We all go around collecting vocabularies from everywhere. “It is human tendency to,” or so my linguistics 303 teacher, Mr. Njiiri, used to make it sound. Problem comes in when people start to make uninformed assumptions about words and what those words represent or when your nephews and nieces come up with ‘big’ words they want definitions for (coz you become a walking dictionary when reading as much as a single sentence is too much word for people around you).
So, three weeks ago, the 10 yr old was all about condoms and sex. What they, are she knew; why people ‘argue’ about them she did not. She wanted an explanation.
“You know aunt, the catholic popes (like they co-exist in numbers!) say that condoms are unfit for human consumption (wait did she just say ‘human consumption’?) and thus should not be used. They said that god said to fill the world! Then everyone else says to use them. Is doing sex that bad that everyone has to argue about it?”
The 16 yr old wanted to know what postinor2 is because all her friends are talking about it and she cannot get the hung of it. The friends, she said, say that one has to be prepared by buying them before having sex, just in case.
You are wondering where all this came from, right? I was too until I heard my neighbor curse the media for showing uncensored pictures of a woman giving birth on prime time news and having to answer ‘embarrassing’ questions. I figured out, if they are going to find out these things from the media, they might as well hear a more appropriate version from someone close to them.
Explaining contraceptives (what they are, types, methods, age, effects and stereotypes) was easy. Explaining sex was not! Apparently, taking E-pills is easier than using condoms! Why? The explanations I got, only the gods will save this society!
The 16 yrs old niece and her counterpart the 18 yrs old uncle agreed that using a condom is like eating tropicals with the wrappers on. They both had disgusted faces when the 18 yrs old asked, “Who does that?”
They also explained that ‘kavukavu’ (skin on skin) is the real deal as it adds to the joy and the intimacy involved. (SMH.) “Having sex with a wrapped penis is like kissing when both of you are on either sides of a fence,” explained the 16 yrs old.
“So, are we talking about things you have already done?” I asked trying very hard to hide my surprise.
“Of course.” The answer was unanimous.
“When?” I asked.
“Fourteen.” The 16 yrs old replied.
“Twelve.” The 18 yrs old confirmed.
None of them showed remorse. In fact, they were so proud of themselves it hurt.
Are you in the same boat as I? When our MPs were busy discussing free condoms and arguing about sex education to primary school kids, the kids were busy engaging themselves in extracurricular activities armed with all the wrong information!
Getting them to at least start using condoms was a huge task. They did not care about AIDs. After all, there are ARVS! (at that point I had to get myself a glass of iced water) Pregnancy on the other hand was unfathomable; none would dare risk it!
The worst part was to get my other family members to talk to their kids (and little siblings) about sex. The mentality that it is a bedroom issue still exists in this 21st century. Much worse is that it is treated like a plague. Thus, ‘cool’ kids are googling it and acting all professional sexologists: comparing notes and spreading the wrong gospel to their peers.
I realized then that it is never too early to teach your kids about coitus. The earlier the better: after all, you don’t want those off guard questions in the middle of a charity fund drive, or do you? That marked the start of our two weeks evening class. By day three, I had a class of twenty kid; because the older two (16 and 18) spread the good sex-class gospel to their peers, who came against their parents wishes, subjecting me to the wrath of ten moral strapped couples! As we went through the classes, I found myself wondering why no one taught me this things and when exactly I had become a sexpert. Why no one was teaching them if they were this willing to learn and until when they will hold off the AIDs menace if we continue to behave like they are our little saints.
The answer is simple. We are all huddled up in our childhood where sex and anything sex related was taboo. It no longer is. If you want to get your child safely to adulthood, teach them about sex as early as you can. Take them to the nearest VCT. Be honest about everything. Use charts or cover your face (so they won’t see you blush) if you have to.
An informed child is a wise child. An informed society is an empowered society. Forget those moral steps. Teach them what they need to know. After all, if you do not, aunt google will…and so will the media: giving them all the wrong information at the very least.