Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Virgin Ears

DISCLAIMER: Please note, before reading the rest of this blog, that it is pretty inappropriate for anyone not married, and anyone probably not closely related to me, or knows me well enough to understand that when I cross the line into "inappropriate" territory, I do it lightheartedly and only in small circles. Just so you are aware - this blog will contain some vague sorts of sexual references (though I was stop short of calling these inappropriate) and my opinion on sex before vs. after getting married. I will not be detailed, but the word "sex" will appear more than once. So either stop reading now, or brace yourself... it's going to get a little bumpy...

I recently had a conversation about the transformation of Bridal Parties. Somewhere along the lines, it became "the norm" for gifts at Bridal Showers to be straight from the Wedding Registry. I don't believe this was always the case. However, for some reason, especially for those raised in church families, "sex" has become a bit of a Taboo word/topic/act among women of this generation.

Some of you would disagree with me - with the way Sex is plastered all over buses, billboards, and television as if it's a prerequisite to growing up, it's amazing that anyone can, and will, wait until they are married to experience it. But I think there's a big part we play in trying to "cushion" or "protect" our children from sex. Here's a few rules I would say we need to create and abide by - as parents, as mentors, as big brothers and sisters, whatever - when it comes to sex and the up-and-coming generations:

1. "Virgin" is NOT a dirty word. I love that there is a billboard (or at least there was) in Baltimore City that said "Teach you child that 'Virgin' is not a dirty word." It's very important that our kids understand that not only is it okay to be a virgin, but it's the best decision they could ever make - both for themselves and their future spouse (and their horny boyfriend or girlfriend, though they may try to convince them otherwise).

2. Sex is not gross. It's not bad. It's not something to dread. I actually know a young girl - she's around 12 or 13, now, that told me "I want to have kids, but I don't want to do what you 'have to do' in order to have them" with this HUGELY disgusted look on her face. The reason for the misunderstanding? She has learned everything she thought she knew about sex from a friend at school. And unfortunately, it was all wrong - WAY wrong. And even MORE unfortunately, her parents would NOT talk with her about it.

**sidenote - I agree that there is a right and a wrong age that is appropriate for talking to your child about this topic. I believe that is a different age for each child, and it depends on a lot of things, but if you do not talk to your child about it, someone will. And more often than not, it will be a bad/inappropriate source and they will be grossly misinformed.**

3. When engaged, it's okay to buy lingerie. I know it's okay... because you're getting ready to "need" the stuff. But I was STILL embarrassed walking around in the store. I was excited at the idea of buying things, however... the fact that Victoria's Secret does not have doors on their stores made it hard for me to walk about freely. Solution? I shopped online.

Let me stop here and say that I be NO MEANS had a shy mother and father. Sex was NOT a topic that they danced around. YES - it was embarrassing at times, but I thank God for that. I have way too many friends whose parents were the opposite, and I'm sad when I see where they learned a lot about sex and related topics, because most of it was through experience.

Okay - so I had all these rules in mind, but decided that since I'm not a parent, and I have yet to have a younger sister get married (MANY MANY MANY YEARS AWAY, my seventeen-year-old baby sister!!! MANY MANY YEARS!!), I should probably just stick to blogging on and on about how we all have the wrong idea about sex before we get married.

So - I have a friend that's about to get married, and we're throwing her a lingerie shower. Why? Because Bridal showers have changed to include mainly wedding registry gifts, and less gifts specifically for the BRIDE herself. In all fairness, she has apparently gotten several of classy "little things" to wear and has some friends that have done her well. However, you can NEVER have too many, and when you're a newlywed, you can never have enough!

Take it from a newlywed herself (that's me, folks... just in case you were wondering) - dressing up in your little sexy things can be the funnest part of the honeymoon (well... aside from a few other obvious things, like the fact that you'll probably be on a beach somewhere... and umm... filling your time with other kinds of activities *clears throat*). Let's be real, folks. When you get married, you have sex. I mean come on, now. It happens. We all know it. (And if it doesn't, I have the name of a wonderful counselor who would be willing to talk about what's going on in your relationship... because something's missing.)

The sad thing? Even for some people who have been married for MANY years, it's embarrassing to think people know that it happens. I know a Pastor's wife who got pregnant in her late 30s (closer to 40, actually). When she found out she was pregnant, this is what she told my mother

PREGNANT WOMAN: "I'm so embarrassed! When people find out that I'm pregnant, they're going to know that we... umm..."

MOM: "That you have sex?!"

PREGNANT WOMAN: "Yes! What will they think?! I mean... look at how old we are? What are people going to think?"

MOM: (God love her) "That you're human!"

I'm not 100% sure that's how the conversation went, exactly, but I'm pretty sure that includes all of the important parts. We may laugh at the Pregnant Woman's reaction, but I think, on some level, we all think that at times.

When McStudly and I returned from our honeymoon in Jamaica, we got back the weekend before Thanksgiving. We decided to sleep in the next morning (our flight had arrived late Saturday night, and we stayed up late opening all of our wedding presents when we finally got home!!), and then didn't go anywhere except for when I had to go back to work Monday morning. We stayed in the house being home-bodies until Thanksgiving day. I was somewhat dreading this all week. I just KNEW that as soon as I walked in, everyone would be thinking "they've had sex!" and be all weird. OR worse yet, they'd make comments!! (if you knew my family, you would NOT put it past them!)

But I was WAY off. This didn't happen at all. It was as if nothing had happened (now that I think about it, maybe they were slightly embarrassed, themselves). I was SO relieved!

Now that I've been married for about 6 1/2 months, it's not big deal. Sex is just a part of life, now. I'm not secretly trying to hide my embarrassment when the word is spoken, or eluded to anyways. I am perfectly fine walking into my parents house and telling my mother or sister something funny that happened regarding the topic. All because I understand it, now. It's not something that's just this crazy taboo thing anymore. God created it and that's it!

Now - I can't blog on the topic of sex without mentioning one of the funniest women I know. If you know Lynn B., you know exactly why she came up. This women is awesome. Let me start with her testimony (and hopefully I get this right). She was married very young (I believe it was around 16) and lived/grew up in Baltimore City, where she still lives to this day. She used to work as a "prostitute" (I'll explain the quotations, if you give me a second) along side her husband, Dave. What she would do is stand on the corner, or wherever, and be approached my a "wanting" man. They would get a hotel room, and she would begin by making him take a shower. However, while he was in the shower, her husband would come in and they would rob him - taking all of his money, etc, and leave before he got out.

I'm not sure how long they did this, but eventually, somewhere down the line, they both got saves (Amen, right?!). Now, Dave is the Pastor of a Church right in the heart of in Baltimore City. Talk about how God can, AND WILL, use anyone's life for good, right?! Well, I can't finish this story without telling you, Lynn B. is not the tiniest woman In fact, she's not tiny at all. But if she was, I don't think it would be the same. She is just so awesome - she wants to write a book, in fact, about sex and Christian women. I forget what she wanted to call it, but it's good. The whole point of the book is about how sex is God given. It's created to be good and there's nothing shameful about it - whether your a 25 in waist, 55 in waist, or just refuse to measure it. I can't do it justice, but if she ever writes it and it's published, I will tell you and you've GOT to buy it!! She is NOT a shy woman. And I love her for it! Let's just say that my youth camp years involved hearing her tell my mother stories involving her living room, a shower curtain, and a bottle of baby oil - enough said.

But she makes a good point in all of this - women, especially Christian women, are embarrassed when it comes to sex at lot of times. And this shouldn't be the case. NOW - I will say that there is a time and a place for any conversation on the topic. And I WILL say that what you and your spouse do should remain between the two of you, because it is a private thing. BUT I also believe that it's important to encourage one another in the fact that it's not a bad or shameful thing! Now - I will probably NEVER be as comfortable with the topic as Lynn is, but I do vow to NEVER be as embarrassed as the Pregnant Woman in the story above.

How did I get as far into this as I did? I have NO idea - probably just because I'm bored out of my MIND at work and needed something to occupy my time. BUT, I've said all of this to bring me to this next point.

If it hadn't been for my sister, a few close friends, and our late night "conversations" about what sex would be like... what to have with you, and what to be prepared for, I would have been SOOOO unprepared for it. I do agree that I would've eventually figured things out (obviously...), but it was SO helpful and SO worth it.

If you have any friends that are getting ready to get married, or have a newlywed friend that you know didn't have these kinds of talks with family or VERY CLOSE friends, please do bring it up in an appropriate atmosphere and conversation. Especially to someone who's waiting until marriage to have sex, this is a topic that isn't often brought up (if at all), and can help lessen the nervousness of something that weighs heavily on their mind. Lord knows it did for me!

For those of you who may be a BIT traumatized by my blog, know that I TRIED to warn you. I really did - hence the huge-long disclaimer at the very beginning of the blog. It was put there for a reason. And I HOPE that you don't look at me differently or uncomfortably. Because let's face it - at one time or another, sex is a part of life.

So let's inform our kids (at appropriate levels for each age), and keep them for looking for information on their own. Especially with as rampid as it runs in television today, they're going to be exposed to some things earlier then their innocent minds should, so don't try to avoid it. Present it appropriately ( I might hold off on having your 7 year old read through Song of Solomon). Sex was created by God for a husband and a wife. And when in the appropriate context, can be a wonderful, beautiful thing. But until then... shouldn't be messed with. As parents, we should all be open with our children's questions, and try not to be too embarrassed when a little child year old asks where babies come from.

For all you parents out there - Good Luck! I have no idea how I want to talk to my children about sex, BUT I do know that I will not be putting it off. We can't afford to - especially as Christian parents. The longer you put it off, the greater the risk you run.

Love y'all! Take care! ;-)


Angie said...

Great job Sarah, I am proud of you, I couldn't have said it better myself! Lynn will be proud and she will send acomment because I am forwarding this to her! Love ya....MOM

- Sarah :-) said...

Ha ha - aww thanks, Mom! I look forward to seeing her comment as well!


Cory E. :) said...

Sarah I am very hurt that you would think I would "Mock" your blog in one of my blogs. Ha Ha Just Kidding. Yes that was me "Mocking" You. Good Catch.