My daughter Lena is sixteen and mesmerized by the topic of sex. She is relentless in her passionate pursuit for information and understanding. During after-school hours, while so many other kids are kicking around soccer balls, she is working to broaden her knowledge base about all matters sexual. While other kids chat, to the accompaniment of parental approval, about candidates in the upcoming presidential election, Lena finds associates that like to discuss what sexual aid products have turned up in the “family planning” aisle of the CVS—and, perhaps more valuable from an adult perspective, why that aisle is even called that.
Naturally, girls her age are curious about sensuality and sexual exploration. But Lena is unlike the vaster percentiles of those girls, who possess constellations of mostly wholesome and unquestionably admirable interests. Those interests place them toward the center of the particular bell curve we are talking about here. Lena falls on the outer, rightmost fringe of that bell curve of respectable interests.
In spite of the lack of respectability in the mind of the broader culture of her particular interests, Lena is no less civic minded than any girl: she is already working to turn her native enthusiasm for the topics of sensuality and sex into a career of helping people become more “sex-positive” –a term and a notion that hadn’t been on my radar until, to my surprise, she put it there. This web journal chronicles one mother’s journey in raising a fringe child whose mostly healthy interests shouldn’t leave her feeling marginalized. Here’s to a more sex-positive world.