Sunday, December 21, 2008

Sex Education

I don't know whether Mother put him up to it or he just thought it was time for me to learn "The Facts of Life". Anyway, we had horses, cows and pigs and one day he said to me "You know how horses and cows do it? It's the same with people. Well, it was a long time before I got that image out of my mind or before I figured out that that was not exactly how men and women did it. We boys were very interested in the mysteries of the female anatomy. This was decades before "Playboy" or the Victoria's Secret Catalog. Most of my research was in the women's underwear section of the Sears, Roebuck catalog. As to the details we got a sort of breakthrough when one of the neighborhood guys gave us a graphic description of his new baby sister's equipment. I eventually learned that his description was not too accurate. Guys who got under the bridge by the paper mill and looked up through the slatted walkway as girls or women walked over couldn't add much to our knowledge either. We Paw Paw Avenue boys were envious when we heard a rumor that some of the downtown kids had done the "show me yours and I'll show you mine" thing. The bathing suits girls and women wore when I was young were no help. The closest thing to a bikini was the scanty outfits girls in the "Flash Gordon" comics wore. Despite a certain amount of hinting or even bragging I think we were all technically virgins in high school. This was before the "pill" and condums were very hard to obtain. You had to have enough nerve to ask the pharmacist in the drug store for some from the supply kept hidden behind the counter and hope your folks didn't find out. I think the fear of getting a girl pregnant was more of an abstinence motivator than morality. We didn't know anything about venereal disease until we saw those awful sex hygiene training films in boot camp or basic training. (May 13, 2008)
NEXT: Why I had to quit playing the trombone

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