last night, in the course of one of our typically rambling conversations, meggie and i wandered back to the fundamental subjects of our friendship: weddings, birth control and lubricant.
and in the midst of this meggie recalled that when we were 16, there was a rash of articles in seventeen magazine. a rash of articles about girls getting pregnant through their underwear.
i think maybe i'd blocked this out. because i remember- as a 16 year old girl who wasn't having sex but always wore underwear- how very fucking scary this was.
as i remember it, these stories were always the same. a good girl who french kissed. or stayed out too late. or dated a bad boy. or made a B- in history. or didn't wash her gym shorts. and then oops!
there were no details of sex, so in my naive, overly creative, 16 year old mind, there never was sex. there were just random, pantily conceived babies.
and this, of course, threw all my sex education- which was already a little shakey- into question. as though the notion that chickens climbed into the beds of married couples and shoved eggs up the wife's vagina wasn't a traumatic enough beginning, then came this revelation that the sacred underwear shield was so easily permeated.
mind you, i was 16. i'd been introduced to my reproductive organs in a health class where they were illustrated in pancake batter on a griddle. monica hadn't gone down on bill. i hadn't read the star report. and partner and i hadn't yet begged definitions of oral sex, g-spots and orgasms from her mother at the christ presbyterian academy fall fundraiser concert and endured the horror of hearing the words sometimes when a wife loves her husband she puts him in her mouth uttered by mrs. house as michael w. smith crooned in the background.
so in my little innocent world back then, because of these damn articles, there was a sudden fear that anything- hand-holding, kissing, shopping, baseball, oh my!- could meet with equally reproductive results. as though babies could be picked up like the common cold.
i'm somewhat better educated these days. and i get what these articles were trying to do. clearly seventeen was playing the abstinence card in a big, big way. but now i can't help but wonder: 1) what the hell were those editors thinking publishing shit like that? and 2) how many sex lives did they destroy?