Thursday Sep 11 2008
‘I Kissed a Girl’ a shocker for mother of teen
By: Lauren Forcella
Dear Straight Talk: I was back-to-school shopping with my daughter when I first heard Katy Perry’s song, “I Kissed a Girl.” I was totally shocked to hear the words hooked to such an insanely catchy beat: “I kissed a girl and I liked it/The taste of her cherry chap stick/I kissed a girl just to try it/Hope my boyfriend don’t mind it.” My daughter said she was shocked at first, too, but that the song is really popular and “no big deal.” My daughter is a freshman. Is bisexuality something she will encounter in high school? I couldn’t get much out of her on the topic. Could your youth panel shed some light on this? – Rattled Mom From Kendal, 22: How much teens are exposed depends on their interest. To physically expose oneself to bisexuality requires curiosity or desire. Many girls think kissing another girl is gross and they never want to do it. But there are lots of jokes and rumors in high school about what girls do together (much more than the male side of it) and it’s not that taboo anymore to be “not straight.” I think bisexuality is increasingly mainstream because of efforts by the GLBT (gay-lesbian-bi-transgender) community, the rise of the porn industry and because of the sexual freedom portrayed in movies (which include many direct references to male fantasies of girls together). Something R-rated 30 years ago is now PG-13. It shocks our parents, but we just laugh. From Britney, 16: Walking around my high school, it is not uncommon to see a girl holding hands with her boyfriend, kiss him and then turn to her girlfriend and kiss her. The majority of girls having physical relationships with other girls are not lesbians and don’t even consider themselves bisexual. On the other hand, it is rare to find experimental guys. Where girls kissing girls is somewhat of a party game, guys find kissing guys disgusting. From Lennon, 21: The song is crap. Don’t musicians want to have a positive influence on children? Look the lyrics up; they’re stupid, but they walk the line, which is why the song gets so much attention. Program a snappy beat, talk-sing some edgy prose and voilá! You, too, can be uber-famous. If a guy came out with “I Kissed a Boy,” it wouldn’t even get produced. Most bisexuality springs from peer pressure combined with alcohol and/or drugs. I went to a private high school where there was almost none of this, but an acquaintance from college, who is mostly lesbian (but bi, too), says it was considered normal to experiment with bisexuality at her public high school and that being gay or lesbian was common. She said a foreign exchange student initially found the scene bizarre and unnatural, but everyone kept telling him how great it was and by the time he left, he was dating a guy. From Mariah, 16: Yes, your daughter will be exposed to this in high school. I know as many bisexual girls as guys and as many lesbians as gays. For some it’s an experiment, for others, a lifestyle. I have bisexual friends who go to this club where you have to be 14 to get inside and they have drag queen fashion shows with an open dance floor afterward. Bisexuality is everywhere. It’s not something to make you look cool. I’ve had friends beaten up for it. Dear Rattled: There’s an earful for you. And to all my readers, if I may be so politically incorrect, unless one has had gay or lesbian inklings since one was very young, I believe the “bi-curious” activity described here is socially, not genetically, driven. I heartily support tolerance – but let’s not avoid the truth. And parents, if you don’t want the media to socialize your child, turn that thing off. I did. – Write to Straight Talk at www.StraightTalkForTeens.com or PO Box 963, Fair Oaks CA 95628.