Tag Archives: children

RANT: Guilt-Tripping: What Friends Don’t Do

I had a classic big ol’ Twitter fight with an insensitive fuckwit last night, who I haven’t blocked because I’m not in Grade 5 anymore, but it basically came down to me saying, “No, I’m not coming out because I need some time to myself.”

Long story short: I’ve been up at 5 the last four days, have worked in four days what I usually work in 5, still have to work today, am trying to get back onto a fitness regime & healthy diet, and have slept far too little all week. Add to that that today I should get my period and was therefore a grumpy cunt last night, plus I worked 10 hours during the day on a very mentally-draining couple of projects, then, yes… I thought staying home was a good plan.

Asshat, however, thought he should keep pressuring me on Twitter to come out. I kept saying no, then got more forceful about it. Asshat finally got the point. I said “Toldja,” and asshat got offended that I was such a smug bitch about it.

Oh. So, you, in your insensitive and fuckish way, get to bang a drum that’s totally self-serving, because your cock somehow seems to think it’s necessary I attend a party, but when I bang any kind of a drum, I’m suddenly a cunt. Uh-huh. Ass. Continue reading

Sex, You, and Your Kid: How Parents Are Failing

Parents bear so much responsibility for how kids view sex. It’s a shame most of them don’t handle the subject better, and terrible that so little emphasis is placed on sexual education.

Two things caused me to spend years questioning sex and feeling like a whore for engaging in it: the Catholic Church and my mother.

The Catholic Church is a given. I had to laugh when I received an email the other day for a “Sexosopher’s Café” at a local sex shop, where they wanted to do a philosophical discussion of whether “religion is sex-negative.”

Come on, you had to think about that one? Oh, please. What’s the last church you went to that encouraged you to tie your lover up and pleasure them? What’s the last church you visited that said consensual sex could include just about anything under the sun? That’s right, none, ever. Sex, when it comes to religion, is only good when done in certain ways.

Am I stereotyping? Fucking right I am, but rightly so, too.

My Catholic guilt still tugs at my heartstrings now and again, but as long as I live, I will never, ever come to understand how my mother could have fucked sex up for me as much as she did.

I never, ever, ever got the conversation about what sex was from either of my parents. I saw them fucking once, and I still remember the horrified look on my mother’s face – before they realized I was standing in the doorway. Most damaging, though, was something my mother said to me when I was 15 and they had split up.

She commented, quite casually, that the thing she was most grateful for about the separation was how she no longer had to fear my father coming to bed and wanting sex.

My father was heavy then, but he was always a kind and gentle man, so I knew instinctively she didn’t mean in a violent or demanding way. She meant she loathed sex. She told me she’d sleep as close to the edge as possible, so she could more easily dissuade him from making advances. And then she expressed how relieved she was that she could now sleep anyplace she wanted on that bed.

Between her lightly dismissing my question on blowjobs at age 8, her horrified look mid-coitus, and this new complaint about fearing sex, I was quickly developing a perception that sex was something women had to do to satisfy men, and something worth dreading.

I didn’t know sex could be enjoyable. I never learned it was an expression of how much you cared for someone, or a really wild way to spend a night in. I didn’t know it wasn’t (really) painful, and I sure as hell didn’t know I was supposed to love having it.

For me, sex has been a long journey to where I am now, and there’s still road to travel. There are new destinations I’d like to reach, particularly considering my traveling companion of late, and the idea of sex is still something I’m ever curious about.

It’s a far cry from the girl who was terrified to sleep with her boyfriend shortly before she turned 18, who was sure it would hurt like hell, who was adamant she was doing him a favour and it wasn’t something she would be benefiting from.

Today’s kids are in a strange, strange world. They’re bombarded with sexuality from the moment they emerge from the womb. Cartoon characters (Disney in particular) are sexier than they’ve ever been, clothes are more provocative, and MTV borders on porn most days. When they’re not getting hit by sexuality from the world at large, they’re playing on the internet, surfing at random, probably landing on smutty sites like this or worse, (don’t read this, kids), or still worse yet, engaging in cybersex.

Am I a conservative? Not by a long stretch, but I’m sick and tired of seeing kids being raised in a Fuck Me Now world, where sex is the only currency that counts. I think sex is important. Hell, it’s crucial to my quality of life. A day with sex is better than a day without it, and that’s just how I feel. I’ll never be a sex-negative person, but it doesn’t mean I can’t be objective about this oversexed world we’re living in. There’s a fine line, and I think we’ve crossed it of late.

What kills me are the conservatives, the true conservatives. It’s so fucking ironic, their POV. They can’t control the endless stream of sexuality pouring in from media and marketing today, so instead they want to limit sexual education and birth control. Does it make sense? Not in the least. To pretend kids are not surrounded – bombarded – by images of sex and sexuality is akin to confessing a belief in the Easter Bunny. There’s no question that it’s out there, that dirty s-e-x thing, but to ignore it and hope that sticking your head in a hole in the ground will somehow make the world around you more palatable to your moral beliefs is delusional.

(As an example, Kansas has adopted opt-in sexual education. Meaning, if the kid doesn’t show up with a note from the parents that gives permission to teach them about sex, the kid can’t take sex ed. Isn’t it precisely those kids who are most in need of sexual education? Christ. Can someone, anyone, teach these people how to fucking connect the dots?)

How is ignoring the fact that we live in a world that doesn’t respect sex the way it should, doesn’t portray it the way it should, going to help anyone? That’s the perfect reason why kids need to learn more sex-positive education both in the home and at schools, so they can negate this overwhelming pornification of sexuality seen constantly in the media.

I’m not saying I want to do away with any images of sexuality, I’m just saying I sure as shit wish there were more sex-positive images, because there aren’t many.

I’m tired of knowing that I’m not the only person who never actually learned about sex from my parents. Sex isn’t biology, people. It’s passion, it’s emotion, it’s mind games, it’s exploration, it’s creativity, it’s dangerous, it’s satiating, it’s intense, it’s anything you want it to be. But it ain’t biology, and it ain’t all reproduction, and kids need to learn about what it is, and what it isn’t. They need frank, honest discussion, or else we’re going to continue having young adults who need to get past wrong perceptions of what sex is.

Considering all the head games and mind-fucks that come with courtship and relationships, dealing with mixed-up, backwards perceptions on what sex is, is probably the last thing any of us needs to waste headspace on. In the face of AIDS and other STDs, ignorance is a pretty horrifying prospect, but one that’s rampant as I type.

By teaching kids the realities of what sex includes – from the wet spot to day-after pains and aches to STDs and emotions – a little of the allure might be swept away, but so too will the unrealistic expectations and the fear, and maybe even the blasé attitudes most kids today have about getting shagged.

Here’s a very, very simple consideration for parents to take under advisory: Imagine your kid has come to you and asked you about sex and all the things that happen during it. Imagine your discomfort. Imagine the awkwardness of trying to explain it. Imagine the weirdness of divulging to your offspring about how you essentially created them. Imagine sweating under the pressure you would feel to do a good job. Imagine you cut it short and explain instead just the biology of what happens, and not how to be a good lover, or the emotions that come with, or the potential fall-out after the fact.

And now imagine your kid going out into the world with barely even an understanding of the biology, let alone the rest of the sexual happenings. Imagine them going into a sexual experience clueless about what should go down. Imagine the panic and worry they’ll feel afterwards when they wonder unnecessarily if one of them has gotten pregnant, and how pregnancy really works. Imagine they can’t figure out what way a condom goes on or how careful they need to be when pulling it out. Imagine the guilt and shame they’ll feel for doing what we all inevitably experience at some point in our lives. Imagine the self-loathing they’ll feel when they suspect they’re a bad lover. Imagine the awkardness of trying to fumble towards ecstasy without your help.

And now own your failures as a parent. So, I say this to every parent out there: Get the fuck over yourselves, and do your jobs. This is too important to continue letting kids learn by bump in the night, and the price paid for it is far too high.

You can’t explain it? Then buy a good book that explains about sex and give it to the kid. Better yet, pick up a pack of condoms and some lube and grab the book, and give them to your kid, and then tell them you hope they’ll be mature and responsible enough to wait for someone special when it comes to sex, because if they sleep with the wrong person the first time, they’re probably going to always wish they’d decided differently.

You may not appreciate the idea of your kid fucking in the back seat of a Ford, but the reality is, it’s gonna happen, whether you’re on page or not. You’ve done so much for your kid over the years; is it really worth abandoning them on the issue of sex so you can save yourself a panic attack?

Think about it.

"Mommy, what’s a blowjob?"

One of the all-time fave sex conversations I had with my mother transpired when I was about eight years old.

We were watching a video of Steve Martin’s “The Jerk” one day, and there was a joke about a blowjob. Mom howled with laughter, wiping tears from her eyes. She was a sucker for Steve. I didn’t get the joke. I furrowed my little blond brows and turned to scrutinize her.

“Mom, what’s a blowjob?”

“Hmm?”

“A blowjob, what is it?”

“Oh, that’s when a woman sucks on a man’s penis, dear.”

“Ew! Why would she want to do that?”

She shrugged and said, “Ah, you got me, sweetie. You got me.”

This casual dismissal of blowjobs made me think they were insane. “She sucks on his pee-pee?” was the thought running through my head. “How icky. EW.”

She rewound the segment, played the joke again, and this time I giggled, too, with a hint of revulsion.

I was more of a Fudgsicle girl way back when.

RANT: Kids? Don’t Have ‘Em, Don’t Want ‘Em

I made a pretty quick reference to abortion in my last posting, simply stating that an inadvertent pregnancy on my part would, with absolute certainty, end in an abortion.

I have fairly strong views on abortion, and it’s one of my particular irks with America today. Sitting across the great divide, as a Canadian, it’s baffling seeing the land that’s so hell-bent on separation of Church and State on its quest to be its own Holy Land.

I swear, I think that if Bush accomplishes nothing in his time in office other than the radical reversal of Roe v. Wade, and brings about the elimination of abortion as birth control in America today, he will believe he has done his job as a leader. (Never mind that small matter of Iraq, the erosion of personal freedoms, information leaks, etc.)

But this is not the time for my soapbox.

Okay, well, yeah, all right: Any time is soapbox time.

But here, now, I want to talk about this myth of 2.4 kids, a dog, and a picket fence.

I’ve written in the past about the cultural objectifying of relationships – that if you’re single, you’re incomplete. Insert cheesy Jerry Maguire scene here: “You complete me.” [/swoon] Barf.

Not in a relationship? What’s wrong with you? You say you don’t want kids? Oh, give it time! You’ll meet the right person! You’re just being cynical. Everyone wants kids. You don’t know what you’d be missing!

Um, like, YEAH.

I’d be missing spending the rest of my life worrying about what’s gonna happen to my kids if anything happens to me. I’d be missing the complications of trying to find time alone with my lover. I’d be missing the ability to take time out for myself any time I need it. I’d be missing years of diapers, debt, spilled drinks, debt, crumbs in the sofa, debt, heavily soiled clothing, debt, kids crying about playground bullies, yada, yada, yada. Did I mention debt?

I’d also be missing the shaping of a young mind. I’d be missing the direct imprint of my values on another human being. I’d be missing the journey from embryo to adulthood, with all its zany stops in between. I’d be missing the endless surprises and laughter brought about by having kids around the house. I’d be missing the pride I’d feel as I watch my progeny take the world by storm, one small accomplishment at a time.

Don’t you think I know what kids add or detract from a life? That’s the thing that pisses me off. The smug, patronizing, “Oh, give it time, you just haven’t met the right man” bullshit I hear every time I have to explain, “Um, no, I don’t want children.” As if being a woman and shunning my birthright to bear kids is antithetical to nature itself. “Um, NO, I do NOT want children,” I have to say yet again, slowly, as if speaking to a brain-damaged psych ward lifer.

Fuck that, people. I don’t want kids because I’ve already spent too many years of my life patching up other people’s arguments and caring for a sick mother and forgetting who I was in between it all. I don’t want kids because I want to experience my life to the fullest, on my terms. I don’t want kids because, deep down inside, I know I’ll one day resent all the compromises I will have had to make in order to raise them well. I don’t want kids because kids deserve something better than some parent who’s only half-wanting to be there.

I don’t want kids because I have carefully considered all the ramifications, and I simply know I’m not willing to do what needs to be done to raise them well. And kids deserve better than being shipped off to boarding school by some prima donna parent who’s tired of the compromises.

When I was a teen, I was babysitting a fair bit. I had a great attitude, was fun to be around – because I love kids and think they’re an absolute hoot. They crack me up. And I always, always crack them up. I remember two women who made me really, really think about the whole parenting thing.

One had taken extreme measures to make her home a learning castle for her kid. She did everything for her kid, so much so that I wondered how in the hell she ever found time for herself. My guess is, she didn’t. The kid was doted on, and it showed – he was bright, funny, happy, wonderful. He really was a terrific kid, and I knew his mother and father were huge – HUGE – players in that reality. I realized how much then a woman had to forsake (and in theory, the man, too) in order to properly raise a child. I realized then how much my mother put into raising my brother and I. It was daunting, to say the least.

The other woman took the “Well, it’s my life too” method of parenting to a whole new level. I was hired as a babysitter who would come over three to four nights a week at 8:30. I would put the kid to bed, and the mother’s partying would begin. The mother had a one-way radio in case something happened to the kid, but she was in a separate wing of the house, and for all I knew, would never look in on the kid. I’d return at 7am, get the kid ready, and take him to school. I would be paid for 12 hours of work, despite doing only about five – and I was only 17 at the time, and still going to school. This woman was doing blow, drinking like a fish, and sleeping with other men, despite being married. I didn’t need x-ray goggles to figure that much out. I saw what was in the kid’s future – anger, resentment, aloneness, despair, and a lack of self-esteem. Oh, and boarding school. Mom might have been around, but she made it pretty fucking clear where her priorities were.

Having kids is not to be taken lightly. Children deserve love, attention, nurturing, fun, and every kind of support imaginable. I’m a fan of parents who invest in their kids – who are so proud of their kids’ works of art that they frame them. I admire parents who expose their kids to new worlds, who don’t let their tykes crash in front of the TV and remain. I can’t get over, and never cease the admiration of, parents who are actively involved in all areas of their children’s lives, who establish trust and openness at a young age, and who stay plugged in as long as possible, who put their kids where they deserve to be put: First.

But I’m not willing to make the sacrifices in my own life to be that kind of parent, and I’m not going to do a half-assed job, either. The last thing any kid ever needs to know is that you’d rather be lying in a hammock in Bali, working on your novel. No kid needs to know you wish you’d made different choices in the past, and I know that’s how I’d feel, regardless of the highs.

So how in the fuck does my knowing where to draw the line in my sand make me some sort of crass, unplugged woman who doesn’t get what she should be? Society judges chicks like me, still, and I’m tired of it.

Hell, I was watching Oprah the other day and Kirstie Alley was on, talking about dating, and she insists that any man she sees be previously married and even have kids. “If you’re over 40 and you’ve never been married, you’re a perv!” she shouted. Oprah just laughed – but I wonder what went through her mind. She’s over 50, has never been married, and has never had kids. Why? Because she feels she has a different role to play in life, so why limit her potential by being a mother?

And before you get up my ass about the “limited potential” as a mother comment, think about it. If your first priority is NOT raising your child, you’re probably not doing it as well as you could, or should, be doing it. Those are the sacrifices you’ve elected to make. So make them.

Me, I’ll have no kids. I watch my nephew and my friends’ kids with great love and respect. I try to play an important role in their upbringing, as I know I’ll never play that role for kids of my own. I have “kids” out in the world now, going to university, who I taught how to write when they were only 8 or 10 years old, and they still remember all the things I taught them, and they smile at me, and tell me stories about the way I made them fall in love with writing. I cherish the knowledge I’ve been that for those kids, and that I still am that for others, since I’m still having the same powerful experiences I used to have… yet I go home at night, alone, and have a long, lingering bath, a meal I’ve cooked and can enjoy in silence, and I watch what I want to watch on television, and I go to sleep and wake up whenever the hell I want.

Life is about balance. And I have achieved mine, moreso of late with the acquisition of a great relationship, and I have no regrets about my definition of “balance”, and no intention to change it.

If kids are on your list of must-haves, along with item H on page 62 of the latest Restoration Hardware catalog, you better fucking check your motivations and know, with certainty, that you’re able to make the required sacrifices to give that child all the attention and love it deserves. Otherwise, kindly outsiders like me are the ones who’ll be picking up your fucking slack, and really – I’ve got better things to do.