Changing Times: On Sex in Cuba

Irina Pino

Cuban high school.  Photo: Juan Suárez

HAVANA TIMES — I’ve noticed that some of my previous articles dealing with the issue of sex have stirred up a number of debates and also a bit of mockery. I would therefore like to touch on this issue again. I imagine I’ll find other related topics of interest later, as this is a rich and multifaceted issue for discussion.

As a teen, I used to talk about sex with my close female friends. When our bodies began to change, we started showing each other our pubic hair and incipient breasts, without the least bit of embarrassment. We were simply curious about these transformations.

We would send the kids we liked love letters and hide with them in dark stairwells to pet one another and improvise our first kisses (our teeth would collide, for we didn’t know we could use our tongues while kissing).

Once, we found an anonymous letter left outside my house, describing the sexual act in the most profane manner. This made us want to find out more about sex. Concealed things tend to be attractive, and the forbidden makes us jump over walls. It also leads to many misfortunes. There is no worse prison than ignorance.

These were the experiences we kids had back then. Today, I am completely open with my fourteen-year-old son. I explain to him how “things” work, something which would have been considered taboo in my day. My parents were the first to refuse to talk about sexuality. Even today, whenever there’s a nude scene in a movie, they get up and stop watching it.

I ran into this kind of prudishness throughout my youth and was forced to discover the world of sexuality through other means, through books and information friends gave me. The rest I learned through the experiences I had with my different boyfriends.

I believe programs dealing with the issue of sexuality should be offered as part of junior high school education, so that kids who are experiencing hormonal changes do not have to find out about sex from others who can be just as ignorant about these matters as they are, so that they do not have to suffer the consequences of not knowing and do not make hasty decisions in this connection.

I speak to my son in a simple manner, without relying on scientific terminology or resorting to vulgar expressions – in a clear and direct fashion.

Because of this, I was not in the least surprised when, one day, he asked me the way to put on a condom. On another occasion, he spoke to me about some rather “hot” homemade videos that have been going around computers on the island, which a classmate had recently seen.

These things tell us that times have changed. Sex, however, remains the same, and we must learn how to channel our desires.

 

Irina Pino

Irina Pino: I was born in the middle of shortages in those sixties that marked so many patterns in the world. Although I currently live in Miramar, I miss the city center with its cinemas and theaters, and the bohemian atmosphere of Old Havana, where I often go. Writing is the essential thing in my life, be it poetry, fiction or articles, a communion of ideas that identifies me. With my family and my friends, I get my share of happiness.


13 thoughts on “Changing Times: On Sex in Cuba

  • February 18, 2014 at 12:50 pm
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    I tell my afro-Cuban sons as my parents told me to focus on the positive and be prepared for the negative. I don’t use negative circumstances as a excuse to limit ambition. If you wish to call this hallucinating, so be it.

  • February 18, 2014 at 10:55 am
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    “Blacks can be whomever we choose to be….”
    Evidently a disproportionate number of young black men prefer to be tied in to the criminal justice system for doing the same crime that whites do. ( drugs)
    Blacks also choose to be disproportionately poor generation after generation .
    Blacks prefer to live clustered in the inner cities and there to be disproportionately unemployed, undereducated and brutalized. .
    Just what sort of hallucinogenic are you using ?
    You obviously did not read the preface to “some of my best friends….” or you would not have written what you did.

  • February 18, 2014 at 2:28 am
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    Irina. You certainly do have a knack of somehow creating a shitstorm of discussion… And seems on this one not much of it is to do with your article…
    Keep up the good work…

  • February 18, 2014 at 2:24 am
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    Wow man… you are seriously warped… Sorry for I will pass… I think that you have watched too many Adam Sandler movies… Grow up!

  • February 17, 2014 at 12:28 pm
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    John, you missed the point. As a white guy, are you forced to choose who you must align yourself with? Blacks can be whomever we choose to be and still be “African-American”. I support both of these public figures on different issues and neither of them on others. In my community, MLK Jr. was most commonly referred to as Dr. King. My mother marched with him and many others in Selma. No one said “Jr.” when referring to Dr. King. Yet another example of you speaking outside your comfort zone. And FINALLY, did you really just write…”Some of my best friends?” Hahaha! Negro, and ‘Colored’ before that were before my time. I grew up and remain an African-American.

  • February 17, 2014 at 11:20 am
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    Uhhhhh… bite me.
    You need to develop a sense of humor.
    You should also spend a bit more time at the porn sites and learn of the joys of eating ladies’ underwear.
    I WAS JOKING !!!!!!

  • February 17, 2014 at 11:15 am
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    Let me guess which of the two : Sharpton or Thomas you would feel more at home with .
    Maybe Martin Luther King Jr’s father, Martin Luther King whom you mentioned in your post loved the United States but his son did not love the policies of the government which is why he marched and fought and preached and was killed.
    MLKJR spoke out against imperialism and capitalism and you, sir, are no MLKJR. Don’t even think of going there . Read his last bunch of speeches that dealt with these issues and see just how far your thinking is from what his was.
    You cannot be working to change the problems of the country because you support capitalism, the oligarchy and U.S. imperialism without qualification and are part of the problem ..
    As it is with Obama, I do not judge you by your skin color but rather by the class you serve.
    You appear to be a class traitor and that is your right.
    And since you love clichés and tired rhetoric, some of my best friends have been African-Americans or black folks as you call them .
    When did you stop using the term ” negro ” ?

  • February 16, 2014 at 8:52 pm
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    You are way outta’ your lane when you presuppose to know what African-Americans should and should not support. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and the Rev. Al Sharpton are both African-American and there could not exist two people more diverse. BTW, like Rev. Martin Luther King, I love my country even when my country doesn’t love me. I work to change what I don’t like even while I support what I do like. You obviously don’t know any black folks either.

  • February 16, 2014 at 2:28 pm
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    Uhhhh… Re-read your post John… That was weird… Not to mention very rude…

  • February 16, 2014 at 12:07 pm
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    As an African-American who supports both the racist white U.S. establishment ( capitalism and the oligarchy) and the cruel U.S. War On The People Of Cuba when you have relatives in Cuba , you are not one qualified to talk about anyone else being weird.

  • February 14, 2014 at 1:09 am
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    LOLOLOL… Sorry Irina if any of my comments seemed amiss.. Not meant to be a mockery but Steven Tyler??? Though this last one (from John) wins… You are truly the Cuban Dr. Ruth of Habana Times. And please do try to take that as a big compliment… I always love your posts… Happy Valentines Day…

  • February 13, 2014 at 9:22 pm
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    What a weirdo! Speak only for yourself.

  • February 13, 2014 at 12:07 pm
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    What color underwear do you have on ?
    Can you mail them to me ?
    (That’s how we do sex in the United States )

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