The Miracle of Birth or Remembering Sex Education Class


Today someone found my blog by searching A+Child+Is+Born+Porn. At first I threw up a little bit in my mouth but then I stopped, and choking back chunks remembered (dunt-dunt-DUUUUUNT) Sex Education...

Let's do the time warp, again. The year is 1991 and I am in 5th grade. Sex Ed was about as ridiculous as the D.A.R.E to keep kids off drugs program. Contrary to the board of dumbasses whose idea D.A.R.E was, D.A.R.E. made drugs seem cool while sex-ed made sex seem like cruel and unusual punishment. (Bravo, board. You were successful for a good year or so.)

"Cool kids will pressure you to smoke cigarettes and try heroin." This was a direct quote from the D.A.R.E program and I remember it well because we had to repeat the fucker several times a week, out loud, to ourselves, and our pen-pals AND our poor teacher who was probably getting stoned in the back just to spite the system.

It took a few years before I realized that although cigarettes were a drug. Heroin was far worse for you, but then according to officer Shultz and his mustache and Oakleys, "a drug was a drug." I remember one lesson particularly because we had to write a page about how we would handle the "increasingly common" situation of a strange man putting a gun to our heads and saying, "smoke this joint or I'll kill you!" I was scared shitless that this was something that actually happened until I started smoking weed a few years later and realized that it's kind of the other way around.

I digress... This is about sex, not drugs.

I was a fairly sheltered kid and clueless about sex. I knew that "it" happened but never spent much time figuring out when and how. I was shy, a late-bloomer whose role model was a flat-chested doll that smelled of strawberries. I had a friend a couple years older who had already endured Sex Ed and liked to brag about it to me and my friends, quizzing us and getting blank stares in return.

"Rebecca? Do you know what a condom is?"
"Um, yeah. Who doesn't? Psh."
"Oh reaaaaaallly. Draw me a picture, then."

I searched the archives of my brain for clues before remembering the scene in Naked Gun 2 where Leslie Nielson and Priscilla Presley dress like plastic gloves and make-out. Yes, I distinctively remember them using the words "protection" and "condoms" so I drew something that looked like this:


I believe her exact words were: "What the fuck?"

I wish I could have answered her but "fuck" was a relatively new word to me and once again I found myself staring blankly as the bitch rolled her eyes and scribbled over my drawing. She then drew a circle. "A condom looks like this, okay? Get it straight."

"I knew that. I was just making sure YOU Knew that. Heh"

When I entered 5th grade, every day was a risk. It was inevitable, sex education, condoms and everything else. I was petrified and curious and embarrassed so when it was finally announced that we would be having Sex Ed the following day at school, I felt relieved. The suspense was making me sick after all and I could pass my soon-to-be-acquired wisdom down to a the girl who lived across the street and was two years younger then me. FINALLY.

My teacher Ms. North separated the Jimmy Z/Gotcha wearing boys from the Keds and Hypercolor clad girls, the mullets from the bangs and lead the Mikes, Chris' and Brians (every boy in my class had one of the three names) out of the class and to the room next door where they were to watch penis videos with the man-teacher so we could watch our vagina movies er, period pieces with Mrs. North.

Oh Sweet Moses! Help me, please! I was already suicidal.

Luckily for us Ms. North didn't talk much. She drew a picture of a cow and called it the "female reproductive system," asked one of the eight Amandas in the class to flick the switch and we all crowded onto the carpet to watch Mickey Mouse point out the clitoris. Ed Note: Um, where was Minnie in all of this?

I was appalled. WTF was Mickey doing with a pair of ovaries and a box of Tampax? Was it possible for Pluto to contract genital warts? And why was Donald suddenly performing a pap smear. There wasn't a dry eye in the house. Scarred for life, we all huddled together like sheep and waited for it to end.

"Amanda G. Lights up, please?"

Silence.

"Does anyone have any questions?"

Silence.

"Good, because we have another movie to watch. It's called "A Child is Born" and it's a beautiful little film about the miracle of childbirth! Something you all have to look forward to..."

Gulp.

"Amanda Y. Lights down, please."

It had become Pavlovian. Lights down = high fever and acute case of asthma. I asked to be excused to the nurse but it was too late. The film had begun. I don't remember much about the movie besides an obscene amount of pubic hair, saggy-breasts and a bloody carcass. If this was what womanhood was all about, I would have to stay a child. Puberty? I would fight it with a razor. No hair here. No how. No way. And the bloody carcass? I was fine with the idea of adoption. Weren't periods violent crime enough?


Thirty years later, the film finally ended. Amanda Q flicked the light-switch on and I crawled out from under my desk to politely raise my hand.

"Does it always look like that?"

"Childbirth can be messy but it's a miracle. The miracle of life! Just like that tiny newborn, you also came into the world that very way, through the birth canal and out of your Mother's vagina."

Errrrrrrrrrrt. Check please.

It took me a few days before I could look my Mother in the eye after that. I was fasting as well and speaking only in my sleep. In my dreams Mickey Mouse was rowing a hairy canoe down the Fallopian tube singing Zipppppety doooo daaaah! Not cool. Not cool at all.

About a week later, after the rubble had settled and I was almost able to properly pronounce vowels, Ms. North explained joyfully that it was round two of Sex Education! "But today you will be learning about the boy's reproductive system and the workings of the penis!!!"

Penis was always a lot easier a word to hear/say than vagina. Penis sounded cool and Vagina sounded exactly how it looked. I could handle hearing about penis. I didn't have to deal with it, not for a few years at least.

Amanda R flicked the switch and we all took our places on the carpet. The movie started, same Mickey Mouse and gang with their pointing sticks and songs about glans and semen. Most of it seemed to be about masturbation and nocturnal emissions.

"One day you will experience a wet dream, mousekateers! Now, don't be alarmed! It's perfectly natural."

Of course when the lights flipped back (Amanda, again!?) every girl in the class had a raised hand. It seems the girls of Ms. North's fifth grade class were more interested in the workings of the penis then they were about their own genitilia. (again, in the future this would make a lot of sense.)

As for me? I was busy taking notes so I could educate the neighborhood girls to save them the humiliation and the shock of having it all thrown upon them like a death sentence.

Ah, memories. Sometimes all it takes is a pervy googler for a girl to remember.

GGC

And now for a GGC Assignment:
What was your first Sex Education like? I expect a full-blog report on my bloglines by weeks end.

Class dismissed.

37 comments:

Kristen | 4:40 AM

Well, when I got over my shock from the realization that you were in 5th in 1991, I had to laugh my ass off - mainly because since I never went to high school, I never ever had sex ed.

However, it probably would have been good because my parents told me absolutely NOTHING about ANYTHING. At least I learned and will never do the same for my daughter.

Christina | 5:43 AM

I'm a little older than you, and came from a small town, so the sex ed we had in 5th grade was a wee bit different.

The girls and boys were put in different rooms, and we were shown the old 1950's reels about the female reproductive system. (this was the early 80's). Gotta love those movies - sterile, clinical, and useless.

After that, the school nurse talked to us about our periods and different feminine protection, including a demonstration of how to use a tampon, using her hand as a mock vagina.She also discussed proper hygiene.

Sex was never mentioned. Babies were never mentioned. Penises were never mentioned. We were only taught that we had these parts of our bodies that cause us to gush blood once a month, and welcome to womanhood. If they didn't mention the true purpose of our reproductive organs, then hopefully we wouldn't use them for that purpose.

I have no idea what the boys talked about with the gym teacher. I bet it was nothing as mortifying as a tamon demonstration.

We didn't get proper sex ed. until 8th grade, after we had three girls pregnant in our class. Apparently a little late for them.

Horny Old Guy | 6:57 AM

Wow! It doesn't sound like things have changed that much with sex ed since when I was a teenager back in the Dark Ages of the 1950's. The biggest difference now is there is plenty of additional "educational material" on the web, in video, in the movies, etc. Back then it was hard to find even any visual inspiration for jacking off (which we all discovered on our own!), not that we really needed any.

Awesome Mom | 7:24 AM

Gosh I don't remember it being anything like that with me. I do remember asking my mom about stuff pretty young because I had a friend that was telling me the wrong things. My mom got out the book for A Child is Born and showed me the pictures from that. I just remember wondering why two people would want to do THAT to each other. By the time sex ed came around in school it was old news to me. I actually think my interest in anatomy and science came from my mother introducing me to that book because I went back from time to time and loved looking at the pictures of the babys.

gusmomma | 8:01 AM

ahahahaha....i vaguely remember mine in 5th..i remember telling my mom i am staying away from my period. i was very confused about the differences between condominiums and condoms, haha....i know, i was very naive. haha! great story. oh and i was always jenifer i. one of a billion born in 1977...i had the joy of one n though and a long ass last name!

tpon | 8:48 AM

ok, I will totally do a post on this but I was laughing today because your reaction to Mickey in teh fallopian tubes was much the same as my reaction to Donald Duck in Mathmagic Land... which might explain my abysmal scores on the endless series of math finals to follow.

GIRL'S GONE CHILD | 8:55 AM

Haha! These are so great! Your stories are priceless.

Diana | 11:14 AM

oh. no. sex ed. *trying to keep memories repressed***
Mine went pretty much the same- deafening silence. We couldnt look at the boys and they couldn't look at us when we finally got together in the classroom again. Trauma-freaking-tizing.

sunshine scribe | 12:17 PM

We had just as many Amanda's and Mikes in our class too.

HYSTERICAL post about your sex ed. Traumatizing really - good job school board.

Our's didn't start until grade 7 and didn't really get into the sex part of sex ed until grade 9! The grade seven version was taught by a teacher who just liked to tell stories to gross us out or scare us about her own daughter. Like when she left a used, ewww, maxi pad on the counter in the bathroom and her brothers cute friend came over and found it. Or how she went to her prom and forgot her tampon and got a huge stain on her dress that is in all of her pictures. Nice mother. Gross stories. Not sure I remember anything else but those stories though. But I have to admit they worked - I didn't stain my dress at the prom and I've never left a used anything on the bathroom counter. What more do I need to know ?!?

Dutch | 12:33 PM

something tells me this post would have been rejected by the editors of chicken soup for the teenage soul. too bad.

Kat | 12:58 PM

Hey! I had to de-lurk for this post.

I went to Catholic school all my life! So, sex ed was taught by nuns and brothers. It was also not taught until 9th grade! (way past the time when we all found out the old fashioned way - buy the older kids down the street.) I was the kid who knew too much, but never used the information for good. Brother Shapiro was my 'Health' teacher. He had charts, videos (tho no Mickey Mouse videos...damn!) and take-home material. After he did his lecture - red faced and all - he asked if any of us had any questions. Of course, I had a list in my back pocket that I busted out for the occassion! How long does an erection last? Does public hair get in the way? Is oral or anal sex considered 'sex?' It went downhill from there. Thing is, I was a generally good kid - so he dutifully answered all my obnoxious and immature questions as the class laughed their asses off.

And, now I have to wonder...did the guy ever even *see* a vagina?! You never know, with a man on the cloth.

Gina | 1:50 PM

Wow, what a memory you have! I can barely remember that educational experience. I do know the videos were not Disney related. What in the world are male cartoons doing explaining that crap!? Who thought of that? Talk about scarring kids on Disney characters forever...

Mother Bumper | 3:17 PM

I went to an all girls Catholic school that actually did a pretty good job teaching us sex-ed. It started in grade four with the ancient movies that showed a female frog leaving her eggs in the stream to be fertilized by the male frog at a later time. So needless to say I thought that babies were made in a less intimate manner. Seriously - I thought it happened in your sleep (or a stream) until I was at least in grade seven. Then I found out that people had sex even when they didn't want to make babies - talk about a total shock to the system. AIEEEEEE!!!! I was curious and out of control. Then when the nuns revisited sex ed in grade 11 they taught us the rhythm method and how to help birth babies (in case we decided to become missionaries). I'm not making this up. So to this day I actually do know my most fertile days without the aid of a kit and all you need is a garbage bag, string and clean water to get that baby out. Wow - hadn't thought about that in years. Sorry to hijack your comments. Thanks for the flashback!

Leah | 3:34 PM

My parents bought me the book "Where Did I Come From?" featuring two loveable, roly-poly cartoon adults in all their public-haried glory. I was probably about five or six, and I loved the book so much I showed it to all the kids in the neighborhood. It was at that point I was sat down for "the talk" about how some people's parents don't want them to know about that sort of thing quite yet and how about we stick to Strawberry Shortcake instead.

Mrs. Chicky | 4:09 PM

I went to a Catholic elementary school so I didn't even know what sex was until I entered public school in the 7th grade. I don't remember sex ed in junior high (repressed memories, perhaps?). Then in ninth grade there was "health class". Dun, dun, duuuun. I remember that birth video vividly! When it came time to watch another video like that in my childbirth class, just over a year ago, I was terrified and a little bit nauseous and I hid behind my pillow the entire time.

My husband had to tell me how it ended!

Domestic Chicky | 4:23 PM

Ha! What an opportune post! My 3 year old followed me into the bathroom today, bent over and pointed, and asked "what's that mommy?" Racking my brain to come up with a response that wasn't "vagina" (oh, the 10 sorts of hell I would get from MIL, the ex nun!), I answered with the first thing that came to mind-"hoohoo" - I'm not sure which I'm more embarrassed about now...

stefanierj | 6:00 PM

I must share.

1) You were in 5th grade when I was graduating from HS? Fuuuuck.

2) My sex ed was in the car at Thanksgiving the year I was 3 because my mother was pregnant and I asked how babies were made. She told me, and at Thanksgiving dinner, I asked my ex-marine, ex-truck driver, railroad man Grandfather if he, too, had a penis. He didn't answer at first. So of course, I asked again. Poor mom. Health class, 8th grade was my "formal" sex ed, but it was actually OK. Coach Sherrill was cool about it and boyz and girlz were all together.

3) Just today, as a bloggy coincidence, we just discovered that D knows where his penis is. OTTV.

kittenpie | 6:31 PM

Man, am I old. Grade 5, you say?

Like Leah, I was given the book Where Did I Come From as a young kid and had a pretty open hippie mom, so the babies and sedx part I knew about. I seem to recall that we really only learned about the parts 'n' periods in grade 5, then got sex ed and birth control with a condom/banana demo in grade 7 and 8, with possibly some stuff about drugs, and then more deetailed body, VD (as it was called back then), and drugs infor in grade 9.

I recall being so well-informed that my mom was kind of disappointed that my first period didn't really offer mom-daughter bonding opportunities... I had already installed a pad, and just told her about it. Not like in the old days, when apparently moms waited until their freaked-out daughters asked if they were dying, and then took the moment to induct them into the cult of womanhood.

Her Bad Mother | 6:57 PM

Fuck. FUCK.

I was so traumatized by sex ed that I blacked most of it out. And that was even with the watered down Catholic school version.

But the very worst moment of sex education for me came outside of the schoolroom. It was The Talk, with my parents, who probably would have let it go until my wedding night, but that I was 15 and 'dating' (I use that term so loosely here) a - wait for it - *16 year old* boy. So they had to sit me down. And say to me, 'Honey, do you know what statutory rape is?'

Fuck. I thought that I'd let it go, but no, I'm sitting here, beet red, just at the memory.

Karen | 7:25 PM

OH.MY.GOD. 2badladies, that takes the cake. Really.

Sex Ed. I think I anesthetized my brain b/c all I remember is an animated video - no Mickey Mouse - with diagrams of penis into vagina. I thought about that for a long time. Seemed against physics.

I do know that my mom wrote a letter to me in my baby book the day I got my period. Even today I've only ever gotten as far as "Karen, today you got your period..." before I have to slam it shut b/c I'm just too embarassed to read it.

Chag | 7:40 PM

A chalk outline for a condom? There's a joke in there somewhere. I'm just too lazy to try to find it. Funny post!

Lilli | 8:16 PM

This post (and the comments) are TOOO funny! I had to show my friends, and they were all fans as well! So.. with me it all started with the 5th grade sex-ed video/talk, as well. Before that I was so uninformed, it was ridic. One of my friends started her period in 4th grade, and I always thought that she was making it up. Every month she would say that she was on it. I just completely did not understand the whole once a month concept. I thought it was a one-time thing. Wouldn't that have made life easier?! Each month when Emily would claim that she was on her period again, I would say to my friends, "Whatever, I think she's making it up. She said the same thing last month." I'm awful, I know. So when the 5th grade sex-ed thing came around I was super excited. I remember them sitting us in a room and giving us Altoids before the video to put us at ease. I think I remember the Altoids better than the video. The video they showed us was outdated and confusing. During the questions part, one of my friends asked about how to insert a tampon. The teachers avoided directly answering the question, and I wondered about it for the next few years. When I finally got my period, I tried to keep it a secret from my mom for as long as I could. I decided to go swimming on the second day of my first period. When my mom was doing the laundry, she noticed something. She came up to my room to ask me if I had started my period, and I said no. I thought I had gotten away with it, until the following month. Ooohhh.. good times! Brings back memories! :)

Angel Baby | 8:56 PM

Like everyone else, I felt upset and traumatized when I first learned what sex was all about. My parents had me stay home the day that sex ed was taught in fifth grade. Everyone was so jacked up about it the next day I knew I missed something HUGE.

Luckily (or unluckily, I'm not sure) I made friends with a very sexually advanced / developed 5th grader that year. Funny thing: she kind of bullied me with the same condom question! I didn't do quite as well as you when I attempted to bluff my way through my answer.

I STILL resent my parent's inability to be honest with me and talk about something that I should have learned. It took me a long time to figure it all out and not be ashamed of my body. How stupid is that? I will definitely make sure my daughter gets the facts!

margalit | 9:02 PM

My best friend was a year older than I was, and she started bragging that she was going to see "The Movie" at school. She teased me and teased me about being too little to see "The Movie" and I got so upset I ran home and told my parents about it. They sat my friend, my brother and me down at the kitchen table, and my father the pediatric physician proceeded to tell us, in clinical detail, every single factor of both male and female reproduction, complete with drawings. My mother added lines like "when you love someone...take it dad".

I was in 4th grade and this was the most disgusting, horrifying and nauseating thing I had ever heard and the way my dad described it, I vowed NEVER EVER EVER to do that. It took me quite a while to get over that.

GIRL'S GONE CHILD | 9:05 PM

"when you love someone... take it dad" is the funniest thing i have ever heard. THAT is a great bumber sticker/band name/t-shirt. I can just seeee your mom introducing science with "mother-logic" CLASSIC.

ninepounddictator | 9:12 PM

I think my parents knocked on my door when I was doing homework and said something like, "Um, people get diseases." I was like, "Ok." THen they knocked on my brothers door, next to mine, and gave the same speech.

Any wonder that I got Knocked Up accidently at age 30? Ha ha.

Tammy | 6:27 AM

OMG, that's the funniest thing I've read in a long time!!!

First, 5th grade...1991? I'm wayyyyy old. I had 5th grade sex ed in...wait...let me get out the calculator...1973. I think. I might have forgotten to carry a one in there somewhere. But it's close.

We didn't have a cool film with Mickey. We had cave drawings. And our teacher was named Mrs. Og. Mrs. North kept making me think of Ollie North and it just took on the weirdest twist.

Mrs. Og was a troll of a woman, even for a neanderthal, and we had ONE girl in our class who had started her period at that point, and Mrs. Og knew it. In a coed class, in front of EVERYbody, she pointed to the cave drawing of menstruation and said "Barbara, can you explain to your classmates what menstruation is like?" That poor, poor girl. She was totally mortified. And I was mortified for her. And the boys were merciless thereafter.

Mrs. Og was killed in a mysterious mammoth stampede later in the year. At least as clearly as I can remember. It was a long time ago.

IFLYG | 8:51 AM

I sorted of bluffed my way through grade school...read lots of books (my sister's copy of "Our Bodies, Ourselves" with all the cool drawings of dissected female bits, etc), but nothing sank in...
9th grade...one of the Amanda's from my school, on the floor of her garage...nekkid..."Make love to me!"...she might as well have asked me to build a hot air ballon from scratch or something...god, I was so fucking embarrassed - no idea what to do...
thank god Amanda did...

Boutros | 8:51 AM

My initial introduction to the reproductive system was in Are You There God, It's Me Margaret. I was disappointed when I learned that maxipads no longer required belts.

J's Mommy | 10:37 AM

Ooh that's a good idea for a post. I'll have to think about that for a while, but I'm definitely up for the challenge. Thanks!

Mrs. Davis | 10:45 AM

OMG, you are young. I was in 5th grade in the 1970's Eeesh.

Our sex ed in Catholic school was okay. They at least told us SOMETHING around 5th or 6th grade. And in high school we had "Marriage and Vocations" class, and I clearly remember a female religious ed teacher lecturing to us about how important it is to have our hair fixed and armpits shaved, etc, before our husbands get home from work. (This was not 1953, BTW, it was 1986!!!

Most of what I learned was from Judy Blume books (junior high) and Glamour magazine (high school and college). My mom would answer just about any question I asked, but she waited for me to ask rather than volunteering any info. I also have two older sisters (10-12 years older than me) who I went to for advice when I was in college and wanted to go on the pill.

GIRL'S GONE CHILD | 11:29 AM

All of your comments are amazing. Your stories are priceless. I laugh out loud when I read every one. Can we please compile a book of "sex-ed" memoirs? It's just too good.

Kell | 11:42 AM

I cant believe how graphic your education was!!! The only thing I remember about ours (which was given too us far too late, especially for me ;)was our form tutor putting a condom on a banana and our science teacher pronouncing vagina 'vadge-in-a'. Absolutely crap.

MrsFortune | 2:13 PM

DAMN I wish I remembered! Especially because I'm short on post ideas right now. But this was hilarious. I too had multiple Amandas, Mikes, Brians, etc. in my classes, even though I think I'm older than you.

Leah | 4:57 PM

I can't believe I mistyped "public" instead of "pubic." That must be the first time in the history of the world it's gone that way around.

kate | 10:35 AM

I know I'm chiming in a bit late, but...
The girl across the street told me that in sex ed a naked woman and a naked man came into the class room as part of the sex ed class. When it didn't happen in 5th or 6th grade, I figured it would when I got to junior high.
My other memory:
Carrie G. and me laughing uncontrollably at the word "erect". And the boys were in the room at the time.

8th grader in tennessee | 11:17 PM

Hey im in 8th grade we had sex ed it is a little bit diffrent now ,now the only reason why kids watch it is cuz they want to not cuz there learning .but its more freaking porn ,just in school