Circa 2005. As a gawky 14-year-old whose ultimate dream was a face with fewer breakouts, there wasn’t much I’d look forward to in the most awkward years of my life.
Teenage is a strange time. You’re at your unattractive worst and horniest best. I was no exception.
Even the slightest reference to the magic letters — S. E. X. — would send our hormones into awakening max. So it was only natural that a legit academic chapter about it was straight up hormonal renaissance.
Reproduction may have been a mere chapter in the 8th standard textbook for the uninitiated. But for us puberty-stricken adolescents, it was downright erotica!
Vagina, penis, testicle, sexual, gah! The words just hit all the right SEO notes in our easily-corruptible teenage brains.
Right from when we bought our shiny new textbooks to finally when our seniors sent wink after another, this mystifying new experience was built up like it was going to change our lives forever.
And it did. Except in ways we certainly didn't prepare ourselves for.
Thanks to a certain bio teacher, Mrs. I’m-Not-An-Idiot-To-Name-Her, sex was ruined for me for a major part of my adult life.
Little did our juvenile brains know that from the word go, the combination of reproduction chapter and sanskaari bio teacher was doomed to fail.
The day had finally arrived. Full attendance of pre-pubescents holding in their giggles. And in comes Mrs. Lousy-Bio-Teacher.
We waited for what's to come with bated breath. And in came my first female equivalent of a boner-killer — plant sex!
I always thought my sexual awakening would be through some magnificent Di'Caprio-esque male form. Instead, it happened through the realisation that all my active allergies during pollen season are the result of plants having some twisted form of sexy time.
We still persevered in anticipation of what is to come — Reproduction: Part 2. And there came day 2 of full attendance. Poor us!
In came Mrs. Who-Gave-You-A-Degree. And she said those fateful words, “now we come to sek-soo-al reproduction in humans.” Immediately followed by “no giggling, please,” which triggered the most intense bout of suppressed laughter we could’ve handled.
And without saying much, Mrs. What-Did-We-Do-Wrong-To-Have-You-As-A-Teacher sowed the seeds of sexual stigma pushing our sex positivity by years.
I was in a girls’ school where we could’ve freely discussed something as important without the teacher making the room uncomfortable. But we had no such luck.
I wish we grew up in a time where Google taught us how to pronounce. Because the next few minutes were us learning things it would take us years to unlearn.
Lesson 1: The Vageena.
A monster with skinny arms stared me in the face challenging me. And squeamish as hell Mrs. How-Do-You-Even-Have-Kids explained that this was the female reproductive system — the yoo-tee-russ at the end of which was the “vageena”.
She then went on to succinctly explain, “Within the vageena lies the hymen (she miraculously pronounced that correctly), which breaks after sek-soo-al intercourse for easier passage of the resultant offspring.” The horror!
She then brushed past what each lady part did faster than a Busta Rhymes rap song. Thanks to Mrs. How-Are-You-Qualified-For-This, only years later, my 22 year-old-self had a revelation that my pee-hole (urethra) and sex-hole (vulva) were two different parts. And it was brand new information.
Unfortunately, this phenomenal revelation took place during a steamy session of sexy-time when what I thought was a tiny orgasm turned out to be a few millilitres of pee. An immediate Google search and an embarrassing cleanup session later I was finally enlightened about the complicated world of the female reproductive organ.
Thanks, but no thanks, Mrs. You-Made-My-School-Life-A-Joke.
To my good fortune, my then partner, Mr. Porn-Enthusiast found this strangely turning on assuming it was a squirt.
Internet - 1; Mrs. WTF-Did-You-Even-Teach-Me - 0
Lesson 2: The Pannis
It was now time to move on to the next misleading diagram — the male reproductive organ. Or as Mrs. Bio-Nahi-Toh-English-Hi-Seekh-Leti calls it, the Pannis.
A caricature of the eye of Sauron did what no other could. Collectively got us to stop giggling and made us curious and amused.
Mrs. Can-You-Just-Explain-How-This-Works rapped for the second time about what goes where. She then summed up what should’ve taken at least 5 in-depth classes by saying, “In sek-soo-al reproduction, the sperm from the male fertilises the egg from the female, which results in a foetus.” End of chapter.
For the next few years, I went through life not knowing about testicles, erection, and ejaculation until I was at my porn-watching prime.
Even at around 18, every time I’d watch porn, I would consider those gigantic missiles between their legs as the default and marvel at how well they concealed it in their daily lives.
It took a literal boy and an active sex life for me to realise how a penis worked.
To be honest, I was relieved to know there’s a painless mechanism to keep it in your pants.
Erotic literature, porn, and several enlightening sessions of literal sex later I finally knew what goes where and how it was done. I was gradually rid of my crippling fear of penises and the idea that all sex leads to babies.
I wish there was a way of telling Mrs. Porn-Taught-Me-More-Than-You that she was responsible for ruining the sex lives of an entire generation. In a way, Mrs. I-Hope-She-Retired did ensure zero teenage pregnancy. But she inadvertently contributed to the sexual unawareness our entire overpopulated country suffers from.