Don’t wait for “the talk”

The only test I ever flunked: It is freshman year of Catholic high school, and after being out sick a few days, I returned to biology to be handed, to my horror, a test asking us to label the parts of the male reproductive system.

Years would pass before such body parts were mentioned openly on TV. Some classmates in my all-girls school had enough firsthand experience, from diapering baby brothers or other extracurricular activities, to know the terms without a textbook. Not 13-year-old me. At home a force field of silence surrounded anything having to do with s-e-x. So along with the dreaded “F” churned the suspicion that I knew less about this subject than anyone in my class. Continue reading