Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Grandma and Virginity

It's been a strange and interesting journey with this book The Virgin Diaries. I get some pretty funny reactions from all kinds of people. Mostly, as soon as someone hears what the subject matter is, they laugh. It's a little bit of shock mixed with awkwardness. Parents are the ones who fear the content. They judge it by its name or because there's.....SEX in it!!! OH NOOOOO! Of course, not all parents react this way but a lot do. But for those parents who think it's better to ignore sex when it comes to teens, you might want to check out this article about a study that proves sex education delays first time sex.

The most surprising reaction I've received have been from grandmothers. They are ALL about this book. On a few occasions when we were doing signings at book stores and fairs, grandmothers have purchased this book for their grandkids. They say they don't really care what their daughter thinks, they think it's a great idea and understand what it means to be young and confused about sex. It's a no-brainer for them.

I recently did an interview on Simply Kayla's Book Reviews and got a response from a grandmother in the comment section.

"I thank you for the interview! I wish something like this was available when I was in my teens. I am sure I would have waited longer if it had been. What you hear from your friends is not always what is the truth of how they really felt about their first time. I haven't read this yet, but I would love to! My kids are now grown, and past their 'first times' as well, but I would love for them to read this book and hopefully consider giving it to their children when it is appropriate. If they don't - perhaps Granny will..."

What an interesting concept. Grandma wants her grandkids to understand the consequences of sex BEFORE they engage while so many parents would rather ignore the subject in the hopes their child is the one and only exception who has no interest or questions. What is it that Granny knows????

Let's look at it this way. You have two teens, Mike and Sara. Mike is the captain of the football team. He's a virgin (or not) popular, gorgeous and persuasive. Sara is a virgin and is completely in love...I mean young girl, intense love...with Mike. They've been dating for a few months and that familiar conversation comes up.

Mike: "I love you so much. You're so beautiful. I want to show you how much I love you. Kissing is great but it's not enough to prove my love to you. I want to be the first and the last. Our love will last a lifetime. Every one of our friends have done it...." You get the picture.

Sara: She doesn't want to lose Mike. She is crazy in love with him. But she fears if she doesn't give in to his persistent begging, he will lose interest and find a more willing participant.

Sounds pretty cliché right? But there's a reason. These kinds of conversations occur all the time.

A while back, I posted on my Facebook page that I was so happy to get an article on sex from a 14 year-old girl. A woman (a mother) was very upset and her entire argument was that teens shouldn't write, talk or think about sex. This is unrealistic. Kids are always going to talk and think about it. I did when I was NINE! I didn't want to HAVE it but I was curious. She argued that if they had anything to say about it, it was because they got the wrong information. This is exactly my point. Do you want your child walking around with information that isn't accurate and could possibly hurt them?

This is where Grandma comes to the rescue. She knows that teens are going to be curious and sees the value of sex education. A 77 year-old woman provided a story for The Virgin Diaries and wrote that she was 15 when she lost her virginity. She loved the boy and wanted to do it again.

It's funny to think that grandmothers would have a more open mind on this subject but they sure seem to. I think it's cool!

A year or two before my grandmother passed away, she suffered from memory loss. We would have a conversation and then a minute later, she'd forget and ask me the same question. I had told her about collecting stories for the book and she would always be surprised and ask why I wanted to make it. I would always ask her "When you were a virgin, would you have wanted to read a book like this?" Her answer was always exactly the same, "I believe I would have."

I'll leave you with this thought. I heard a mom say "If you're too young to ask, you're too young to know." I say If you're old enough to have heard about it or seen it and have questions, you're old enough to get the truth. Otherwise, you may turn to your friend who knows nothing but thinks they know everything and wind up pregnant or with an STD or both!

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