Today I taught at a girls' school - a group of Year 8s - and it was fantastic. They were great, I was great. Sorry, can't help the hubris but you gotta own it, don't you? When I finish a session that's gone well (I'd say 99% of them) it's like I imagine a stand-up comedian coming off stage after nailing a show. The high is immense; the feel-good of having done good work, connected with the audience, gotten the laughs where you wanted to, had them thinking where you wanted them to.
At Year 8 we teeter on the edge of explicit stuff, keeping it just this side of confronting. We keep it to the theoretical in a way, and try to deal with what they are facing, realistically, in their lives now and within about 6 months or so. Some will be starting to be sexually active, most won't. Some will have partners they kiss and cuddle with, some won't. For me, today the session was more about 'what's it like growing up to be a woman?' and what are some of the things we have to think about. It's good to get their opinions and responses, invite them to think about what some of the choices they might have, and might have to make. Body hair is a simple one. How do they feel about shaving and waxing? At that age, it's not quite about vulvae yet, it's about legs and armpits. It's not about us standing up and telling them what's what either.
One question that I ALWAYS ask groups when oral sex comes up with (or we bring it up): Is oral sex 'real sex'?
And no one ever puts up their hand to agree.
They don't count it as real sex, which it isn't if you think real sex is only intercourse. But then, I ask them, how do gay or lesbian couples have real sex? If you only count it as penis in vagina sex, then how do other people lose their virginity? If they don't have a life-time of penis > vagina sex.
Interesting questions, all of them.
And in other news, there is no other news. Let's call it publisher three has asked for an extra week. Publisher one (the one who LOVED it and is now in turmoil with the 'internal stuff') my agent hasn't reported anything from, other than that she was trying to find out if there was still any hope for my book. She doesn't hold much hope herself, she said, but there's still a chance, I guess, we haven't had a no. Publisher two is one from the original group who passed and apparently has been asking again. So that's it. No YES, one sniffing, one asking for more time (do not know if this is a good sign or a bad sign)
and one silent.
I am as understanding and at ease as Naomi Watts in Club Silencio in Mulholland Drive. The good thing is: wine, fish & chips tonight, plenty of writing time over the weekend and into next week AND then next week also, me and old chicken-foot Clokesy head off to Hong Kong for five days. Nice.
And GO CATS. Geelong and Collingwood play tomorrow night. 3/5 of our household is COLL; 2/5 are pro-Geelong people. Interesting.