Sex Education with a Twist

My mother (step mother) is a gynaecologist. She was the only gynaec in the hospital she was working in. That meant, Cesarean calls at any point of the day and NIGHT. This somehow led me to believe that all kids are born by Cesareans and no such thing existed as natural birth! Anyway, I didn’t dwell much on it during that time, ages 6-9 yrs.

When I was 10 yrs old, my grandma gave my cousin a beautiful book (don’t remember the name) based on the daily lives of a family. It explained very nicely the biological aspects of family life too. The cousin was not interested in the book, but I read it avidly. It explained how a family member was born and how the baby came out from between the legs of the mother. Yippee! Now, I know natural birth exists in humans.

The book also spoke about how the mother got pregnant, about the father introducing sperm (I don’t remember if a euphemism was used) into the mother through a small hole in between mother’s legs. This didn’t interest me much. For all I cared, he used a syringe to inject the semen. I didn’t even know such a hole existed between my legs!

When I was 12 yrs old, my friend asked me, “What is sex?”. I said, “Sex is like gender, like male and female.” My friend was not satisfied. She said she had heard some boys in class whisper about ‘sex’ and giggle. So, there must be something fishy about it.

I have grown up with a lot of animals around me. That meant I had seen all sorts of animals mate. I had seen cows, goats, hens, dogs, cats, I had even seen lizards mate. Till this moment I never thought to extrapolate this knowledge onto humans too. I believed humans were a much more advanced species and baby making would involve a lot of shiny metal or plastic, clean and sterile stuff. I found it difficult to believe that humans could go down to the level of animals!

Even though my prudishness felt violated, it did sound pretty feasible and logical. I needed proof.

I turned to my trusted ‘Oxford English Dictionary’ for proof. I remember seeing an ad somewhere which said, “Have safe sex, use condoms”. So, I looked up the word condom and then I went on to look up other words like intercourse, penis, vagina etc and voila, the mystery of sex was solved!

I shared the knowledge with my friend. We decided this was too big a discovery to keep to ourselves, we must share. I told the other girls in class about my discovery, they hated me initially for it. They thought I must be really sick to have such ‘dirty’ thoughts. The worst part was imagining our parents doing it.

Slowly, everyone accepted to logic of my reasoning and the proof of course! I guess that was the only sex education we all had.

Nearly scarred !

I was 8 years old, it was summer vacations. I was sent off to my aunt’s place 4 days prior to her daughter’s wedding. The pretext, I was supposed to help with the wedding preparations. Aww come on! My parents (dad and step-mom) probably just wanted to get rid of a hyperactive kid for a few days.

The wedding house was busy, noisy, crowded, easy to get lost in. There were a few cousins, mostly older girls who treated me like a baby and discussed girlie stuff which didn’t interest me much. I wasn’t exactly a tomboy either, but I hung out with the boys and helped out a bit here and there, like arranging a few chairs, putting up flowers, garlands etc.

I remember these two guys, they were twins, neighbors, helping out at the wedding. They were 17 or 18 years old and I was always around them.

One day after the morning’s heavy work and lunch, people were settling down for an afternoon siesta. I ended up in the same room, in the same bed, with the two brothers on either side and me in between. This was not odd, I had always slept with my male relatives, cousins and uncles in the same bed and at that age, it was the normal thing to do.

Then one of the twins took off his shirt. Even this was not odd, it was hot summer and most men in Kerala went around shirt-less at home anyway. He then started saying things like, “Your cousin, the one with the straight hair, she studies in XYZ college, right? And she stays in the hostel. Do you know what goes on in the hostels of this college?……..” Now, this was getting fishy. Luckily for me the shirted twin shushed the other, with a worried expression on his face. The shirt-less twin shut up and I don’t remember the rest.

When I look back, I just can’t help being angry with my parents. There was never any communication. There reasons may be numerous, the fact that one of them was a step parent was certainly significant. Maybe the last generation just never discussed certain things with their children. Oh what the hell! I resolve to be a better parent, that’s all I can say.