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ISSUE 118 VOL 8 PUBLISHED 11/12/2004

Parents don't have sex!

By Jennifer Hancock
Staff Writer

Friday, November 12, 2004

Have you ever thought that your dad might have been into free love back in the sixties? Or that your mom burned her bra in the seventies? Its definitely a possibility, considering that most of our parents were born between the late forties and the early sixties. Many of them were probably hippies or wannabe hippies. They watched, or even participated in, the sexual revolution of the 1960s and the womens liberation movement in the 1970s. A lot of them unabashedly engaged in & gasp & premarital sex (Not that any of us really wants to think about that). So lets not talk about our parents having sex. Lets talk about whether or not our liberated parents are actually as free and open about sex as their twenty-something selves were back in the sixties or seventies.

Our parents are probably a lot more comfortable with sex than their parents. But are our parents open enough? I must admit, in my experience, my parents are definitely more open about sex than their parents were. However, that isnt exactly a difficult feat. It is unremarkable that my parents were not allowed to sleep in the same bed at my grandparents house before they were married. It is remarkable, however, that my parents still had to sleep in separate beds at my grandparents house even after they were married. Does my grandmother think my siblings and I were the result of a few miraculous immaculate conceptions? Surely not, but the knowledge that we were not conceived under her roof must have given her some form of comfort.

My parents improved vastly on my paternal grandparents in sexual openness. However, some barriers remained. For example, I had an uncle who stayed unmarried long into adulthood, but he was never without a woman when he visited our house. (And they always slept in the same bed  my bed no less). My mother always said the women were his fiancées: As if it was not quite so bad if he was premaritally shagging a woman he would eventually marry. By the time I was fifteen, this uncle had been engaged to three fiancées. When he announced his engagement to the woman he would eventually marry, I asked my mother, Do you think hell actually go through with it this time?

What do you mean? she replied.

Well, this is like the fourth time hes been engaged. Do you think hell really get married this time?

My mother cracked up and finally admitted, This is the first time hes ever been engaged.

Lies. A pack of lies told to preserve my virgin ears from my uncles premarital sex.

Now that I am adult we are a little more open. I now know my uncle was not engaged to every woman he slept with & in my bed. I also know that my parents do not believe premarital sex is morally wrong for two consenting adults. Thus, they actually allow my boyfriend and me to sleep in the same bed when we visit.

Many parents, however, are rather hypocritical about their children and sex. Even if they do not denounce premarital sex they do not allow their kids to sleep with their partners in the family home. What message does such hypocrisy send us, as sexually active adult children? Does it mean our parents are really opposed to premarital sex deep down inside? Or does some strange kind of prudishness accompany age?

I suppose we cannot criticize our parents for this little hypocrisy. We have no desire for them to be open with us about their sex lives. They probably feel the same way about us.

Maybe it is just a little too much for parents to think about their darling little girl or boy doing the nasty just down the hall. In the case of children and sex, there must be such a thing as too close for comfort.

A somewhat conservative attitude toward sex should be expected from our parents. They could not possibly retain all the things they learned in the tumultuous sixties and seventies.

I am glad our parents forgot a few things about the sixties, like free love for instance. Its just a little too sexually open for my taste. I am really, really glad I know who my biological father is.

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