We could begin with a definition. But I don’t think it would help clear anything up. People don’t regularly consulate the dictionary when they make statements of a sexual nature.
Thinking of how I learned the basics of sexual meaning takes me back to playground chatter. Remembering the utter naivety as we would whisper forbidden words, but the words didn’t come first. No no, into the depths of my memory bank if it serves me, carrying out forbidden acts all began with giving another child the fingers! How rude was I, I still remember the guilt that rushed over me as I quickly checked over my shoulder in case anyone saw me, if no one saw, it came down to a he said she said squabbling match.
Of course the words and inappropriateness began in small measure, there was willy, and I clearly remember a boy flashing himself under the table in my P6 classroom. Born into a strict family, religious dogma flowed concretely through my veins, I might have been able to whisper the word willy but I sure as heck wasn’t about to look at one. My nine to ten year old eyes might have been blinded! Then I vaguely recollect the ‘you’re a wanker’ hand gesture, long before I clearly understood the ins and outs of the hand/penis combination.
It might be fair to mention what makes willy, penis, wanker inappropriate is the context in which a person uses it and the age of the person. It’s also fair to mention willy, penis and wanker may seem inappropriate and wildly offensive to some people regardless of context or age.
[This small percentage of people may all reside in Northern Ireland and it’s also possible they make up the Democratic Unionist Party. So offended by sexual development perhaps because some of the words involved illustrate their unrefined characters – apologies that’s about as political as I get, honest!]
Moving on, so as a child grows they hear and see words and actions of a sexual nature. Do you ever remember trying to broach a forbidden subject with a parent, in your stumbling around the matter at hand – wanting to understand – you try to describe a word close to the one you must not say. Mumbling is met with confused stares, more mumbling is met with suspicious glares then the – filthy – word accidentally popped out in your painful effort to keep it concealed even though you ultimately are dying to know. The reaction it elicits is so toe curling and cringe-worthy in your head you visualize yourself running from the room screaming like a banshee until you reach your bedroom at which point you slam the door shut in the hope of barricading yourself away from the judgement just passed upon you. In actual fact you’re left face to face with a stern parent who you shrink back from, slinking off to the safety and confines of your room. This will be the only time you ever try to have a dialogue of a sexual nature with your parent(s).
This won’t be everyone’s experience obviously but I guess I’m moving towards, if we don’t have healthy dialogue about sex and sexuality how are we ever supposed to develop in a balanced manor so that negative consequences are lessened? A child must be allowed to grow with a healthy means to develop sexually because what is the consequence of repressed sexual feelings? You can’t convince me it’s anything POSITIVE.
There are just too may layers at play to debate this issue fully. I’m going to try and keep it concentrated. I believe we are failing ourselves by hiding away from sexual development. I don’t see sexual development considered alongside our fine-motor or speech skills. Ask yourself why? It’s a bit of a hairy topic because not many people will want to debate children along side sexuality. Ask yourself why? Because look at what we have done with sex and sexuality.
Our sexual development is intertwined with our other developments right from the beginning – in my opinion. Healthy sexual development begins with loving, nurturing, warm relationships.
What do you first think of when you hear abuse; sex, violence, verbal, psychological. The reality is we now live in times where abuse is rife. You might think well it’s nothing to do with me or my family I’ve brought my children up well, I’ve protected them. This is of course commendable when a child is nurtured, given your time, fed well and brought up to respect other people. Tell me have you thought of what happens when you send them out into the world to work among, to socialize with or to fall for a person who’s development has been devastated at an earlier time in their life?
What am I attempting to untangle? As I’ve grown I’ve noted similar issues, not just in Northern Ireland but also during my time in America. Through getting to know other people and talking about their life experiences. It’s clear to me that when sexual development is stunted, repressed or completely denied the consequences are VASTLY negative.
For instance I came across this article, naively drawn to it by misinterpreting the title, but quickly I realized this ties in beautifully with my short film Hello Boys! The article from The Cut; http://nymag.com/thecut/2016/01/ex-soulcycle-instructor-who-cant-let-go.html#
Because of where we all find ourselves today, impacted by a neglect of healthy sexual development. This article I feel rings true on different levels for men and women. Delving in it clearly puts across pain and the need the for a deeper connection a loving connection, not judging just saying. And viewing the article with empathy I’m aware people have to come to their own decisions when the time is right for them.
The script for Hello Boys is available to view on Ben Cahan’s Talentville [http://www.talentville.com/] along with two other of my short film scripts.
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Have a courageous day!