I’m a dad. I have sons. I never had a girl and reading blogs today I feel relieved about that even though I always wished for a daughter.
Drugs were close around when I was growing up as a teenager. Some, most, of my closest friends were heavily involved but I never had the courage to let go, feared losing control to an addiction that would rule and ruin my life. That’s how I saw drugs, though not alcohol or tobacco both of which I enthusiastically consumed at every opportunity.
Sex was around too in the usual messing around, experimental, hesitant way in early teens. By my late teens I had a regular girlfriend and sex life.
I say all this to put into a context me being led by a Guardian website articlehttp://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/oct/07/cat-marnell-drugs-addict-destructive into reading blogs today about drugtaking http://www.vice.com/read/amphetamine-logic-the-cockroach-and-the-cokehead and sex http://www.vice.com/read/amphetamine-logic-coke-sex-for-teen-sluts written from personal experience by Cat Marnell.
Cat Marnell has generated some noteriety and a lot of followers for her frank and vivid descriptions of life as she sees it. Vivid is a strange word to use for someone who desctribes herself as being flatlined by stimulants but her writing is both vibrant and humourus. This is important because it makes it more lokely it will be widely read and discussed. The key audience is young people to whom she seems to speak directly. Her message is equally important, though painful for parents.
The main lesson from the writing on drugs is that her addiction to stimulents started when her father put her on Ritalin to improve her grades. This parentally inspired chemical dependence is far from uncommon she suggests. The way a drug numbed mind dictates an unsatisfying sexual trajectory is the bit that made me glad I don’t have a daughter and made me determined for my sons to absorb this insight as soon as they are old enough. Can better grades ever be worth this?
The internet led me from problem to an unlikely source of good advive for teens and young twenties on sex. Karley Scortino presents a vlog, Slutever billed as the sex ed you never got in high school. It delivers clear information for young women (which makes it essential viewing for young men) on everything from when to lose your virginity http://www.vice.com/slutever/v-cards to female orgasm http://www.vice.com/slutever/orgasms-where-r-they and more.
Karley’s vlogs are grounded in providing the information to empower young people in an age where pornography is the main sounre of socialisation in sex and sexuality. This was a theme addressed in thre unlikely setting of a TED talkhttp://blog.ted.com/2009/12/02/cindy_gallop_ma/ by Cindy Gallop in 2009.
I’m sure that inside my kids and I generally have the same desires and urges, fears and hesitations but out there the world they are growing up in is very different from the one I experienced. Faster, more demanding, less forgiving as well as exciting, information and opportunity rich. The antidote to the numbing dangers of porn and drugs comes from the same source, both river of life and sewer, the internet. Drink from it with care and understanding but without fear.