Monday, November 10, 2014

Human Sexuality 101

     While washing lunch dishes the other day, I heard a nearby cat mewling with some persistence. This was odd because our next door neighbors own a dog, and our neighborhood cats never come 'round and meow so near our kitchen which is just yards from the road fronting our house. Through our jalousie windows I spied a thin-faced cat beyond the nearby chain link fence looking in at me.
     “Jaren go look at the cat,” I said. He went and opened the door and stood by, still and intent. “Do you see it?” I asked. 
     Some time passed while the cat remained sight. “Deanne, why don't you have a look.”
     She went forward and said that's the cat that was at school on Friday, it's owner lives two houses from the school. 
     “Why don't you pet it?”
     “I don't like cats.”
     I went forward and said, “What about you to Jaren?”
     He stood motionless, then gestured to stop me and said, “I don't want you to get hurt.”
     “Nonsense,” I said with a laugh. The cat, a juvenile, stood looking at me curious and put its head down to receive the pet of my finger that I passed through the fence to touch it. The bronzish, black striped tabby was friendly and walked about back and forth sideways to Jaren as he stuck his hand through, stroking it's back and sides. It then leaped up two-and-a-half feet to the top of a stone wall pillar beside the fence and started to climb face-down—a drop of five feet on our side (the fence was on a low rock wall). Near full extension, it pounced down, recovered, walked relaxed to receive Jaren's pets, and approached Deanne who stood beside the open door. 
     “Don't let him in,” I said as the cat peered in and headed for the gap. Deanne was too slow and I dove forward thinking a cat-and-mouse chase might ensue, but to my relief, it accepted my hand's redirection out as I swooped its side from a foot in our house to the front yard away from the entrance. He (I could see his unneutered testicles from behind) was crazy friendly and over the next hour let Jaren and Braden play with and carry him, and laid patiently in Braden's lap. He didn't scare as I walked by to do chores and even came to the laundry room and plopped down in a corner to watch me spot cleane Jaren's soiled aikido gi that he'd worn for Halloween. After the cat had napped under our car for awhile, I allowed Jaren to offer him water, then some cheese, and later some fish, he was so hungry and scrawny, though his coat was incongruously plush and well-groomed.
     Jaren asked, after I explained that the cat had wandered so far because he's male, How do you know he's male?
     How can you tell males from females? I asked.  He said the color of their fur and they're bigger muscles?  I said maybe. How can you tell in people?  He said boys are bigger and they have hair on their face.  I said sometimes but what about babies, there's only way to tell?  He said girls have more hair.  No, I said. How do you pee?  Standing up.  How do girls pee?  Sitting down.  Why don't they stand up too?  Because it's uncomfortable for them.  Why?  I don't know.  What does your shi-shi (pee) come out of?  My penis, he said with a silly smile.  What does theirs come out of?  Their okoles (anuses)?  Don't they teach this in school? I asked, shocked.  No.
     Only then did I realize how negligent we'd been in teaching him the rudiments of human sexuality. 
     Do Mommy and I look the same down there?
     She doesn't have a penis.
     What does she have?
     I don't know.
     Didn't you ever look?
     Next time look. I then explained male and female parts in matter-of-fact detail, recalling how embarrassed I'd felt when my mom reviled when I said as a youth Jaren's age that babies came from the okole. Included in my lesson were the vulva—that looks like a slit and that has two holes, one for shi-shi to come out of and the other a vagina that babies come out of. The vagina is connected to the womb where babies are made—only girls have wombs and vaginas, that's why men can't have babies. The cat has testicles like all boys. Certain male pets though, are neutered by removing the testicles so they can't have babies. The reason they do that for cats is they give birth in litters—up to six at once, and that's too many for most people to take care of. 
     That evening I discussed with Deanne what happened and she said she has too much hair (down there, the usual amount) for him to see (what's beneath). I admitted I thought my mom didn't have anything except hair for the longest time until once under bright lights I could see.
     Deanne said Braden knew because he saw us changing Penelope's diaper as a baby. I asked her to find a drawing in a medical book or draw a simple sketch of seven lines (down there) so I could show him what a female looks like. 
     She found a photo of an infant girl in a maternity book so I showed that to him. It took a bit of questioning—the terms were new to him—but soon enough he caught the differences between boys and girls, and male cats and female cats, and could explain the similarities among girls and female cats, and boys and male cats. It was a lesson I'm sure he won't soon forget. (For some reason he was both bashful and scintillated at the same time, I guess for obvious reasons—sex fascinates!)

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