Firstly, I would like to draw your attention back to Adrian’s blog. Not just because I love it, but also because I am itching to do something similar with The Virginity Project. Can you imagine a better way to get to the heart of a country than by travelling its length and breadth and asking its inhabitants to tell you about an experience that transcends age, era and cultural background? It doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from, the one thing that I can guarantee is that every single person you ever encounter has an interesting story to tell you about virginity loss. Even the ones who say ‘Oh my story’s not that interesting’. In fact, especially the ones who tell you their story isn't that interesting. They are usually the ones with the tales that'll make you blush.
Needless to say, The Virginity Project lies in bed every night, clutching a map of America to its breast and dreaming of fulfilling its deepest desire to interview the great and the good, (and possibly even the bad) of America. I have one taker already. The fabulous Susie Bright has invited me to step off the train at San Jose and interview her about her own experience, so who knows, my dream may yet come true.
Speaking of culture - and Adrian - who is cycling across America and playing Scrabble with the people that he meets, I keep meaning to write and tell him about the gaff he keeps making. He refers to his Scrabble playing meetings as ‘hooking up’. Adrian, hooking up doesn’t mean quite the same thing in America and unless you want to add a much more interesting (and, in my opinion, challenging) element to the games of Scrabble that you are playing, you might want to rethink your terminology.
Secondly, I heart this story. At times, being British can feel like a fag (there's another word that’s always worth misunderstanding). Until you read stuff like this that is. It’s a story about boy scouts being taught sex education as part of the scouting curricular. I love the fact that certain factions of the ‘establishment’ are open minded enough to say what they really think and get with the program. Because the fact is that boys of this age are thinking about having sex. They might not actually be doing it but you can bet your bottom dollar that they are at least planning to try at the earliest opportunity. The least we can do is to help them ‘be prepared’. Sorry, crappy joke that had to be made.
Predictably, The Telegraph chose to quote the director of the Christian Voice campaign group in response to this story.
"They should be encouraging young people in their care to have respect for girls and live a life of chastity and fidelity," said Stephen Green, national director of the Christian Voice campaign group.
Once again, I am staggered at how much people feel the need to disable young people by not telling them the facts about sex. And just to give you an idea of what a boy scout is capable of if he really puts his mind to it, I posted the following conversation on this very blog last year:
'It went something like this….
Creative guy: Are you here next week?
Creative guy: What are you doing?
Me: My own work.
Creative guy: What’s that then?
I explain what I do with the rest of my life.
Him: Uh, really? God, you should hear the story about how my kid brother got rid of his virginity…
Me: Oh yes, how’s that then?
Creative guy: He went on a scout trip to Holland and lost his virginity to a prostitute.
Me: Excuse me?
Creative guy: Yes, he was thirteen and he lost his virginity to a prostitute on a scout camp trip……..’
I rest my case. The fact of the matter is that young people will have sex whether we tell them to or not so we may as well arm them with as much information – and contraception – as possible. Like we ever listened to a word our parents ever said when they told us not to do stuff? And like it’s really any different now? I don’t think so.