This is not about the song, its about sex. But if you want to listen to the song please play it. I think its a good song with a catchy hook!
Building up from that song, how many of you talked about sex and puberty with your parents growing up? If you did please just share that experience in the comments section for those of us-like me, who did not have that conversation. I am the last born in a family of three boys, so when I turned six and had no one to play with anymore, I started begging my mother for a baby sister.
My mother would reply and say, “Tino don’t worry I will go buy the baby from the hospital but not right now because babies are expensive” I would then sulk but still feel hopeful because I knew that anyone of these days my little baby sister would be on her way. But obviously this never happened! However, I came to accept the fact that I was not going to have a younger sibling and I forgave my mother, after my bouts of sulking, throwing tantrums and getting beaten up so hard for it. What I still find difficult to forgive my mother for though, is lying to me. I remember so well the day my bubble was burst. We were walking back from school and one of the girls in our “walking back from sports” group said that she missed her auntie coming to pick her up after sports. We all almost immediately asked where her auntie had gone and she said she was on maternity leave and was going to have a baby. I quickly exclaimed (remembering my mother’s wise words) “oh your auntie went to the hospital to buy a baby!”
You can imagine what happened after I said this to a group of ten year old children who watched TV way more than I did. Needless to say, I was ridiculed for the rest of my fifth grade because I thought that babies were sold at the hospital. I know you must be judging me for my ignorance at ten, but I trusted my mother’s every word. I should have known better, I know.
Looking back now years after my incident of childhood ridicule, I realize what the problem was. Silence. My mother did not feel comfortable telling her six year old child that babies were a result of a biological process called copulation also known as sex. Now she probably thought like how many but not all African mothers think: children must not know about sex. I am a child who grew up in a conservative home where talking about sex was Taboo, in fact it was not even a Taboo because Taboo infers prohibition. In my family we were never prohibited to talk about sex we just never did. The issue never came up, well until I turned twelve.
I had seen people kissing on TV and heard Shaggy say “Honey caught me banging her on the bathroom floor”, although I had no idea what this meant I loved that song. When I eventually learned what the song means, I finally understood why my father had always told me not to sing it. For those people who remember that song here is a throwback:
So when I turned twelve my body started changing. I started to grow a beard (early bloomer I know), I could no longer solo Oliver Twist because my voice was no longer as smooth, and also I started having wet dreams. Even, when these changes started happening I felt like I could not go and ask my dad. Luckily for me I have older brothers, so I asked them but they were not really helpful. All they said was “ah this means you growing up.” This did not help me understand why I would day dream whilst staring at Lisa’s boobs during Math class nor did it help me understand why I was having these dreams. My prayers were answered when we finally did a class on Puberty in Social Studies class, but all we talked about was how sex was bad, immoral and that puberty was normal.
I wanted to find out if I was the only one who grew up not talking about sex at home so I interviewed three other guys, of different ages, race, and nationality. For the sake of privacy we shall call them person X, Y and Z. (Some of the answers have been paraphrased)
Question 1: Did you grow up in a home where sex was something that was spoken about?
Answer: Yes. My parents were very open about sex and sexuality. My mother was the kinda woman to say when my brother and I were going out, “boys have you carried a pack of condoms with you? ”
Question 2: Did you feel that this gave you more responsibility about the decision of when to have sex or did it encourage you to have sex?
Answer: It made me feel that I could take my time about having sex . Also if I decided to have sex I was aware of the risks involved and the precautions to take.
Answer to Q1: No! I grew up in a very conservative home where sex was a Taboo, but it did not matter because I could Google anything I wanted if I had questions.
Person Y could not answer the follow up question because sex was never discussed.
Answer to Q1: Yes, my mother and I spoke about sex and dating girls so openly. She would listen to all my pursuits!
Answer to Q2: Yes, it most definitely did. I never felt the “coolness” behind having sex without my parents knowing because my mother and I talked about it as openly as people politely talk about their day at the dinner table.
After also just talking to my friends I started to realize that there were the anomalies then the ones like me who found out about sex through TV, or Mills and Boons, or Music, or a Magazine (True Love) etc.
Why are parents not talking to us about sex until we are already at a point where we know so much about sex that when they finally decide that we are “old” enough they come to us and we are like
Having sex is something we should talk about, and I do not think talking about it makes the act lose any value rather it just makes us realize the importance, fun, risk and meaning of it from early on. As a parent I would rather have my child know where children come from from me rather than hear it form Shaggy. Nicki Minaj or Juicy J talk.
Sex on so many levels is a big responsibility because the dangers of having sex without knowing the are too high. STDs, such as HIV/AIDS are diseases that plague our continent and are contracted through having sex. Unwanted pregnancies and also the emotional component that comes along with getting physically intimate with someone are also important elements that should be considered.
What I have also come to realize is that we view sex differently. Some people view sex as a sacred act between a man and a woman that should only happen after marriage. Some people view sex as an act that is enjoyed between two lovers. Some people view sex as an act that brings them joy and are not really worried about who they are having it with.
Whoever you are, before you have sex you must know what you are getting yourself into. I would also highly encourage the use of a condom if you do decide that you are unequivocally ready to have sex. We should have more platforms where young people like me can talk about sex. In a continent where close to 60% of the population are young people we really should address this issue. Vices such as HIV/AIDS will not go away if the only place where we can have candid conversations about a natural human act is on the internet. I worry for the child who has no access to the internet because if they are living in a conservative environment then who is going to give that child the answers he/she shall seek?
Aside from sex, I also feel that as Africans we do not talk about sexuality enough but that is another blog post. For now go out and have conversations regarding sex. Ask people when they first knew where babies came and if at all, how it affected them. Talk about sex baby!