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The Joy of Sox

Boulder parents get their panties in a twist over a high-school sex talk.

When I was nine years old, I lost my virginity to a gym sock. The best part about it was that I was not biologically developed enough to actually, how you say, manifest, so there was absolutely no mess to clean up! I just put the gym sock back on my foot, left the confession booth and headed back to Bible study.

After that, I was able to get off anywhere. In class, in line at the supermarket, staring at the back of a strange woman's neck on the bus. All I had to do was think about Kelly Kapowski for a few seconds, then plop, plop, fizz, fuzz, oh, what a relief it was! No stress, no mess.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that even without any real, coherent "sex education," I learned how to play the game. Sans formal training, I was able to grow into the sexually mature, responsible individual you see before you today. It's what has made me so adept at keeping girlfriends. Because anything you're going to learn in this department, you're going to have to learn yourself, either from your parents or the sketchy friends who show you Playboymagazines long before you're ready to see them. No school can teach you this stuff. But lord knows they try.

At Graland Country Day School, my private elementary/middle school where it was not uncommon for the fields to open up and swallow pockets of shrieking children into a fiery Hell, they tried to force sex ed on us early. But that's just how the place was run; they also made us read The Catcher in the Ryein sixth grade, when not one of us understood what Holden Caulfield was talking about, but at least Graland could say that their sixth-graders were already reading The Catcher in the Rye! Ditto for sex ed: They started poking around the subject when we were in fourth grade, and by fifth were going all the way. I vividly recall an assembly where all sixty or so students were brought into an auditorium and some supposed sexpert lectured us on safe sex, allowing us to ask any questions we wanted to after her presentation. One student — no doubt a future senator — asked if you could get sexually transmitted diseases from anal sex, to which the woman expert responded, "Absolutely. In fact, it's more likely, because it's a lot tighter and dryer in there."

The transformation that took place in the room right then — a sea of tranquil, attentive middle-schoolers morphing instantaneously into a white squall of hysterically laughing tween-jackals — was matched in intensity only by the dramatic change on the sexpert's face. In that instant, we saw her break. Anuses tight and dry? Good luck restoring order among a bunch of fifth-graders after that. They had to call the assembly, and the woman slouched away, no doubt off to ponder different ways of filling her empty nest. My guess is real estate.

My high school was a public one, which meant that there were sex-education classes — but only the stupid kids had to take them. Accelerated-track students such as myself could not be bothered with such trivial matters; we had trig tests to cheat on, ancient civilizations to learn about momentarily, then forget. And besides, those kids who did take sex-ed didn't have to actually learn things. For the most part, they just explained the newest slang to the teachers and fed their babies.

Which is why I can't understand why Boulder's panties got in such a twist over a bunch of speakers from the Conference on World Affairs offering a panel discussion called "STDs: Sex, Teens and Drugs" at Boulder High School last month. During this self-proclaimed "conference on everything," the panelists essentially told students to go ahead and do drugs and masturbate and have sex, because you're going to do it anyway — so just try to do it responsibly. Of course some student told her mom, Mommy flipped and went to the school board, and a minor shitstorm of People's Republic proportions ensued, when really, everyone should have been happy they had the students' attention. After all, assemblies are for getting high and re-reading The Catcher in the Rye — and yet here was one where a bunch of adults were able to talk to kids about sex and actually have the kids listen well enough to remember what was said. That's nothing short of miraculous.

Come on, you Boulder knee-jerks, were you really so surprised? You know full well that when you gather a bunch of liberal, supposed top minds from around the country, those people will inevitably get so caught up in the whirlwind of creativity that they lose a bit of decorum. It's what made Howard Dean scream like a fucking loon. It's what made Hendrix light his guitar on fire (well, that and the drugs). It's what made the peeps from the Conference on World Affairs tell a bunch of kids to jerk off. And if you think that's offensive, wait until the conference invites me to join the fun next year.

I'm going to reenact the loss of my virginity.

 
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