Sex Ed

In 9th grade health, Ms. Hall taught us the gory details of heterosexuality.

She talked about the “female vagina.”
(As opposed to the male one?)
She’d say, “The FEMALE vagina has pleated walls.”
“The FEMALE vagina is teeming with bacteria.”
“The FEMALE vagina is self-lubricating and self-cleaning.”

 

Kids were not informed about the mechanics of gay sex in health class.

There were no after-school specials featuring twinks with kinked bangs,
no animated films contained lesbians falling from the mouths of storks,

no talk of scissoring,
Cy Fair high school was strictly forks.

 

Queer kids like me learned about their sexuality

watching gay pornography.

Before Will & Grace touched based with mainstream audiences,

before Lady GaGa belted coming-out anthems for straight tweens

and queens “lip-synched for their lives” on Drag Race,
before Lawrence v. Texas decriminalized anal sex,
and long before most sexual minorities vexed the subject of marriage,

gay men had to walk
into brick and mortar
to purchase porn.

 

My first trip to the adult bookstore was a master class in humiliation.
I tried to appear casual as I flipped through titles like

Assablanca, Ass Ventura: Crack Detective, Six Degrees of Penetration,
and How Stella Got Her Tubes Packed.

 

I devised an airtight lie to tell the clerk:
“This isn’t for me. My friend’s birthday is tomorrow
and I thought gay porn would be a hilarious gag gift.
What’s funnier than Shitty Kitty Gang Bang?
Which, of course, you don’t have,
so I’m going to go with Hung Wankenstein.
SHE is going to love this.”

 

My monologue was gay shame
set to performance art.
I was the Spalding Gray of gay-porn consumerism.
A longwinded narrative accompanied each purchase: “I’m taking a sociology class—
blah, blah, blah,
…ethnography…
blah, blah, blah,
…cinematography…
blah, blah, blah,
…money-shot choreography.”

 

I love porn but not when it serves as a young person’s sole introduction to intimacy.
A teenager’s sex education should not involve movies with slings and cock rings.
While hetero kids spent their teens dating
and learning the painstaking details of hetero-penetration,
I was balls-deep in porn star pedagogy.
Falcon “actors” taught me that assholes should be waxed, all do-able men had six-packs, and love at first sight—be it with a pool boy or prison guard—
never lasts past climax.

 

Perhaps this is why I’m still waiting for some great man to sweep me off my
knees.