Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith

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Poem: "A Broad Health and Moral Education"

This poem was written outside the regular prompt calls. It fills the "Calling someone to chat" square in my 9-5-18 "Kind and Soft" card for the 1000 Words or Less Bingo fest. It has been sponsored by a pool with [personal profile] fuzzyred. This poem belongs to the Broken Angels thread of the Polychrome Heroics series, which follows "One of the Necessities of Life" and "Their Own Capacity." This sets up for "The Talk" by [personal profile] dialecticdreamer.

Warning: This poem contains frank sex talk.


"A Broad Health and Moral Education"

[Friday, November 13, 2015]

"Dr. Elisabeth Finn speaking,"
she said. "Hello, Faster Blaster.
What can I do for you today?"

"I-I need a favor," he said,
clutching the phone like
a life preserver. "I kind of
got drafted by some hookers
and now I need a sex ed class
for them or something."

"All right ... could you back up,
please?" Boss Finn said. "I
need a little more background."

"I don't even know where to start,"
Faster Blaster groaned, dragging
a hand down his face. "I was
planning to run cars and guns,
not personal services!"

"Start at the beginning,"
Boss Finn coached. "When
did you first meet the sex workers?"

"I guess it all started when Cas
saw that a friend of his had gotten
roughed up," Faster Blaster said.
"Amando came back to the house
with us, Cas patched him up ...
one thing led to another, and
the next thing I know, I've got
four hookers in my living room
all wanting to work with me."

"That sounds exciting,"
said Boss Finn. "How can
I help? What do you want
me to do for your people?"

"Help them figure out
how to stay safe," he said.
"I'm going to look for someone
to train up as an enforcer or
bodyguard, but we need more
than muscle. We need intel."

"I certainly have that,"
said Boss Finn. "What are
your thoughts on sex education?"

"That it has to cover more than
the crud in school," he muttered.
"These are working girls and boys.
They need hard facts, they need
to know how to prevent problems,
what's a major emergency, and
what their medical options are."

"Okay, let me give you my perspective,"
she said. "Sex education, including
its spiritual aspects, should be part of
a broad health and moral education
from preschool through college,
ideally carried out harmoniously
by parents and teachers."

"Uhhh ... I'm not sure how
that fits in with job needs,"
Faster Blaster said slowly.

"It's all about putting
the bottom rungs on
the ladder," she said.
"People need to know
the basics before getting
into advanced topics like
sexual athletics or how
to identify a heart attack
in your bondage partner."

"A heart attack in bondage?"
he whimpered. "How is this my life."

"I'm serious," said Boss Finn. "Stress,
such as sex, can trigger a heart attack.
Your people need to know what to do."

"We already went over the CPR stuff,"
Faster Blaster pointed out.

"Yes, but how do you get
someone down safely under
those circumstances?" she said.

"I have no idea," Faster Blaster said.
He could feel his face blazing. "I
didn't even know you were kinky."

"I'm not," said Boss Finn. "I thought
that I could present the clinical aspects.
I can refer you to someone else for
kink safety. Bennett also does
body modifications if anyone
is interested in that sort of thing."

Faster Blaster flashed on Mirel
licking her lips and showing
a silicone tongue stud in the
same shade of orange as her hair.

"Yeah, that's a safe bet," he said.

"Okay," said Boss Finn. "Shall I
give Bennett your contact information
so the two of you can discuss details?"

"Go ahead," said Faster Blaster.
"I asked you for advice; I trust
your judgment on what I need."

"Thank you," said Boss Finn.
"I think we'll do fine if we
spread out the presentations
over several different people."

"The time could add up,"
Faster Blaster said. "I don't
have enough people yet that
I can spare them for long."

"Only an hour or few
at a time, like the classes
Cas is taking," Boss Finn said.
"Some topics will probably cross over
in several different discussions, too."

"Like what?" Faster Blaster said.
"I know Cas finds repetition helpful."

"In the sex education process in schools,
the one thing that they teach about is
how to get pregnant and how to not
get pregnant," said Boss Finn. "But
they don't really talk about sex as
a point of pleasure for women."

"Is that necessarily a concern for
our audience?" said Faster Blaster.

"Considering how much some men
will pay for a secret lesson on how
to give their partner an orgasm, I
would say so," Boss Finn said.

Faster Blaster laughed. "Okay,
that I can believe. I'm sure that
the hookers will enjoy that part
of the sex education stuff."

"That's good," said Boss Finn.
"However, I don't want to restrict
this to your sex workers. I want
the classes open to everyone in
the gang. We'll arrange something
age-appropriate for Hali, of course."

"Why would Hali need sex ed?"
Faster Blaster's stomach flipped over.
"She's not even two years old!"

"That's when we start teaching
children that their bodies belong to
them," said Boss Finn. "It won't mention
sex or sex organs at all. I think Aida
would be happy to do that one."

"Aida?" he squawked.
"But she's a teenager. I
don't run that kind of gang!"

"Of course you don't, but Aida
is an experienced peer counselor
with the certifications to prove it, and
has been for years," said Boss Finn.
"She doesn't volunteer as regularly as
Drew, but she does come in for topics
that benefit from a female perspective,
just like Molly did before her."

"Molly!" Faster Blaster pounced
on the diversion. "Can't we get
Molly to do this instead?"

"Actually Molly will have
her own topics later on,"
said Boss Finn. "Working as
a paramedic, she has experience
in treating acute sexual trauma, so
I'm confident she can come up
with a customized first aid class
for sex workers and their friends."

Faster Blaster sighed. "Thinking
about the trauma makes me wonder
if I'm doing the right thing. I really
didn't mean to get into this."

"Did anyone pressure you?"
Boss Finn demanded.

"No, no -- well yes, but
not like that," he said.
"Nobody tried to climb into
my lap or anything. They
just wanted what I'd offered,
a safe place in my territory.
The education was my idea."

"Then why are you getting
cold feet?" she said gently.

"It makes me wonder if I'm,
I don't know, trapping them
in this life?" Faster Blaster said.

"Okay, let's take that apart and
consider the pieces," Boss Finn said.
"Do you plan to use force at all?"

"No, of course not!" he exclaimed,
jerking back from the shock.

"I didn't think so," said Boss Finn.
"Do you have an exit plan, or should
we touch on that in our presentations?"

"What kind of exit plan?" he wondered.
"You mean like if they get arrested?"

"No, I mean if they fall in love," she said.
"Sex education should also include
relationship education, focusing on
how to achieve long-term commitment.
It needs to cover same-sex intimacy
along with heterosexual techniques."

Faster Blaster sighed. "I'm not sure
that any of them have experienced
a healthy long-term relationship."

"Possibly not, which would make it
difficult to fake, and the illusion
of love is what really sells sex,"
Boss Finn said. "Also consider
retirement plans. Your people
should think about a next career."

"Which affects their current one
exactly how?" said Faster Blaster.

"If you get creative, you can mix
almost anything with sex. Someone
into fashions could model lingerie,
someone curious about massage
could learn that. Don't overlook
the potential of masturbation, either."

"For someone who's led such
a sheltered life, you sure know
a lot about street sex," he said.

"I have a good life now,"
said Boss Finn. "It wasn't
always so soft and sweet.
When I was Aida's age, I
knew people in my class
who sold sex to survive."

"That's why you're so keen on
taking care of my people, and
Boss White's too," he guessed.

"Part of why," said Boss Finn.
"Something else you might do is
look up whatever Lincoln has in
the way of diversion programs
to get people out of prostitution.
If they're bad, make your own. I
support everyone's right to choose
their own career, but nobody
should be forced into it."

"Agreed," said Faster Blaster.
"I'm sorry, this is turning out
a lot more complicated than I
expected when I asked the favor."

"That's okay," said Boss Finn.
"I'm the one who spun it out
into a series of logical topics."

Faster Blaster chuckled. "I don't
think the hookers expected me
to spin it out as much as I did, either.
They kinda stared when I told them
to get a checkup. They probably
thought I'd just take their money
and post some protection. I mean
a bodyguard, not condoms."

"Well, I know you already have
condoms, because Molly helped
stock your patch room," said Boss Finn.

"Yeah, Boss White always keeps some in
the johns at Blues Moon," said Faster Blaster.
"It cuts way down on trouble we don't want."

"That's a very practical attitude," she said.
"Thank you for your help with public health."

"Careful," said Faster Blaster. "Don't you
go spilling bleach on my black hat!"

Boss Finn's laughter belled through
the phone. "I wouldn't dream of it.
You have a perfect right to decide
your profession and your politics."

"You really don't ... think I'm
making a mistake here?" he said.

"I think you're doing the best that
you can with a challenging situation,"
Boss Finn said. "Yes, prostitution
is a risky business, but then so is
emergency medicine. I don't tell
Molly not to ride a zoomwagon and
run into traffic accidents. I won't tell
you to give up organized crime or
your sex workers to quit selling sex."

"Thanks for the vote of confidence,"
said Faster Blaster. "It helps."

"You're doing a great job,"
Boss Finn assured him. "If you
worry about risks, then focus on
harm reduction, which you're already
doing by insisting that your people
visit a clinic and get sex ed."

"Oh, harm reduction, that
reminds me -- we'll need
a source for bulk condoms
and whatever the hell else
they want," Faster Blaster said.


"Excellent," said Boss Finn.
"I can give you standard flyers
for safer sex supplies that we
recommend at Soup to Nuts.
Your sex workers may have
personal preferences. Just
call the companies and ask
about wholesale pricing."

Faster Blaster shuddered,
but Boss White had warned him
that all jobs had parts that sucked.

You just had to get through those
in order to reach the good parts.

"I'll do my best," Faster Blaster said.
He leaned back against the wall for
support. "I hope it works out."

"I have confidence in you,
because Boss White does not
misjudge people," said Boss Finn.

"All right, what do we need to get
this show on the road?" he said.

"First, let's synch our calendars,"
said Boss Finn. "I will give you
my available and unavailable days
for the next month, then you share yours.
Next, we'll each check with our people,
then work out a schedule. Negotiate
price after we pin down classes."

"Okay," said Faster Blaster.
He wrote down what she said,
then gave her his known dates.

It was like everything else
here in Lincoln, after all.

He couldn't be sure that it
would all work out, but he could
sure make an improvement.

* * *

Notes:

"Sex education, including its spiritual aspects, should be part of a broad health and moral education from kindergarten through grade twelve, ideally carried out harmoniously by parents and teachers."
-- Benjamin Spock

"Sex education should be 'relationship education', focusing on how to achieve long-term commitment."
-- Mal Fletcher

"In the sex education process in schools, the one thing that they teach about is how to get pregnant and how to not get pregnant. But they don't really talk about sex as a point of pleasure for women."
-- Ashton Kutcher

Sex education is a human right, because not having it can kill people, and killing people by depriving them of survival skills is not okay, because they have a right to life too, and if that doesn't include the means of survival then it is not really a right. Learn about birth control including barrier devices. Find the best condoms, lube, and sex toys. Explore safe sex for QUILTBAG folks, and let me just throw in an old favorite, The Joy of Gay Sex. Here are some topics that a more comprehensive sex education should cover. The Broken Angels are about to get the Finn Clan Deluxe Guide to Gonads.
Tags: cyberfunded creativity, education, fantasy, fishbowl, gender studies, poem, poetry, reading, safety, weblit, writing
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