Stuff That Interests Me

DECEMBER 15, 2009 8:24AM

Sex By The Book (Part 2)

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Part 1

 

Our neighbors across the street had a sweet, frisky collie, Princess.  When they were away I earned a few bucks feeding Princess, playing with her, making sure she was settled in the basement for the evening.  Those few bucks were just icing.  The real payment was the collection of Playboys in the basement.  A job that took, maybe, 10 – 15 minutes a night usually extended to 30 or 40.  My kid sister picked up the task of watering the neighbors’ plants upstairs.  I don’t know how she saw me.  I don’t know when she saw me.  Nonetheless, one night during the family dinner my sister ratted me out.  “[Stim’s] looking at the Playboys.”  Surprisingly the folks didn’t react too badly (Dad might’ve been a little jealous).  However, it was another black mark in the “Annoyance” category against the sister.

Summer school Biology came between 9th and 10th grades.  The summer wore on before we finally approached the final textbook chapter, “Reproduction.”  For a lesson on human growth, Mr. H, our teacher, brought in his 5-year old son and 6-month old daughter as props.  He chose Sherry from our class to represent 15-year olds.  Using a length of string then laid upon a yardstick, he would measure various parts of the human anatomy of each subject and announce the results in centimeters.  Yes, there would be a chest measurement.  Sherry was a small girl.  Turned out that the 5-year old had a bigger cranium.  You all can see this coming, can’t you?  There’s poor Sherry raising her arms for the chest measurement and there’s every boy in class poised with his calculator ready to divide by 2.54.  For the remainder of the summer, dear, innocent Sherry was known as “30.3.”

Let’s be honest.  From Kindergarten on, no one pays full attention to an educational film no matter the topic.  With one exception:  Breast Self-Exam.  Me at 15 watching a woman twice my age on screen sit in front of a mirror and drop her robe (God bless that woman) and demonstrate the technique (truly, God bless that woman).  Silence in the classroom.  No sound of pencil/pen scratching a note on paper.

10th grade brought Health class.  Health classes were taught by the high school coaches.  This was separate from P.E.  Health class was a desk in a lecture hall twice a week.  For most of the semester Mr. B. taught the class.  Until the semester’s final topic, (drum roll) Reproduction.  At that point a partition that separated our half of the lecture hall from the Health class on the other side was removed.  Reproduction was to be team-taught.  And who was the other Health class teacher/coach?  She was Miss J.  Or as my friends and I called her, “Little” Miss J.  “Little” referring to her chest size in the manner an obese person might be nicknamed “Slim.”  Trim, little Miss J simply standing still breathing was a sex-ed lesson unto herself and an exercise in male hormonal control.  Her hips swayed, too.

We got to the male inner workings.  Mr. B already talked about the section of the vas deferens that doctors snipped during a vasectomy.  Good to know.  Not pleasant to think about.  Miss J.’s turn followed.  She attempted to explain why a man cannot ejaculate and urinate at the same time.  After a bit of stumbling about, Miss J. instructed us that “it’s like there’s a little guy in there turning a valve.”  Yes, that’s exactly how it works.

My senior year welcomed a new coach, Miss C.  Whereas Miss J was, as I mentioned, “little,” Miss C was more … streamlined … and a little younger.  Miss C was a well-tanned, long-legged, blonde whose preferred attire included short-shorts (thank you).  Outside of watching her move (not as much hip action), Miss C really didn’t contribute to my sex education.  However, toward the end of the school year, Miss C did get busted for prostitution at the local Holiday Inn.

As my senior year ended, my relatively wide book knowledge of sex ed (at least compared to my classmates) was equally matched by my woefully pathetic amount of direct experience (compared, to say, pretty much everyone).  Yet, the final piece of my adolescent book knowledge was just ahead of me.  In its own way, it was the most important.

The Hite Report by Shere Hite caused a small, nationwide storm when published in 1976.  Hite surveyed 100,000 women, ages 14 – 78, about sex:  frequency, what they liked, didn’t like, orgasms and how best to achieve one or many.  Not since Masters and Johnson had research results on sexuality grabbed the country’s attention.  Horrifying to some sexual traditionalists, The Hite Report, published during the height of the Women’s Movement, called for a cultural shift to acknowledge not only that women enjoyed sexual stimulation, but providing stimulation should be an integral part of love making.

Such a conclusion may have caused a collective “About time” among many women.  To a certain 18-year old who had no ability to make entertaining small talk, much less entertaining small talk to an attractive young lady, The Hite Report was a godsend.  As enlightening as the book was about women and their pleasure points, I found that at the center of all the descriptions and methods of stimulation and orgasm, the key was “communication.”  Listen to what your partner says pleases her.  I’ve never been much of a talker, but, damn, I knew how to listen.  It took me eight years to find the complementary book to those sex-ed booklets I read as a 10-year old.

Which still left me with the question of why women’s hips swayed.  Sure, it was the natural physiology, but not knowing the exact reason why sort of left a last, little mystery.  The mystery was especially top of mind from that previous summer when I watched Sue, a year ahead of me in school, calmly walking the edge of a community pool.  Her tight, one-piece suit emphasized the metronome of her hips.  Which was as close as I got.  She dated an All-State linebacker.

I don’t remember how I came across a description of the female sacrum and its development during puberty.  Or how the sacrum’s design affects the angle of the femur.  And how that angle between the hip joint and the knee causes such a lovely, natural enticement.  I do remember that I felt a little disappointed to learn the reason.  An honest man admits that a woman’s mind and emotions are endless sources of mystery.  As much as I still had to learn about those aspects of women (the education is forever ongoing), my book learning had answered my last childhood question about female physiology.  My interest in direct exploration remained.

 

 

 

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I learned a lot. Is there a practicum with this syllabus? Your sister has a mean streak.
It's kind of fun to hear what the boys in class were going through. It makes me smile, actually. So innocent (kinda sorta.)
:-)
I learned a few things, too. You can explain the physiology of a female's swaying hips, but good luck explaining its effect on the heterosexual male ;)

This was a great read, Stim, thank you. Your discovery of the Hite Report reminded me being over at a friend's house as a kid and my buddy running into his room saying "Look at this!" He had his older sister's copy of "Our Bodies, Ourselves". That was a lot of information for a 13 year to digest!
OE - Your lady love will be administering the final. Failure is not an option.
Outside Myself - A kinda sorta innocent collection of raging hormones.
Smithery - Yeah, may not be able to explain the swaying hips' effect on the hetro male, but the slack-jawed stare is a dead giveaway. "Our Bodies, Ourselves," -- nice find.
Thanks for sharing your boyhood views. All I really remember is at times, boys walking in the hallways at school with their books conspicuosly low, to hide a...
;-)
spotted -- co-ed gym classes ....

JK -- As much as I might want a few do-overs from my teens, I wouldn't want to deal with the hormones again. The zits were no bargain either.
OK, you and I are about the same age. I want to know why the heck my school didn't do as thorough a job on sex ed as yours! And why can't I remember any good looking teachers (other than Miss B, whose Slavic last name appropriately rhymed with a word also used for a female dog). Oh wait, now I remember, there weren't any! See what happens when you go to school in the Bible Belt? You miss out on a lot of fun stuff. And you learn most of it from your older friends while camping in the backyard.
Wow. You really did get a lot of sex ed.
Procopius - The sex ed lessons in school were partly because of Iowa's strong committment to public education. Whatever the guidelines/procedures were at the state and local levels, they worked. When I graduated HS, Iowa had the highest literacy rate in the country. Despite a conservative religious bend, Iowans (at least during my time there) have a practical attitude toward education. As for good-looking teachers, we did have some who would scare a buzzard. (see response to Gwen below for more)

Gwen - for a general response, please read my comment to Procopius above. Read it? Ok. I left out one of the true highlights of my school years, a particular lecture from Mr. H, the Biology teacher. The lecture deserves its own post. Unfortunately I would need a transcript of the lecture to begin to do it justice. The lecture was so good that one of my Biology classmates and I requested a repeat when we took Mr. H's Physiology class our senior year. The title of the lecture was "Frustrations of a Sperm Cell." Mr. H started with the creation of a sperm cell in the testicles and took that sperm cell all the way through its journey to be the one out of a million sperms to fertilize an egg. Hugely educational and he made it damn funny. Through the whole life cycle of the sperm, it had one mantra: "Got to get an ovum. Got to get an ovum ...."
A teacher busted for prostitution? Paying for it, maybe, but taking in receipts? Nice.
Gwool - oh, with her gams, she didn't have to give anything away for free.
I had no sex ed. I learned by sneaking into the children's section of our local library and reading books for 10-year-olds. Well, scratch that; I did indeed have sex ed in 7th grade, or at least sat through it; Miss D. was gay, and got a little too into describing the female body, and I was so creeped out I didn't remember a thing.
I had no sex ed. I learned by sneaking into the children's section of our local library when I was 16 and reading books for 10-year-olds. Well, scratch that; I did have sex ed in 7th grade, or at least sat through it. Miss D, our gym teacher/health teacher was gay, and got a little too into describing the female body, and my 12-year-old self was so creeped out I couldn't remember a thing.
Thanks, Owl.

cydkatie - gay or hetro, talking that way to 12-year olds is creepy.
"...a little guy in there turning a valve..." Priceless. Geez, this is what I get for NOT growing up in Iowa. ;)
bpb - "this is what I get for NOT growing up in Iowa." Surprising how few times this sentence is ever uttered.
Brilliant! I can't wait for the quiz!
Sally - Thank you. No. 2 pencils at the ready.
"Miss C did get busted for prostitution at the local Holiday Inn."

She was teaching sex ed outside of school!! :)
Do I ever feel like I was cheated by our department of education. There was no breast exams in the old B&W reel to reel movie they showed us in biology, but there were many snickers when the movie or the teacher mentioned the words penis or vagina. ( He said vagina, tee hehehehe!)
Tink - ha. Miss C was a dedicated teacher.

Michael - Looking back I understand how fortunate our class was. There are many, many school boards that would have a collective seizure if they found out that kids watched a film featuring a woman touching her breasts.
There was no sex-ed in my school.
Went to parochial schools through college.
Mom never talked about sex and got preggars with me on her wedding night.
Dad definitely didn't talk about sex to his daughters.
Learned on my own. With the help of the father of my first two daughters.
Wasn't the worst thing in the world.
Later I read all sorts of books and magazine articles.
Got caught up.
Did it right with my kids.
Sat 'em down when they were in grade school, before puberty hit them.
Great book with cute pictures, mamma and girls at the kitchen table.
Sex ed came way too late and wasn't taught till high school.
All they remember is how the teacher showed them how to correctly use a condom!
With a banana! Some education!
Just Cathy - Good for you for teaching your kids before they reached puberty. Ah, the classic condom over a banana. My teachers talked about birth control, but there were no demonstrations.
I needed a pair of scissors one day and my mom told me there was a pair under her bed with her quilting stuff. Imagine my surprise when in addition to the scissors, there was a (I kid you not) book with a brown paper cover down there too! Yes, The Hite Report. My VERY embarrassed mother grabbed it and ran off to hide it again. Since she was not very imaginative, I found it a short time later in the basement with her other sewing stuff. The brown paper cover makes me crack up to this day.
bluesurly - hilarious. It'd suprise me to learn that my mom even heard of that book.
The Hite Report was the first reference book I actually enjoyed using. Not counting Playboy. Great read, Stim.
jimmy - Thanks. Hite beats the Guinness World Records book.
Well, book sense is better than no sense. I'm expecting a detailed account of your explorations in part III. You've already nailed the physiology (so to speak).
Audience reactions to my detailed account of explorations usually begin with, "You idiot! Why didn't you ...?"
"Which still left me with the question of why women’s hips swayed"

I enjoyed this, Stim!

You write really well.
Amanda -- I'm happy that you enjoyed it. Thank you.