Maturity By Scalding
By Bart Vogelzang

People are generally sexual beings, particularly once they reach puberty. In fact, it has long been realized that once one gets into their twenties, their sexual prime has already been reached. Unfortunately, the maturity to deal with sexual urges is mostly lacking before the prime has been passed.

Maturity is a process, which involves learning from parents, mentors, teachers, your own peer group and experience. It is pretty much essential for you to make mistakes that cause you to learn about consequences, forethought, and asking for forgiveness. Without mistakes, you learn significantly less, but some mistakes must never be allowed to happen. Fatal mistakes may teach you something, but it is a ‘dead end street’ in that you aren’t going to benefit from the message. Of course maybe others will get the message, but for them it is no different than any other teaching, and won’t anchor itself as deeply in their psyche.

So how do we deal with the dichotomy, with people in their sexual prime not being able to deal with it clearly? Well, it seems that the best the right-wing religious zealots can come up with, and have done for decade after decade, is recommend that every young person completely suppresses their sexual desires and growth. Abstinence from any sexual activity; it may work in theory, but the theory doesn’t take into account the reality of hormones…a very, very stupid oversight.

While I would in no way recommend indiscriminate free sex, I do recommend indiscriminate free discussions about sex. Hiding it as if it is something unnatural and something to be ashamed of has not worked, and never will, if for no other reason than that it is natural and nothing to be ashamed of. Humans require guidance and learning in order to avoid those fatal mistakes, or ones with catastrophic consequences. Not talking about it openly leaves only one method of learning, experience. As any parent can attest, learning by experience is often a painful and traumatic experience for a child, not to mention possibly permanently disabling, from scalding burns to broken backs to amputations, not to mention the mental and emotional damage. Why would anyone professing concern for children even consider that silence is the best way? Obviously they don’t really care about them as much as they profess.

Some parents, and other adults, don’t feel a need to keep quiet. They talk to their kids, other kids, and other parents to make sure that there is a clear understanding of what is going on in their bodies. They talk openly about human sexual needs, variations, and ways to be safer and enjoy the new experiences more fully. They truly are concerned with their kids, and have undoubtedly saved many from serious harm. As their kids become adults, they too mentor, teach, and guide new generations.

However, there remains a core group who don’t want to see the obvious, and who continue to insist that human sexuality needs to be hidden away. We can see them everywhere we turn; fighting against sex education in schools, insisting that Gay Straight alliances must not be allowed, condemning teen pregnancies while refusing to teach about safer sex, attempting to stop pride events, ignoring the reality of STDs (sexually transmitted disease) and generally making themselves look like the idiots they are. It is vital to show these people the error of their ways (i.e. stop them), preferably by thoughtful interaction, but ridicule if that doesn’t work. Future generations depend on it; hell, maybe your next-door neighbor’s kid depends on it. Maybe your own family’s welfare depends on it.