My peeps, how una dey?
I have ruminated over and over again about the ‘wiseness’ of talking about sex.
You see, I am a good Christian girl and I have family. My family are very conservative. I am the black sheep that has decided to speak openly about issues. I secretly suspect that they may not read this article.
I don’t blame them.
We were not brought up to talk openly about sex . Mba! Despite the fact that we are 8 children (what more evidence do you need to know that sex must have happened a lot?) My parents never gave us any sex talk. Everything was vague.
When we were about to resume school, they would say
“Yi hankali…” Which means be careful. And somehow we always knew what that meant.
My father once placed his arm around my mum and announced that she was a virgin when he met her. We squirmed in mega embarrassment because… ewwwwwwww..
That was the sum total of my official sex education.
Typical of Nigerian parents.
When it comes to education and career choices they are very vocal and involved.
When it comes to character building, parents are right behind you slapping you to shape.
Learning how to respect people is a course we were taken through from beginners’ level to advanced level.
Explaining the ‘ya kamatas’ (you are expected to…) of culture and religion, parents can’t keep calm.
When it comes to sex – DEAFENING SILENCE.
It is like spinning a child round and round blind folded and pushing the child into a maze.
The irony is that they introduce us to sexual awareness.
By this I mean you could be as little as 2 and your mother would be teaching you how to sit with your legs closed so that no one would see your panties.
They teach us to be uncomfortable with nakedness and how to hide our privates but they do not teach us what to do with emotions and how to understand and deal with biological urges when we get to our teen years.
They say with all sternness.
“No sex till you are married”
“Nobody should bring any pregnancy to this house” ”If you like get a girl pregnant and see what I will do to you.”
“If you allow a boy to touch you, you will be pregnant.”
And that is it.
So we grow up struggling to understand, learning from books and videos we are not allowed to read and watch. We learn from friends who learnt from friends who learnt from naughty uncles.
They do not approve of us dating but we do any way and we hide it from them. We try to deal with how we feel and how to express how we feel and exploring unknown territories all by ourselves.
If we could actually open up and tell our parents when we started having sex or if we had abortions, they would be shocked.
Sex is too important for parents not to speak openly and honestly about.
It is a travesty to exert influence on every aspect of a child’s life and be mum about sex.
They really think that the fear of them will keep us virgins till we marry.
Like they were virgins when they married (puleezeee).
The thing is, silence creates dysfunction. And worse of all, it increases the possibilities of life changing mistakes.
Imagine a terrified 15 year old girl mistakenly pregnant for a 16 year old boy and tell me that the two of them should find a solution all by themselves. A solution would be a cheap abortion that could do more harm than good.
This silence is ridiculous. It creates repression. Parents pretend that their children are not doing it. But they are. I recently heard that a lot of teenagers are into anal sex because they could technically remain virgins and so as not to get pregnant. CRAZY STUFF. It is worse now because during our time, the only chance of watching porn or ‘blue film’ as it was called was if you had some bad uncle with a secret stash. Now, any child with a phone can have access to a full blown, no holes barred (or well, every hole plugged…) orgy. It is that insane.
This is the worst time to be silent about sex parents.
This is a time that parents and guardians need to have a plan on how to introduce and control the narrative surrounding sex to their children.
It is difficult for today’s parents because we are the offspring of an even more tight-lipped generation. We are repressed and uncomfortable with any open sign of sexuality. Our parents never kissed or cuddled in front of us. We have watched enough TV to at least kiss and hold hands in front of our children (I hope!) But it is still difficult to relax and speak about what is so natural (that our bodies were made with it in mind).
When there is a kissing scene on TV and our kids are there, we immediately change the channel and brush away their questions till they stop asking and start getting answers elsewhere. Blowing off a child or censoring a child only peaks curiosity; they will learn what you are uncomfortable talking about for sure.
With cases of paedophilia every single day, we need to stop being vague with children.
I understand that Sugabelly tweeted about children needing to see the afterglow of sex on their parents or something like that and people were outraged. I do think it is far out there but with a bit of nuance, you will see that kids need to know about sex primarily from their folks.
Phew, my initial intention was to write about sex toys, whether it is good or bad to use them but I went off tangent and arrived here.
I came across a Facebook thread in which sex toys were being discussed. I was surprised to see that men were vehemently against this. They are seriously affronted by the thought that the penis may not be enough for a woman. And when all else failed, they turned to religion to condemn it.
I won’t say anything right now.
I will give my opinion another time.
For now biko parents, let us talk about sex.
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