About me

I've been writing stories for years. I think I'm a good writer and I'm willing to bet you'll feel the same way. So here they are. Enjoy them, comment on them, tell your friends about'em, reblog them, retweet them, reread them. I have four stories in my archive so far:
"One day on the Mountain", a story of Lycanthropy, a father, and a son.
"The Boy", a story of a very ambitious and sociopathic fifth grade boy.
"The Easy Girl, A story of infidelity and unpaid sexual debts. This story is very dark.
"Brick The Mighty", a story of an aging superhero.
Although this is primarily a blog of horror, I also write about things that are important to me. I have more stories tucked away; they just need editing. There's even a few novels. There will be more to come.
PS. Feel free to leave a comment. I love comments.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Some Books on Puberty, Because I'm a Geek parent

A few days ago a package from Amazon came in the mail. There were some regular kids’  books, and then two not so regular: What’s Happening to Me? and Where did I Come From?, both by Peter Mayle. 
These two are classic texts in the puberty genre. They’re not too judgmental, and the facts are almost completely correct save for one notable exception - perhaps to reassure insecure pubertal boys, the book calmingly states that although penises may cover a wide range of sizes when flaccid, they are all generally the same size when erect. Any woman who’s been with more than one man, and any man who’s seen porn, knows this is not true. 

The night they arrived, my wife and I leafed through What’s Happening to Me? while our eight year-old leafed through Where did I come from? in his room. 

This, boys and girls, is a wet dream. Wet because he's in the
ocean, I suppose. 
I’m not complaining about these books. Not at all. I’m glad my kids are going to read them, and not get their sex-ed from the psychotic bed-wetter at school. There’s no religion in these books, no proselytizing. The explanation for masturbation is adorable - kids’ bodies are ready for reproduction at thirteen, but kids aren’t socially or emotionally ready for reproduction. Nature has invented a solution: Rub one out! It’s not bad, but sometimes you may feel embarrassed. To illustrate this point, there is a wonderful picture of a tiny, round-bodied little ginger-haired boy sitting in bed with his hands down his pants as a long and judgemental lighting bolt points angrily at him. The books covers feelings, curiosity, and even reassure us that having pubic hair that is not the same colour as the hair on our head is normal. I can’t really complain.

Except… this books makes sex look no different than your average kids’ book. It’s cute and acessible. The boys and girls are little caucasian cherubs that resemble Ewoks or cabbage-patch kids. It demystifies sex and while this is good on the surface, I wish I could tell my kids what I’ve gleaned. I wish I could tell them this:


Look. Sex is one of the three most primal things we do. The other two are being born, and dying. Being born is something you get out of the way quickly. But the other two are inextricably linked. They are tangled in a greasy Gordian knot that for most of our life-span we pretend does not exist. 

We try not to die, and in the time that we succeed in not dying, we’re trying to have sex. Evolution wired us so that we are fooled into thinking that we have sex for pleasure, but we do it to survive. It’s about passing on enough of your genes so that your death becomes moot. 

Got all this, I hope? This means that sex is complicated, and it’s powerful. We’re doing our best, through a combination of internet porn and female empowerment, to make sex seem like a recreational sport. It’s not. It’s both the most umimportant, pleasurable, and fun thing you’ll ever do, and at the same time it is a force that has enslaved populations and countries, toppled kingdoms, fomented mass murder, inspired car design, and was nearly the undoing of an otherwise brilliant and unbeatable American president. It’s spawned massive government-regulated sex industries and made countless innocent children disappear. If you look at someone under the age of thirty, there’s a good chance that he or she is thinking about it. It’s powerful. 

Is it something to afraid of, you ask? No. It’s a natural phenomenon, like wax and wane of the moon, or the vast sheets of ice that fall from icebergs in the Newfoundland spring. It’s not different than the leopard seal that hunts penguins, who are hunting food to feed their chicks. It’s life and creation, and I hope you have a chance to be involved in it. 

You don’t want to have kids? You don’t want to join the Circle of Life? That’s fine. I want you to do what makes you happy. You’ve been born, you’re going to have sex, and you will eventually (and I don’t want to think of this) die; you’re doing all three primal things anyway. But every day you will be interacting with people who are on their journeys from, towards, or through these three things. You have to be aware of that, and these earnest and funny little drawings aren’t going to be telling you any of this. 

Rather than have you read this, your mother and I are probably going to muddle through your sex education like all parents do, and you’ll recount the awful discomfort you felt when I try to lecture you on ‘taking the gentlemanly precautions’, or when your mother asks you if ‘you really like that girl or whether you’re just using her, because she seems really nice.’ 

We’ll make mistakes, because we’re trying to educate you on something ephemeral and elemental.

In fact, the more I go on, the more futile it seems. How about I change tack and just be practical?

Wear condoms, know where the clitoris and G-spot are, try not to cheat because you’ll eventually get caught, don’t be too smug to your friends if you find a Friend With Benefits, and above all be nice. Be respectful to strippers or the doorman will have legal reason to beat you up. Porn isn’t a bad thing but I learn to hide it, dammit. 
There. That wasn’t too bad, was it? 


  1. Cute post. I remember my mom giving me a set of books about puberty when I was eleven, in the sixth grade. I don't remember anything about the books, though.

    Did you ever watch a film(s) about puberty when you were in school? When I was eleven, we watched this one, http://amzn.to/rQFJuL, and one about a boy who had a wet dream but I can't remember the title of it. I just remember he washed his sheets, lol.

    Good advice about knowing where the clit is. You'd be suprised at how many men of all ages don't really know what to do with it...or even where it is. I didn't even know what one was or where it was until I was seventeen. I 'taught' myself all about orgasms by looking it up in my mom's medical book, no lie.

    I hide my porn too even though no one's going to see it. I throw out the cases and put the discs elsewhere. I have a porn DVD on its way to me for review.

  2. I don't remember puberty films in school, but I remember the school nurse coming in for a lecture. "If you're not ready for sex, then you can have mutual masturbation. ORGASMS GALORE!" She really said that and we almost ran out of the room.

    As a kid, I read my mom's copy of 'Our Bodies Our Selves," by the Boston Women's Collective. It was the most explicit and impossibly earnest book you could imagine. Every few paragraphs there would be short testimonies by anonymous women: "When I am performing cunnilingus on my lesbian, black disabled girlfriend, etc." But it taught me a lot. A childhood friend of mine grew up with an infamous german book for kids called "Show Me," which was full of hard-core photos of kids doing *everything*.

    You have DVDs? Watch it on the internet like the rest of us. Although I have a lovely new MacAir, and I haven't used it for anything nefarious because I'm afraid to sully it on a pornsite like I did with my old PC laptop. That old rig should get a medal for valour beyond the call of duty.

    Looking forward to your DVD review!

  3. You have a good memory for book titles. We had sex ed in the tenth grade, 1992, but there was nothing graphic discussed. The teacher had a container sitting on his desk so that people could write questions down and submit them anonymously. One of the questions, and the only question that I remember, was 'can you get pregnant from anal sex?'

    I'm uncomfortable with watching porn online, for some reason, but can watch it all day long at home!

  4. This post is freakin' awesome. This is the first time I've wished I had a toddler boy instead of a girl, because I think I would've used your "sex talk" as a starting point. Brilliant. Unfortunately, I think it will be a whole different story with a girl (and something I'll probably barely be involved in).

    Anyway, glad I stopped by. I'm going to Tweet this one (to all 3 of my loyal followers :)

    Hope you had a good weekend.

    Paul D. Dail
    www.pauldail.com- A horror writer's not necessarily horrific blog