Sex in the ’60s

I heard a disturbing tale from my granddaughter the other day. It seems a group of 12 year olds — three boys and three girls — were caught at a “Ring Party.” That, of course, was a new term for me, so I pressed her.

It turns out the girls put on extra layers of different colored lipstick and kissed the boys. Whoever collects the most kissy rings wins. The rub, however, is the kisses are ranked by location on the boys’ bodies.

Whaaat??? Twelve year olds?

When I was 12, I was way more interested in football, basketball and baseball than those weird girls. And I don’t think any of my peers — boys or girls — would have ever even imagined such a game.

Now, I am far from being a prude. I mean I had a crush on a seventh grader when I was in the eighth grade and often went out of my way to pass her house on the off chance I would catch her away from school. I never did, but had I, I’m not sure what kind of conversation it would have been. After a couple of weeks, my football, basketball, baseball and other interests ended the quest.

I also went to an all boys high school, dripping with testosterone. I mean, we could talk up a storm about the opposite sex. We had so many euphemisms about human anatomy — both male and female — and functions it sometimes was hard to maintain a real conversation without our minds substituting words.

Yet, even there, I don’t remember this preoccupation with premarital sex. Sure, we were all AFTER it, but when push came to shove, our imaginations were more vivid than our actions. I don’t remember Monday mornings focused on weekend conquests — or at least not real conquests since we could all sift fact from fiction. No one in the lunchroom spent much time on what they did over the weekend and with whom, but rather how the New York Football Giants/New York Knicks/New York Yankees were doing.

While there was an occasional dance, “dating” was an upperclass privilege. I don’t remember anyone in my high school class seeing someone as a “steady” girlfriend. My first real “relationship” was well after graduation.

Back in the early to mid ’60s, boys were still the initiator in relationships {although the girls demurely decided who was going to be her suitor}. Sure we often reached first base {mouth-to-mouth kissing, especially French kissing} but more often were caught stealing as we headed for second base {touching or kissing the breasts or other erogenous zones; can be either clothed or not clothed; manual stimulation of the genitals}. And, for the most part, we knew No meant No.

That was my teenage experience. I’m sure others have different awakening experiences. But among my circle of friends and acquaintances, there were relatively few teenage pregnancies or STDs.

I’m not sure when the sexual threshold dropped into the early teens. I suspect it started in the mid ’60s when the threat of service in Vietnam made “men” out of boys. Flower child originated as a synonym for hippie, especially among the idealistic young people who gathered in San Francisco and environs during the Summer of Love in 1967. The genie came out of the bottle in 1969 when mainstream media coverage of Woodstock focused on the drugs, nakedness, sex and orgies of the festival rather than the music.

And so, today we’ve degenerated to kids being encouraged into “relationships” at an earlier age, media promoting first date sex, babies having babies,  … and 12 year olds experimenting with kissy games.

That’s my two cents. Any thoughts out there?

THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: Drive with care … Life has no spare.

About wisdomfromafather

I'm just an ordinary guy walking along the journey of life.
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18 Responses to Sex in the ’60s

  1. agreed. kids having their first boyfriend or girlfriend at 5 is a bit silly.


  2. Angela (Belluardo) Graziano says:

    Hello, Joe. I was in seventh grade when you were in eighth, (at St. Anthony’s). but I doubt very much that it was me you were referring to in your above article. However, I do agree with your thoughts on Sex in the 60’s. Those wonderful, care-free times are gone forever, except in the memories of those who were lucky enough to have grown up during that era. Enjoyed reading this very much. Do write back if you remember me, ( or my brother, Paul). He also went to DBT, Class of ’67


    • I think I do remember you from St. Anthony’s, Angela. I probably bumped into your brother at DBT but can’t say I remember him. How are you doing? Yes, those were wonderful, care-free times tucked into the memory bank. I feel sorry for my grandchildren. They are being forced to grow up too fast. Much of my life is on the blog. Married for 40 years, widowed, five kids, 19 soon to be 20 grandchildren and two great-grandaughters. I publish a weekly newspaper in upstate New York after stops in Illinois, Ohio and Washington, DC. Drove by St. Anthony’s a couple of months ago. Outside of the church still looks the same but the neighborhood is so very different. Keep in touch.


  3. Love your blog, how about you check my blog out too:-) Hope you can enjoy it. Happy blogging!


  4. Very true social media has taking first place in my kids life and there isn’t many role models left. Kids can be influenced but what are parents doing so that their children don’t d
    follow this negative trend? my two cents 🙂


  5. Alene Clark says:

    Oh boy papa Joe if you only knew what was going on these days! It’s ridiculous! My daughter is 12 and just this weekend was telling me about the girls in her grade and her age that have already had sex. I was appalled. Thankfully she is not one of them and she does NOT plan to be either. She has already had her fair share of boyfriends at her young age though. And her first kiss on the lips. Not the type we adults have experienced. Thank God. I hope when she does have that kiss that it is special for her, and a memorable experience as well. My son on the other hand is older as you know since you’ve met them both. He is less experienced than my daughter. He has had a few girlfriends but only one that he truly cared deeply for and was seriously heart-broken over when they not only broke up; but also lost a friendship of several years. It’s always been taught that girls mature much faster than boys do. But it just seems backwards to me that my daughter has so much more experience than my son that is 2 years older than her. He’s experienced his first true love while she’s experienced the more physical side. And it seems acceptable in today’s society. To me as a parent, no it is not. It makes me wonder where those parents of all those kids my daughter’s age are while their kids are having sex and if they even know? Most of them have already had 2-3 partners and that’s pretty sad. My 2 cents!


  6. Joe Nozzolio says:

    Joe, as usual your comments are right on target, or should I say, “first base”. I grew up a little before you and went to a parochial grade school. The nuns and parish priest scared us from doing anything wild with the opposite sex, and then when I was in High School, I had a few girl friends, but monthly confession sessions kept me away from those “near occasions of sin”. A “date” would consist of walking your girl home from school, or the rec center. Hand holding, goodness, an arm around her shoulder was as far as we went. If you got lucky, your girl invited you in for a dish of ice cream or some pizza that her mom had made in anticipation of getting her daughter and her young lothario in the house off the porch swing. Yes, times were innocent, but I have to believe better. As they say anticipation is often better than the actual event.

    Joe Nozzolio


  7. Teela Hart says:

    I feel the same way. It is unbelievable the things I here these days but kissing rings is a new one on me.


  8. My husband and I have always been very open and honest with our children, discussing pretty much anything on their minds, with many of these conversations happening at the kitchen table during dinner. This is one thing that I believe is missing today, parents are so busy with their lives, dinner is in front of the television or computer screen. Kids can see anything on the computer, and they are smart, sometimes smarter than their parents. They have far more information available to them then we did as kids and as a result, they are trying things far younger than we ever imagined. The best thing we can do, is listen, and talk openly and hope they make the right decision(s),


    • I’m with you 100%. Parents are not paying attention and often don’t spend any real time with their kids. We always tried to have dinner together when the kids were growing up and am proud to say my kids generally follow the same script. I learned about the “ring game” at dinner with my grandchildren. The things they are exposed to! Thanks for your input.


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