Between my shadow and my soul

Let's Talk About Sex, Baby

I remember the first time I saw the word "masturbation". It was in the book Deenie by Judie Blume. Coincidentally I found out what the word orgasm means by looking up the word organism in the English dictionary for a school project. I figured they didn't refer to the same thing pretty quick. Back to masturbation, the book didn't really go into depth. It just said that Deenie found a place where she could touch herself and feel safe. I remember asking my mum about it and her brushing it off. You don't really want to tell your ten year old about these things. The reality is, that some of my friends did start menstruating at ten. And majority of the class didn't understand what it was all about besides being yuck and ew, which it definitely was. One of my teachers gave me the best advice ever, ALWAYS buy with wings. Her other piece of advice was, carry an empty chips packet with you to the bathroom in case you need to dispose of something. There were things happening to our bodies we didn't understand at that age. The body had innate knowledge but the mind did not. Things were changing. There were suddenly references to them in class in boy versus girl truth or dare contests. People chose truth more often not because it was easier, but because there was so much we hadn't been told and our minds fixated on.

I wish that at the time we had someone sit us down and explain and answer questions. Can guys see the girl's face in wet dreams was a popular one. The problems is, that if this need for information is not addressed, it can easily traverse a murky channel. Psychologists see clients for masturbation and porn addictions even more now that the internet has made such urges a click away to satisfy. And the prevailing psychological opinion on this is that both porn and masturbation can be healthy, when in control and used to further existent relationships. My personal opinion, based on my subjective values is that watching others engage in such an intimate act perverts the very beauty of the act. As one friend told me recently, that in the sanctum of marriage the mundane becomes marvellous, A simple touch which before marriage is a sin, is transformed after marriage to an act of Ibaadah, and a source of closeness for both spouses involved. Further, those with addictions say that the line between fantasy and reality become so blurred, that reality is no longer appealing. The resultant guilt and anger at oneself cause social avoidance and personal disgust. If kids don't turn to the internet for information, they will turn to one another and experimenting in things they don't understand, as evidenced by the 13 year old who became a father in the U.K.

Whether you are for, or against porn and masturbation, I think it has to be an informed choice. Most of those with addictions get introduced through magazines or tv shows during puberty, which leads to a lifetime problem. Even seeing a girl in a miniskirt becomes uncomfortable. Sex drive is, undoubtedly a blessing from God, which makes being human, or a dolphin something of a bonus. It is not something to be ignored at its prime, in fact during puberty it is extremely hard to ignore. Which is why I believe every teen should have someone to sit them down and explain the secrets and beuties of the human body. How they can be used, and abused. How they can be controlled and restrained. How they can cause happiness. How our brains, at the end of the day contain their pleasure centers, and need to be involved in the process of their exploration.

* Afternote: This also relates to my thouhts on restructuing the chronology of the education system which due to their greatness will be published when not in procrastination mode.

** Here is Naomi Wolf's much better articulated version.

9 shared ideas:

freelance hero February 16, 2009 at 10:00 PM  

that line between fantasy/reality blurring is essentially the main issue here. even for the most controlled amongst us (not me). this is an incredibly awesome and honest post!

Azra February 17, 2009 at 8:57 AM  

I had a discussion on this with my male cousins and we all agreed that porn essentially de-sensitizes the human mind...its like a disease. It has taken something that is supposed to be beautiful and sacred and made it disgusting and crude.

I definitely agree and believe that the youth should be more educated. I remember being in a school where the majority were Indian and the subject was very hushed, no one spoke about it and the guys were like rabid DOGS - not even kidding. They were (and most of them still are) obsessed and sex animals.

Then I went to a school where there were more Whites, a school where information was more freely available and it was completely one made a huge deal about it, it seemed like they didnt even care and in a way, they respected women more.

Amazing what education does.

bb February 17, 2009 at 9:33 AM  

I agree with Freelance Hero-incredibly honest & potent.

Everything has become acceptable today to the extent where kids are forced to be adults

Waseem February 17, 2009 at 9:45 AM  

I had this comment typed up in my mind but I cant remember it anymore.

What do you think would be the right age to start educating kids on sexual education, and how do you prevent from either it encouraging promiscuity or instilling curiosity at the least?

Zahera February 17, 2009 at 12:43 PM  

Excellent post Nooj! My sister and I were having the same discussion not so long ago. Our convo in general was about how children these days are growing up too fast (man we sound like old grannies) and how its actually scary that in their youth and naivety they do things without thinking about the repurcussions.

I completely agree with you and your friend. Eve a simple touch between spouses after marriage is so amazing that i sometimes feel people miss out on such a beautiful feeling by tainting it by that which is impermissable to us in Islam. Allah Ta'ala has placed these laws for a reason- if only we tried to understand them then maybe we'd understand the beauty and wisdom in them and appreciate affection and intimancy when it becomes halaal for us.

I also agree with you in that parents need to sit down and talk to their children about such issues. Especially in todays day and age. I think there was an element of innocent and naivety in the elder generations which no longer exists. If we want to save our children from wayward ways then we need to educate them.

Btw- i used to be a huge fan of Judy Blume *looks sheepish* i still own every single book she wrote loooll!

Antonio February 17, 2009 at 7:22 PM  

I had this tune in my mind all day. Thanks Nooj.

On a more serious note, I'm about to divulge info from my childhood. I was probably the last kid in my Std 5 class to figure it out. But it had to be spelt out. The School Nurse was there, spilling it all about the birds and the bees, and even more, (I remember it vivdly), how some bees liked other bees, and some birds liked birds of the same feather. Of course I knew all about "moffies" but I had no idea what they did! Let alone lesbians, with strap on dildos! The school nurse, a woman in her late 40's, spared no details. I was shocked. It was like information overload. There I was, still as a churchmouse, where I was usually the vociferous show-off, know-it-all. Instead, the kids who had a less fortunate upbringing, who were in their pregangster years, and who rarely said a word in class cos they knew nothing, were actively participating. Extremely actively. I haven't even heard about certain things, the V-word being one of them. But suddenly everything made sense. Certain feelings when seeing a pretty girl, or when looking at the pictures on the calender at the Barber-Shop. Who knew that calenders could have such effects?

There I was a 12 year old, who knew everything about politics at the time, but nothing about sex. It's seems funny now, cos politics and sex seem to be synonomous.

I guess not knowing about sex earlier didn't adversely affect me (some might disagree), I guess I got to be a child longer than most kids these days. But things have gotten so bad in the media now, that it''l be impossible to go back to an era of more age restrictions on sexual material, be in visual or audio. I sometimes think the audio is worse than the visual, when whatching run of the mill TV shows dialogue is often too sexual and this causes earlier sexual awareness in children. I guess since it's impossible, perhaps earlier sex education is the key then.

Nooj February 18, 2009 at 4:52 PM  

thanks guys I was very hesitant about this post, but what made me decide to do it was knowing people who wanted to get rid of the habit. and it starts off harmless, from movies and music videos, to magazines, and then there's no turning back. quite a few people who did not want to comment felt i was being too judgemental but nowhere in the post did i mention fire and brimstone. just what feels right to me according to my logic and emotion which may not be universally applicable. Waseem I havent really thought this through enough but I think the curiousity's there anyway. Life Orientation teachers need to introduce the subject holistically and emphasize how the mind needs to be in par with the body i.e. be mature when making this decision. It does not have to be a spiritual command, just what's best for each individual which I feel is abstinence until you're mature enough to make the right decisions.zesty- yeah judie was and prrobably still is amazing! antonio- banderas?? lol@ sex and politics

Antonio February 18, 2009 at 6:42 PM  

Antonio Diego Alejandro de la Vega.

Azra February 19, 2009 at 8:29 AM  

Theres only one Diego de la Vega :D