Sex Preachin’


bizarro 04-05-15 hdrWEb1Bizarro 04-05-15 WEB(Hankerin’ for a bigger look? Click the cartoons.)

Bizarro is brought to you today by Sex.

All of the cartoons from this week are self explanatory (as a cartoon should be) but I have a few things to say about the last one posted here: two ladies at a sidewalk cafe talking about an old boyfriend. I suggest you read all of these cartoons, then come back here for my commentary.

bz panel 03-31-15 When I submitted the cafe cartoon, my editor warned me that it could cause trouble. It is hard for someone like me to imagine anyone being upset in 2015 by a cartoon like this but at the same time, I know there are people who will. Fortunately, we received no complaints from the editors of any of my client newspapers and bz panel 04-02-15 I consider that a good sign, but I got a few complaints from readers who chided me for including a reference to casual sex outside of marriage in a newspaper comic “where kids could see it.”

Casual sex outside of marriage has been a hallmark of the human race since ancient bz panel 04-03-15 copy times and it always will be. Hiding it from your children won’t change their behavior when the time comes, in fact, it likely make it all the more attractive to them.

Whether we’re trying to control our children’s future sex lives or our own, we are fighting a force that is stronger than us and one way or another, we will lose in the end. Humans are highly sexual mammals bz panel 04-01-15and one of only a very small handful that have sex for reasons other than procreation. Most animals only tolerate sex because they are driven to do it. (We judge this by the ratio of copulatory incidents to conceptions. Most animals have sex around 3 or 4 times per pregnancy, humans do it over a thousand times per.) Humans bz panel 03-30-15actually enjoy it and need it often, one way or another. It’s simple biology and there’s nothing we can do about it no matter what we believe about gods in the sky who look down on us for giving in to our animal nature. In truth, when it comes to sex, we’re giving in to our human nature.

I’m not just talking “out of my ass” here, I actually raised two daughters who had no trouble navigating the waters of sex and dating and became well-adjusted, happily married adults. Here’s how I did it:

From a very early age, before they learned to be ashamed or embarrassed about sex, their mom and I told them everything about sexuality that they were capable of understanding (at a given age), as though it were a scientific fact of nature and an inevitable social force. (Which it is, of course.) Nothing magical or mystical, just the truth. We told them what to expect physically, emotionally, and socially and gave them things they should consider when the time came, and what good and bad things they could expect to experience as a result of becoming sexually active. And we were dead honest. When we would have these talks over the years, chapter by chapter, as they were old enough to understand a new piece of the story, they listened matter-of-factly and said, “Okay.” It was an open topic in our house and both of them knew that the power to make those decisions was in their own hands, not ours. As a result, they had less curiosity about it and waited longer than their peers to experiment. Both were in long-term relationships in college when they did. My point, of course, is that talking to your kids about sex doesn’t have to be mysterious and embarrassing and you don’t have to lie awake at night worried that your child might find out something about sex that might make you lose control over them. Your control over them is an illusion in the first place.

It makes more sense to me to relax about it, stop making it so important and mystical, and just get on with more important aspects of life; like whether your 12-year-old boy is constantly playing violent video games or is becoming a bully. In my opinion, it is literally insane that so few Americans raise an eyebrow over violence on TV and in pop culture, but a reference to sex raises the roof.



36 thoughts on “Sex Preachin’

  1. In re: the sex issue: Yes, Dan, agreed, of course. I have a daughter who just turned 44 (that CAN’T be true! :-) and we used the same basic strategy you did, and with pretty much the same result. For me, what said it all so well, and by ‘it all’ I mean the stuff about sex still evidencing that we live on a too-slowly-evolving asshole colony of a planet, is the sick and sad way sex and violence were always mentioned in that manner: in other words: the two absolutely WORST things a kid could possibly be exposed to. And, sex was nearly always mentioned first in the order. The fact that people would be less embarrassed to sit with their kids in front of a screen where someone was being shot, stabbed, or beaten unconscious than they would be to see two people even, say, making out vigorously (much less actually ‘doing IT”) always reinforced my feeling that when it came to me and the dominant culture – I wasn’t the crazy one.

  2. My friend Holly Tannen wrote this. You can find it at her website.
    Words and music © 2004 Holly Tannen

    . . . .Unlike the aggressive and male-dominated chimpanzees, bonobos stay with their mothers their whole life long. They have sex in many different partner combinations, and use sex to avoid conflict and to reconcile when they do squabble.
    . . . .Chimp females forage on their own with their young. Bonobos don’t share their range with gorillas, so there’s enough food that the females can band together to forage. When an alpha male gets aggressive, the females gang up on him.
    O, I wanna be a bonobo
    A bonobo life for me
    I wanna be a bonobo
    I’m a bonobo wannabee.

    We hang around around the trees
    And sit on one another’s knees
    And search for nits and ticks and fleas
    It’s a bonobo life for me.

    O, I wanna be a bonobo
    A bonobo life for me
    A bonafide bonobo
    I’m a bonobo wannabee.

    We nest up in the trees at night
    And fondle everything in sight
    We hardly ever have to fight
    It’s a bonobo life for me.

    You can harangue an orangutan
    You can moon a baboon
    As we cuddle and kiss in bonobial bliss
    On our bonobo honeymoon.
    O come over here Mama Bonobo
    And sit on your Daddy’s knee
    Oh do you wanna bonobo
    Bonobo a bit with me?

    And if we do bonobo
    I will not charge a fee
    I’ll do it pro bonobo
    I’m a bonobo wannabee.

    You can beribbon a gibbon
    And give him away for free
    But I wanna be a bonobo
    It’s a bonobo life for me.

    You can thrill a gorilla
    Make free with a chimpanzee
    But I wanna be a bonobo
    It’s a bonobo life for me.

    O I wanna be a bonobo
    I’m a bonobo wannabee.

  3. I’ve raised this issue with Bizarro before – that angel / heaven / god images reinforce people’s bizarre and ridiculous beliefs – although this is the very opposite of what he intends. Find some more metaphors Dan – please.

    • Please ask someone to discuss the concept of “comedy” with you.

      Are you suggesting that ALL fiction be done away with, or just Dan’s?

      • It’s fine. The only people dumb enough to actually believe in angels aren’t smart enough to read cartoons. :)

    • for real DG. I would love to go to bizarro heaven in the event of my demise. It would be fun. Much more fun than your boring heaven without Angels and stuff. But alas, I know too well that Dan cannot, ever possibly draw me into heaven. Unless he drew me in heaven. But that’d be a drawing. Not real me. So NM. I’m still right. Wait what am I right about? I’m. Well any way. Hopefully you read this and realize I’ve made about as much sense as, and wasted as much of people’s time, as you have.

    • Hahaha this may be the most incomprehensible thing I’ve read today and I just had to read this gem:
      Real-time bidding (RTB) emerged at the intersection of data liquidity and inventory liquidity. Today, third-party data suppliers have put the power of audience information in the hands of media buyers. At the same time, the marketplace for online inventory has never been more liquid.

  4. “In my opinion, it is literally insane that so few Americans raise an eyebrow over violence on TV and in pop culture, but a reference to sex raises the roof.”

    I am in 100% agreement, The museums are full of erotic images from the past, but they are never shown because they might “offend” delicate sensibilities… it’s stupefying.

  5. No worries, Dan, I understood and enjoyed them all. Loved Couch Potato (needed to check with Dan Quayle on the spelling).

  6. How is it possible that one can be hilarious, artistic and wise, all at the same time? I bow down before ye ole wise sage. You’ve outdone yourself today.

  7. Excellent parenting advice, excellent set of ‘toons. I do have one question: 25 secret symbols in the “texting in heaven” panel? They must be *very* secret!

  8. Absolutely dead on about sex education. If that kind of matter-of-fact treatment of sex were more common, society would be far better off.

    Be careful though; if you do this kind of thing too often, you may lose your frivolous cachet.

  9. Dan, you are 100% correct. I took the same course with my sons, and now they are happily married family men in their 30s. Kids aren’t stupid, and they deserve to be told the truth. Shame on hypocritical, deceptive parents.

  10. Excellent essay on the need and effectiveness of honest, realistic, and age appropriate sex education.

    As for the sex/pizza link: Many many years ago, we computer geeks postulated: “Documentation is like sex. When it’s good, it’s wonderful. When it’s bad, it’s better than nothing.”

  11. Straightforward, excellent advice on sex education. My former wife and my wife and I never had any problems enlightening our daughters about sexuality. And we never used the word “pee-pee” either!

  12. The same advice about sex and kids would also apply to drugs I think. Having an open dialog is much much better than pretending that the option is not readily available and face the fact that our kids will face that decision at some point in time whether they will experiment or not

    • I agree completely. I handled drugs with them that way, too. My theory is that if you tell your kids marijuana is dangerous then when they find out you’re lying, they won’t believe you about heroin or crystal meth, either.

  13. That sounds like an excellent sex-education regimen. You sparked my curiosity, though, about the “chapter by chapter” bit. What came first? Perhaps you ought to write a book for parents, “Dan’s 12-Step Sex-Ed Program.” Okay, maybe a less-frivolous title would be better.

    • My eldest daughter was fascinated by medical things once she saw a diagram of the organs and bones inside the body. She was about five. We then bought her one of those plastic models that shows all the stuff inside people, I think it is called “The Visible Woman.” That model has alternate parts you can trade out if you want to show the woman as pregnant, so that got her asking questions about that, etc. One thing led to another as her curiosity grew.

  14. Hi. I enjoyed your blog on casual sex but do not understand why you put the phrase “talking out my ass” in quotes.

    • I guess because I was not suggesting that I can literally use my ass for talking. “Talking out my ass” is a common American saying for someone who is expressing ideas they don’t really know to be true and many of my readers are foreigners who know English but don’t necessarily know all of the various vernaculars.

  15. The problem, from my perspective is the publishing of the cartoon and your parenting advice are at odds. On the one hand you believe parents should give their children age appropriate information about sex yet the subject of the cartoon is at an adult level and making it available to children. Forcing the parent to address the subject to a curious child who isn’t ready or capable to understand or deal with it. The cartoon takes the choice of what is or isn’t appropriate for their child out of the parents hands.

    • Your logic is correct but this can be said of nearly anything. My advice for parents who don’t want to explain something to their curious child is to simply say, “I don’t know.”

  16. In watching a great deal of television, even skipping most commericals, one has to conclude there is a shortage of boners, and therefore a shortage of sex and people….or…there’s a hefty mark-up on sex enhancing meds.

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