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By Regina Bradley— As a teenager, I lived for conversations about sex. Primarily because I was a saint by force growing up in the late 1990s, and my folks wouldn’t have it any other way. Who needed a chastity belt when I lived in one?  My folks lived out in the country, never left the house for more than two hours, had bars on the windows, and blocked off the house’s bedrooms. I couldn’t get a dude in and out if I tried.

But I digress.

My discussions with my teenage friends mostly took cues from the great lovers of our time – Jodeci. Silk. Dru Hill. Ginuwine. Lil Kim. We swapped stories that often mimicked whatever R&B crooner was hot at the moment. Or whatever was on BET Uncut.

We often argued about the best ways of finally having sex or what we called “getting it in,” albeit safety and STDs often took a backseat to the actual deed.  Becoming or getting someone pregnant often ended the conversation.  Many of my male friends, however, often offered the tried and true technique that “their boy” used.

Intrigued, we’d ask them to reveal this secret.

“So what is it? A condom? Two?” I’d ask with a straight face.

“Naw, girl,” he’d say shaking his head with the wisdom of 1000 lovers past.

“It’s an unspoken rule. If you not carrying, you just pull out.”

Um, what?

Which is the same reaction I had when a friend of mine sent me a link to the song “She Said Don’t Cum in Me.” You’d think this joint was a spoof sketch from Dave Chappelle or The Boondocks.

A young woman soulfully croons the song’s title while the “rapper” spins a tale about “bottom bitches” and his bag of sexual tricks.  The video had bikinis, beaches, bass, and candles. Yup, this is a perfectly fine example of a safe sex public service announcement if I ever did see and hear one.

Here’s what I don’t understand, folks.  With all the scary shit surrounding sexual diseases and teenage pregnancy in the United States, is there really room for songs like this? Even scarier: these artists don’t need the radio to transmit this crap anymore. You got WorldStar, YouTube, and Twitter.  I would say MySpace but…well, okay . . Myspace. More important, you have a technologically savvy generation of youth.

I find myself in a conflicted place writing about this topic because there are numerous similarities in the conversations I had about sex with my friends as a teen that my young cousins and students talk about with theirs. The biggest difference is media accessibility.

The internet was in its early stages of social accessibility when I was a teen in the late 1990s and early 2000s. I thought I was doing big things by sending email on the school computer. Sex was not a new phenomenon, though my friends and I treated it as such. Probably because we weren’t allowed to openly talk about it outside a sex-ed class.

Today, however, the internet and other social media is so deeply embedded within the fibers of the United States that we are much more hyperaware of our existence—specially when discussing the sweetest taboo subjects like sexuality.

You might as well refer to this generation of youth as the android generation. You’re the lame if you don’t have the latest cell phone. And it is rare that a cell phone or some other technology isn’t attached to the hand or hip. Today’s youth are always in the know.

There’s nothing wrong with repping I-am-Robot status. What DOES become problematic, however, is unsupervised interactions with technology that make a 5th grader a walking iKarma Sutra.  These kids are texting. Sexting. Have Internet on their phones. Use the phone’s video camera to record whatever they feel like and immediately post to the ‘net.

A site can scream “Warning! Adult content! Yo underage ass needs to gone on!” but these kids get around it. Absorb the message. Shoot it to friends. Discuss it. Try it out. And suffer consequences. It’s a cancerous cycle.

How can adults filter the “grownness “children are bombarded with on a daily basis? This becomes an even more complex situation when some adults see no problem with or overlook what kids are absorbing—or don’t care. They feel as if they’re allowing kids to “do them.” Literally.

Few initiatives are in place to counter the cues kids take from songs like “Don’t Cum in Me” and how to sex videos on the internet.  Blame it on education budget cuts . . . or embarrassment. But these kids are “getting it in” younger and younger.  Is your sex IQ higher than a 5th grader with an iPhone?

Regina N. Bradley is a doctoral candidate in African American Literature at Florida State University. She blogs about identity politics, African American Humor, and popular culture at her site Red Clay Scholar (http://redclayscholar.blogspot.com). Contact her via Twitter:@redclayscholar.

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