Sex education is perhaps one of the most horrifying and traumatic classes that a child is exposed to in their early educational career. My parents didn’t talk to me about sex at all so everything I learned was gleaned from television and the odd nudie magazine procured from a friend’s father’s stash. One has to remember that we didn’t have the internet back in the days of rotary phones, so a curious lad of ten had an extremely limited resources to expand his knowledge of the physical attributes and copulatory activities associated with sex. I suppose I could have always asked my parents about the arts erotic, but that’s just gross and brings images to mind that have taken years of therapy to suppress.
For those reasons, I was actually looking forward to sex-ed class. Finally I would find out what all the fuss was about. Finally I would find out what goes where and with whom. Finally I would imagine my stuttering sixty-year-old teacher dutifully laying pipe to his equally geriatric wife. One phrase kept repeating itself in my tiny, innocent brainspace “set the parking brake on the walker, Mary! I’m going in from behind!” I don’t know why this particular parlance wedged itself so firmly upon my psyche except that I’d probably call myself a disturbed child. Nothing has particularly changed since.
I have to give the guy a little credit though. It can’t be easy teaching sex-ed to a bunch of giggly and terrified ten year olds. It’s as awkward as that time you had to explain to your parents who caught you and your cousin naked under the covers that “you were just cold.” You’re restrained by the accepted school curriculum and limited to your own knowledge. The question box was my favourite part of his lectures. As he stood in front of the class with a face as red as a baboon’s ass, he would dutifully read questions that only a pre-pubescent mind could dream up and answer them in such an embarrassed and inept manner that one had to wonder if he had actually experienced the magic of a vagina. Dan Savage he was not.
Watching those educational videos was also an experience of sublime horror. I recall looking around the classroom at the visages of confusion, disgust and terror upon my classmates and could only assume that I shared the same. Animated scenes of intercourse made it look like the female anatomy wanted to chow down on my boy bits and I’m sure that the thought of being stabbed to death by a three foot projected phallus wasn’t too comforting for the girls either. That is why when I stumbled upon this short film while perusing Topless Robot that I found it particularly apt. Directed by Craig Macneill and written by Clay McLeod Chapman, it’s brilliant take on sex-ed as inspired by the tales of H.P. Lovecraft. It’s a bit long but well worth it.