I did sex education for the first time ever with my Year 9s today. We had a nice little moralistic play with some of those youth acting workshop people. You remember theM. They act all “cool” and call the kids “mate” or “buddy”, but somehow the kids bought it. We had a drama workshop where the kids played a game to learn about the spread of gonorrhoea which made poor little Simon literally crawl out of his skin with embarrassment. We had an hour in a baking hot room putting condoms onto plastic penises, as well as pinging them about the room, inflating them, and inserting them into each other’s ears. We had a lot of nervous giggling and a few unexpected revelations.
It was actually amazingly fun, for a number of reasons.
Firstly, while they never listen to a THING I say in English lessons (ahem), they were hanging off my every word when it came to sex. Either they see me as some kind of Mrs Robinson character, a sexual guru who makes up for her mid-20’s cellulite with her voracious appetite and depraved knowledge of anatomy, or else they think I’m a massive slapper, but they listened in spellbound silence to anything I had to say. All day. At three o’clock they could all tell me the proportion of 15-16 year olds who were having sex in Cambridgeshire in 2008, or how to insert a femidom, and yet some of these kids don’t even know who Chaucer is and he’s been our English topic for three weeks now. I’m not exaggerating.
The second reason why today was so enjoyable was the staggering array of difficult questions I had to answer. I reproduce them (pardon the pun) below for your enlightenment.
Miss, how old were you when you first did it? (I’m not answering that!)
No, how old? (Adam, I told you I’m not telling you.)
Yeah, but how old? (Adam!)
Alright. Have you got a boyfriend now? (Yes.)
Do you make him wear a condom when you suck his… (ADAM!!)
How fast does the sperm come out? (About 75mph)
Can it make women explode then? (Not unless you’re superman, no.)
If you have sex, does it have to be with a dick? (In what sense do you mean “dick”?)
If a girl can break her hymen on a bike, can it also get her pregnant? (Let’s say yes, because the offspring would amuse me.)
Why would two men want to have sex? (Um, because they’re gay?)
Ha ha, Miss said “gay”!
Miss, am I doing it right? (Yes, excellent, well done!)
But it’s got a bubble in it. (Yes, but only a tiny tiny one. That doesn’t matter, it wouldn’t leak.)
Yeah, but what if it did leak? (I really don’t think that would leak.)
But what if it did? (Look, it’s fine Zoey, you’re not being graded for this.)
But if what if I got it wrong? (Oh, just get the pill.)
The other reason why today was cool? I actually bonded with my form group. We had real conversations and they trusted me with their secrets and that was pretty cool. Maybe even if sex-ed doesn’t do much for teenage pregnancy rates, it at least encourages some kind of cross generational communication. I think I kind of like Year 9 now. Kind of.