Kids ruin all the fun?
I am currently in a home decor and renovation group on Facebook. One day, a fellow member posted an image of a light fixture that very heavily resembled male genitalia. The person asked what everyone thought about it. Being the curious mind that I am, decided to scroll through the comment section because I knew there were going to be quite a few opinions on it. Of course, we had several people who said the obvious. "It's a penis!" "Ummm, no!" "OMG!" And let's not forget that we have the ability to add stickers and GIFs, as well as tag our friends, in there too. Some people were prudish about it, while others just thought it was funny or said it was interesting. Someone said they would put it up in their home... in a specific place. After going through the hundreds of comments and cackling at all the things, one comment stuck out: "Not if you have kids." Which is why this post formulated in my brain.
Why do we (most people) shy away or hide anything we deem sexual from children?
Let's use the above subject matter as an example. The light fixture that was in the post did not have any sexual connotation about it other than the fact that it looked like a penis. It wasn't inserted into anything. It did not have any additional jewels attached to suggest ejaculation. In fact, other than its shape, nothing was wrong with it. So, why does it have to be inappropriate to have this chandelier hanging up in a space for others, namely children, to see? Is it because our society has told us that anything that discusses our naked bodies is inappropriate?
Take a household with mother, father and all boy children as an illustration. All of the family members but one has a penis. This "work of art" is only a representation of something they see, touch and use every day. And aren't we supposed to look at art as an imitation of life? Is it really still unsuitable or classless to have this in a public space of your home? Furthermore, if you are open with your children about their bodies and the dynamics of sexual health, it shouldn't be an uncomfortable sight to see. Now, I am in no way advocating for people to have this piece, no pun intended, to just hanging around all willy nilly... (Aw, hell! I'll just give you all the puns. lol) But, in my opinion, if we didn't make sex such a taboo to begin with, in regards to the subject matter being discussed around our children, it wouldn't be a big deal.
So, when is it age-appropriate to talk about the birds and the bees?
I was never really given the "birds and the bees" conversation. By the time my mother realized I was already well-versed in the topic (I wasn't actually doing it yet), it was too late. And that was in middle school. Honestly, I'd done my own research. I've always be a curious child when it came to discovery and learning new things. My curiosity with sex started way before middle school though. Between catching Spike Lee's "Girl 6" on cable while my mother was asleep and finding [redacted] dirty magazines under his bed in early elementary, the wheels started turning. And if I may be truthful, (of course, I can) the Bible and church didn't help or slow down my inquisitiveness. With all the begetting and going into women I read these men doing, could you blame me? I thought I understood very quickly why the Lord said, be fruitful and multiple. They seemed to be doing that anyway. (Praise God for knowledge, though) Because they were doing a lot of that. Keep in mind, this was all my opinion as a single digit-aged child. And even with my interest in the topic, I still knew it was something I wasn't supposed to know about because I was a kid. I never went to either of my parents to ask about it either. Although, once my knowledge was discovered, all bets were off with my grandma.
Knowledge does not Equal Experience (or Vice Versa)
As you can see, I've known about sex for a very long time. Over 20 years of learning. I've read, seen, and talked about the good and bad things. I've read educational books and pamphlets; and many fictional books. Watched both educational and pornographic videos. Even watched BET's Uncut when it came on. I've listened to podcasts and the like. All this information has been at my fingertips since I was a child. So, that just lets you know, I VERY knowledge about "doing it". Therefore, when I see things such as the fixture in my earlier example, I don't get weirded out about it. It's just a penis. And it's not even a real one. There are some grown ass men and women who get very uncomfortable about something that is supposed to come so naturally in our lives and I just don't understand it. The peculiar thing is when these people are completely satisfied with having sex... all the time. But you can't have dialogue about it? I love to talk about it. Not because I'm so freak. I'm really very inexperienced. I just love the ins and outs (More puns. lol) of it all. I'm usually the friend that mumbles "That's what s(he) said" first or reference something sexual within the first 10 minutes of a conversation. Yet, I am the least versed of the group. I get off on it though... mentally. I guess I figured, since I'm not participating physically, why not?
I actually had someone tell me that he thought I was sheltered because I hadn't cultivated my sex skills to where they were. This said person also knew my mother and brother, who I lived in the same household with for sixteen years. Anyone who knows my brother knows he was the wild child while I was the bookworm. But we grew up with the same access to freedom. So, I don't understand how they thought I was sheltered. Just because I CHOSE not to do every guy I had the opportunity to, does not mean I didn't know how to or not want to. Call it a judgement call. The funny thing is, this same person is... well, was someone with whom most of our conversations revolved around the very theme he statement I was ill-equipped to discuss because of experience. HOW! Maybe he should go talk to some of those people I mentioned last paragraph who are squeamish about sex talk. They seem to have all the know-how while I just comprehend it.
Wrap it Up, Kia!
I said all of that just to say, sex or sexual connotations shouldn't be something we reserve to just adult conversation. Why? Because our children are probably already learning about it without our knowledge. I was... If we're open about it, instead of shutting it up into a room for just you and your partner, the kid(s) may feel more comfortable about the matter at hand. And that's in reference to when talking to, not only to their parents, but later in life with others as well. We are sexual beings... Most of us. Some start early. Some are late bloomers. It shouldn't be something that children learn later in life or from a stranger who may give them incorrect information. Teach them properly so that they don't do the wrong thing because they lack knowledge. Oh, and if/when you are "doing it", make sure you WRAP IT UP!