dumb as a brick. My father’s and mother’s sex ed lectures to me I can remember verbatim. Dad’s was: “There is a difference in boys and girls. Other boys may make jokes about it, or make fun of it, but it's not really funny.” That told me a lot…about nothing. Mom’s advice was styled more like it was brought down the mountain by Moses. Thou-shalt-not: “Some things are for marriage only!” she said.

As it turned out Mom tried something else. One day when I was 12 or 13 I opened my underwear drawer to find a 1930's book called The Adequate Male. Wow, now there’s a title to inspire a guy! Mom had left it for me to find. The book was all about marital sex; no premarital sex for an adequate male. It gave advice for the wedding night by using negative examples like the man who ravaged his bride six or seven times, then when he couldn't get it up anymore in frustration beat his dong on the bedpost. It scared the poor girl to death. The other thing I remember was the advice about asking your wife for sex. You don't say, “Wanna have a party?” An adequate male wouldn’t do that. It’s a big turn-off for gals.*

The Adequate Male was the amazing disappearing and reappearing book. After a couple of months, Mom apparently reasoned that I’d read it. It disappeared, only to reappear three years later when my brother reached the age of 13. There’s no evidence he read the book, but after a couple of months it disappeared again. When Mom went into the nursing home I hoped maybe I’d find that copy of The Adequate Male amongst her effects, but it had made its final disappearance.

The satisfaction part I mentioned in the second paragraph came about because I read a porn book that had been passed around my junior high school. In that era those books were considered obscene, but just a few years later I read mainstream novels that had more sex, more graphically described, than anything in one of those hot books. What I recall about the book was the plot, such as it was. A young teen goes on a date with a loose girl from school. They’re in the back seat of the car. My hands were getting sweaty when I read about him pulling off her sweater, taking off her bra, pushing her skirt up, pulling down her panties. YES, OH YES! My screaming mind told me, TELL ME MORE! Then the crusher: He got on, he popped, he got off. She treated him with disdain because of his quick-like-a-bunny act: “You don't know how to satisfy a girl!” she said.

Say what? Satisfy? A girl? What? My mind spun. “What does that mean, ‘satisfy a girl?’” My mind was still vague enough about the process of sex that to me the whole thing centered on me getting it in, not on getting the girl off. What a comedown (pun intended) for me. I knew then, neither the teenager in the book, nor I, knew how to satisfy a girl.

Still, I trudged on with the book. It got better. With more practice the main character turned into a real stud. He learned how to satisfy a girl, oh yes. In the meantime his former disdainful girlfriend had become a call girl and boffed a lot. Naturally, they ended up together, and believe it or not, stranded on a tropical island, where all they had to do was hump all day. And of course, he brought her more than satisfaction.

I didn’t know any call girls — well, we found out the neighbor lady was one, but that’s a whole other story — nor did I know any girls who were willing to have sex, much less for me to try satisfying. So that’s the way my sex life stood for quite a while.

Kids today see sex acts on television and movies. They turn on the Internet and the porn spills out. Most kids today see more sex before they are 12 than I saw until I was decades past puberty. Playboy gave us a look at the anatomy, even if some of it was airbrushed away. The sleazy paperbacks, which came to us from guys stealing them out of dad’s sock drawer or in the bottom of a box in the closet, were part of the sex ed process.

With the exception of Sex Bait, the cover scans of these classic sleaze paperbacks were provided by my good friend, David Miller. Click on the pictures for full-size images.

*I told a former coworker this story and he said, “When I want sex I just tell my ol' lady, ‘Hey, I wanna fuck.’” A real smooth operator!

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