Spring Into Sexual Health
Learning about your sexuality as a young woman is always perplexing.
During my teen years, we were in an era of discretion, prissiness, and feminine mystique.
There was no erotica, pleasure information or candid talks.
Women gave their teen girls a "package" upon their pubescent transitioning. It contained these HUGE, horrific HORSE pads that you had to pin into your underwear. I recall staring blankly, as I pulled out pamphlets that had archaic illustrations. VERY overwhelming for someone who really had no pubic hairs yet.
"The Talk" consisted of "DO NOT GET PREGNANT" and "WEAR YOUR DEODORANT".
Throughout my budding years, sex education was hit or miss. Watching girlfriends and classmates making mistakes was the lesson. I spent my teen years being afraid and thinking "was sex really something people enjoyed?"
Young women now days have so much more at stake. They also have less excuses. There is an opportunity to learn the wonderful pleasures of sex while learning to be safe. Today's sex ed is incredibly candid and frank. There are videos, classes, television and the internet. Children are much more open and intelligent. Sex is no longer the obscure untangible but more of an artistic medium in many cases.
There are even Tantric classes aimed and designed to integrate the pleasure of sex and sexual responsiblilty to today's teens.
It is so important that we discuss this with our young people to avoid the orgies, sexting, sex-skyping and park interludes that many teens are partaking in these days. We as parents, aunts or friends even, must share our wisdom.
As a young woman hitting the scene, almost 10 years into the HIV/AIDS generation, I happened upon an Essence magazine. A beautiful woman on the cover captured my attention and I intently began to read her story. Her name is Rae Lewis-Thornton.
While our period of time was no sexual revolution, we were having sex and the HIV/AIDS epidemic was something we really didn't know too much about. Very dear friends of mine were infected in the LGBT community but heterosexuals had no idea they could also become victims. Rae's story educated me. I never imagined I would get to know her or that we'd become great, dear friends. I had no idea, nor could I foresee, that I would join the cause. Rae and I continuing this journey together is beyond education now because the impact for women and HIV/AIDS is astounding. I am blessed by her and I want to pass it to you.
So, I tell you all this because it is imperative that we tell our young people to always, always, always be prepared and protected. We may have our beliefs, and our values, but statistics show that we are not doing our job. You can be free of condoning sex at early ages while still keeping kids informed.
Rae is very candid and frank. She holds nothing back and speaks the bare, naked truth. Rae has been at the center of a few "Tweetups" here in Chicago, Illinois and they have been well attended forums to learn, gather information, condoms (male and female), lubrication and support.
As we Spring ahead, take the time to talk to the young people in your lives. I hone in on the subject every chance I get. Some listen and some don't suffering grave consequences. Today's infections are not those that we older gens grew up with. Crabs and pregnancy have morphed into herpes and warts and HIV/AIDS. Be vigilent and be firm. Understand that sex is a natural, normal expression of human nature. We must arm our loved ones with good, solid information and protection.