Monday, March 28, 2011
We here at LJL were just kids when Mary J. Blige burst onto the scene, belting out this now classic song about a young woman in search of LOVE well, REAL LOVE that is...Now, we're old enough to BE parents/co-parents, aunties, "big" cousins, and godmothers. Now, we are in the driver's seat when it comes to defining and framing LOVE for the next generation. WE are now responsible for setting the tone on what is and is not acceptable, for separating truths from locker room fictions, and for guidance on how to digest all the emotions that come with those biological, hormonal, social and emotional changes that the young men and women in our lives will soon undergo.
How is it that time has passed us so swiftly?
Who said that just because we're OLDER that we're any wiser?
Do we have what it takes to set a youngster on the right path?
Recently a close friend called with dread in his voice. He was sorry to announce that it was time for THE TALK with his thirteen year old son. Having done sex ed programming for teen girls in an area with a high teen pregnancy rate as a Girl Scout, as an RA in college, and as a mother to two preteen boys, I had "the talk" down pat. I also knew that there wasn't just one "talk".
The "talk" was and is actually a conversation; a never-ending one at that.
The phone call, coupled with a realization I had a few days earlier inspired this post. I reminisced back on my school days, when I asked my parents straight out, when could I have a boyfriend. My mother, ever the practical parent simply replied, "When you can balance your school work and your social life" Well, I had been going to school and playing outside pretty well since elementary school.In middle school, my grades were always good, and I was never in trouble.
Translation:I can have a boyfriend NOW!!!
However, thinking back on things, I wonder...What if my parents said, "sweetie, we love you and think you are an awesome, intelligent, pretty, manner-able, caring, thoughtful and right minded young lady." "When you find a young man who deserves to share in all that you are, then you can have a boyfriend. Look for the man who is worthy of your wonderfulness"
Imagining how my life and choices in men would have differed with this nugget of information, it was the same advice I offered my friend in his moment of dread. Give him the concrete details, be medically accurate, but in the end, tell him to seek out a young lady who truly is WORTHY of all he is. We live in a world that is not conducive to sexual freedom, "sowing wild oats", and even simple exploration.
Our society, by nature of being hyper-sexualized, has made sex an activity that requires medical screenings, multiple forms of birth control, and oftentimes litigation. It's intimacy is far removed from the two individual participants, therefore, the sex education of today must advocate for truth, honesty, respect, and self worth. It is the only way to stem the tide of teen pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases and broken social relations.
So, when it comes to the question of "Love or Sex" I say HEALTHY Self Love then Sex. In the LoveJonesLifestyle, sex grounded in a healthy sense of self is the way we do it. What about you?