Well the first thing I want to say is, this series is probably going to start a lot of shit! Not because of any attempts on my part to be provocative. But because subject matter, content, questions, comments and considerations will rarely if ever be politically correct. This lack of PC, however, is not a diss, nor am I insensitive nor paternal. Rather, it’s to cut through the bullshit and have adult conversations regarding some of the most prolifically vital yet intractable social topics being dealt with today.
I can’t speak for other cultures around the world. But when it comes to America; sex, sexuality, sex education, and things associated, we have struggled and failed to unpack and extract them in a way that promotes knowledge of sex and self. When it comes to the sexual/self, what starts out as innate natural curiosity and search for discovery (as a child) is later jacked up from the outside by judgment, mischief, moral treaties and shame. After adding culture, media, and peer pressure to the mix, we try to find our sexual identities. Well good luck with that!
Let’s start with the sex education I received at a young age. The conversations I heard in my household were tantamount to, “Don’t bring no babies up in here!” I remember my then step father making some back handed comments about me ‘fucking.’ He told me he was going to buy me some ‘rubbers.’ I was between 12 – 13 at the time. I’d heard of rubbers. I knew they had something to do with sex but I had no idea how they worked or why.
I remember a girlfriend who was far more ‘advanced‘ than I was. I say advanced because around the way she was known ‘fast.’ (Fast: Adj. Hood Term (2018 Edition) – a female who is eager to smash) She tried to introduce me to intercourse. After some kissing she laid on the floor, then pulled off her pants and panties. Stuck and spellbound I simply looked. She motioned me to follow suit. I did. But I had no idea what to do next. It’s not as if I wasn’t excited. But I didn’t know the ‘mechanics’ of how this was supposed to go. I put it on there but not in there. She was frustrated, I was disappointed. I walked out the door the same way I walked in… a virgin! But I did take some souvenirs home with me. While ‘making out’ she sucked on my neck. No one had ever done that before. All I knew was that it felt really really good. I didn’t know till I got home that my neck had red marks all over it. Standing in front of the bathroom mirror, my eyes were as big as silver dollars. My heart was beating like crazy as I thought to myself, “What the f#@! my momma can’t see this! I looked for something to hide the evidence. I settled on a red paisley bandanna. Picture me walking around with this thing tied to my neck as if I was some faux cowboy… in the HOUSE!
If you are wondering what happened next, the answer is nothing initially. No one in my family said a word about it. That is until a few weeks later. Sitting my my mother’s room she asked me if I was ‘having sex yet.’ Aghast and embarrassed, I said , Nawwww momma!” I knew that sex was something physically intimate between people. I didn’t know exactly what, but I knew I hadn’t done it yet. I admitted to the kissing. And that’s when she said, “Is that what you were doing when you got all those suck marks on your neck?” This moment could have been the very first Southwest Airlines commercial themed, “Wanna get away?” You could have bought me for a penny! I mumbled something like, “Errrr, Uhhh…”
Apparently the hankey didn’t hide the hickeys!
Compared to my peers in school, I was probably a bit of an L7 when I was a kid. I was bright, inquisitive and idealistic. I was also naive, and at times gullible. If I had been schooled on the basics and nuances of sex and sexuality I was the kind of kid that was mature enough to handle that. But that wasn’t the case. All I got from that conversation with my mother was embarrassment and shame. She missed an opportunity to shape my sexual perceptions and mindset in her image. As a strong and wise black woman, imagine what a difference that could have made on this young man.
Moving forward, the only tools I had when it came to sex were my imagination, music, and TV/movies in an attempt to get a grip. Because of shame and lack of information, sex for me, while intriguing and mysterious, was also naughty; something to hide in secrecy.
Enter adulthood! I get married out of high school and of course there are sexual experiences. I searched for my sexual identity by trial and error, following someone else’s lead. By ‘sexual identity’ I mean answering these important questions:
- Beyond physical pleasure should sex have an emotional component? If so, how much so?
- Is there a difference between a sexual need and a sexual desire? (Nature vs Nurture?)
- Is there a right and a wrong way to do it? What does it mean to be ‘good in bed?’
- How do you communicate with your partner about what you want and how? Talk dirty or nice?”
- What do you do if find yourself sexually attracted to a person who is not your partner?
- What does sexual freedom and liberation look like internally?
Now, we’ve all had different experiences coming up. Some details may differ and some may be similar. Then there is the dynamic of how boys are taught sexual codes and values vs girls. The reality of having to figure sex out on your own by trial and error is the rule rather than the exception. With that said, should we be surprised to be in the shape we are in as a culture and society? Most of our early experiences start with the blind leading the blind. And that’s if you’re lucky. Otherwise there is potential for a power dynamic that could be exploited resulting in emotional distress, trauma and abuse. Such could have long lasting if not generational damage.
So what is my goal?
I have some strong opinions, but my hope is to encourage dialogue and share ideas regarding these matters. If I have anything to teach, I certainly hope to learn more through the experiences, ideas and thoughts of others. I really hope people will open up, be honest and share. A healthy and loving exchange of ideas can make us better. If successful we can set a new trend marking an easier path for those coming after us.
For this to work we have to have a set of ground rules.
- Honesty and sincerity are a must in order to move the conversation forward. Keep it real all the way around.
- Try to have an open mind. As I said, I hope to learn something. I may start off standing on a point. If you believe I’m wrong, let’s reason together about specifics and nuances.
- Be vulnerable. I know that’s hard. It’s hard for me. Telling that story about the hickeys at 13 is still highly embarrassing. And I’m 51!
- There will be no sacred cows. What do I mean by that? Well I am totally pro the #MeToo movement, for example. That does not mean the movement is beyond critique. We should be able to handle some back and forth on potential hot topics like adults.
With that said… let’s get started! How would you answer the above questions regarding sexual identity? Would you add more questions? Feel free to comment via the blog comments section, Facebook or Twitter. For cohesiveness, admin may add comments from social media to the blog comments section.
“Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change. The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge. – Stephen Hawking