Respect Can Change Our Behavior Towards Sex
The increasing unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections in younger populations call for a more comprehensive and participative education campaign. Understandably, school programs have become aggressive in injecting sex education in programs. I am not sure whether statistics in sexual assault and harassment as well as sexually transmitted diseases has decreased after the launch of formal sex education. I simply know that learning starts at home and outside of school. I don’t remember how old I was but I first learned about the anatomy of the opposite sex from magazine collections in a relative’s home.
I was known to be a vast reader and was often allowed to my uncle’s library. There were books in literature and architecture and sciences. My relatives hardly knew what I had been reading then. They were pretty old magazines, probably the 1960s or 1970s. I could barely remember the images but I’m pretty sure they’re far different from today’s men’s magazines. At mid school, my friends started sharing stories of kin that they have overheard. There were stories of older sisters kissing boyfriends and older cousins caught having sex at the den. We used to just laugh and go blurry on details as we hardly knew what was really going on.
The shock and disbelief of discovering public sexual actions were all we could take. My parents discussed sex with us. They said that with every choice comes a responsibility. They were firm and strict so my older sibling neither had the chance nor the strength to do something stupid at home. But yes, I’ve seen a condom at home. Me and my friends used to put water and throw them at each other in summer. Aside from my uncle’s collections, my early sexual education was formed from X-rated scenes in movies, from the simple to torrid kissing up to foreplay and the sexual act itself.
Initially, my father would ask me to cover my eyes or turn around. I could, however, hear the noise. The screams seemed to be a mix of pain, joy and more. As time went by, they would become occupied and forget to notice that we were watching. In the 8th grade, I remember fondling myself. Maybe that was how people having sex felt, I thought. Out of a child’s curiosity, my learning became purposive and intended after much exposure. I would spend time at the library browsing at anatomy. My friends would gather secretly and watch more X-rated films simply to satisfy our thirst for more information.
It was cool to learn new things with friends. That way, we expressed ourselves more freely than talking it over with our parents. Sex was discussed at home when a relative made a mistake of crossing boundaries. I didn’t want to ask first and make the impression that I was about to try it out. Our parents explained the consequences of such foolishness and irrational decision making. Though we never knew why people chose to do it. My mother once gave me a book about sex, published by a Christian group. I felt she wanted me to be aware and be more careful.
At 9th grade, we had lessons about sex in school. I didn’t know we could get sick from having sex. But I thought it was maybe a 1% chance that I’d likely get some disease from having sex. In Biology class, I learned where babies come from. We had this lesson on human anatomy where we discussed the male and female body parts and proceeded with the reproductive cycle. Despite my classmates’ unrest, the teacher continued sternly and objectively. Prior to that, my mother used to just tell us we were gifts from God. The package and means of delivery was kept in the dark but it didn’t bother me.
I’ve flipped through our medical encyclopedia closely examining the detailed graphics of the human cycles including the reproductive cycle. But I never really paid attention to them. The encyclopedia was boring and heavy. I preferred browsing at magazines that I borrowed from friends. The images were real and elicit excitement. The following year, I had my first sexual experience with an older classmate. I had several one night stands and about 30 partners until I came of age. Naturally, intimacy has always been part of relationships. Though, it was difficult to talk about things, especially sex, we were both not comfortable with.
It probably was due to our immaturity and lack of experience that we declined to explore into the subject. It just happened. Then, I met this special partner. With my first romantic relationship, I appreciated what I learned from Biology class. Not that I went to explore hands on, but I learned that men and women are definitely different. I learned that the opposite sex has different perspectives and feel differently about certain things. I learned to value our relationship more than just the physical attraction and fun that it brings.
In my country, homosexuals were prosecuted, either killed or put in jail. They were seen as obscene, unworthy and peril to society. I hardly knew any homosexual individual in our neighborhood back then. When we moved in the US about ten years ago things changed. I met many gays and lesbians. They were classmates, friends of friends and even became group mates. They are different, but I have learned to respect them as human beings. Sexually speaking, I have yet to comprehend their preferences and ways. It’s going to take some more time getting used to homo culture.
Meantime, in my early adolescence, I was also wary of the consequences that could come after my curiosity. Though, the lack of answers to my pack of thoughts about sexual contact did not hinder me from becoming overly comfortable with my partners. Things just happen spontaneously, at times without our critical judgment. Our actions are often triggered by our feelings. And unguarded emotions tend to explode and become untamed. Eventually, the academe began awareness campaigns starting with the HIV Day. It has been a challenge to skip one night stand offers.
But I have more faith in myself now that I am aware and know which is right for me. From then on, I had many enriching as well as enlightening experiences. I began to mature and understand things more reasonably than when I was younger. Often curiosity can catch us off guard. Many adventurous youth have become victims and prey to the issues that surround teenage sex. I hope that people can be more objective and take caution before making hasty decisions. Sex is a medium for expressing love and union. In Church, sex is the medium for loving and procreating. Without these intentions, sex may turn out to be selfish desire.