Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Formal Sex

I am curious: How did we learn about “the birds and the bees” before this current situation of information overload?

Is sex still very much a taboo subject when it comes to talking about as a serious educational subject matter?

I chance upon this very informative and relatively detailled article entitled (quite coyly, if I may say so) Private Practices: The Doctor Says , in The Star; which writes at lenghts about sexual practices including a section on DIY (quite imaginative subheading from the good doctor!).

It goes about the subject in a highly “matter-of-fact” manner, unlike the one which got the now defunct Weekend Mail into trouble.

Anyone remember the survey done on Malaysian’s most preferred position? But then again, the WM was already stretching the moral ruling a wee bit with its Campus hotties feature.

With the best of efforts, I remember my first ever source of sex education: a (not so ) cleverly hidden Playboy magazine which showed a very, very young boy some very curvaceaous females in various lusty poses, clad in nothing else but their undies.

It was a very exciting discovery for me, but alas, one not lasting as the thick mgazine – which were also cut out in some pages - was no longer underneath the thick mattress in a room onn the fitrst floor when I went for second round of “reading” it.

Similar chance exposure came off and on, mainly from video tapes brought back by other uncle’s - mostly from horror movies, a genre which back then were filled with sex scenes just right before the victims would meet their gory end.

These were also fleeting moments as all the children would be shooshed away beyond the watching zones.

There were also novels – Mills and Boon, Harold Robbins (1916 – 1997) - about that provide the most vivid portrayals of sexual shennanigans, but they were way too thick and way too texty for a young boy to read, so for most of the time, I’d just skimmed through the pages seeking for THE part.

Formally, though, the first ever introduction to sex education was, of course, none other than the subject of biology during my secondary schooling days.

By that time, many of us pretended to know what it was all about and there were red faces when the topic came up.

I still remember my biology teacher (first name Faridah) who was easily one of two sexiest female teachers in my college then, the other being our English teacher whose name I sadly cannot recall.

Cikgu Faridah – who was also well known for being very stern when she’s angry - normally dresses in tight Kebaya that often showed enough glimpse of her curves to those who dared lift their eyes from the text books while she was teaching.

She would chide us for giggling or being red-faced during the topic of human reproduction system and say somethings along the lines of” “Why should you be ashamed for something that is very normal?”

Perhaps, but by then we do hear of fantastic stories of sexual encounters by some of the ”macho’er” college mates with their girlfriends which might or might not be true, but which nonetheless fired up the fertile, young imaginations.

It was only during my stint in the UK when I found out that the “dirty pictures” I came across all those years ago in the hidden Playboy were among the more decent ones in markets were such magazines were available to the public.

These and some easily accessible blue video (as they were known then) made sex their main subject, but instead of educating, the act was instead commercialised to the extreme end that it become soulless.

Anyone remember this one: a couple married for quite some time but still without any children went to a medical practitioner with their problem. When asked how they made love, the couple - quite forthcoming - said they did exactly what the porn actors and actresses did!

(If you don’t understand the punchline, you have truly led a pious and healthy life.)

We might not be opening ourselves to such a concept of “dirty magazines” for the public eyes, but the borderless world of the Internet meant that there is simply no such need to be in place.

A single click is all it takes to access for really foul sites which make sex the dirty word that it was not meant to be.

Cikgu Faridah may have had a coy smiled on her all those years ago when talking about it, but she was spot on in her remark.

Is it too late for us to re-teach this same notion to the younger generations?

(Do read also Dina Zaman’s “Youth, Sex and Doing Business” for a particularly disturbing look on this matter.)

1 comment:

Hope said...

I remember my first encounter was when I 'accidentally' watched a sex scene (the uncut version)at a friend's place. I was embarrassed but curious at the same time.

And yeah, I remember learning a little bit of it in biology too. But I think what we learned in biology is like the tip of an iceberg. There were so many things that were left hanging, unsaid, unspoken. So many questions, yet no one dared to ask.

I'm all for sex education.

I've written an entry about it in my blog :)