When Sir Noel Coward was asked by a five year old girl what two mating dogs were doing, he replied:
“The doggie in front has suddenly gone blind, and the other one has very kindly offered to push him all the way to St Dunstan’s”.
An eleven-year-old friend took it upon herself some time back to enlighten my then-ten-year-old daughter about sex. Not in a facts-of-life way; but in a pornographic film’s scriptwriter’s way, with drawings to pale the illustrations in the Kama Sutra. She also explained oral sex and masturbation.
I had prepared to, when the time came, deal with this side of my child’s education in the wonderful manner that my mother had when I was a child; with some books (I’d bought Robie Harris’s books; “It’s So Amazing! A Book About Eggs, Sperm, Birth, Babies and Families” and “It’s Perfectly Normal: A Book About Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex and Sexual Health”) and to explain to her the importance of love and respect in the equation. I wanted to give her the warning advice of Philip van Munching:
“Boys will put you on a pedestal (so they can look up your skirt”).
What I didn’t want, was the whole business lumped in an ugly pile and flung at her like a slap in the face; forever tainting lovely bedtime stories of horny toads and princesses with another interpretation of the word horny.
We both felt a little cheated.
Perhaps I am terribly old-fashioned, but I just wanted to wait a while; to let her be an innocent little girl for a little longer. I’d love to have been able to stay in the Noel Coward School Of White Lies for another year or so…
A babe in the house is a well-spring of pleasure, a messenger of peace and love, a resting place for innocence on earth, a link between angels and men.
Martin Farquhar Tupper
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