TV 101: katie teaches you what you should already know
Well, damn. I missed Katie Couric's special on blowjobs last night. I really meant to watch it, because I so depend on television personalities to tell me what my kids are thinking in regards to sex and how to talk to them about it.
Couric became passionate about the subject after hearing "horror stories" of teens having sex at early ages and wanted teens, parents and experts to weigh in.
So what was the point of Katie's sex show? To bring these kids to the forefront and show all the other teens who are not aware of "friends with benefits" what they're missing?
"I think that society is so sexualized from the time these kids are small, they're quite comfortable.."
Isn't Katie just adding to the sexualization of society by bringing these teens on national television to talk about their sexploits? Oh, she's doing it under the guise of something newsworthy or educational.
Here's your education: Kids are having sex. Oral sex, intercourse, hand jobs, whatever. Call it hooking up, call it friends with benefits, whatever name you give to it, they are doing it. And they've been doing it. 30 years ago, when I was barely a teenager, I knew people who were doing it. And who was to blame then that my 13 year old neighbor was sleeping with every guy in town or my 7th grade classmate was giving out blowjobs in the back of the music class? We didn't have MTV. We didn't have reality tv. They weren't handing out condoms in school.
Yet put that same 13 year old or 7th grader in 2005 and immediately, today's raunch-prevalent, sex-soaked society would be blamed for their promiscuousness.
The only people responsible for the way a teenager perceives sex is the parents. The school district, while it may offer sex ed, should not be the sole educator to your child in regards to sex. I honestly believe - and I know some of you will call me naive - that if you keep an open avenue of communication with your child in regards to this subject, your child will not take a course of action that will cheapen them or cause regrets or pain or disease or pregnancy.
Peer pressure is an intense thing. Which is why you need to instill in your children a strong enough sense of themselves so they grow up believing they never have to exchange sex for popularity, that they never have to give up a kiss, a stroke, a hand up the shirt just prove their loyalty to someone who is going to dump them in a week's time, anyhow. It's so much more than teaching them about sex; it's about teaching them self respect.
What is Katie Couric going to do besides make you recoil in horror when you see a hand-chosen group of teens talking about hooking up with someone just for sex? It's titillating news. Shock tv. Don't let her panic you. I remember when Oprah tackled a similar subject a few years ago, when my daughter was in middle school. According to Oprah's experts, middle school girls were notoriously loose. In fact, they were nothing more than oral sex machines and you can find them behind any coat rack or music stand in the school, sucking dick for lunch money and/or friendship. A nation reeled. Parents panicked. School administrators sent a flurry of letters home assuring everyone that this was not going on in their school, despite the fact that Oprah's guests made it sound like just because it was going on in their particular town, it was going on everywhere, as if some evil force took over the minds of our 13 year olds and no one - not one single teenager - was immune to it.
Even if my daughter had, at that age, signified that she knew about oral sex (which she obviously didn't), I don't think I would have let her go on tv to discuss it. Oh look, honey. Our daughter is on a national news show talking about blow jobs! Call the neighbors!
My daughter will be 15 in two weeks. I am not an idiot. I know that as she gets older, the urges and curiosity will be there. That's why we have an open line of communication when it comes to sex. We talk about it. She asks questions, I answer honestly, and she knows she can come to me about anything and I'll do my damndest not to freak out on her. But I will educate her, as I have been doing since she first asked about sex when she was five years old.
And here's the shocker: I'm taking the abstinence route with her. Why? Because I'm her mother, that's why, and I don't want to tell my daughter it's ok to have sex as long as she practices safe sex. You can put a condom on a penis, but there's nothing to prevent the emotional ramifications that come from having sexual relations too early.
While she is educated in the field of sexual protection - because I am not naive and I know that despite my declaration that a high school kid should not be having sex, they do - there is just no preparation for what comes when you give yourself up to a person for the first time. And I don't think that at 15 my daughter is ready to determine that the boy she is currently seeing is the one she wants to give it up for. Sex is not just about sticking a penis in a vagina. There's a whole host of non-physical issues that go with it and to send your teenager out there armed with condoms and an awareness of STDs may keep them from getting pregnant or the clap, but it won't keep them from having their heart and/or spirit broken. It won't keep them from spending years beating themselves up for losing their virginity to a person they cared nothing about.
I've written about this before. Last time, I wrote:
Self-worth is sometimes all one has. To have that taken away, little by little, just so some boy who was never taught by his parents to respect girls can have a few moments of orgasmic bliss is a very sad thing.
It does work both ways. Girls can be pushy. Girls can be brazen. Girls can make boys feel as if they are worthless because they don't want to try out the latest sexual fad.
So I'm suggesting - not preaching - abstinence to both my children on the grounds that, while it may feel like you are physically ready to have sex, and you are well prepared as far as transmitting fluids go, your brain and your heart are not ready for it. There is no 13, 14, or even 17 year old who is mature enough handle the emotional baggage that comes with sharing oneself so intimately and physically with another person.
I don't look to experts on television to tell me what's going on my teenager's life. I know. I know because we talk openly and honestly. That is the key to feeling assured that your children will do the right thing. That they are doing the right thing, despite Katie and Oprah's attempts to shock me into believing otherwise.
I know that many of you will, as in the past, disagree with many of the ideas put forth here - if you do, that's fine. But please try to explain to me without being condescending why you think your tactic for your kids will work better than mine.
Therefore, oral sex as a substitution for intercourse is a good idea....
I wholeheartedly disagree with oral sex as substitution. In fact, it may be more detrimental to a girl's self image than intercourse is. What does a girl - especially a 13 year old girl - get out of a blowjob? Nothing, except the idea that she has served a boy. There's certainly no physical gratifcation in it for her. And emotionally, at that age, she will eventually see herself as an end to a means for the boy she is going down on. If you think oral sex is a good substitute for fucking, then you missed my point on emotional readiness.