Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Sex Ed But Were Afraid to Ask

Kelly and I have been saving this week’s Remember the Time theme for awhile, but today is the day that we unleash it on the world. Tell us about your experiences with sex education, and don’t be limited by what you learned in the classroom. Did I just ask you to write me some smut? Ooops ;D

Participating in NaBloPoMo? We’d love to have you this week! Details on how to join our weekly nostalgic bloghop are at the bottom of the post. 

dumbo-sterlinghollowayI am about to let you all in on a big secret. I hope you’re sitting down, especially if you’re my mom. Your image of me is about to be changed forever.

I am a primary custodian of a child that I am genetically tied to. You wouldn’t know it by looking at her, because she lacks my stunning jowls and facial birthmarks, but she is indeed mine. We are cosmically linked through DNA.

How did this baby come to be? What did I have to do to get her?

Your skills in deduction are as sharp as you think you are. Congratulations on a college degree well-earned!

It’s true: I have the stork on speed dial. I called him and then nine months later a baby was dropped on my house. It was a warm day. There was a lot of blood and poop, but I can’t recall where exactly it originated because I was too busy looking at the giant bird standing in my living room with a human infant.

Were it not for the time I spent in sex education in middle school, I would never have known to expect my sweet babe on my roof that one evening. I owe a lot to the classes I took from sixth through eighth grade in public school, for without them, how could I have known that my period is just the world’s way of ridding itself of all the excess chocolate it has laying around?

I thought today I would share with you a few of the morsels of knowledge that I gained as an eleven-year-old in sex ed. My hope is that when/if you find a baby dropped on your house, you will know where it came from.

(The angels. It came from the angels. Glenda the Good Witch and Mickey Mouse probably had hands in it too.)

1. Wear deodorant.

That is Kurt Cobain's actual hand.

That is Kurt Cobain’s actual hand.

As a sixth grader ambling nervously into my school’s annex room with all the other girls in my class, I was excited to learn about the inner workings of my body and why the male spokesmodels on Star Search made me feel a little squishy inside. Instead, I received many trial-size samples of deodorant. I was as shocked as you are to learn that as you grow, you get smellier. And while you’d think that smelling like cheese would be a great thing, it’s actually kind of not. Be sure to apply Teen Spirit liberally to your underarms. It’s been celebrity endorsed by Nirvana.

2. Your period is a beautiful thing.

Periods get such a bad rap, but I am here to set their reputation straight. In sixth grade, I learned from the school nurse that a day would come when blood would gush out of my mystical lady box. This would happen once a month, and I might feel the slightest bit tired or cranky. On reaaaaaaally bad days, I might even feel the need to eat one handful of salty pretzels. Life’s tough when Aunt Flo comes around.

But you can have fun with your periods, too! I soon learned outside the classroom that your cycles may start to sync up with your pre-menopausal history teacher’s and that she’d mention it in a moment of extreme indiscretion! They are also great for when you want to get out of an undesirable babysitting job that your mom made you take.


All of these women are in the middle of heavy flow days, but look at the fun they’re having! Source

3. Pet your dog, not your date.

In seventh grade, I learned in sex ed that when you feel an overwhelming surge of romantic tension towards the boy who is your lab partner, you should remember that hormones are your worst enemy and that they make you into a crazy sex fiend. To drive this point home, the class’s sex ed workbooks had an exercise where students were invited to make pretend bumper stickers with clever sayings, such as “Pet your dog, not your date.”

Please let that sink in a minute.

I’m not sure, but it seems like you should ask your family pet first if your advances are welcome.

4. Alternative music will probably get you pregnant.

In eighth grade, the sex ed classes at my school were coed and pawned off on the student teachers. I guess this was because they were always pretty young and more in touch with the youth. It’s always fun learning about Fallopian tubes and sex from someone who is probably having more of it than your regular science teacher who looked like a female version of Larry King.

One time, one of the student teachers lead the group in a conversation of the things we see around us that made us think about sex. Being thirteen years old, there was very little in the world that didn’t make us hot, so it was a pretty long discussion. But the bulk of it was talking about Green Day’s song “Longview” and Nine Inch Nails’ song “Closer.” In 1996, Billy Joe Armstrong and Trent Reznor were the fuel that powered the preteen libido, which is kind of amazing because neither of them looked like they were big fans of bathing. But I guess they’re better than Bieber? I don’t even know.

The whole point of the discussion was to root up all the things that could possibly make us deviate from the straight and narrow, but being opportunistic, we took lots of notes and then tested our classmates’ hotness triggers in our spare time AKA the instant class let out.

What do you remember about sex ed?  

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  1. Holy crap did you get a lot of sex ed there! Seriously, the only thing I ever got in school was akin to Are You There God, It’s Me, Margaret? Half a day (at most) in the fifth grade where they separated the boys and the girls into different classrooms and we learned the absolute basics of the female and male reproductive systems. I think this largely contributed to my healthy attitude about sex, though I honestly sit here and wonder where I ever learned about it, because when I finally admitted to getting my period (like six months after it happened, the best thing about sharing a bathroom with my older sister was being able to steal her tampons and postponing the inevitable talk with my mother), I think my mom told me essentially what the school had. The cringe factor was just way higher.

    But seriously, Emily. . . Workbooks?

    1. Workbooks indeed. I would give a million dollars to see those things now.

      1. You seriously need to like Google search them out, or whatever it is people do.

        1. One time I googled this stupid book I ordered out of the back of Seventeen magazine when I was 13. It was about getting a boyfriend. I really should blog about it. http://thehairpin.com/2011/09/what-was-the-get-him-system-anyway

          1. Emily, oh my gosh, I just. . . Yes. Please do. Please do a lot.

  2. “I’m not sure, but it seems like you should ask your family pet first if your advances are welcome.” Probably a good idea. HIlarious!

    I also just remembered in 8th grade, the boys in our class did a survey about the girls. Who was the prettiest. Who had the best smile. Etc. And of course made it public. I still remember I had the third best eyes and the second best legs. I felt pretty proud of that…because nothing deems worth like the opinions of 13 year old boys.

    1. I have heard about those surveys! I feel like it was a major plotline of an episode of Freaks and Geeks or something. I don’t know if a list like that ever made the rounds at my school, since I was too busy making friendship bracelets and choreographing Ace of Base dance moves. But given my sexy extracurricular activities, I was *definitely* on it if it existed.

      1. Um, are we the same person? First, Freaks and Geeks. Duh. Second, yes to the friendship bracelets and making up dance moves…only mine was to Madonna’s “Get Into the Groove.”

  3. I’m not sure which is funnier – your story or Kelly’s comment here. Both very entertaining which is why I continue to be your biggest fans (think Misery’s Kathy Bates).

    1. Hahaha! Stay clear of my ankles.

  4. dentaleggs · · Reply

    Our sex-ed teacher in 7th grade told us, “If you want to do your homework with a hard pillow in between your legs that’s ok! It’s normal!”

    I don’t have homework anymore but there are a few pillows in our house that are shalacked with laminate from overuse.

    Our sex-ed curriculum was excellent. Very thorough.

    1. I’d say. I like your teacher’s style.

  5. Oh man I laughed my way through this!

    1. Thanks! Unfortunately there was a lot of awesome stuff I had to leave out because I don’t want to eventually get in trouble for libel.

  6. The female version of Larry King! I almost snorted coffee out my nose!

    1. I WISH you could have seen her. It’s not even an exaggeration.

  7. “mystical lady box” has to be my new favorite term!! I’m going to have a hard time not telling my daughter that is what it is REALLY called! hahah!

    1. Please help this term catch on. It is so much better than “va-jay-jay.”

  8. Our health teacher/gym teacher, Mr. Frank, dressed in all white and looked like a milk man. While I do vaguely remember having to watch a video with the other boys in one room while the girls went into another, I don’t recall anything he said. I know there was a live birth shown because it was all the buzz around school and was disgusting.

    My parents had a book called “where did I come from” that I looked at way too often (there wasn’t internet porn back then) and I had an active imagination. Farrah Fawcett and I drove the PCH many times together for about 32 seconds before she was unable to resist and had to pull over so she could take me on the beach.

    1. Showing a live birth to a bunch of kids is pretty hardcore. I barfed in my mouth a little bit when I had to watch that kind of video at a childbirth class when I was eight months pregnant.

  9. I can’t stop laughing….hysterical!

    1. Thanks! I hope you join in this week ;D

  10. You know, thanks to the Internet Sex Ed was pretty unnecessary. ..But I could have definitely benefited from Expectation Ed.

    1. That sounds like a new sitcom on NBC.

  11. My daughter learned at the age of 6 that a boy puts germs in your bladder, and a baby grows. Money well spent.

    1. Isn’t that what actually happens?

      1. I’m pretty sure it is. And there’s a Tesla coil in there somewhere, too.

  12. Great post! The thing that I always hated was that in my schools boys and girls had gym separately and while the guys got to do cool things like wrestling and soccer we always seem to be having “health class”. How many times can you learn the reproductive system? LOL

    1. I remember that from high school! It seemed like every quarter we went to health to learn about topics that I thought were sufficiently covered in the fifth grade. And we wonder why the educational system has a less-than-stellar reputation.

  13. The biggest disappointment was the lack of show and tell, but they (whoever they is) that the imagination is a powerful thing. That being said, imagination doesn’t even come close to the real thing.

    The initiation so to speak, was me being a seduced by a younger female when I was kind of young, in the military. The light went off going back to the base. Epiphany, enter stage right. Some epiphanies are funny in retrospect,

    Our sex ed teacher, Mr Codispotti, a big mountain of a man who was always telling me to use an equalizer. Everyone was afraid of him but me, that is until sex education that is.

    So much for dangling pronouns.

    1. I’m a little confused on what exactly an equalizer is.

      1. If you are smaller or weaker some form of aid in defeating the bad.

  14. You know, my school system did a really bad job at sex ed. We watched a short video in 5th grade and we were forced to sit with a seat in between everyone and if we laughed we were sent to the back of the cafeteria. The gym teacher made us all say “penis” with him in unison. I had to say it through my teeth. Learned a little more about sex the next year and then not again until 12th grade. I mean, at least by 12th grade I knew sex wasn’t this…..

    1. It seems like a lot of sex ed teachers are obsessed with getting the students not to laugh during the lessons. Such a waste of time. Sex is inherently hilarious.

      1. I know the girls are always laughing when I do it. And after. And with their friends when they tell me to never talk to them again :-/

  15. Oh my god, this was laugh out loud funny. I have so many things here that I would like to address that it just might turn into a blog post in itself here in your comment section.

    1.) The blood and poop line set me back roughly five minutes after harking Orange Juice all over my keyboard. Sending a repair/replacement bill to your address tomorrow…

    2.) Fucking Ed McMahon? Dude.

    3.) I saw an episode of that show “Manswers” one time (yes, I know) in which they polled Cannibal tribes to find out which race they found the tastiest. I’m not making this shit up. Apparently, *Caucasians* aren’t very tasty because, according to Cannibal experts, they smell like cheese due to their insatiable dairy product intake. I swear I’m not making this up. I’ll look for a YouTube link.

    4.) We clearly grew up in the same era, because I remember that Longview line and how it always made me feel weird during that minivan trek to school, courtesy of my mom. I always tried to remember to ask a REALLY LOUD QUESTION during that line so as to divert attention away from it and prevent any extreme awkwardness for the remainder of the ride.

    God I’m glad those days are over.

    Great post!

    1. Per #4, I think we may have been separated at birth because I used to do that ALL THE TIME when my mom was shuttling me around town when I was a kid. When I was in the eighth grade someone gave me a Presidents of the United States of America tape because awesome and there was a song where they talk about fucking a cat or something equally ridiculous, and so I would launch into some huge discussion of God everytime it came on so my mom wouldn’t notice. So suave.

      Also, Manswers? I don’t even know what that is but kudos to them for coming up with that pun.

      Thanks for reading, Adam ;D

      1. That’s so funny! Ahh, the awkward middle school days…

        Here’s a link to that MANswers episode:

        See! Told you so.

  16. Hilarious – the best line is “Don’t be limited by what you learned in the classroom….” There were definitely some tough lessons out on the road….and on the sidewalk….and in the back seat of a 1976 Ford Granada….but I’ll spare you the details. Great post.

    1. I am willing to bet that Ford and other car engineers actually design their backseats with teenage hanky panky in mind.

      Also, I am apparently 89 years old since I just used the term “hanky panky.”

      1. No worries. There were plenty of hi jinks and caterwauling going on too. Maybe even a little making whoopie.

  17. I CANNOT STOP LAUGHING. As a 6th Grade Teacher – I couldn’t imagine teaching these kids about Sex Ed – thank GOD I teach reading. But I DO wish someone would have a talk with them about deodorant because that’s probably the best advice anyone could give these kids right now lol

    1. I believe it. Once you smell a 6th grader, the odor haunts your nostrils for the rest of your life.

  18. Oddly enough, I think my experience in 5th grade was probably the best, although that’s not saying too much.

    We were split into two groups by gender. I remember some of the guys couldn’t stop laughing, and I wasn’t sure why. Fortunately, a buddy of mine said they were embarrassed. Not me, apparently, although I was a little intimidated that the speaker was a relatively young, good-looking woman. She had an anatomy chart and said we could ask any questions we wanted. What did I ask? I asked if sex (intercourse, that is) was possible by way of the anus. She said yes, and that some people found it very enjoyable. That just blew my mind at the time.

    The sex ed in my middle school years shifted very heavily to emphasis of STDs. The lack of information, and the immaturity of students about it, was fairly consistent in the years to come, even through my first few years of college.

  19. […] Written for the Remember the Time Blog Hop. […]

  20. I’m thinking it’s possible you and Kelly came up with this idea just to see how many of us you could get to put the word “sex” in the title of a blog post. I almost didn’t use it in the title of my post because I put the word “nude” in a post title almost three years ago, and I’m still getting page views from skeezy search terms. But then my spouse pointed out that I’d used the word, like, six times in the body of the post, so leaving it out of the title probably wouldn’t help much.

    And thanks for the helpful list! I think I’ll just have my daughter read your blog post and call the whole thing done.

  21. […] theme for this week’s blog hop (brought to you by the lovely Emily and Kelly) is… wait for it… wait for it… SEX […]

  22. In high school – we had half a semester of drivers ed and half a semester of sex ed!

  23. “Pet your dog, not your date.”
    That was five levels beyond hilarious!

  24. […] I love meeting other bloggers who heap praise on my ability to write eloquently about poop and my memories of sex ed, there is nothing that brings me greater joy than my toddler joyfully assenting to my requests. […]

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