When I was 13 years old I wrote an erotic novel entitled Intimate under the pen name “Foxy Rose.” It was 78 pages long, neatly printed on college ruled notebook paper and organized in a blue three-ring blinder. After each new chapter I would pass it off to a friend for critiques and soon all the girls in my grade were lined up to check it out overnight.
Only now do I realize I was responsible for the sexual awakening of a greater part of my junior high class. I attended a small private Mennonite school with 60ish other white upper class children with overprotective parents, so this was kind of a big deal. The worst kid in my class had supposedly smoked a cigarette.
Lord knows where I came up with the material. I was certainly not allowed to watch or read anything remotely promiscuous. In fact, despite Jesus and his frown face on sexy movies–I was the only one in my entire class who wasn’t allowed to see Titanic. Literally. The only one. Which begs the question–how much censorship is too much censorship?
Now that I’m an adult and don’t have to creep around sex like a private investigator looking for clues, it seems kind of funny to hide it at all. This past April I posted a video of Julia Sweeney’s account of “the talk” she had with her 8-year-old daughter. It is, to put it mildly, hilarious (watch it here). What I like about it is how honest she is without being inappropriate. She simply answers the questions as they come without offering more details than necessary.
Even though WT is far from asking where babies come from, I still think about how that conversation will go. What will I say? How will I say it? Will I be honest? Where is the handbook on this? I am not shy or modest (to a fault) when it comes to talking sex, so I doubt I will be too uncomfortable, but maybe I’ll surprise myself.
I wish I had that blue binder today. Not only would the (quite unrealistic) love scenes be a riot to reread, but it would also be a window into the confused mind of a 13 year old girl. Unfortunately I shredded the thing after one too many panic attacks about my parents finding it and sending me away to a special school for crazy children.
What about you? Do you remember having “the talk” with your parents? Have you had it with your own yet?
If you’re leaving it up to a 13 year old girl with a blue binder to educate your kids, I might reconsider. At one point the main character waits for her husband stark naked on the kitchen counter for three hours.
What a waste of time.