Telling it like it is when it comes to sex, teens and dancing

I’m a very literal person, which means that, for the most part, I like to spell things out, and have them spelled out to me.  Certainly that’s been my approach when discussing boys and sex with my daughter.

I haven’t danced around the fact that boys want sex.  There’s nothing wrong with that.  It’s their nature.  Society used to put constraints on that desire, but it doesn’t anymore.  The girl is on her own when it comes to saying “no.” I’ve spelled out to my daughter the tactics that boys will use (guilt, peer pressure, words of love, etc.), and explained that, no matter, the tactic, her answer, for her own physical and emotional well-being, has to be “no.”  Or, if necessary, “NO!!!”  She has to respect herself, and any boy who won’t abide by that self-respect isn’t worthy of her.

I’ve been thinking about the unequivocal message I’ve been spelling out for my daughter because of the school dance she went to this weekend.  It turns out that “freak” dancing has become normative at these dances.  In the car on the way over, I explained very carefully to my daughter and her friend what “freak” dancing is:  a boy you don’t know, or barely know, masturbates himself against your rear.

Both girls shrieked, “Oh, my God!  That’s gross.”  They’re right, too.  The reality of freak dancing is gross.  You can dress it up with cool names like “freak,” and say that “everybody is doing it,” and “there’s nothing wrong with it,” but it’s a disgusting practice that no girl should ever countenance.

My daughter had a great time at the dance.  She danced only with her friends, the way girls do, with all of them standing in a circle.  She didn’t kiss anyone on the dance floor and neither did her friends.  In an atmosphere rife with possibilities for mischief, they had a wholesome, fun time.  (And yes, I have only her word for it, but my instinct on this one is to trust her.)  I’d like to think that, for my daughter at least, part of that wholesome fun came about because I don’t pull my punches with her, but send her out armed with concrete information.

(I do the same with my son, of course, but he’s younger and a boy, so the messages are slightly different.)

To wrap up this post, a Billy Joel song that embodies the persuasive powers of a young man looking for sex:

You can also see it here.

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  • Danny Lemieux

    Oy, I see you are about to enter a very rough stage in child rearing. My prayers and best wishes are with you. So glad that I’ve been there, done that, and now it is totally out of my control.

  • Mike Devx

    Book says: I haven’t danced around the fact that boys want sex.  There’s nothing wrong with that.  It’s their nature.  Society used to put constraints on that desire, but it doesn’t anymore.

    Book, is it your viewpoint that boys want sex… and that girls *do not* want sex?

    There’s a whole range of topics surrounding this: sex, love, lust, infatuation, crushes, adoration, “liking someone”, desire, unrequited love… all of which would probably be grist for a different and lengthy post, though.

    I’m reminded of a past acquaintance who claimed: “Men give love for sex; women give sex for love.”  I’ve always wondered about that one.  Is it one of those statements that is *generally* true?  I have no idea, really, and wonder what others here think.

  • Ymarsakar

    It’s true in the sense that humans are specialized as well as generalists. Biologically females are specialized for a few tasks that males aren’t specialized for, and generally speaking there are ways to get males and females to be able to achieve the same things. Instinctively and societally, humans tend to keep things on the backburner of specialization since that’s more stable and more natural. As civilization progresses and options become more free and open, there becomes a greater chance to equalize issues due to technology and training.

    However, what we see in modern society isn’t equalization but exploitation. Difference. The class with the power and money ,they still hold to the “specialized” roles that most societies adhere to for stability and prosperity reasons. But that same class wants to make the people under them, act differently.


  • Caped Crusader

    This song brought back to memory a humorous and yet tragic situation in 1961 when I was a young doctor on active duty. One year I had a 65 bed general medicine ward, treating everything from tuberculosis, to subacute bacterial endocarditis in a mainliner on paregoric, to myocardial infarcts. One of my patients was a medically discharged lieutenant who had fallen out of a jeep in WW2 and sustained a skull fracture, and as treatment had received a steel plate in his head, and had permanent brain damage, and was in to regulate his epileptic seizures. He would constantly follow me around saying, “the good die young doc, so I don’t anything to worry about.” At that time Billy Joel had not arrived on the scene. Thanks for the memory, I guess!

  • jj

    Billy Joel grew up about five miles from the farm on Long Island, we knew all the same Catholic schools, the same crops of girls – didn’t know O’Reilly would come along to be right down the road at St. Brigid, sitting in English class about thirty yards from my grandparent’s headstone – and it’s hard to argue with the thesis.  In those days Catholic girls did start late; what can I tell you?  (Of course once they got started they often enough turned into tornadoes – making up for lost time I guess.)
    i don’t know what all that means, of course – if anything; but it is the way it was. 

  • Danny Lemieux

    MikeD – I believe that you are on to something here. Cultural stereotypes notwithstanding, I believe that many men are incurable romantics and I met many, many young men in my youth that were quite willing to resist social pressures and wait before having sex with the right girl.

    One thing, though, is that people used to get married early, during the time period when they were at their sexual peak. Now, people get married much later. One thing that I noticed during visits to Brigham Young university is that many of the undergraduate students were already married.

  • David Foster

    One of the many problems with young teenagers having sex or pseudo-sex is that it’s usually likely to be about the girl satisfying the guy, and not much focus on pleasure for her. Surely this is likely to have a long-term effect on her perception of what sex is all about, in the direction of it’s something she does as a trade for ego-feeding and/or status.

  • zabrina

    Excellent parenting, Book! Thanks for the example and the moral support.
    Yes, I can say with 100% assurance that young, teenaged schoolgirls who are not already sexually active do not want sex. They want to have carefree fun with their friends, they want to be liked and admired, they want to be thought attractive by everyone, and they would like to be attractive to the opposite sex, but they do not want to complicate their lives before they are ready. Dances used to be the place to have this kind of fun and to mingle without real pressure–but I guess it takes an unusually strong and prepared young lady to negotiate these scenes nowadays.
    And most young, teenaged schoolgirls who ARE sexually active aren’t so much looking for sex as they are looking for love. (Maybe you can say that about most women.)
    I know there are some teenaged boys and even men who feel the same way.
    Our high school has cancelled the Homecoming Dance to avoid the whole subject. I haven’t heard yet what’s involved with the Prom. My son avoided the Prom scene as uncool. But if my daughter ends up going, she’ll be similarly prepared as your daughter, Book. The yen to wear a pretty gown and look like a princess for an evening is a hard force to squelch.

  • Jose

    Regarding young women and relationships with young men, I would recommend this book:

  • Danny Lemieux

    Since this does overlap with the subject of sexual harassment, I do have to confess that I once sexually harassed a young lady mercilessly.

    I fear that, today, she is still trying to get over what I did to her. 

    I married her. 

  • Bill C

    I was passing out candy on Halloween when a boy and his approx. 12 year old sister knocked on the door.  She was dressed as Alice from Alice in Wonderland except with cleavage.  As she turned to walk away a gust of wind took up her dress and I noticed she was wearing a thong.   A thong. 

  • Bookworm

    Mike:  I think Zabrina is right.  To the extent girls are sexually aggressive today, it’s because they’ve been taught to go about things bass ackwards.  They want the romance and relationship, and think they have to put sex on the table immediately to buy those things.  As for boys, I think that, until they meet the right girl, they just want sex.  They may want love and romance too, but at 13, 14, 15, etc., sex is more than enough for them. 

    Or to put it more briefly, today girls want the relationship, and they’re willing to pay big time for it, with casual sex.  Whereas in the old days, boys wanted the casual sex, and were willing to pay big time for it, with a relationship.

    Bill C:  That’s just about the most disturbing thing I’ve read today.

  • Charles Martel

    Danny, LOL!

  • jj

    I don’t know if you can generalize that much.  I don’t know what kids today want, and of course a large part of the reason for that is that they are kids: they don’t know what they want, either.  (Not knowing what you want is part of being human.  One of these days I’ll have to devote some serious attention to trying to figure out what the hell I want to do with my life, too.  I’ll probably arrive at a conclusion about eight seconds before I arrive at the conclusion – but at least I’ll have figured it out for a bit, there.)
    But it’s hard to say, “kids today think…” much of anything, with any expectation of being right.  It’s too much of a generalization.  I doubt if any of us knows what kids today – or any other day – actually want, or think they have to do to get.  I suspect that if you could ask your own parents what they thought you wanted when 12 or 13, I bet they’d tell you they had no idea, either – I think this may have been going on since the beginning of time.  I’d cover a fairly sizable bet that cavemen didn’t know what was going through their kid’s minds, either.  It seems to be part of the deal.
    Kids also mature very differently.  A statement like “boys just want sex” is a touch broad for my taste.  I’ve been really lucky – or maybe just really weird – to have the same essential core of people around me all my life in the friendship department, and they’re in touch with enough other people so I’m able to be in more or less routine touch with both my own and my brother’s 1st through 12th grade classes, pretty much everybody still alive.  We always sort of knew – well, my mother did – that my brother was quite beautiful, but I guess I never really considered this until he died in 2007, at which point I spoke to at least twenty ladies I knew from the time they were eight years old, and discovered that as they moved through their teens he was the source of many an interesting dream, and surreptitious trip to the girl’s room in the course of the school day, too.  Had he asked, it was available.  Heard it from a couple of his classmate’s mothers, too – which was a touch odd, hearing that these little old ladies I’d known my whole life would have taken a serious run at my baby brother when they were 37 or 38 had he given them any encouragement.
    But here’s the thing.  “All boys want sex” is, as I said, a trifle broad for my taste.  They develop differently – we’re not machines.  My brother, who had them landing on their backs all around him like overripe wheat during his teenage years – didn’t notice.  He wasn’t interested.  He was busy doing other things.  I don’t think he looked twice at a female – except friends, as friends –  until he was well beyond high school.  It was not an area of interest for him.  In his 20s and 30s he was a real danger to high-heeled traffic and cut a swath, yes – but before he was 20, nothing.
    So go a little easy with the generalizations: you have no idea what any kid wants, and not much of an idea – unless he’s already begun to comment – of how the young son will view the whole situation.  There is a certain amount of biological driving, yes; but we’re not machines, we’re not going to fall over in rows.  We don’t respond to it in the same way.  We remain individuals.

  • MacG

    JJ makes a point counter to the stereotype that if a boy is seduced by his female teacher then it is not molestation because “he really wants it”.  He may be physically able but not emotionally ready.  This is the same stereotype that make husbands the abusers while all wives do not abuse.  It funny how these persist when we have had “we are equal” preached for 4 decades now.

  • Ymarsakar

    When the LEft says equality, they really mean slavery.

  • Charles Martel

    jj is right to say that boys all don’t fit into one mold when it comes to their sexual desires. But I also think it would be safe to say that junior high school boys who are interested in frottage and can get stupid girls to go along with it probably have sex and getting laid heavily on their minds.

  • Danny Lemieux

    Charles M: not to mention that those boys and girls have been indoctrinated to think that that is the way they should act by the entertainment industry, MSM and Democrat politicos.

  • suek

    jj may be technically correct, but if Book’s daughter runs into one of the young men who is less interested in sex, then the question of “freak” dancing is unlikely to be an issue.  If the young man has an interest in “freak” dancing, it’s pretty probable that he’s one of those who have had – shall we say – an “early maturity”.
    Although I agree with Danny – some of the young men she encounters may actually be relieved of the expectation that they have to participate.
    Talk about a screwed up world.  How absolutely insane is it to push youngsters into sexual activity at the earliest possible age, while postponing reproduction until the latest possible point of physical capability… 
    Between disease probabilities and optimum age fertility parameters, it’s no wonder couples reach a point of desperation when they can’t have children. 

  • Charles Martel

    suek, it is funny how our libidinous culture reasons about sex. On one hand, it’s “natural” to follow one’s sexual bents, at whatever age and in whatever orifice, but if pregnancy or disease occur (both are also “natural”), it’s an outrage!

  • David Foster

    Book, a resource you might find useful in guiding your kids through the dating world (to the extent that such guidance is possible) is Susan Walsh’s Hooking Up Smart. She started it as a resource for young women trying to make sense of modern mating; it has evolved into more of a co-ed discussion forum. (Susan was interviewed for the Atlantic Magazine cover story–most recent issue)
    It is sobering and more than a little depressing to read the comment threads–there are a lot of people in real pain out there. I think Susan and many of her commenters are trying to be genuinely helpful, and plenty of help is indeed needed.
    (Some of the language may be offensive to some)

  • JKB

    I’ve recommended the girls learning Samba or Salsa, even east coast swing before.  Those dances can be sexy but the girl controls the sexy, if it goes that way, not being passive and pornographic.   But girls could dance them together till they get the boys interested in learning.  Samba fits a lot of the music of the day so it doesn’t require special consideration by the DJ.  

    Check out tv.nationalreview…post/?q=NGRhYWI1OTcxZDE0Zjg4NGRmNWRjYjU0ODBlZTQ1ZDc=   It is Thomas Sowell on Uncommon Knowledge discussing the embarrassment in society to discuss love but not sex.  Sex is something the “anointed” can control but they they don’t like love as it doesn’t require their permission.  They joke about a response to the #OWS being Thomas Sowell’s Love, Guns and Automobiles  All things that make people free and independent of the “anointed.”  Interesting, before the 1960 when the liberals introduced sex ed in school, the VD and pregnancy rates were dropping but after, they shot up.  

  • zabrina

    Don’t lose heart. My son who avoided the salacious freak dancing and rap music in high school is now attending and even helping to organize dances at his university where swing, blues, and ballroom dancing are featured. Their icons include Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly…. They understand “class” and they are having fun. Who attends these retro/classic functions? The honor students, male and female. They are themselves making up for the lost opportunities in a high school dominated by a morally poorer culture.

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  • Ymarsakar

    The things boys now a days aren’t allowed to know is that fighters often learned to dance because it helped their H2H skills. No, I’m being serious here. Bruce Lee took up dancing. Miyamoto Musashi took up “feminine” arts such as calligraphy, water painting, and such.

  • Ymarsakar

    Freak dancing is not one of those things that helps someone fight better. If anyone hadn’t already guessed by now.

  • suek

    >>Freak dancing is not one of those things that helps someone fight better. If anyone hadn’t already guessed by now.>>

    I could see where it might break one’s concentration…

  • Ymarsakar

    The parts of dancing that help in Hand to Hand, are rhythm, timing, and kinesthetics.

     Uncomplicated sequences that are gross motor movement, such as hip punting, isn’t all that useful. Anyone can learn how to do that without any particular requirement for rhythm, timing, or skill.


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