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Publisher’s Note:

When should parents discuss sex with their children? In The Condoms Are Next to the Toothpaste, Dr. Elaine Young addresses the conflicts between traditional teachings and sexual health. Drawing on her thirty years experience of teaching sex education to high school and college students, physicians, parents and the elderly, Dr. Young hopes her book can help Cape Women tackle this often awkward subject within their own families.

Sex Education Begins At Home

by Elaine W. Young, RN, PhD

As a widow with four grown children and five grandchildren, I value the healthy family. I also value the importance of the development of a healthy sexuality.

From the very beginning, my life as a certified sexuality educator was fraught with restrictions imposed by the “gatekeepers” in charge, who set themselves up as censors so that others may not hear what they deem as objectionable.

I walked on eggshells while teaching, taking care not to offend the powers that be. It was a most frustrating and humiliating position, because sexual ignorance is associated with dangers and unhappiness. The joys and pleasures that sex brings are associated with knowledge and comfort. Education can provide both.

Once retired, I was no longer beholden to those administrators who had held my job or my position in their hands. This was when I decided to write The Condoms are Next to the Toothpaste – Sex Talk at the Kitchen Table.

The purpose of writing my book was twofold: first, to encourage comfort with everyday sexual knowledge and values, and second, to describe teaching methods and pitfalls that I encountered during my career.

To my dismay, very little has changed in the past thirty to forty years. Parents, students, and ordinary folk continue with the same questions and concerns about sex. It is my contention that this book will, at the very least, provide a level of comfort so that individuals will begin to find answers and start to communicate with each other

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The title is “in your face,” but so is the portrayal of sex in today’s media. We better get used to addressing sexual issues with the family or we will let a disturbed, confused society run our sex lives. This book is intended to help families confront the media.

In The Condoms are Next to the Toothpaste I also discuss the many religious and legal dogmas that interfere with a healthy sexuality. The value of health is emphasized, and if wellbeing is in conflict with other values, I believe folks need to know. It is up to families to find their own values.

Beginning with the story of how the title was derived from a situation around my own kitchen table, America’s sex education, or lack thereof, is then discussed. There are simple definitions of everyday terms that most folks don’t take the time to understand. Families could use the language in the book around their own kitchen tables.

The topics cover every-day events and issues found in the media. My background is shared so the reader will have the confidence of my educational preparation and experiences.

With chapters devoted to health issues, physicians, and sexuality, I also discuss masturbation, body image, abortion, adult-child sex, common questions, and sex and aging. The epilogue provides an opportunity for readers to address their own sex education concerns and experiences.

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The topics I emphasize are the ones, in my experience, that give the most trouble and discomfort in our culture: masturbation, sex roles, and homosexuality.

If people are comfortable and knowledgeable in these three areas they will be able to tackle most any other issue. Of interest to women and those who interact sexually with women is the G-spot, female orgasm, and sexism.

Many of the topics are written from a woman’s perspective, as too much of what is traditionally taught about sex is usually given from the male point of view. For example, intercourse is taken down a peg or two so as to point out that that activity is not what usually turns on a female.

I spent a year sending dozens of letters to publishers and agents only to be ignored. Rarely were my proposals even acknowledged. A few stated “not at this time.” Well, the time is now. At my own expense, I self-published my book and now sell it over the internet and from the trunk of my car. I’m still hoping to educate and help more families talk comfortably about sexuality.

As my 101-year-old dad said, “Every family should have this book!”

Author Elaine Young

Elaine W. Young is a registered nurse with a PhD. She studied Catholic sexuality education and became a certified sexuality educator.

Dr. Young has taught college courses and high school classes. She has also taught physicians, nurses, parents, the elderly, and teachers.

She lives on Cape Cod and is available for speaking engagements. She can be reached at toothpastebook@gmail.com