Whom Better to Share Our Sexual Awakening with Than Those We Love & Trust

Tue, 12/23/2014 - 08:23
Submitted by bila kolbe

A while back, a teenager wrote D & R expressing her disgust that her boyfriend and his older brother had engaged in mutual masturbation. I think sexual play among young family members and friends is natural, innate if you will.

By innate, I mean that we are all hardwired to engage in sexual activity and this starts percolating in us at very early ages. It’s part of our psychological and physical constitution. We are by nature sexual beings.

I can recall engaging in solo and paired sexual play with my brother, sister, cousin, and neighbor way before we all reached the age of ten. I knew nothing other than what simply came naturally, felt good, and was fun for me and everyone. We were just following our instincts with people we loved. However, one attempt at sexual play unexpectedly ended up igniting parental wrath and sore fannies.

I was four years old and hanging out in the woods with four year old Linda. We agreed to drop our pants and rub derrieres. After a dozen rubs, up went our pants and on to other play. Linda’s little sister had unwittingly caught us in the act and promptly informed her mom who then called my mom. The moms caused a scandal over the event severely chastising Linda and me for our impromptu butt dance.

I came away from that experience feeling pretty bad about what I did. No harm done, although in retrospect, I did get a late start exploring post pubescent sex. I can’t say for sure if the spanking I suffered put a trauma wrinkle in the folds of my brain such as those that appear in a baby upon being circumcised. Damaged goods. Unexpected acute pain, like any traumatic experience, becomes part of our schema, our way of looking at and interacting with the world.

The way I figure, it’s neither good nor bad, all depends on how we mend, grow, and learn to live/love life.

With whom better to share our sexual awakening than with those we love and trust. Family. Friends. My teenaged cousin was the first to explain to me what an orgasm felt like. Soon after, I had my first while masturbating in the shower. My sexuality blossomed in my late teens then shifted into high gear while living in a Pacific paradise- Tonga and testosterone, island erotics, becoming a bonafide sexual epicure.

In retrospect, I don’t blame my mom for that harsh spanking. We were a church-going family in the fifties catechized to address anything sexual as forbidden conduct, a violation of decency. Arms over the covers when sleeping, boys separated from girls at recess, babies arrive via stork delivery.

Times have changed although human sexuality still bears the deep scars from eons of ignorance, many still shudder at the notion of sibling sexual play.

love, health, music, sex

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Children Growing up

Fri, 12/26/2014 - 11:34

Children growing up are natural explorers and clearly one of the things  they're interested in exploring is their own bodies and their burgeoning sexuality. Almost inevitably there is some kind of inadvertant sexual play or exploring between children, siblings or friends that are close in age. It usually doesn't mean much, no more than the latest game of football or tag.

As Bila suggests, healthy self-exploration and childhood masturbation must surely play a significant role on developing a healthy sex life.

As a parent you have to walk a line between allowing them to grow into themselves freely, and trying to socialise them so that they can move easily within society. As society has changed, so do our parenting boundaries. Where we set the boundaries for public versus private behaviour will vary from family to family but we all have some limits that we place upon our children. Bila's mother might well change her response if she were asked what she would do today.

As parents, we decided and discussed with our girls the idea that masturbation was private because it was created a "special" feeling, something we might want to share with one or two other people we knew and liked, but not the whole world. We had the conversation long before it became relevant so it was an easy discussion.

It was also long before we sat through the nativity with a furiously masturbating donkey - that boy must have been rubbed raw with nerves by the end of the play. His school nickname became rub-a-dub-dub for the next few years.

I'd be interested in hearing where other parents have drawn the line.

However, the title of this post made me a little uncomfortable. Sooner or later in these discussions on the website the tired trope appears suggesting that the best possible introduction to sex for a young teen must be with an experienced older man/woman, preferably someone that they know well and trust.

There have been a plethora of court cases recently in the UK where men have been tried and mostly convicted of grooming and molesting young girls and boys, usually from a position of trust, power or authority. I would hate to think this well-meaning post became a smokescreen or comfort for that kind of attitude or behaviour.

There can be no tolerance for the idea of a predatory adult grooming and abusing young teens and children. This kind of abuse is largely carried out by adults the child loves and trusts.This is NOT the process that Bila was describing, and the distinction needs to be clearly understood.

Raising children in a sex-positive, trusting, yet safe way

Fri, 12/26/2014 - 14:12

I had mixed feelings reading Bila's post. Children do engage in things like 'doctor games' and are naturally curious. But if, as when I was growing up in a punitive Catholic home, it's continuously reinforced that the body is shameful and sex is unmentionable, the effect is very bad. Children who DO explore with one another in those homes, and are caught, can face the most humiliating and drastic punishments; I remember my own with painful clarity.The shaming and guilt don't stop the curiosity, they just create self-hate in the child and make them feel terrible about their own natural, healthy, and inevitable impulses.

So somehow we must create an enviroment at home in which our children learn that their bodies (and the good feelings that they create) are wonderful and positive, but also are not to be shared with just anybody. It's a fine line indeed, guiding our children into healthy, self-respecting sexuality. We need to impress upon our kids that sexual feelings are something personal and in a sense 'private', but not private because there is anything shameful about sex that needs to be hidden away. When I was a young teen I had repeated encounters with an 'older woman', a nurse who was supposed to be my caretaker but who backed me into the corner in my room and became very sexually aggressive. This would have been confusing enough under any circumstances, but I was completely inexperienced and I had also been told that fantasy, masturbation, or indeed any kind of sexual feeling was a 'mortal sin' and would result in the most terrible punishments. It made what was already a scary situation into something unbearable, about which I also felt such shame that I could not imagine telling anyone. In other words, my childhood punishments for my normal actions created a climate that made shame and secrecy in my teenage years inevitable. This may not be what 'strict' parents and religious figures mean to do when they preach and punish, but it is what actually happens. Instead, we can raise children who are extremely sex-positive and unashamed, but who also have a healthy awareness of power imbalances and the possibility of exploitation. And, I would add, who know that they have loving, completely accepting adults in their lives to whom they can go with any problems they may ever have.

Let's never stop exploring

Fri, 12/26/2014 - 18:32
Bila K

Dear NLH and Patrick, Thank you for your insightful comments. You both provided advice and raised questions about how parents approach their children's blossoming sexuality. Fundamental to such approach is how the parents themselves define their own sexuality in terms of its reproductive, gratification, bonding, and generative functions. I think contemporary sexuality focuses on the former three to the desertion of the latter. The latter, or fourth kind, enables the other three functions to operate optimally. We are by nature sexual beings. Let children explore. Let adults cultivate their sexuality. Let's never stop doing both.