How did most of us learn what we know about s-e-x? I took an informal survey among my fellow inmates at the loony bin and the staff who are paid to supervise us but mostly do their nails and read People magazine. Most of us acquired the majority of our knowledge on the subject from slightly older relatives or older siblings of our friends. Of course we then had to unlearn a whole lot of it, because most of what these helpful individuals shared with us was complete garbage. Fortunately we were young enough when we first learned the faux information that it didn't do any real damage.
My parents were always very open about the human body and reproduction, although I think they tried not to tell us more than what we really wanted to know. I could pretty much ask anything and be given an age-appropriate answer. Sometimes I did just that. At other times it was a whole lot more fun to hear from my cousin about how a girl could supposedly prevent pregnancy by douching with Coke before and after intercourse. If it was unplanned sex, a girl could still skew the odds in her favor by doing the post-coital Coke douche, but the girl who didn't plan ahead and limited herself to just the after-party cocktail was, in effect, playing Russian roulette with her reproductivity. What seems now ironic to me is that the cousin who told me this is a daughter of Uncle Mahonri. (She's an old married woman with kids now, and she didn't have any babies out of wedlock, so either the Coke douche worked for her or no guy ever went near her. I'd bet on the latter.) If you're a first-time reader I'll share with you that my Uncle Mahonri was arrested a month or so ago for stealing a crate of disposable douches.
Now I can't help wondering if there is some connection between Uncle Mahonri's older daughter's belief in Coke douches as effective birth control (what the Coke douches were more likely effective at was giving any girl stupid enough to try it the yeast infection from hell) and the disposable douches he stole. Maybe it was just the douche bottles he wanted and not the actual douching fluid. Perhaps Uncle Mahonri intended to empty the bottles of their original contents and then refill them with Coke so that if any of his daughters were to engage in sex, they could be proactive in limiting its consequences. On the other hand, aren't Mormons discouraged from consuming Coke, never mind the premarital intimacy angle? If they're not supposed to even drink Coke, what twist in a revelation could possibly make it acceptable to squirt the stuff into unmentionable places?
The one thing my cousin's impromptu birth control lesson did for me was to make Coke a totally repulsive beverage that went on my Donner Party* list. Why would I drink something if its real purpose was for the prevention of pregnancy via douching? My Mormon relatives thought I was finally seeing the light in at least one regard when I would turn down Coke in favor of water or milk, but the real reason was just how grossed out I was by the association.
About a year ago, in a conversation regarding just how truly demented everyone in Uncle Mahonri's immediate family is, I casually mentioned to my mother what my cousin had told me about special douches that prevent pregnancy. My mom was in her bed recovering from kidney surgery, so I guess it wasn't a very good time to have shared this information with her. She started laughing hysterically, which hurt her kidney, so she grabbed a pillow to try to cushion it. (I don't really understand how that would help, but at that point I had never had kidney surgery.) My dad heard her and thought something was terribly wrong, so he came running upstairs to their bedroom. She was laughing too hard to really talk, so she used sign language of sorts to indicate that I should tell him what I told her. I told him. (We're not all that delicate in what we talk about even between genders in my family.) My dad fell onto the bed laughing. My brother came in and wanted to know what was going on, so I told him. He didn't know what a douche was, so I told him that as well. He was like, "You girls do that with Coke?" I explained to him that no, we don't, and it was just something that our wacked cousin said. He still didn't get it and didn't think it was half as funny as the rest of us did. He probably pictured in his mind something such as my cousin shaking a can or bottle of Coke until it reached maximum explodability, and then holding it you-know-where as she opened it, and this mental image of douching will probably torture my brother for life. Maybe he'll become a Catholic priest as a result just to avoid dealing with such matters.
I apologize for not having come even close to adequately covering the topic of sex education. At some point in the near future, I will.
By the way, I still don't drink Coke. Neither does my brother anymore.
* My Donner Party list is my list of foods (or drinks) that I would not eat
(or drink) even if I were trapped in the snowy mountains near Truckee with my options being limited to the items on my Donner Party list, one of the Reed family's legs, or certain starvation. I don't know for sure which option I would choose (I tend to think it would be death by starvation) but I know absolutely that I would not opt to eat one of the items on my Donner Party list.