Monday, January 15, 2007

Rock hard, pulsating, heaving, damp, tender, thobbing.

Yesterday i took Em to Borders Book Store to use her “holiday dollars.” She bought 7 romance novels with her money. I was a bit taken aback, although now that i think about it why wouldn’t she? I know she is intensely curious about sex.

But i am still a bit chagrined.

Happy because she isn’t hiding it.
Worried that she will think real love and sex is as depicted in these books. (I mean, it is for me*, but i know others are not as fortunate.)
Happy that she is reading these instead of experimenting personally.
Worried because most of them are utter crap.
Happy because i can borrow them when she’s done. :)
Worried in case i’ll get embarrassed.

16 seems so young, but i am projecting who i was at her age.

My friends and i read Harlequin Romances when we were in high school. But they were pretty tame back then. One of the rules was that the couple had to be married before doing it, no matter how absurd the plot device that getting them married required. Another rule was the heavy use of the fade-to-black technique whenever anything interesting was about to happen.

My first real romance novel was The Wolf and the Dove. It was given to me by the Mister’s mother. I loved it. I was shocked, and titillated by it. I think i read it several times to make sure that i hadn’t missed any vital plot points.

16 year olds get horny, remember? Don’t be such a prude mom! (I'll have to tell you the story about how i bought her a vibrator.)

Sigh, she was so cute and uncomplicated when she was a baby.

*bollocks

36 comments:

Egan said...

They grow up right in front of your eyes... or so I hear.

I can't wait for the vibrator purchase post.

Sanjay said...

They grow up fast indeed. I am sure there will be interesting posts to come about this. :)

urban-urchin said...

fingers in ears "la la la". I can't even think about my seven year old and romance novels!

I think it's kinda funny though that Em the cool teenager would be into them- they're so hokey.

My first 'romance' novel was "Forever" by Judy Blume. It was banned at my Catholic Elementary School which made it all the more titilating.

Cagey said...

I'd rather my kid read romance novels than Sidney Sheldon or Judith Krantz (like I did).

The nice thing about Forever is that at least it was realistic! It definitely showed the pitfalls of teenage sex.

P.S. You should keep track of all the Google Juice you will get from the post title alone!

Cagey said...

And yes, I sniggered when I typed "juice". hee hee

Mignon said...

My grandma (a librarian) gave me Judy Blume books when I was 10 or 11. By the time 16 rolled around I had not outgrown bad romance, I was just really good at finding the juicy parts.

I agree that they're bad models of real love/real sex, but that stuff's not going to interest a teenager anyway. I'm sitting here imagining reading a book about my own sex life (it'd probably be more like a short-short story - a pamphlet, even) and I'm getting decidedly NOT turned on.

AC said...

My first *romantic* novel was Forever Amber. Veeerrryy interesting, but on the public library shelves in the late 60's so tame, I'm sure by today's standards.

Nancy Dancehall said...

lol...one more reason why I'm glad I had boys...wait...Playboy...how do I explain the falseness (falsies?) in THOSE?

I don't know. I haven't read a romance since I was sixteen. What's in them _now_?

And you gotta spill the vibrator story.

Princess in Galoshes said...

There's something in the air. I felt the need to get dirty with my post, today, too, even though there was no reason for it.

I think you're an awesome, mom, though. Just think, you're daughter is going to be so much more rested and have such great posture, not having to have hidden (havinghavehadwhat?) those books under her mattress to keep you from finding them.

Mama P said...

What I want to know is, are Em's books about girls or guys? Wasn't she into coming out as a statement, even though you thought it was a phase? (and all you readers, don't say it's none of my biz, because Meno posted that info!)

jen said...

i swear to god, i want to be a mom like you when I grow up. I really mean that, Meno.

I mean, seriously...I would have hid ALL OF THAT from my mom. All of it, because I never trusted her reaction.

She is a lucky girl.

meno said...

egan, you need to have a few, and then you'll know.....

sanjay, it's a new world every day, i swear.

u-u, they are hokey, and she knows that. But she is still interested. Oh, you read banned books! you are awesome!

cagey, judith krantz is really pretty bad. I never thought about the google hits. The cheesy counter i have doesn't do backtracking. I've never bothered to get another one because i no longer care about "hits." Juice, snicker.

mignon, oh remember the controversy over her? She dared to write about masterbation. I tried to write a sex scene once. i got too embarrassed to finish it.

ac, i never read that one, but i remember the title. They are racier nowadays.

nancy, you think you're immune because you have boys? Just you wait missy. You better get one to read!

princess, hell, she wants to share them with me. So who has the problem here? I think it's me.

mamap, they are standard man-woman stuff. And they were recommended by her girlfriend. She thinks she's bi. But i maintain that she doesn't really know yet. We shall see.

jen, you are a mom like you, and that's even better. you will handle all this with aplomb with your teenaged M, i am sure. It's just life and sex and feelings. I never did tell my mom anything either.

D_Man said...

Ack. I think I just got a snapshot of the future.

mrschili said...

Heh. MY girls (seven and nine) are still in the "sex is icky" phase. I'm not kidding myself into thinking that THAT will last long, though.

I should probably post my Viagra story. It's pretty flipping funny.

Lighten up, Mom. I'm echoing the sentiments here of people who are thrilled that she's not hiding them from you.

My biggest concern really? Not the sex, but the unrealistic portrayal of romance. How many relationships fail because women expect their men to behave like all the Trevors and Tristans they've read in romance novels? I have one of the happiest marriages I know of, and MY husband doesn't behave like that! I'd approach the trashy romance the same way I approach Barbie dolls: "You KNOW that no one looks like that in real life, right?"

And I can't wait for the vibrator story...

Antonia said...

Don't worry. My dear friend Caroline used to read these books as a teenager. Caroline is terribly bright, sensible and successful and married to one of the most charming men I've ever met, so the romance novels never did her any harm.

How strange it must be to watch your baby growing into an adult. I'm so impressed whenever you write about Em by how much of her life she shares with you.

QT said...

I remember my friends and I used to pass around the Silhouette Romances at that age. I got over it after a few months. But I DID have to hide them from my mom.

It is so cool that you share this stuff with Em. She is a lucky girl.

Mother of Invention said...

Ah yes, if only things were as easy as when they were babies...and if only romance was exactly how it is depicted in those books! ("She threw all caution to the wind and let her *** soar...!")

sari said...

My son watched Sandlot II the other night and said "It was good except for that part where they kissed."

Whew! Safe for another day. :-)

Lucia said...

I never read romances. I read Janis Joplin's bio instead. Plenty of sex in there.

I'm sure your blog post title attracted all sorts of interesting traffic from the blog search.

Bob said...

my mother kept a closet full of romance novels (and still does, I think.) When I was a teenager I used to sneak through them occasionally looking for the juicy bits. The first I remember reading was Shanna by Kathleen Woodiwiss. I also remember "All You Wanted to Know About Sex* *but were afraid to ask".

Lisa said...

I can't wait for the vibrator story.

I need all the info & advice I can get, especially from such an awesome parent as you are. My girls are still under 6 y.o. so all this isn't close enough to freak me out yet.

Yet.

SparklieSunShine said...

I have to be honest. When I was 11 I was reading romance novels and cosmo. Granted they were my sister's who was 10 years older than me, but I still read them a lot.

So I think 16 is not bad at all. :o) Must have been a bit of a shock though.

meno said...

D-man, ha ha! Just you wait. I attended a planned parenthood sex ed thingie with Em when she was 11. They told the girls that a good indicator of when they would get to puberty was the age their parents had done so. We had driven with another girl and i heard Em in the back saying "i'm going to ask daddy when he had his first wet dream." Be prepared!

mrs.chili, oddly enough, Em is still partly in that mode too. Sex is both icky and fascinating. We have talked about the fantasy of sex in these books. She says she understands, but...

antonia, not really worried, i mean we all snuck around and read our parent's porn or whatever they had. It is a strange thing to see her really becoming an adult. It's both gratifying and sad. This is one of the few human realtionships where the goal is to become less close over time, at least for a while.

qt, ooooh, Silhouette romances were the racy ones! Those weren't around when i was in HS. Darn!

MOI, i think you should write a romance after that bit. I hear it can be quite lucrative. :)

sari, stay tuned! Things will change.

lucia, you are so progressive. Plenty of sex, without that pesky romance.

bob, some people read them as a life long passion. I read EYWTKAS* too. It was full of misinformation.

lisa, sometimes it's a challenge to figure out what to do. I worry that i'm not restricting her life enough. But she's a bright girl and will just have to figure this stuff out for herself.

ss, older sisters can be a great source of information. i wish i'd had one!

Sanjay said...

I don't know what's up with the comment thing. One place says 2 comments and one says 7.


Meno. I set up the Haloscan comments cos Diana had some trouble commenting during the whole beta blogger thingie. I left it in there, maybe I should take them out?

Use either one, I read both of them, most folks use the link to the right which is blogger comments.

Mona Buonanotte said...

First I have to get Girl-child through tampons and spotty sheets...THEN you can tell me how to buy her a vibrator!

Dick said...

I do think I had fewer worries since I raised two boys, but they both now have daughters. Ages 6 and 9 so there is probably some time before they have to worry much about this but it is sure interesting to see how their attitude toward girls has changed from when they were teenagers dating to now when they are thinking about their future teenage daughters dating.

Julie said...

So are the romances still color-coded? I remember my grandma had a box of them - the pastel ones were tame, the red ones were juicier and the black ones were totally off limits (but you can guess which ones we read first).

Thailand Gal said...

Very interesting. LOL .. It is interesting how young people learn about sex these days. Those novels will certain ly set them up for unmet expectations! :)


Peace,

~chani

patches said...

Hmmm. So young men learn all they want to know from picture books and young women learn from racy novels....but both prefer fiction for their sexual educations....interesting.

Looking forward to the vibrator story. But I really must ask, was she considerate enough to send you a hand written thank you note....or did she just shout into the phone in broken cadence?

Egan said...

A few? Why stop there? I want an entire baseball team.

Maggie said...

I dont remember reading romance novels. I snuck Lady Chatterly's Lover out of my brother's bedroom to read though. I don't think my parents even knew he had it. That was quite juicy and titillating.

As for the parenting, I'm hoping that frankness and willingness to talk will be a key. It seems to be working. I've used a lot of the things I learned here. :-)

meno said...

sanjay, oh, that makes sense. Blogger has been giving me a world of trouble lately so i though it might be me.

mona, Actually these two things might happen in rapid succession. Cheers!

dick, amazing what a change of perspective can bring!

julie, i never knew they were color-coded. I'm a headin' straight for the black.

chani, that is one concern, but she seems to be having lots of fun with these books. She'a already read 3 of them. Of course the 4th snow day in a row with a long weekend thrown in makes for lots of reading time.

patches, fiction is much less messy than the real thing. And safer too. I'll tell the vibrator story in a few days, don't worry.

egan, well get your butt on home and get a workin' on it buddy! I want to see results within 2 months!!!

maggie, oh, Lady Chatterly's Lover. Sigh. I may have read that a few times myself.

Bobealia... said...

I hate sappy romances, and love raunchy books when people have sex or want to like all the time. One time I bought a really fetish/erotic book that made all the raunchy ones look tame. The worst part was, I liked it. It made me blush, but I liked it. I blushed a little when my mom read one of my skanky books.

Egan said...

Forced procreation never felt so good.

Tink said...

I was 14 when I stole my Mom's "SEX" book. She found it underneath my bean bag chain while moving my bedroom around.

Yeah...

That was an awkward day.

shara said...

The Wolf & the Dove! Aislinn! Wulfgar! Oh I loved that book. My first, too.