• Fri, Jan 17 - 1:30 pm ET

Middle School Wants To Know: Do You Express Emotions Through Butt Sex?

grindingSome parents of children who attend a Kansas middle school are not happy with what they think is an explicit listing of sex acts that was posted on the wall of their kids’ sex ed class. It’s definitely the strangest grouping of activities I’ve ever seen thrown together on a middle school pamphlet, I’ll give you that much.

The list was titled, “How Do People Express Their Sexual Feelings?” Beneath it, there is a laundry list of activities that I’m not sure I would throw together for a bunch of 13-year-olds. Also – it’s just all over the place:

Oral sex, sexual fantasy, caressing, anal sex, dancing, massage, masturbation, holding hands, talking, cuddling on the couch, hugging, touching each other’s genitals, kissing, vaginal intercourse, talking, saying “I like you,” grinding.

Um, what? Is it just me or is this all over the place? It’s like Mr. Rogers and Jenna Jameson got together to brain storm this list.

As can be expected whenever you talk about sex in schools, some parents were not happy. Mark Ellis, a parent of one of the kids told his local television station WADF:

“Why would you put it in front of 13-year-old students?”

“It upsets me. And again, it goes back to who approved this? You know this had to pass through enough hands that someone should have said, ‘Wait a minute, these are 13-year-old kids, we do not need to be this in-depth with this sexual education type of program.’”

District spokeswoman, Leigh Anne Neal, says the poster should be viewed in the context of a bigger curriculum, which she refers to as “abstinence-based” for students in middle school.

I’d have to agree with her. This is actually better sex education than abstinence education, because if I would have had to listen to my seventh grade sex ed teacher Mrs. Beardsly saying the words “caressing” and “touching each other’s genitals” I would have been turned into a definite “sexual feelings introvert.”

I think it’s important to talk to kids about sex. I’m not sure that this list would piss me off as a parent, but I admit I find it a little odd.

 

You can reach this post's author, Maria Guido, on twitter.
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  • Alexandra

    ummmm may I be the first to say… fuck what???
    13 year olds should not be hearing about anal sex in the same sentence as “cuddling on the couch” as if these are parallel ways of expressing your sexual desires.’
    I KNOW I KNOW they’re all doing things I don’t want to hear about as a parent, but leave some of the mystery for getting fucked up on tequila in college OK???

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      I like how they compare texting to intercourse. and cuddling is a wee bit different than anal sex. BUT WAIT WHAT IF MY HUSBAND ASKS TO CUDDLE THAT IS CODE RIGHT?

    • Fuzzy Coin Laundry

      Only if you don’t like cilantro

    • keelhaulrose

      Isn’t it always code for “sex”? I just assume my husband is always asking me for some: cuddling, texting, cilantro, etc.

    • Mystik Spiral

      My boyfriend and I were texting weekend plans yesterday:

      BF: So Sunday it’s broncos, planning Portland, and _______
      Me: Ooh, do I get to fill in the blank?
      BF: Yep!
      Me: Better be careful… What if I want you to make me a lobster dinner?
      BF: Whatever you wish. How about crab cakes?
      Me: Crab cakes, asparagus, baked potatoes and cheesecake.
      BF: Damn, but – done. Good thing you didn’t let me fill in the blank.
      Me: I know better than that.
      BF: I was actually gonna say lobster also.
      Me: Oh is that what the kids are calling it these days?
      BF: Haha.

      So… yeah.

    • Nahman

      It’s not comparing or equating any act with another. It’s a list of ways that people express their sexual feelings (did you miss the title? “How Do People Express Their Sexual Feelings?” ), and it’s accurate.

      I like that is includes anal sex because it’s listing everything in such a way that doesn’t pass judgement and is completely frank. Some people express their sexual feelings by cuddling. Some people express their sexual feelings through penis-in-vagina sex. Some people express their sexual feelings through penis/dildo-in-anus sex. It says nothing about the age of the people who do this, it doesn’t suggest that one if preferable to another or that “if you like this, try this!”

    • G.E. Phillips

      Someone ought to teach them to just call it cilantro, like us civilized folks.

    • G.E. Phillips

      Crap, like 3 other people beat me to that one, huh.

  • EmmaFromÉire

    Yes, i’ll have the grinding with a side of cilantro please.

    • CMJ

      I actually like my cilantro ground….so it works, right?

  • Kay_Sue

    It is pretty weird in context.

  • Aimee Beff

    They left out some of my favorite ways to express my feelings. Where is the “Dutch Microwave”? I’m even more concerned than ever about Kansas education standards.

    • Igottagetoutmore

      Maybe the pictures are bad but what is Shrimping? and what is the one above it supposed to accomplish. I don’t think I’d be able to get off that way…

    • AP

      Shrimping is when a gentleman ejaculates into another gentleman’s (or woman’s) anus and then inserts a straw into said anus and drinks the semen from the anus.

      I do not see what is enjoyable about this, but I guess cilantro smoothies have to appeal to someone.

    • libraryofbird

      Brain bleech please!

    • Igottagetoutmore

      I’m going to change my name..I don’t gottagetoutmore. I need to stay in. way in….

      I’m still not over fluid bonded. I’m going to regret this but what is swaffing???

    • biggerthanthesound

      I wish I could go back in time and not read that.

    • Psych Student

      I love so much that you had the answer to that (there is no less love if you had to look it up on the internet). I confess I looked at the picture and assumed that someone was receiving oral sex and someone else is getting a finger in the ass.

    • Psych Student

      You rock!
      That is all.

  • EX

    It does seem a bit strange all put together on a poster like that but I can see how it could be used in the context of a sex ed curriculum – the underlying message being that you don’t have to have sex (with or without cilantro) to express your sexual feelings. I think talking about cilantro is actually important in sex ed because a lot of kids still have that idea that if it’s anything other than p-in-the-v you’re a virgin. Not to mention that it would be important to discuss all types of sex in order to be inclusive of everyone regardless of sexual orientation. Final verdict – I’d be totally OK with this in my daughter’s sex ed class, especially since we’re talking about 13 year olds, not 10 year olds (which was how old I was when we had our sex ed and any talk about cilantro would definitely have been news to me at that point).

    • Muggle

      Yeah. I come from a former abstinence-only state (welcome to the right side of civilization, North Carolina!) and I’m all for this kind of thing. I really don’t see what the problem is. I was a fairly innocent goody-two-shoes at 13 who had never even kissed anyone, and I knew about anal sex and all that. 13-year-olds know way more than adults give them credit for. (Though I’d still be disturbed at 13-year-olds *having* anal sex. eeewwww).

      Is it all over the place? Well, yeah, because there’s a continuum (as Paul White put it) of physical closeness. But it’s absolutely stupid to deny that 13-year-olds who are all going through puberty have sexual feelings, and to say that they shouldn’t be taught acceptable and safe ways to express them. (Cuddling and kissing? fine. Cilantro? Oh hell no). All context has been removed from this list and clearly the parents here should have been a part of the discussion, because believe it or not, 13-year-olds are sexual beings with sexual feelings.

      It kind of reminds me of a talk on my first day of high school about appropriate language. For ninety minutes my science class was almost nothing but swearing. I mean, it might seem odd to people who aren’t in the class, but it serves a purpose. So however odd it seems, it sure beats teaching kids that girls are weak and desperate for love, and boys are sociopathic potential rapists out to manipulate girls for a quick fix.

    • FormerlyKnownAsWendy

      Ok, so, this sounds to me like a student-made list. Which I could see.

      I actually had sex ed in a *ahem* Catholic middle school. And looking back, it was hilarious. We watched a video series and had real worksheets to fill out that were very scientific. But I do recall we had to list “reasons for which married couples might engage in sexual intercourse” and we included things like love, fun, comfort when sad….

  • Jenna Nieves

    It is hilarious and I am so glad that it happened in Kansas. You have no idea how much Kansas needs a proper education in sexing and all things sexy.

  • Paul White

    Cuddling…sex….I think those are on somewhat different points on the contium of physical closeness

  • Tinyfaeri

    A lot of 13 year olds are sexually active these days, or at the very least talking about sex and sex acts. I don’t really see a problem with giving them terms to accurately describe what they’re talking about, and educating them about those things and the consequences for them. I doubt teachers are showing pornos in class, but it’s good to know what a sex act is and the possible consequences of it (STI, pregnancy, infection) before you start doing it.

  • TwentiSomething Mom

    Did anyone visualize a kama sutra poster while reading this?

  • Rachel Sea

    Whatever Mark Ellis, those kids are already talking about cilantro, even if they aren’t trying it yet. If they don’t learn about it from an educator, they’re just going to learn about it on the internet, where there are people sampling garnishes you’ve never even heard of.

  • Anonymous Kid

    Odd delivery, but kids will learn it from their friends, the streets, or the internet. In middle school, during P.E., the convos while dressing out would’ve made the likes of Ron Jeremy blush. In 9th grade, people used to hook up in the field house during the lunch shifts. I know girls who let a lot of guys run trains on them. They all took turns sharing a girl. It was sad. Also, those sex bracelets were popular when I was in middle school, and there were girls who had bracelets for anal sex. They didn’t consider that or oral sex “real” sex and called themselves virgins.

    There’s no harm in teaching kids about sex, STIs, pregnancy, etc. It’s not like the school is giving an instruction manual or a copy of the Kama Sutra book/movie. I don’t like the puritan attitudes displayed by some parents. Some of them swore jeans so tight that their internal organs needed to call their brains and tell them that it was time to breathe. Some of them had more cream fillings than Twinkies, Ding Dongs, and Oatmeal Creme Pies, in high school and college. If parents were to teach their kids about the difference between real love and hooking up, things would be a lot better. If parents weren’t so prudish about birth control, they wouldn’t be grandparents at 40. Knowing about sex doesn’t lead to a pregnancy or STIs. It’s not knowing that leads to both.

    • Guest

      Yes! Pretending it’s not happening and that 13 is the same as 9 is worse.

  • Joye77

    When I was 13 I was very curious. I was going to find out about stuff even if it wasn’t completely accurate. 13 is plenty old enough o learn about these things; whether we like it or not 13 year olds are beginning to discover their sexual self. Better for them to learn accurate information.

  • Really?

    Ha ha, this is the district I attended K-12. Funny, I don’t even recall what we did for sex ed at my building, but I definitely would have remembered a sign like this. Come on, I teach middle schoolers now – you can’t post that kind of thing without a huge deal being made out of it.

  • Sara610

    So, part of my job is administering a comprehensive sexuality education program called “Our Whole Lives” for the Unitarian Universalist church that I work for. This list sounds very similar to one of the sessions in the OWL curriculum, but it’s in a context, and from the article it’s hard to tell if there was any context in the Kansas school lesson.

    The rationale for the list is probably to a) teach kids that there’s a whole continuum of acceptable, healthy ways to express sexuality, and that sexual intercourse is NOT the only way to do that, and b) to get them comfortable using the correct terms for body parts, acts, etc. It’s not to say that anal sex and cuddling on the couch are the same thing–the list isn’t ordered in any particular order.

    I’d be interested in knowing what the context was (especially since this is apparently an abstinence-based program?!) and what kind of information the parents were given about the curriculum beforehand.

  • Tea

    I’m late to the party, but one thing to kind of keep in mind is that anal sex isn’t a taboo or a kinky thing for, oh, let’s say one in 20 of us according to some statistics. If straight 13 year olds are having sex, you can bet the not-straight ones are as well, in fact, LGBT teens are often sexually active at a bit younger of an age according to some studies (admittedly, this can often be a dubious situation, but a startlingly not unheard of one.) But it really does rank right alongside “vaginal intercourse” on the kink-o-meter for bisexual and homosexual boys, and I wouldn’t call it any more or less appropriate than such.

    That said, the wording on this is weird as hell, but I feel like it needs a silver star for effort.

  • Psych Student

    I’m sure this won’t go over well, but I approve of the list. 13 year olds are likely very aware of sex (or at least sexual pleasure – I’m certain most 13 year old boys have figured out that masturbation is fun) and that there are many holes to fill. There are a lot of kids who believe that they can remain virgins if the are anally penetrated but not vaginally penetrated. This also address the need to mention sex that occurs between two boys/men/penis-having-people. STDs can be passed through anal sex and I’d wager a guess that any sex ed. that is described as “abstinence-based” probably isn’t going to discuss anything but vaginal intercourse and certainly won’t mention safe sex options. I would like to see more safe sex discussions in sex ed. classes as well as discussions about masturbation (especially for girls) and discussions about same-sex interactions and sex practices.

    • Psych Student

      Ok, so now it seems that this won’t go over so poorly. I apologize for underestimating all you fabulous people!