Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Me and sex education: books

In our sitting room was a bookcase with a number of books placed spine down.  As a voracious reader no book escaped me; so at at youngish age I devoured 'Giovanni's Room', 'Lady Chatterley's Lover'  and 'Fanny Hill' which I found interesting, if a little confusing.

Then one day I went back to basics when I found a book by Claire Rayner, 'Sex Education for Girls' or some such.  The pictures left a lot to be desired and filled me with a certain amount of concern as no one in my family looked like that with their clothes off - how many children have been traumatised by black and white line drawings?  But Claire was a nurse (it said so on the back) so she obviously knew what she was talking about and perhaps D. H Lawrence didn't?.

About six months later Mum said that she would tell me where babies came from - I didn't like to tell her that I had a pretty good idea from my extensive reading of our equivalent of the British Library Private Case, from kids at school and not withstanding that my bedroom window overlooked a field full of cows and the occasional bull.  She produced the Claire Rayner book, said we would read it together and learn where babies came from.  I felt it only polite to pretend I hadn't read the book before and whenever she got embarrassed I'd try and help out by asking her leading questions being careful that I didn't bring in the activities of Fanny, Constance or David.

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