Why is sex such a taboo topic? How is it that this one word evokes such a wide array of emotion? In some circles, sex is treated like a dirty word. Let’s not even think about sex talk as it pertains to the church. It’s like the worst kept secret ever! The stigma associated with having premarital sex can be debilitating, but we NEED to talk about it! Not just the adults either. Can we be candid for a few minutes? I mean, it’s obvious that people are “doing it”. Either that, or the child- delivering storks we were told about in our youth are working hardcore overtime. The more open and honest we are with our communication regarding sex, the better! We have the opportunity to create safe places of learning for all ages. Arming folks with truth gives them a chance to make well-informed decisions. I mean, let’s face it. The current course of action, which basically equates to sticking our proverbial heads in the sand as it pertains to discussions about sex, is NOT working!
I remember asking my mother what a douche was. I couldn’t have been any older than 12. She lost it! This was one of the few times I remember my mother ever having yelled at me. It was as if a switch had flipped. She turned around so swiftly and screamed, “Are you having sex?!?” I stuttered, “N n no.” Again she demanded, “Are you having sex?!?” By now, I was good and scared. “No”, I replied. “Then what you wanna know for,” she insisted. Clearly, I had triggered something. I wasn’t even sure what, but I knew that conversation was going nowhere fast. “I just wanted to know what it was,” I replied. She retorted, “Don’t worry about it!” That was my first and last attempt to talk to my parents about sex. Eventually I asked my Uncle Sherman what a douche was, but everything else I knew about sex came from what I learned at the Robert Crown Center.
I wonder what makes these conversations so difficult. Is it that we are afraid that people will discover we actually had a past? Parents- here’s a newsflash! We can do the math! If you were married in January of 2008, and Jr. was born in May of 2008, you were obviously having sex before marriage. So, why all the secrecy? Why is everything about sex so hush hush? Well, I am of the opinion that it’s about time we start having some discussions people! And save all that judgment and the drama for ya mama! Here, I’ll start…
It was a cool March night. Stroke You Up by Changing Faces was playing on the radio. Neither one of us knew what we were doing.
I know. I know. It wasn’t the most romantic encounter, but it is what it is. By May, I knew that I was pregnant. I had not taken any tests. I just knew. That’s right boys and girls. The very first time I had sexual intercourse I got pregnant! I remember trying to work up the courage to tell my mother. Based on our last “sex talk”, I just KNEW that she was going to flip out. To my surprise, she didn’t. She switched into Mama mode. She purchased a pregnancy test so that we could be sure. When the results read positive, she started making doctor appointments and signed me up for WIC. She wasn’t angry at all, and if she was, she never let on. She began to make plans to care for her child who was with child. To her dismay, I made the decision to give the baby up for adoption. Mom begged me to keep the baby. I honestly don’t think I had ever caused her so much pain. She said she would raise it herself. I considered our plight. We were poor, and living with my grandfather at the time. I knew that neither of us were in a position to provide for a baby. My mind was made up. December 7th, 1996 I gave birth to a baby boy. I named him Rayquan Martel Mays. Days later, I handed him over to his adoptive parents, who changed his name to Andrew, by way of Volunteers of America. I think about him often, wondering about the man he has become. I actually believe that he will find me one day, and I look forward to holding my son once more.
Parents, I encourage you to talk to your loved ones about sex. Aunts/Uncles be that place where people can come and ask the tough questions. Church leadership, I beseech you to have the difficult discussions with your congregations. Rest assured, they will learn about sex from somewhere and/or someone. Wouldn’t we rather them learn in an environment that is safe and free from judgment? My experience could have been so much worse. Consider our youth. It’s a cruel world out there. Choose to avail yourselves of the opportunity to be that safe place where our curious ones can find truthful answers to the questions they seek.
Are you having a difficult time broaching the subject of sex with loved ones?
What about the conversation scares you the most?