Al Vernacchio teaches the best high school sex education class you’ll find anywhere — it’s honest, frank, and doesn’t shy away from answering the questions kids really want answered.
My favorite excerpt from this New York Times article is the part where Vernacchio wonderfully links up sex and food:
“So let’s think about pizza,” Vernacchio said to his students after they’d deconstructed baseball. The class for that day was just about over. “Why do you have pizza?”
“You’re hungry,” a cross-country runner said.
“Because you want to,” Vernacchio affirmed. “It starts with desire, an internal sense — not an external ‘I got a game today, I have to do it.’ And wouldn’t it be great if our sexual activity started with a real sense of wanting, whether your desire is for intimacy, pleasure or orgasms… And you can be hungry for pizza and still decide, No thanks, I’m dieting. It’s not the healthiest thing for me now.
“If you’re gonna have pizza with someone else, what do you have to do?” he continued. “You gotta talk about what you want. Even if you’re going to have the same pizza you always have, you say, ‘We getting the usual?’ Just a check in. And square, round, thick, thin, stuffed crust, pepperoni, stromboli, pineapple — none of those are wrong; variety in the pizza model doesn’t come with judgment,” Vernacchio hurried on. “So ideally when the pizza arrives, it smells good, looks good, it’s mouthwatering. Wouldn’t it be great if we had that kind of anticipation before sexual activity, if it stimulated all our senses, not just our genitals but this whole-body experience.” By this time, he was really moving fast; he’d had to cram his pizza metaphor into the last five minutes. “And what’s the goal of eating pizza? To be full, to be satisfied. That might be different for different people; it might be different for you on different occasions. Nobody’s like ‘You failed, you didn’t eat the whole pizza.’
Where was this class when we were in high school?
And why would anyone oppose it?! (That a rhetorical question… we know the last thing religious parents want their children to hear is that sex — including sex outside marriage — isn’t necessarily a bad thing.)