Voulez-vous Coucher Avec Moi?

Ottawa XPress – Shotgun – March 10, 2005

So I read in the papers last Friday that the City could do more to lower the levels of chlamydia and gonorrhea among young people if it could bring safe-sex and testing programs into English Catholic schools.

But guess what?

The Ottawa-Carleton Catholic school board isn’t really down with that even though the associate medical officer of health, Dr. Dave Salisbury, says levels of venereal disease among Ottawans between 15 and 24 have doubled since the 1990s.

But hey, if the Ottawa-Carleton Catholic school board doesn’t think safer-sex education and testing for sexually transmitted infections (STI) in their schools will get the message across and protect youth, fine. But when hordes of Christ-loving girls and boys hold up the line at my family doctor’s office with their crotch rot this and their discharging that, they had better not blame it on STIs, right, because apparently Catholic kids don’t fuck.

And while I’ll expect a spike in panty liner sales for young girls oozing discoloured liquids from their privates, and sales of absorbent pads to boys whose dicks flare up with pus during a hellish bout of VD, I also predict the Catholics will continue barring Ottawa public health and Planned Parenthood reps from their supposedly sex-free establishments.

Tell me, if Catholic kids don’t have sex until they’re married, then how do you account for the increase in STIs? In the same way The Big Guy in the sky is watching us masturbate, maybe the horny Philadelphia Cream Cheese lady in the clouds swept down for some hibidy-dibidy during the night without our knowledge and left behind the itch? No, I didn’t think so either.

Seriously, come on Catholic School board! It’s bad enough you run your shop like a jail, so just admit there’s a few of your troops who bend over in the shower.

I had very few positive experiences attending Catholic schools. Public school was where it was at for me. In the Catholic school system, I always felt like an alien because I was from a divorced, single-parent family. On top of that, the more I learned about the Catholic religion and sex, the more things sounded weird to me – stories passed down in my family, for instance, of wives having to ask their priests if it was alright to give their husband a blow job.

As a teenager, if your parents weren’t terribly with it, you could end up looking to teachers and school to set you straight about sex. But there wasn’t a lot of opportunity for that in my Catholic schools. Outside of an offbeat French teacher named Madame Duchêne at St. Matthew’s High School who made us laugh by saying out loud that she liked sex, other teachers dared not go there. But she did, and the kids appreciated her for it.

Other authority figures weren’t so open. I’d begun losing respect for many of them as early as Grade 6 when the vice-principal at Convent Glen Catholic School reproached me for using the telephone after hours. I had the secretary’s permission to call my step-father to find out if my friend could come over to study. “You’re not supposed to be at school after 3 p.m., go home!” he barked. “But, I had permission to use the phone you dildo.” OK, I didn’t call him that. But I wanted to.

The next day, my mother was called in to the school. Meek, she did not defend me. I was forced to apologize to fuckface for “answering back.”

Then there was Grade 11 when I became an overnight goth all dressed in black. At 17, I had a mind of my own and had been re-thinking the prayer-time-at-8 a.m. routine that followed the singing of the national anthem every morning. So, one day I stopped praying – it was just no longer my thing to stand there in public and pray to God by thoughtlessly rattling off some memorized prayer.

The next day, my mother was called in to the school. They asked her if I was part of the Cult of Satan. She said no but that I loved the band, The Cult.

Looking back, and based only on those peculiar incidents, leaving Catholic school authorities in charge of understanding kids today is questionable. Sure, in many cases their rule may be appropriate. But, I just can’t see beyond my St. Matthew’s principal who in Grade 9 chucked my friend Allison out of school because she accidentally got pregnant. These are the same jokers who two girls named Jen had to fight to get a tampon dispenser in the girl’s washroom. As if feminine products would advertise the sinfulness of a woman’s bleeding orifice.

So join me in applauding the French Catholic school board which is among the three school boards to accept the Ottawa public health program. Parents, if your teens are gonna “do it,” make them make it with a Français(e) Catholique, oui? French Canadians are better in bed anyway, aren’t they?

But that, that’s another Shotgun…


The Catholic district school board of Eastern Ontario requires a student support worker. Visit www.cdsbeo.on.ca for more information.

– Sylvie Hill