Mirror Magazine
25th March 2001
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Let's talk about sex

.........why ever not?

By Norm(an) De Plume
Nowadays if you switch on the radio, you're likely to listen to songs on everything under the sun - from relatively simple ideas about how somebody's uncle insists that she buys a ticket for a summer holiday to more profound ideas like losing the one you love.

And among these you find that most taboo of topics...dare I print it...Sex. There is a variety within the topic as well, such as the explosive 'Sex Bomb' and the rather messy sounding 'Sex on the beach'. But by far the most thought provoking one is 'Lets talk about sex'. Why not? There seems to be a general averseness to this topic amongst most of our society. Not among teenage boys though - this could be their theme song.

One of my friends tells this story from his childhood days. "When I was about 12, 13 or so, I went to a wedding and I was fascinated with the exchanging of rings. 

That evening, when I got home I asked my father what was so special about the rings. 'Why putha?' he asked. 'Well', I said, 'isn't it the ring that gives the babies?'. I can still remember the discomfort on my father's face. 'No putha', he answered 'it's because of other things...like kissing(this a whisper)...you'll learn when you're older'. 

For some time in my life I was mortally afraid of kissing somebody (even on the cheek) because I thought I'd make them pregnant." He adds that his father never did bring up the subject again. "Probably a good thing too," he says with relief "but he just might come up to me one of these days and say, 'putha, now that you're twenty, there are some things in life you need to know..."

It can be just as bad in education. There was a section on reproductive health in Health Science when I was still in school. My teacher left it till the end of the year and conveniently couldn't find enough time to do it properly (much to our disappointment). 

At the higher education institute I attend, there had been a discussion on a proposal to give students Internet facilities. We were told that one official had voiced concern over students looking at 'unnecessary things' and that the term was used for the rest of the discussion. Even the word 'pornography' is taboo, even among the very much grown-up.

It's not that I'm blind to social and cultural reality. A conversation on sex is easy in Western society, but over here it's a totally different story. The particular mix of love and respect we treat our parents and elders with, makes it an awkward topic. But it's no excuse for being in denial. I find that most of my friends' knowledge on the subject is derived from 'unnecessary things' , or from elder brothers who have gotten it from 'unnecessary things'. And this knowledge is apt to be quite corrupted. Some of the girls I know are totally clueless (no exaggeration, mind you). Just how healthy is this? In an era of AIDS, illegal abortions and child abuse this makes it all the more dangerous. Maybe more emphasis on sex education is the answer. But one thing is certain- we need to change the way we think. I'm off to listen to the radio.

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