By Stephanie Farrier
Published: February 7th, 2018
It’s the tiny, three-letter word that packs a punch, but usually isn’t talked about in decibels higher than a whisper; at least, that’s the way it was in my house. I was aware of my body and my sexuality from a young age, as early as three, if I’m remembering correctly. Even with this awareness in place however, I never felt comfortable getting more information about it from my parents. I was a naturally curious kid and although they usually indulged my more “innocent” inquiries like whether or not the tooth fairy was real or where my poop went when I flushed, I noticed a slight cut-off point the first time I popped the inevitable “where do babies come from?” question. My mom nearly choked on her coffee. As I stood there, confused by her reaction, yet still awaiting a response, she uttered a simple, “Your dad put a seed in me,” and suggested that I go and bother him about it when I inquired further about how this seed might’ve gotten there. My dad was even more tight-lipped, as I’m sure you might have imagined. Parents may or may not understand this, but kids are very observant. They pay attention to facial expressions, body language, and tone. Based off of these non-verbal communications, children subconsciously determine from there what they will present to their parents or what they’ll explore more of on their own. I think a key phrase here is “on their own.” An avoidance of the conversation about the “birds and the bees” or a superficial explanation, like “the stork brought you” will not satisfy a child’s curiosity about what’s going on inside them. In fact, the quest for answers is pretty much on and popping after that whether parents are involved or not.
In my case, I knew I needed to keep this new-found quest of mine a secret. As well-meaning as my parents might have been during that encounter, somewhere in my head I deemed sex to be “off-limits” and something that I would have to experience on my own terms. My journey started with my oversized teddy bear named Anthony (I can just imagine some of your faces right now). Whenever I felt an urge, I would go upstairs to my room and “experiment” with him. I had felt pain, I had felt joy, I had felt fear, and excitement, but never in my young life had I experienced a feeling quite like the one I had during our private time. In fact, I won’t mystify what that means. I humped the thing silly until I felt better! There were parts of me that felt ashamed. I didn’t want anyone to know what I was doing or to know about those feelings because in my head, they weren’t supposed to be there. I think this is where we as a society, produce a criminality about sex that was never supposed to exist. I believe our human nature is in fact drawn to things that are considered untouchable because we want to know why we can’t touch them! Literally and figuratively! At this point, sex was no longer a silent curiosity humming quietly within me, it was no longer just a “feeling down there.” It became a full-blown appetite that I dedicated myself to feeding. It became perverse and my first trek down the path of rebellion. Something natural and pure became an inordinate obsession that my very young mind did not realize would follow and badger me for years to come.
Now, I grew up in the church. Another place where the talk of sex is sometimes equated to be an act originating from the depths of hell itself. Don’t get me wrong, as a now somewhat adult woman I do understand that sex is powerful and I believe that God meant for it to be contained within the confines of a marriage relationship. With that being said, however, it stands to reason that if sex was God’s idea, I don’t believe he ever meant for it to be weighed down with shame and secrecy. I believe it was to be spoken about with the same freedom and candor that we talk about love, peace, joy, fear, anger and other qualities associated with this human walk. My next statement might be a reach or even an over-generalization but I often wonder how many sexual identity crises, teen pregnancies, rapes, abortions, and abuses might have been prevented if we had a healthier view and exposure to sex, how it relates to us, and what God’s ultimate plan for it is.