I’m honoured to have the wonderful and talented Cordelia’s Mom guest post for me today! Thanks, CM!
Shades of Gray
… and gray window blinds.
You know, you folks have dirty minds. Unless, of course, you immediately thought of windows when you saw the title of this post.
Personally, I’ve never understood the preoccupation with sex. Sure it’s fun, especially with a partner who knows what he or she is doing. But let’s face it – sex has been around for a very long time, and basically it consists of the same basic action: one person’s body part interacting with the body part of another person.
Each generation has become a little more sophisticated in its knowledge of sex. I grew up in the 1950’s/1960’s, when television sitcoms couldn’t even show a married couple in the same bed. I turned 18 in 1970 – just at the time that David R. Reuben, M.D. published his book, “Everything You Want to Know About Sex But Were Afraid to Ask.”
Believe me, that book was as much of a blockbuster as the current Shades of Grey – maybe even more so, because “Everything …” was not fiction.
At 18, I was still a virgin – in fact, I had never even had a date (remember – this was back when women were still supposed to remain pure until marriage). Wanting to enlighten myself, I managed to get a copy of “Everything …” and snuck it into my mother’s house, where I would read it in the privacy of my own room late at night.
Imagine my chagrin one day, when my mother asked me if I was reading that book. It was bad enough admitting to possessing that book, but imagine my absolute horror when my mother proceeded to ask me questions about it.
I mean, really? My mother had been married for many years and had four kids! At some point, she and my dad must have figured out how to do it.
But it wasn’t marital sex she was confused about. I’ll never forget our conversation wherein she said, “I can understand how homosexuals do it,” [hand gestures of pointer finger of one hand poking into the circle formed by the thumb and pointer finger of the other hand] “but how do lesbians do it?” [hand gestures of two palms flat against each other]. “I mean, girls don’t have that part.” (Had she said penis, I really would have died. I knew my brothers had them – I had even diapered my baby brother – but I sure didn’t want my mother talking about them!)
I was way too embarrassed to explain about same-sex relationships (and I only knew from things I had read), so finally I just handed over the book. I don’t know if my mother became enlightened as to those issues, but she never asked me any sex questions after that (thank God in Heaven).
These days, there is no mystery surrounding sex. It finds it way not only into books, but into sitcoms, movies and advertising. I’m not sure that’s better than it was in my mother’s day.
My mother’s generation watched Jimmy Stewart trying to catch the moon for his girl, and Clark Gable carrying Scarlett up the staircase. The current generation has Shades of Grey – is that really better? I don’t think so. Although people are flocking to the movie, Shades of Grey, for the perceived sensationalism, I still think most of us would prefer a good, old-fashioned romance – even one that ends with those famous words, “Frankly, Scarlett, I don’t give a damn.”
Which, by the way, was considered pretty risqué at the time. We’ve come a long way, haven’t we? I’ll leave it to you to decide whether it’s been an improvement.
You’re welcome CM!
A note for my readers: please click on over to Cordelia’s Mom’s site and read my guest post too!