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"I'm just sad the public school system failed him so badly": The Gardening Thread
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Sep 11th 2009 edited

As suggested, and requested, Northern Attack now has a place wherein we can freely, openly, respectfully and humorously discuss that most discussable of subjects, sex. We regulars have long prided ourselves on the fact that we are a very open, accepting, and comfortable bunch with one another, and that we have navigated much more contentious subject matter without major incident. I have full confidence that we can keep that trend going here.

So...sex. What's it like?

Sep 11th 2009 edited

Oooh. Can you add WITH SEX! to the end of the title?

Also, my first contribution.

Let's tell it like it is
And how it could be
How it was and of course
How it should be

Sep 11th 2009 edited

Okay, I can see no one else wants to take the balls and run with it here. So, I'll provide some conversational fodder.

Taken from the question thread:

I was in a staff meeting this morning, and we were talking about how our grandparents likely had more sex than us because their schedules were way less busy than ours, and they had less excuses not to, they were usually in bed by 7:30 because of no television, etc. Not a word of lie, this was our conversation this morning while waiting for a student to come in for a meeting.

So is it true? Are our busy and hectic work and life schedules negatively impacting our sex lives? Is that for better or for worse?

Another topic: In my Macleans magazine this week, there is an article, You're Teaching Our Kids What? about sex education in our schools, and how 'sex for pleasure' is being taught, or at least encouraged in many health classes in our high schools now. Controversial? Conversation worthy?

Excerpt from said article:

Now say you’re the parent of a 14-year-old, and your kid comes home one day and tells you that the owner of a sex shop came into her classroom, dildo in hand, and talked to the kids about ways to make their love lives “hot and sexy.” Are you going to breathe a sigh of relief that someone else is telling your kid this stuff, or is your inner Bill O’Reilly going to surface? Maybe you’ll want to know what, pray tell, was wrong with the old euphemistic puberty puns and plastic pelvises?

Sep 11th 2009

Question: Where is that sex ed class being taught and why didn't we get that teacher when I was in school?

I don't think it's necessarily a good idea to tell horny teenagers that sex 'feels good' because it might encourage irresponsible behavior for the sake of 'feeling good.' And let's face it, teenagers don't know dick about the art of sexing. (Pun intended.)

Sep 11th 2009

I don't think it's necessarily a good idea to tell horny teenagers that sex 'feels good' because it might encourage irresponsible behavior for the sake of 'feeling good.'

I don't know that there's any way to keep them from learning this part with our without help. It's kind of the one first thing that you can figure out by yourself.

If you keep the pleasure part out of it, you're kind of trying to talk about the digestive process without explaining or hinting at in any way WHY you eat in the first place.

Sep 11th 2009

There's no way to keep kids from having sex, no matter how much you may want to. The only solution is to educate them about how to keep it from fucking up their lives. Also, not telling them that it feels good will make it seem like you're lying to them.

Sep 11th 2009

They should show the videos they show us in our birthing class.

Sep 11th 2009

I'll try to contribute just as soon as I remember what it's like.

Sep 11th 2009

I don't believe in abstinence-only education, either. That's less than productive, as studies have shown. But if someone told me when I was 14 years old that sex can feel sooooo good, I would have been super disappointed my first time when it was more like an awkward naked dance than amaaaaazing.

Sep 11th 2009 edited

But if someone told me when I was 14 years old that sex can feel sooooo good, I would have been super disappointed my first time when it was more like an awkward naked dance than amaaaaazing.

Well, if the true pleasure aspects are all talked about, then they should address the first-time issue too. That not only is it uncomfortable because of virgin, but you've NEVER been that close to anyone in your entire life. It's terrifying and scary and not exactly the stuff of natural, healthy sexual lubrication that comes later. There's all that pressure and then there's all the myths.

Ugh. Kids should know that it's not going to be fun the first time. Not really even the second or third time. And that choosing the person to go through this embarrassing, scary, vulnerable experience with is a pretty important part of the whole process. The idea that later, when you're more comfortable with the idea of intimacy and you're not stuck in this stupid medieval social environment, the whole process will be a lot easier on your psyche and your relationships.

Sep 11th 2009

Boobs!!! Sex!!!

Sep 11th 2009

Just kidding. Keep talking.

Sep 11th 2009 edited

Perhaps I could offer an insightful perspective on this. Or do you actually all want to know?

I ask because often times adults act as though they want to know the truth about teenagers but really do not.

Sep 11th 2009 edited

I ask because often times adults act as though they want to know the truth about teenagers but really do not.

Although most of us here are adults, we're not so far away from our teenagerdom that we can't remember. The 90s weren't all that different from the 2000s. We had cell phones. And internet. And sex ed. And drugs. And lots of adults trying to pretend like sex didn't exist.

Perhaps I could offer an insightful perspective on this. Or do you actually all want to know?

Of course, it's great to hear a teenage perspective. Be careful though. Because of your teenagerdom, lines are tricky, especially for the dudes. Just try to be respectful of that.

Sep 11th 2009

First of all my opinion of Maclean's which was already quite low has diminished even further. "Sex for pleasure", as they have referred to it, was taught in my school. However, there were no dildos involved. In Manitoba we have an organization called Teen Talk they come in and teach students about contraception, respect, and yes, "sex for pleasure".

But the real truth is, no matter what you teach some kids are gonna listen, and some just won't. Some will be responsible about sex and some won't. You can't control them but most of them will figure it out eventually and only a few end up with and real permanent damage.

Here are basically the three scenarios, they are all people I know. As an added bonus, try and guess which one I am:

Teenager waits until they are really ready to have sex.
Teenager is not ready, realizes this, doesn't have sex until he/she really is.
Teenager is not ready, does not realize, ends up pregnant.

Those are the facts... it's the same as when you were growing up really. I'm not sure why adults think it's so damn interesting.

Sep 11th 2009 edited

I think there are a lot reasons why adults are interested. One is an honest impulse to try to make the world a safer and better place for their children than it was for them. Sex can be confusing and heavily-freighted even when you're grown up; adults naturally want to try to shield teenagers, who already have things hard enough, from that kind of thing.

Another is that, honestly, I think a lot of adults kind of miss being teenagers. When you're living through it, it's not necessarily that fun; but when you get older, and it dawns on you that you're going to have responsibilities and demands placed upon you until the day you die, in a way that they never were when you were a kid, you tend to look back on that time more fondly than is probably really warranted. And part of that is the feeling that there was innocence in your relatively carefree lifestyle, and I think people want to try to preserve that.

Also, and this is related to the above, I think that adults don't remember being kids that well, and want to try to freeze in amber a life that never existed.

Sep 11th 2009

We're not asking to be shielded. We have to learn these things at some point. Why not now?

Sep 11th 2009

For the record, I thought being a teenager was NOT awesome.

Sep 11th 2009 edited

I'm not saying they're necessarily right to do it. I'm just try to explain why they try.

It's also hard to know when to relinquish control, I think. I almost think that if kids grew up, snap, like that -- one day they're dependent, the next they're completely independent -- it might be easier for people to figure out how to let go. But as it is, people grow up gradually, and it's hard to know what stage of the process a person is in, let alone what to do at that stage.

You say you're "not asking to be shielded". The difficulty is that for the first many years of a person's life, they need a lot from their parents, and they never have to ask for it to get it. Kids don't ask to be fed or sent to school or taught to read or disciplined or any of those things, at least not regularly; parents do them because they feel like it's important. By the time someone reaches their teens, they can think for themselves and at least partially fend for themselves, but parents still have a natural instinct to try to do those things they've been doing for their children since birth -- shelter, teach, protect, discipline. And honestly, to some degree, teenage kids still do need that a little bit. Not nearly as much as earlier, but more than they realize. But it's hard to know, I think, when to let go, how much to let go, what to let go. Because sex is such an important and possibly dangerous (as well as pleasurable) part of life, I think a lot of adults have a tendency to want to be restrictive about it more than is really possible.

Sep 11th 2009

For the record, I thought being a teenager was NOT awesome.

This is me, too, DftF. There was nothing awesome about being a teenager. Nothing. I don't miss it. I wouldn't go back if you paid me. I think there are a lot of adults that romanticize it, and forget what it was like to be there, but I'm not one of them.

That said, there is a huge "protection" driving force behind shielding your kids from sex. This is why I enjoyed the Dark Trilogy as much as I did I think. It's been an eternal fight between the parents trying to shield their kids and kids trying to grow up. It will continue whether we like it or not.

I think what parents choose to think of as evil and therefore shielding material is very interesting. Sex is sex. It's required to procreate (most of the time) and at some point in life your child is going to have to learn something about it. I happen to be one of those people who likes to know as much as possible before going in to try something new. I think it makes for more stable footing and a better experience. I don't see why sex education should be any different.

Sep 11th 2009

I'm one of those that didn't hate being a teenager. I had fun in high school, most of the time.

Sep 11th 2009

Perhaps I'm just a bit more mature than the average adolescent, but I've done fine for myself with very little aid from my parents. The only way my parents have supported me from the age of 12 has been financially and that has now ended. I've figured life out on my own and I'm happy about it. I pity those of my peers who have been so sheltered. Yes, growing up was rough on me, but I think I've turned out quite well. I don't intend to imply that my parents were unloving or didn't care for me, however, they left me to my own devices. Yes I fucked up, numerous times, but I've learned so much.

Hear we go: I lost my virginity at 15. I was drunk. Enough said.

I fucked up, but at least I learned something. I am responsible and only have sex when I know it's right for me.

People learn from their mistakes. The trick is letting us make those mistakes.

Sep 11th 2009

So is it true? Are our busy and hectic work and life schedules negatively impacting our sex lives?

Yes.

Sep 14th 2009

Well, I'd say this thread got off to a hot and heavy start, but things seem to have ended rather abruptly and then went to sleep. But I think that there was a lot of good discussion had, and I think and hope for the conversation to continue.

Teenager waits until they are really ready to have sex.
Teenager is not ready, realizes this, doesn't have sex until he/she really is.
Teenager is not ready, does not realize, ends up pregnant.

I notice that in all three of those scenarios, it is either stated directly or implied that 'teenager is not ready to have sex'. What about the fourth scenario, that 'teenager is ready to have sex? Yes, you will say, most nineteen year olds are mature enough and ready to engage in sex, and to handle the consequences of that engagement, whatever they may be. But what about fifteen year olds? I'm not asking 'are they having sex' because the statistics (see below) say they are, albeit in declining numbers, but I wonder what you think? Does it depend on the 15 year old? Really? Or is it fair to suggest that there are very few boys or girls (not men and women) that age who you think are mentally, emotionally and/or physically mature enough to handle doing what they're doing, and the consequences thereof.

*Here's the Statistics Canada report findings:

In 2005, 43% of teens aged 15 to 19 reported that they had had sexual intercourse at least once, down from 47% in 1996/1997 (Table 1). All of the decline reflected the behaviour of young women, among whom the proportion reporting ever having had intercourse fell from 51% to 43%. The proportion of young men who reported having had intercourse remained at 43%. Throughout the period, the percentage of teens reporting sexual intercourse was higher at older ages. About one third of 15- to 17-year-olds had had intercourse, compared with about two thirds of 18- and 19-year-olds. (http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/82-003-x/2008003/article/10664-eng.pdf)

Sep 14th 2009 edited

Teenager waits until they are really ready to have sex.
Teenager is not ready, realizes this, doesn't have sex until he/she really is.
Teenager is not ready, does not realize, ends up pregnant.

I submit to you that this left out quite a few more scenarios.

Teenager is not ready, does not realize, but knows how to use protection and thus does not get pregnant.
Teenager is ready, partner is not but thinks they are, screws up relationship, but no pregnancy.
Teenager is ready, partner is not so they wait.

is it fair to suggest that there are very few boys or girls (not men and women) that age who you think are mentally, emotionally and/or physically mature enough to handle doing what they're doing, and the consequences thereof.

The problem is that there is no way to measure sexual 'readiness'. What are the qualifying factors?

  • Comfortable with being naked around someone else.
  • Comfortable being around someone else after having been naked with them? (How do you know this until you try it?)
  • Awareness of the fact that there are issues involved in having sex that aren't only related to the fallout health-wise and pregnancy-wise
  • Maturity level high enough to take responsibility for one's actions

Those are just some, but not all of the measuring factors. And I'd submit to you that there are a lot of full-blown adults that would fail that litmus test.

And then there's the idea that everyone is different to begin with. Some people learn to swim best by jumping in head-first. Some people have to start out with their pinky-toes and work their way up very, very slowly.

And then there's the fact that each person may define 'sex' as something different. Not just oral vs. the other, but it for some people it is a very emotionally vulnerable thing and for some people, even sex doesn't strip down their emotional walls.

In 2005, 43% of teens aged 15 to 19 reported that they had had sexual intercourse at least once, down from 47% in 1996/1997 (Table 1). All of the decline reflected the behaviour of young women, among whom the proportion reporting ever having had intercourse fell from 51% to 43%. The proportion of young men who reported having had intercourse remained at 43%.

There has been a resurgence in America anyway, of the idea that oral sex is not actually sex. Everything up to actual vaginal penetration "doesn't count." I'd guess that might be a good reason why this chart is showing a decline in girls only. We're much better at lying to ourselves.

Sep 14th 2009

The problem is that there is no way to measure sexual 'readiness'

I had meant to include this in my post, but forgot to. But you mentioned two of the things I was thinking and meant when I mentioned "readiness":

  • Awareness of the fact that there are issues involved in having sex that aren't only related to the fallout health-wise and pregnancy-wise
  • Maturity level high enough to take responsibility for one's actions

Those two are pretty important, I think. I'm sure there are lots of different definitions, or factors, but I am of the opinion that those two are pretty crucial.

Sep 14th 2009

There's so many different ways you should be ready that it's hard to see meeting all those bars before you're in your mid-20s. I mean, financially ready? I was in my 30s before I hit that one. Maturity? There's a pretty good case to be made for the universal douchiness of the male 17-24 demographic. Awareness of consequences and peripheral issues speaks to maturity, but for the most part awareness is limited, at least for teenage guys, to the idea that, "I'm about to have sex!!!!"

Sep 14th 2009

Yes, it should also be noted that "readiness", however you define it, is still likely achieved at very different times for males than it is for females.

Sep 14th 2009

True. And also different qualifications for being ready for girls and guys too.

Sep 14th 2009

For most guys, a willing partner is all that's required..

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