experimentation or crime?


Kids are curious about sex. Every kid you know is curious about it. You, as a child, were likely curious about it. I was very curious about it, from a very young age. I remember hearing these words – dick cunt fuck and learning what power they held. Parents would freak when you said it. Classmates would giggle. What power!And like many kids, I experimented here and there as a child. Remember playing Doctor? We were curious. It’s normal.
My experimentation didn’t come from playing Doctor; rather, it came from playing Truth or Dare with Susan, a girl in my public school class. I’d go over to her house one summer, and she’d always want to play the game. And her “dares” to me got increasingly sexual over time – starting out by “daring” me to kiss her on the lips, then kiss her with my tongue. Then touch her breasts. Then take off her panties. Over the course of the summer, she got me to “touch her between the legs” once (we’d not yet learned about the concept of “orgasm”) but when she “dared” me one hot summer afternoon to kiss her between the legs, I balked. We never played the game again, and come to think of it, I didn’t go over to her house that much anymore either.
Not the point, though. The point is we were experimenting. And as much as I would sometimes squirm over the memories as I got older, I do realize that it was perfectly normal. Embarassing, perhaps, if “the adults” had figured it out. But normal. In my opinion.
When I read this article about a 12 year old girl being convicted for sexually assaulting her playmates, it brought me right back to my memories of Susan. I didn’t always want to do what she dared me to, but darn it, it was a dare. Add to that the natural sexual curiousity in kids, and it’s understandable why I buckled under, at least until things went further than I was mentally willing or able to go. But I definitely do not consider myself to have been abused or assaulted in any way, no matter how much more aggressive Susan was, or how often she instigated it.
This, I really do think, is going too far. Am I crazy here? I just don’t see how the only recourse the “establishment” felt they had in this situation was prosecution. Sure, if what this young girl was doing was force to these other girls, then they should have been separated, no question. Perhaps even a little counselling to make sure that everything’s OK.All I could think about was how terribly screwed up this young girl is going to be about sex. Talk about sending a very definitive message about sex being a bad, wrong, dirty thing. This could have been handled with so much more finesse, and so much more consideration for all the young girls involved. These girls are at an age when the messages they receive will live with them for a long time. I’m not condoning sexual assault. I’m just wondering if twelve year olds are really at the best age to start sending criminal and prosecutorial messages. This is the time (am I not correct?) to send them messages about sex being wonderful when it is consensual, when it is wanted by both people. Richer when tinged with emotions and often times, easier to handle as an adult. Wouldn’t these messages have served the same role, but with a less devastating effect on sexual identity and self-esteem?
And finally, I was going to write a huge rant on Yahoo. They recently admitted to selling adult products through their online stores, to adults only, and then buckled under the fierce, radically “family-oriented” specialty groups and decided to do away with their adult lines altogether. But as luck would have it, Andrew Stroehlein said it all for me.
Sexual politics of the worst kind, all around. Argh. These people would all be so much better off if they went home, slicked up with some oil, and twiddled or pounded their frustrations out rather than foisting them on the rest of us.

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Vikki McKay
By Vikki McKay

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