Archive Page 2


“cry babies”

An exchange with a middle school teacher about a pregnancy prevention program in their school. The program gives dolls to students (a common pregnancy prevention effort).


[Teacher]: the kids get their babies today
he is demonstrating the baby
they are so freaking excited about it
it totally does not discourage teen pregnancy
oh and this is interesting
some are taking them over the weekend and some take them monday night
and the guy told me to decide who is more “at risk” and make them have it over the weekend

Me: do just girls get babies?

[Teacher]: no
boys too
some of them don’t want them though
they have to do a 2 page essay instead
which obviously you get to do in real life in case you get pregnant


STD day

Besides the previously mentioned share-your-liquid presentation in 8th grade, the only other sex-related education I remember getting in school was “STD day”.

I think it was in 10th grade (does someone remember?), and all the 9th and 10th graders had to meet in the auditorium.  A doctor (I think someone’s dad) gave a slideshow presentation of pictures of STDs–image after close-up, detailed image of infected body parts.

If there was an acompanying speech about not having sex, I do not remember it. The only outcome I recall from this presentation was the inability to eat cauliflower for days – and then reminding friends about the cauliflower reference to continue to the gross out factor.  (You’re welcome, Internet, for that image).


Sex is a gift

The closing ceremony for one abstinence education program*:

The lights are dimmed as students file in the room. It is the last day of a 3 week program. In the front of a room is a table with a beautiful setting – candles, flowers, etc. On the table is an exquisitely wrapped box.

Also at the front of the room, sitting off to the side, dejectedly: a beat up old cardboard box.

The presenter asks: Which would you rather give to husband or wife when you get married?

(*as relayed to me by teens who went through the program.)

What are the messages here?


Did you get it?

In the private school I attended, there was no “family life education” found in many public schools. We learned about the reproductive system in biology (in one class, I heard there was a very detailed video, maybe called The Miracle of Life).

In 8th grade, a group of high school students who were members of a group called STARS (I think) came and gave a presentation.  A group of us was herded in the common room. One of the STARS guy talked to us about why he was going to wait.  Sex was not discussed explicitly and I remember being somewhat confused about what was going on and why we were there. After some talks, they instructed us in a commonly-used group activity.

We each got a small plastic cup with liquid. We were told to walk around and share liquid with 3 other people in the room (pouring some of our liquid in someone’s cup and then that person pouring some back in ours).  Then, we were told that one person started with a cup that had something added to it. The activity leader went down the line adding a reactive agent to each cup.  Liquid began changing from clear to pinkish red.  The leader concluded by saying this is how easy STDs spread.


I heard of this activity being done in a high school (where I was working) and one astute student requested some plastic wrap to cover her cup. Her request was denied.


How I learned about sex…

I was in 3rd grade and my mom called me into my parents’ bedroom. She said she had a video for me to watch, and that afterwards, I could ask her any questions I wanted.  She put the tape in the VCR and left the room, closing the door behind her.  It was a cartoon, but I didn’t figure out at first what it was about.

How I remember it: A man and a woman (skinny, tall) in a bath tub covered in bubbles.  They stood up and the bubbles were blown off the various body parts with a narrator explaining each part (these are breasts, this is a vagina, this is a penis). Then, the narrator described the action of two cats rubbing together, and there were two gray cats, rubbing against each other.

And that was sex– although at the time I do not think I knew what I had just seen. There was more in the video, but those are the two things I remember vividly.

I stopped and rewound the video and left my parents bedroom. My mom might asked when she saw me later if I had any questions, and I am sure I said no.  I went on with my 8 year old life as usual.


Welcome to How I Learned about Sex

Hello and welcome to this blog.  I hope the blog will become a space for sharing stories and information about sex education.  It is intended for humor and for information.

I know people have different comfort levels when it comes to talking about sex.  I hope that having the opportunity to share your story can be fun or even cathartic – but do not feel that you must contribute.  Read, reflect, comment, and share only as much as you are comfortable with.

If you would like to share you story, you can email it to me and I will post it on this site.

If you have a question, I am happy to try to answer it or to suggest a more knowledgeable source. However, I am not a therapist or medical professional.  Sex is a personal and private act, and everyone has a right to decide what they want to do and not do.  Consider taking time to think about what is important to you, and to discuss it with people you find appropriate (partner, parent, friend, professional).

Happy reading.