“The purpose of education is to open the windows of the mind.” ~ Debasish Mridha~ American physician, philosopher, poet-seer, and author.
I have journeyed through a variety of academic institutions in my lifetime seeking knowledge and understanding of myself and the world around me. Initially, after high school, I was headed towards university but I got derailed (that’s another story) and was redirected towards college. As I had no clue what I was doing (does anyone at age 18?) it was suggested I enroll into the General Arts-Humanities program at Algonquin. Classes included English, Psychology, History, Film Studies but it was my Human Sexuality class that blew my mind open to a world beyond the centre of the Universe known as Me.
When I was in high school there was a very small component of sex education woven into gym class (grade 9) and into religion class (grade 12). I need to share that I attended a catholic school so very basic information about the body and making babies. I need to also mention that even in medical school sex education is also slim to none. Walking into that college classroom made me realize that I knew nothing and even though I believed that I grew up in an open-minded middle-class family I was really sheltered. Learning about human sexuality is more than just penis meet vagina and don’t become an unwed mother. There are many fascinating layers, as many as there are people on the planet.
My college teacher was a woman who was passionate about teaching real-life human sexuality. So passionate that she worked with film study students to record the birth of her children, she had twins, on film to share the miracle and wonder of life in her classroom with each of her students. At first it was a little awkward watching this reel-to-reel movie of a woman giving birth, specifically watching your teacher who is sitting a few desks over watching this film with you, but seeing it all, including her vagina, right there on the screen.
We also watched a film about masturbation. No it was not her masturbating, I guess there a line when it comes to show and share for teachable moments, but it also was not a porn movie. The film showed a woman masturbating and then we watched a man masturbating. The woman was interesting but it was the man that really kept me mesmerized. I had never watched a man masturbate. I need to add that day I was very high when I walked into class, my usual habit but this day I was, and maybe this added to the feeling of rapture but this film really opened my mind about humanity.
I watched transfixed by this man who was self-pleasuring himself, enjoying every stroke, and I was feeling every pulse with him. But it was when he erupted that I realized that there was so much I didn’t know about being human. I was watching this educational film about masturbation and I had never considered that a black man would ejaculate white sperm. I was, I guess you can say, surprised. At that moment I realized that I was not only sheltered but even narrow minded. To ad lib William Shakespeare’s words from the Merchant of Venice: “If you prick us, do we not bleed? if you tickle us, do we not laugh?…” If you watch us masturbate, do we not ejaculate white sperm like every other man on Earth?
I love how Ducklings value people and education; this is what attracts me to this fine group of like-minded folks. We talk about the very thing that no one wants to talk about SEX. Sure it’s awkward at first but, like that class in college, I quickly came to the realization that we are all human, we all have curiosities, we want to explore what make us human, we want to share all of our real-life experiences, and this is how we connect. This group, to me, is part of my education in the school of life. This class at times surprises me, but I love how it opens the windows to my mind and soul.