Do Boomers really think we invented sex?
I mean—where do we think we came from? Could you have ever imagined your parents or grandparents engaging in sex? I couldn’t—even today. At age 65, sexual desire isn’t what it was a half-century ago when I was coming of age and male hormones were beginning to stir with great fury. However, interest remains very much alive.
Teenage adolescence is a time of great anticipation and raging hormones. Do you remember that? I do. The anticipation of a hot date. Checking out those tanned legs in the mini skirt in science class. The deep burning passion of youth. The magic of adolescence. I call it the age of great discovery. Once discovered, we can’t seem to get our minds off of it—especially men. It has been written men think of sex every 30 seconds. I think it is more often than that.
Yet, we tend to be uncomfortable discussing what’s actually on our minds. What the heck is with the word “penis” I ask? People just can’t say it. It embarrasses them. We get tomato red saying it. In the movie “Porky’s” the school administrator who just couldn’t say this word and insisted instead on using the word “tallywhacker” to describe the male anatomy. My mother couldn’t even say it while trying to explain sex to me.
What the heck is that?
Sex was such a taboo subject in most households when we were growing up. The Greatest Generation just couldn’t talk about it. My mother attempted to educate me on sex with all kinds of terminology. She skirted certain words and tippy toed around my more in depth questions. My father never would have discussed sex in any capacity. He was old school and believed I’d just have to figure it out on my own.
The message we got from our parents was sex was for making babies—yet I just couldn’t get away from thinking of it more as great fun provided by God and Nature. Nature baited us with sexual feelings, yet those darned consequences.
Seemed so unfair.
Do you remember when you were pre-teen, in the Fifth Grade, and it was time to learn all about procreation? Where babies came from? Those embarrassing sex education classes, film strips and Super 8 movies on a Bell and Howell projector complete with illustrations? Do you remember those embarrassing illustrations on the screen and the discussion to follow?
My Fifth Grade teacher was young, just 26 and fresh out of college. She had a terrific sense of humor. She made learning fun—and at times, embarrassing. We’d watch the sex education movies and film strips, then, be forced to discuss what we learned. We’d get called on and asked to explain what we learned. Red in the face, we would stumble over our words and, in broken verbiage, have to tell the class all about it.
Oh my God…
The dawn of adolescence was certainly a period of discovery. Our bodies were beginning to develop. Hair where we’d never had it before. Stinky armpits. Thickening vocal chords. Pimples and blackheads. Peach fuzz on our chins. Oily hair. Depression and other emotional struggles. Girls and their first monthly menstrual cycles. Boys obsessed their manhoods.
I knew nothing of sexual intercourse at age 11. It was when a kid in my class – I will call him Steve – told us all about walking in on his parents doing something I considered repulsive. “Why would anyone do that?!” I thought. When I got home from school, I shared this story with my mother because I thought it was ridiculous.
My mother listened and then said, “Honey, sit down…”
She attempted to explain sex and procreation to me. I was thinking, “Holy crap! You and Dad did that?!” I never saw my parents or grandparents the same way again. It explained things I sometimes heard in the night—especially when slats fell out of their bed followed by my father’s foul language. When he’d had enough of structure failure, my father nailed those loose slats to the side rails.
I’ve found how we view sex changes significantly over a lifetime. Young people perceive old people no longer have an interest in sex. Nothing could be further from the truth. Sexual passion remains with a lot of us. However, our desire for sex surely changes and isn’t as frequent as it once was. That’s just nature because, at our ages, reproduction isn’t in the cards.
That doesn’t mean we have to forget about it.