“I shall commit my thoughts to paper, it is true; but that is a poor medium for the communication of feeling.”
Did you ever play that game where you were blindfolded and asked to stick your hand in a paper bag filled with wet noodles and asked to guess what it was then just as you started to touch it you were told it was Frankenstein’s brain?
“I feel exquisite pleasure in dwelling on the recollections of childhood, before misfortune had tainted my mind and changed its bright visions of extensive usefulness into gloomy and narrow reflections upon self.”
That’s what it was like for most guys the first time they got to third base. There were a lot of details left out in health class.
“The world was to me a secret which I desired to divine. Curiosity, earnest research to learn the hidden laws of nature, gladness akin to rapture, as they were unfolded to me, are among the earliest sensations I can remember.”
For one, there was no guidance given on the female sex organ whatsoever. They might have told us the names of the various tubing and it amazes me to this day that at least one teacher didn’t give us young men the heads-up about the fact that when we get to third base we shouldn’t approach it like a plumber trying to unclog a toilet. Far worse than that, it’s criminal that the instructors didn’t warn us that when we remove our ‘plungers’ there might be some odor attached to the endeavor.
“When I reflected on his crimes and malice, my hatred and revenge burst all bounds of moderation.”
I swear I distinctly remember wondering if I needed to take the girl to the hospital. I almost passed out from the fumes. Later on I learned this was normal but at the time I didn’t know whether to just wash the finger or cut it off before whatever substance was on it began to eat away at my wrist. We all might look back on this kind of thing and laugh but at the time it’s traumatizing stuff. It is against this backdrop that boys and girls are asked to explore their own sexuality, not knowing what other fun little secrets await them on their journey to manhood or womanhood. We round third and head for home asking ourselves “what else haven’t they told me?”
“I cannot describe to you my sensations on the near prospect of my undertaking. It is impossible to communicate to you a conception of the trembling sensation, half pleasurable and half fearful, with which I am preparing to depart.”
This doesn’t explain why it is we have both romantic comedies, which spend the entire time documenting the attempts of a man to get a girl into the bedroom, and porn, where we see what actually takes place there. Why is that? Why do we need two movies for one transaction? For any young viewer that has sat through an hour and a half of Sandra Bullock being wined and dined only to have the credits start to roll just as she is led through the bedroom door, it must send an odd message. For an audience member who has been to third base but hasn’t rounded home it could actually be terrifying.
We simply don’t know how to talk about, let alone teach about, sex in health class. Having never taught it I can’t say for sure, but I’d have to guess all the nervous giggling in the classroom every day must be creepy as hell.
“The innocent and helpless creature bestowed on them by heaven, whom to bring up to good, and whose future lot it was in their hands to direct to happiness or misery, according as they fulfilled their duties towards me.”
In the end though, perhaps thinking for a few seconds that you are touching Frankenstein’s brain is actually pretty cool.