Okay. So the 11:00 pm news is on and I perk up when I hear news about sexting by teen girls recently uncovered in a suburban county in Maryland. No surprise of course, but newsworthy and in my backyard. Then, a normally articulate, police department spokesperson attempts to describe these texts. Uh oh. What’s a nice guy to say on national TV? Well, these images are troubling. In fact, these girls were sending very explicit pictures, he explains. Including pictures of “their nether regions, if you will.” Seriously? Their nether regions? Holland maybe?
I work for the American Social Health Association which has been around since 1914. I’m willing to hazard a guess that the last time nether regions was widely used to describe our gear “down there” was in the first half of that century. Is our national discomfort with sexuality so rampant that articulate, media trained county employees can’t comfortably describe our “private parts”?
In the same week I heard Jay Leno actually say the words: this is STD Awareness month. Before I can applaud he follows it up with a silly joke about a former presidential candidate who won’t be participating, because he gave at the office. Huh? Jay gets paid to be funny, but must all things sexual be one big guffaw?
We’re in big trouble. We need to find our way out of this labyrinth of anxiety about human sexuality. We’re borrowing language from our great grand parents to describe images powered by new technology. We’re laughing at the same jokes on late night television that we made in the sixth grade.
It’s time to acknowledge human sexuality as a basic part of the human experience. Let’s face it. We humans have a long history of…well, doing stuff with our “thingies.” You know what I mean.