Wicked Wednesday

I Don’t Feel Qualified to Talk About It #WickedWednesday

This week's Wicked Wednesday focuses on World AIDS Day which was on December 1.

AIDS isn't something you'll see me write much about. Not because it doesn't matter or because I don't care, but because I'm not sure I have anything to say about it that adds to the conversation.

I know one person (that I'm aware of) who's living with AIDS - a former co-worker, a gay man. When I found out, my heart broke for him. Because even though I was raised in the day and age of AIDS awareness, I still assumed it was an automatic death sentence. Five years later, he's still working, dating, and being his kind-of bitchy self (you either love him or hate him, there's very little in between, and even he admits he's a total bitch).

I watch the headlines about the "concern" over sex education, the idea that we shouldn't teach kids about sex (because somehow that prevents them from having sex, as if). And I'm confused. I remember taking "sex ed" in 4th grade.

Okay, so the genders were separated and we concentrated mostly on the upcoming changes to our bodies thanks to puberty. I have a clear memory of the teacher holding up a 2-blade Bic razor and a maxi pad. I didn't let anyone know that I was already intimately familiar with both, having hit puberty in 3rd grade.

But I also remember learning about condoms and birth control. I was taught no sexual activity should take place without both (not just one or the other, both). I was also taught that the only sure-fire way to prevent babies and disease is not to have sex at all. This lesson might have been in 5th or 6th grade, but I learned it, nonetheless.

AIDS and HIV were part of the conversation. We saw pictures of people who wasted away from the disease. We learned that there was no cure. We learned that it was a sexually transmitted disease but that people also got it through blood transfusions, that medical workers, first responders, and others had to be very careful in their job. We learned that you can't tell by looking at someone if they have any STD, let alone HIV or AIDS. I remember learning that the two were different but connected. We also learned that you shouldn't treat anyone with AIDS or HIV differently, but simply take precautions if they were injured and bled.

I remember.

I also remember moving to Mississippi at the age of 15, and my classmates looking at me in shock when they discovered that I'd taken sex ed. Not just that my education began in 4th grade but that I took it at all. The only "sex ed" we got in high school was the little bit covered in basic biology. I remember laughing (and feeling concerned) that while the commercials I heard on the radio in my home state were all about HIV and AIDS prevention, in Mississippi, they were still talking about syphilis. (I figured out later that I was near a naval base - and it made a little bit more sense...sort of.)

I also remember having unprotected sex a couple of times...and feeling sick to my stomach that I'd ignored the most basic tenets of sex. Protection, protection, protection. To be sure, I was more worried about pregnancy than disease, but I let arrogance and the cockiness of youth get in my way.

I was divorced and on my second post-divorce relationship before I finally had mature conversations about sex with a partner. Even with all that education. Even with all those memories. I was 32 before I was mature enough to participate in the conversation.

Today, AIDS and HIV seems removed from my life. I know it's still there, but I'm in a steady relationship and we're both clean so there's no worries for us. After so many years of living in the Deep South (and I do mean deep), I'm shocked when I see not just a billboard about HIV and AIDS prevention, but that it features two men instead of a heterosexual couple. Part of me celebrates that two men in an embrace would be used in an advertisement of any sort. But a bigger part of me hates that it's in an ad for what is known (incorrectly) as the gay disease.

It's not really removed from my life. I have two boys who will most likely have sex of some kind at some point. I'm already committed to the no-grandbabies-until-they're-30 rule. But I know that's only half of the equation. They also need to be taught to protect themselves from disease. When I make myself think about it, I'm also committed to the no-STDs-no-dying rule, too.

If my children don't have access to the sex education they need in school, I'll provide it, even when it makes me sick to my stomach and my throat dry to imagine talking to my babies about sex.

So while I may not have much to say about AIDS or HIV, it's not that I ignore it completely. I'm just not sure I'm qualified to talk about it at all.

Wicked Wednesday

About the author

Kayla Lords

I am an erotic author, sex blogger, podcaster, freelance writer, and an opinionated marketer. I’m also a masochistic babygirl submissive with an amazing and sadistic Daddy Dom. Welcome to my kinky corner of the internet!

4 Comments

  • We have regular discussions in our house about sex, safety, consent, etc… I was pretty damn lucky as a kid to have a very open mother when it came to sex and although it would embarrass me as a kid to hear her talk about it as if she were discussing the weather; as I got older I appreciated it more and more so we made the decision very early on to be the same with our kids.

    We have one child that is sexually active and the fact that he can come to us and talk about it, ask questions, etc… makes me a very proud mama. You have nothing to worry about when that time comes to talk to them, it really isn’t as bad as we imagine it will be and there are even guides available now days to help walk through the talk with children. My sons school sent home a pamphlet about the questions to ask and topics to bring up. Initially I was shocked, I thought how the hell can I talk to a 10 year old about masturbation and wet dreams? (dad was deployed at the time so it fell on me) but you just do it and then you realize it’s not that bad and in the end you feel pretty damn good with yourself that you were able to do it and have such a meaningful conversation with your kid.

    • I read an excellent post over at Scary Mommy this morning about how one mom handled it with her teenage son, and I thought, “Hell yeah! I’ll do that!” She made him go buy condoms, practice putting one on, and report back (before he became sexually active). When he balked, she gave him the rundown of what a girl goes through to get a birth control prescription from her doctor and pointed out 5 minutes of practicing with a condom didn’t even compare.

      My mom, as much as I adore her, refused to discuss sex with me. Can’t imagine what she’d think of the world I inhabit now. Because of that, I’m determined that it will be different for the boys.

      Yeah, the masturbation/wet dreams thing might get reassigned here, too, but I know it’s important to do. I like how you handle it. It gives me hope. 🙂

  • I have always been very open towards my kids about sex, telling them the do’s and don’t and educating them about STD’s and AIDS and HIV. They have seen a friend of mine just 6 months before he died of AIDS and know what the disease can do. I believe in open communication with kids and am happy to say that our teen gets sex education in school too. It’s important to me that they are well informed.

    Rebel xox

    • My boys will be too. Hoping that they get some at school – so I at least have a starting point. I might be able to write about sex with a certain amount of ease, but my own upbringing has made it very hard to discuss out loud. I’ll get over it, but I don’t think it’ll be easy.

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