In our part of the world where sex has been a taboo for ages, teenagers have to get their sex education from their peers instead of getting the right information from the right person of a parent, teacher or a mature adult.
Our parents claim that no one has taught them anything and yet they knew their way on their wedding and so most of them leave their kids to explore this part of their life alone without giving them any single guideness just because they feel it is not appropriate to talk about such an issue or because they don’t really know how to approach it and at what age they should do that.
Unfortunately my own parents, and while considered to be educated and open minded ones, have acted like many other parents, and left it to me to discover what sex means.
Having the conversation with many others of my peers now about the way they discovered what sex really is makes me feel a bit of a naive. While my friend learnt about it through another friend of his, I remember my younger sister telling me how it goes while I was 10 years old.
Ironically, and I can’t remember clearly, but at some point the idea of penetration crossed my mind before anyone told me about it. I didn’t really know that this is what happens when a man and woman have sex, but the idea itself occurred to me before getting to know that this is really what happens.
My aunt tells a funny story about what happened when she asked my grandparents of how kids are born. They told her that when a man and woman lie next to each other in bed, the woman gets pregnant. A week later, and while playing with her cousin, she laid on bed, and he laid next to her, so she started shouting on him not to do so or else she would get pregnant. They were both 8 years old at that time.
My friend had a same funny incident when he was a kid and went to visit his aunt in the US. She took him to the cinema to watch Forrest Gump. After the movie he was wondering how the woman got pregnant without marrying the man, and so he asked his aunt how this happened. His aunt answered that here in the US a man and a woman meets each other one day, next day the woman gets pregnant! He was like “Wow. That is cool!”
I also remember the first time (in my 4th grade) that I saw another kid at school showing his middle finger to another one. I realized how bad that sign meant from another kids without knowing what really it meant. I actually missed the exact finger and for a year or two I thought it was the other finger to the right of the middle one that means bad. Later on, and through a movie, I figured out that we even show it in a different way than the Americans. They pull their middle finger out straight, while we pull it to the front! A couple of years later, my friend, who studied in the UK, taught me that the British used their second and third fingers to indicated the same sign.
One thing that kept on boggling me for years in my teenage is the *secret habit* (masturbation). While most of my peers started their own secret habit at an early age of 10, it took me a while, and I feel shy to admit it sometimes in front of other guys, till I got 18 in order to start practicing it.
I have always heard about the secret habit, but never understand what it really means. I remember at 8th grade in a religion class where a guy from school asked the teacher if it is wrong or right to practice it from a religion point of you. I remember the teacher advising the guy to try to make it less and concentrate on other things in his life instead. I, at that time, didn’t know what they were talking about.
I also remember reading the sexual problem section in a small Arabic magazine called “Tabibak” (your doctor), and reading a lot about the secret habit, without really figuring out.
Society imposes a double standard on us. At one side and in public, people talk and talk about virginity and the risks of having sex, and how much it should be avoided before marriage for a religious reasons. While at the other side, people do encourage males to explore their sexuality where those who don’t can be looked at as naive rather than men with high morals which they talk about in public.
The delimma of doing the right thing imposed itself to many young men who try to balance between their religion and their parents expectidness from one side, and their biological needs and their social role among their peer on the other side.
At our time, porn movies were popular among guys at schools. A friend of mine used to steal cigarette packets from his father in order to trade them with porn movies. Some guys used to make money out of it. I am not sure how much this is still applicable at this time where porn movies can be transmitted on cell phones. I am sure that the current generation of teenagers does carry much of porn in their pockets behind their parents backs.
Sex education is a necessaty at our current time more than ever. Our kids are exposed to many media where information is very easily transmitted. Parents should learn that it is better for them to give the right information for their kids instead of letting them struggling to figure things out. A lot of problems can be avoided with just some better communication between the parents and their kids.