Posted in Insight, Sexuality, Teens

Organic Sex


I hear lots of talk about boys and pornography and the “naturalness” of curiosity. I like “natural” things.  But I’m not sure that sex on the internet or in a magazine constitutes “natural.”

It’s a funny thing for a “mother” to say, but I want my son to enjoy sex. I really do.  How could I not want him to embrace the pure pleasure of love making?

But I think the use of pornography interrupts the “organic” process of his sexuality.  It installs “ideas” of sex before the “real” thing can naturally unfold–forever corrupting his experience.

Forever is a strong word. But I have proof.  I myself followed my “natural” teen curiosity to places like Penthouse and Playboy.  (Thanks to uncles and fathers and bathroom reading and piles under beds.)

I didn’t understand the attraction to photo spreads of a woman’s spread, but I did like the stories. No, not the “articles,” but the erotic letter column.   And they drove me to place “story” above “presence” when it came to my own unfolding sexuality.

It took years, 20 to be exact, before that artificial fertilizer was chelated from the garden of my lovemaking.

I can’t imagine what it takes to chelate what is available now on the Internet.  And I can only imagine how far the toxins spread–deep into the well waters of our birthright.

I give my sister credit for describing sexuality as “organic.” We were talking about teens and porn, and she said that it was important for young people to find their own way to sexual expression rather than have it defined on the outside–a cart before the horse kind of thing.

“Later, it can be used it to spice things up,” she suggested.

But I don’t agree. I think “artifical” is always “artificial.” It doesn’t stem from the clear waters of presence or love, or the witness to beauty and the creativity that swells from pure desire.

I know more than one grown man who was forced to yank himself away from the addiction of pornography.  (Wives whisper these secrets to each other.)

“Like any delight, it’s a slippery slope,” I say to my son, referring to life’s pleasures: sex, alcohol, food, drugs, money. Just a blink of an eye and what you were using for delight begins to use you.  “Everyone is tempted by what’s available on the Internet,” I tell him. “Even moms.”

I’ve been talking to my son about porn since he was eleven–when access to the Web trickled into his life.  But recently, as he approaches 15 and we rise from dial-up to DSL,  I took the conversation a step further.

I’d rather you have

real sex

with a real girl

than use pornography.

This statement was a shock to both of us–as I have long claimed (somewhat seriously) that my son couldn’t date until he’s 18.

But that’s how important the gift of his sexuality is–that I’d rather he express it prematurely, then feed it artificially  (though I still hope he waits as long as possible to insure the fullest expression of his desire.)


So join me, will you, in keeping sex organic–not just for our teen sons and daughters, but for ourselves and our spirits and the “natural” gift of making love.

(Link to my marriage blog and its sister post: Organic Love.)

Posted in Books 2 Read

Simplicity Parenting

Kelly Salasin, Fall 2009

Here’s another shout out for a welcome read for parents and educators. Author Kim John Payne knows his stuff and shares it in ways that are both humorous and illuminating. More than that, his trademark compassion shows up on every page. Simplicity Parenting has been released at just the right time–before another holiday season is upon us.

Interestingly enough, Katrina Kenison, whose book I reviewed just last week, is the lead reviewer of Simplicity Parenting.  Katrina’s book, the gift of an ordinary day, is an excellent companion to Kim’s book.

ps. If you live in New England, you’ll be pleased to know that Kim John Payne will be speaking in Southern VT on November 12, 2009 at the Marlboro Elementary School.  For more info, contact Kelly.

Posted in Holidays, Milestone Moments, School, Takes a Village, Wisdom of Youth

in Paul Skye’s Eyes

~ Halloween, 2008

Halloween Onlookers, photo: Pam Burke, all rights reserved

This morning our school hosted its annual Halloween “All School Sing.” Teachers, parents and students arrived in costume, and groups of each were invited front and center to be celebrated with song.

The Sports Figures came up for “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.” The Super Heroes included my youngest as a stellar Batman, and The Scary Ones included my niece as a truly frightening vampiress.

A masked Candidate “McCain;” photo: Pam Burke, all rights reserved

There were many more categories and songs, but this year featured a brand new group: The Politicians. It was a tiny group, but well covered, including a stupendous Sarah Palin (the Junior High teacher), a masked McCain, and a very authentic–though very young–Obama.

“Obama’s” proud mother Laura was seated beside me in the audience.  Her son Paul Skye beamed in his navy suit and well-combed hair as he approached the front of the room to cheers from the audience of children, “O-ba-ma, O-ba-ma, O-ba-ma!”

Laura leaned in to tell me what Paul Skye said to her on the day he chose his costume, “Not too many other kids at my school can be Obama.” My eyes stung with tears as I realized just how much it means to Paul Skye–to all children of color–and to each of us–that Barack Obama is our candidate for President.

Paul Skye as Candidate “Obama”; photo: Pam Burke, all rights reserved

In his shining eyes, I felt the promise of a new day.

~Kelly Salasin