Jul 07, 2006
"What's Happening to My Body?"
A dear friend bought this book for her adolescent son, and I had a browse on a recent visit. Good book. Lots of information in there on things like testicular growth, shaving, acne, etc. -- and stuff about female parts, too. Stuff I would have liked to known when I was his age for sure.
I told my friend that I could write a complementary book for related issues -- a shorter read for days when the boy didn't want to dig through What's Happening to My Body? My book would be titled "WTF?!" and its text, in its entirety, would go something like this:
Chapter 1: You're weird. Your body is weird. And guess what -- so are everybody else's. Anybody who says different is an idiot.
Chapter 2: Some day, no matter what, you're going to be attracted to someone who digs you and will want to sleep with you, and everything will be great for at least a while, maybe longer. Don't fret. It'll happen.
Friends have subsequently told me that this would be a great book for most boys but not all. One friend said that for his son (one of my popular godsons), the book's first chapter should pretty much read: "Keep it in your pants."
Any co-authors out there? What would you suggest?
Don't believe everything you see on Cinemax.
Posted by: Jerry | Jul 7, 2006 12:15:10 AM
I have that book (as you know)! And discovered the existence of the orchidometer. My contribution would be 'If you knock her up, then stick around for the duration'.
Posted by: Marianne | Jul 7, 2006 6:29:59 AM
I would add, "This, too, shall pass." And a reminder that this is one of the most carefree parts of your life, so enjoy it!
Posted by: Lisa | Jul 7, 2006 8:38:29 AM
GOD! SO, so many.
I like the "You're weird, everyone is weird, it's not weird at all" concept.
• Masturbation is normal. Not masturbating is normal, also.
• No matter what they may say, a lot of your friends have not had sex. It's OK not to until you are ready.
• Practice some ways to say "no" so you won't be pressured into things, sexual or not. A simple "no thank you" might work sometimes, but other options could be both humerous and effective. The more you think about this ahead of time, the easier it will be to find the right words.
• Know what you want in life and make decisions based on attaining your goals.
• If you can't keep it in your pants, use a condom. And practice putting it on several times ahead of time. Use one every time. Use a dental dam for mouth to vagina or mouth to anus contact.
• Use a new condom if you accidentally try to put one on upside down. Never double bag it.
• If you are going to be sexually active, learn how to reduce your risks of STIs and pregnancy. Also make sure you are capable of/have a plan for dealing with any negative outcomes.
• Go to Planned Parenthood. Cheap condoms, great sex ed, cheaper than a normal doctor, and won't tell your parents if you are uncomfortable talking with them or if doing so might put you at risk. However, parents can be your allies. They love you.
• Be careful with alcohol and drugs. Know what you're getting into.
• Please don't start smoking. I did, and it's the worst decision I ever made.
• If you're questioning whether you might be attracted to the same sex, you're normal. If you realize you are LGBT, know that coming out can be a relief or a nightmare, or both. Talk to someone you can trust 100%, like a counselor who has to maintain confidentiality. Planned Parenthood is good for this, too.
• Be askable. Don't make fun of the question no matter how asinine it is. If you don't know the answer, look it up together. Start this as soon as you can, so your children feel as comfortable as possible coming to you with their problems.
I have about 20K more messages. Maybe I should write a book.
Posted by: lastewie | Jul 7, 2006 5:19:58 PM
I just can't let it go, can I?
These are my fave books:
"It's perfectly normal" by Robie H. Harris
"Changing Bodies, Changing Lives--a book for teens on sex and relationships"
The latter is from the "Our Bodies Ourselves" people.
Posted by: lastewie | Jul 7, 2006 5:25:00 PM
Lastewie, you should write a book! Seriously. Knowing you're around while my son is navigating puberty is seriously comforting.
Posted by: Marianne | Jul 8, 2006 9:08:08 AM