Typical me… I told myself I wouldn’t think about work this vacation weekend since it has been so chaotic, but here I am on my computer on a Saturday morning when I should be sleeping in.
I met up with my good friend Erin, who lives here in Illinois. We became friends while working in the same restaurant and our love for helping people brought us even closer. While chit chatting about her job and how happy she is working as a social worker for the same school two years in a row, she proceeded to ask me what I wanted to do.
I always found those that get asked only question and can continue to spew for the next 30 minutes are passionate about that subject and with Erin’s question – I did exactly that! This is the summer where I am going to plan out my entire future of my career because I am tired of slowly going to school making me feel like my journey to the finish line is getting longer and longer. I want to see results NOW! While I continue to research to figure out my schooling plan, I thought I would share what I want to do since most people don’t know the actual details.
My dream job consists of sex education with a side of therapy.
Where it starts: I want to start young, teaching children about how their bodies are going to grow before they start feeling ashamed of their bodies and “no-no parts”. We aren’t talking sex at this age, just puberty and getting them familiar with their body before it starts to change. Making puberty something to look forward to – a celebratory act not something to fear and be ashamed of. My feeling is we as a society wait until we are too old to start talking about puberty and the changes that come with it. In this current age, children’s bodies are developing much earlier than they used to (think 9 & 10 years of age, not 16 &17) while their brains have not. Why not talk about wet dreams and breasts growing LONG before they actually do, so they are aware and no longer fearful.
Then there is the after puberty, before sex age. Were we talk about our bodies, learning how parts work and basically feeling comfortable all around. We would also work on respecting our bodies and respecting other people’s bodies, teaching about the STD/STI’s and how to prevent them. Teens are going to have sex – it’s inevitable. But if you can give them all the details beforehand and not make it a scary or bashful thing to talk about, they might think twice before doing it. The biggest problem with teens is, they don’t know much and most of the information they have learned was from another friend that didn’t know anything either. So they learn by experimenting – a.k.a. trial and error though sex. If we teach them everything there is to know about sex – the good and the bad, giving them the tools in order to make a more conscious decision, I think we can make a teen think before casually losing their virginity and possibly abstain from sex all together, if not – at least put a condom on.
This teaching will either come in the form of coming into schools as contract labor or by holding classes at a community center or standard location. I would also like to do a class for adults or parents to learn how to talk to their children about puberty or sex education on their own. How many times have you seen the stereotypical scene where the parents are absolutely terrified to talk about puberty or safe sex with their own child? If a grown adult is too afraid to talk to their children about these things, then how can we expect their children to be able to?
Then there is the therapy side. I figured that I wouldn’t be able to make a living off just the classes alone, so I would also work with adults with sex therapy on the side. This will mainly consist of couples that are having intimacy issues but it could be a wide range of things. Obviously that requires a Masters that will take me many years to accomplish.
I am hoping to get a certificate or something along those lines to be able to start my program sooner than later but time will only tell. After just two years of schooling, I am ready to get my theories out in the real world to find out if I’m correct and just the only one with guts to start so young. I understand with today’s society that we are more open to change – except when it comes to sex. We don’t talk about it, even with our own partner. It is considered taboo. But why are we ashamed of our own bodies?
I hope that I can get started sooner than later. Going back to my conversation with Erin, she told me story about one of her kids that I won’t repeat here because I am not sure what I can and can’t say, but the conversation reminds me of a quote from Kindergarten Cop “boys have penises, girls have vaginas”. While we all thought it was cute, we don’t realize how much we blush when we hear it. I want to put the kibosh on all those fears – where you can say penis in a restaurant just as easily as you say nose or mouth. I believe in time (LOTS of time and open minds) it can be done. A place where we feel comfortable with our bodies and no longer ashamed, no matter what religion is practiced or how old the child is. Knowledge is power so let’s start using it to our advantage instead of being afraid of it.