It's amazing to me that this is my first hard core sex blog. So much to talk about. First it should come as no surprise that teens like sex. This is nothing new, nothing particular to this generation. When your body talks, you just gotta listen! If you were honest with yourselves, you would remember steamed up windows while parking at your town's "lovers lane", or make out sessions in the basement of your house or your friends'. But the big difference was it was private, between couples, and behind closed closet, bathroom, bedroom, and laundry room doors. And rarely did it include blow jobs at age 13.
What this generation brings to this stage is what I call performance sex. This is a generation that has grown up with reality shows galore that make public drunken sex almost a performance art. The idea of a committed couple enjoying intimacy and pleasure in privacy is so "old-fashioned". Another disturbing new development for these millennium teens is that sex is often a one-way street, and less a reciprocal expression or exercise in mutual satisfaction. Girls willingly offer to give blow jobs and boys freely request them. I guess that is reciprocal, my mistake. An innocent game of spin-the-bottle has given way to inventive and creative ways to have group sex. Take for example the game of "stone face". In this game a group of boys sit around a table, while girls under the table give head. The boys who are on the receiving end are supposed to stay stone face and the game is to guess who is being serviced. Lovely. Another game is the lipstick game. Girls with different color lipsticks perform oral sex on the same guy, thereby leaving a rainbow effect on his penis. See, here is the art part!
I have heard this particular story repeated many times. Same story, different towns. Middle school kids are on a field trip. A bunch of boys are sitting in the back of the bus, while girls perform on the floor below. After all, riding on a bus is soooo boring. Teacher comes back to check on the kids, imagine his surprise! Last year I was giving a talk in a lovely town, and asked the sponsoring PTO if there was anything in particular they wanted me to address. I was told that the previous week a custodian was cleaning up the school auditorium after an assembly and happened upon a 7th grade girl giving a fellow 7th grade boy a blow job. Imagine his surprise! And finally, in a meeting with a middle school head of a prestigious private school I was told the tale of 2 eighth grade students who after school decided to head for the empty faculty library for a little tete a penis. They found a friend to act as lookout, but as a teacher approached he got spooked and ran away leaving this couple for the teacher to find. Imagine her surprise! And the list goes on. Just so you know these are good kids, from good families, and good communities. Get the message.
So what is going on here? Here is my take. Somehow as adults we have missed the boat. We have not provided our kids with a healthy alternative to what the culture and the media is heavily promoting. Because the whole idea of kids engaging in these kinds of sexual activities is so nauseating, I think we have avoided the conversation entirely, and left these teens with no adult perspective and guidance. The underlying issue here for girls is attention, and desire for a boyfriend. Many kids I have talked to, and reading I have done speaks to this issue. In my day, baking a batch of brownies for a boy you had a crush on sufficed. Today offering sexual favors is de rigueur. From the boys perspective, not much has changed in terms of motivation, testosterone, and good old fashioned competition, as in how many girls have you....(fill in the blank) is where its at. An especially provocative and eye-opening account of teen sexual behavior can be found in the book "Restless Virgins", a non-fiction account of teen sexual behavior at a private boarding school, a laboratory for learning. This is not a book for the faint hearted, but it does open ones eyes to the issues, so that when you do decide to talk to your teen, you will have some factual information as a basis for discussion. This is a lot of information to digest, so in tomorrow's part 2 of this blog I will discuss a strategy for parents in helping their teen navigate this sexual minefield. Tune in!