The Secret

Boy standing with crossed arms in front of chalkboard


Cole Parker

Mrs. Roberts was an older woman. I didn’t know how old but had heard she’d had kids in this school who’d long ago moved on. We didn’t care for her much. Middle school kids liked some give-and-take with their teachers, something to show that they were human, had a sense of humor, and we were just a smaller and less-mature group of the same species. Mrs. Roberts didn’t show that at all. Her word was law, and she didn’t treat us like we had any rights at all, and heaven help us if we tried to show some personality. To her, we were clay to be molded as she thought appropriate. Clay had no sensitivity.

For some reason none of us could understand, she was the one assigned the task of explaining the mysterious and unknown world of sex to us. Yeah, she was our Sex Ed teacher. But what she did most was teach advanced algebra, and she used the same classroom for both subjects. I thought it strange that she had models of various body parts out on display shelves. What did the math nerds think, seeing those?

We were past the early stages in the Sex Ed classes where all the squeamish stuff had been covered and we had to pretend there was no one in the room but our single selves, pretending to be alone while listening to this highly embarrassing talk. Menstruation, which had all the girls blushing and not meeting anyone’s eyes and wishing they’d been sick that day. Masturbation, male masturbation, which had the same effect on us boys. She went into some pretty good details on both; evidently, having raised kids, reportedly a boy and a girl, she knew intimate facts and didn’t see any reason not to explain things to us fully and graphically. She used a model when discussing how boys jerked off. Well, at least the girls would know how to make their boyfriends happy. We boys didn’t need that reminder. We did need something to cover our laps as she was up there stroking.

But today. God, this was awful.

“Class, we’ve spoken of sexual intercourse, but speaking of it doesn’t prepare you for the event. Just how does it work? For each person involved, what do you do? What emotions are you handling? How are you interacting with your partner? Talking about this won’t work nearly as well as a demonstration. Let it never be said that anyone from my class was unaware of the way of proper procreation. No, that doesn’t mean I’m going to show you porn. And we won’t actually demonstrate penetration. But I do think you’ll benefit from seeing just how things progress from the urge to copulate to the point of entry. Today we’ll show what will occur and how you should behave. Both you boys or girls should appear to be aware what you’re doing and comfortable when it’s time to perform.”

The proverbial pin could have been heard to drop; we are that silent in our seats. Both anxiety and excitement reign. What in the world is she going to do now? What’s next? I always think that this woman is half senile and almost completely crazy. Nothing’s too extreme for her.

“We received signed waivers from all your parents. They want you to know how your bodies work and how we humans reproduce, and they don’t want to get involved in the nitty-gritty of that. Why they’re so embarrassed is beyond me. But they are, and they’re leaving your introduction to this up to the schools, and the papers they’ve signed more or less say anything goes. So we’ll have a demonstration today.”

More silence. We are all wide-eyed, staring at her. I don’t know whether to be scared or excited or what. Mrs. Roberts doesn’t have the reins most teachers have. She doesn’t get embarrassed, either. We can see how fond she is of teaching this subject. She’s been teaching so long, maybe this is her chance to get even for all the problems kids have given her over the years. Maybe she likes being able to embarrass us, to make us squirm. She’s the devil in teaching togs!

“I’m not going to ask for volunteers. It’s more fair if we let fate decide. So, to choose my helpers today, I’ve put all the girls’ names in one box and all the boys’ in another. I’ll draw a name from each box, and those two will come up front and assist in the lesson. No fussing and whining when I call your name, whoever it is. This is a proper educational project we’re going through, and it will be helpful to everyone when you’re old enough to be utilizing what you see here today. Seeing this play out in front of you should minimize any anxieties you’ll be feeling.”

She reaches into the two boxes on her desk and draws a folded slip of paper from each, then turns back to face us again.

“All right. Julie Masterson and Keith Kellog. Please come to the front.”

I almost faint. I’m Keith Kellog, and I don’t trust Mrs. Roberts to have any restraints at all. Or common sense.

Mrs. Roberts looks directly at me and starts tapping her foot. That is always a prelude to what we try hard to avoid. If I dawdle, whatever she decides to do about that will not be pleasant. She's a disciplinary demon.

I’m not an intractable boy. I do what I’m told. All my life my parents haven’t put up with arguments or refusals from me; I learned to do as instructed starting when I was very young. Nothing’s changed as I’ve grown. I’ve seen what happens to those who take the rougher path through life. It is so much easier to be obedient.

I won’t want to do whatever Mrs. Roberts is going to instruct Julie and me to do. I don’t have any idea what she has planned, other than it has to do with sexual intercourse. I also am me, though, and refusing just isn’t in my nature. My nature hasn’t failed me yet. I am conditioned to do as I’m told, and I do that now. I’m scared but compliant.

I get up and walk to the front. Julie is right behind me.

“All right, as we’ll be demonstrating making love, I need you two to strip. I know, that seems a little embarrassing, but we’ve seen pictures and plastic models, and everyone here has certainly seen stuff on the internet, so there won’t be any surprises. You both are normal kids for your age, and you won’t look any different from anyone else in the class when you’re naked. This is strictly an educational activity, and I expect everyone here to behave as maturely as I know you can. I doubt anyone wants to be kicked out of class today.”

She says this facing the class, then turns to us. “Keith, Julie, why are you still dressed?”

I’ve always been an introverted boy. I’ve found that out by answering internet questionnaires. You answer a bunch of questions about what makes you comfortable and uncomfortable, and you respond to how the situations they describe would make you feel, and at the end, they tell you what sort of personality you have. My result always comes back telling me that I’m an introvert.

I’m not shy. I have friends, I talk to other kids, but I guess it’s true that I don’t talk about myself much. I listen more than talk. I think about what’s being said and sometimes lose track of the conversation due to my thoughts interfering with my listening. Maybe that’s what an introvert does. Another thing that might be true of introverts and is especially true about me: I’m body-shy. Very body-shy.

People have often told me I’m cute. Maybe I am, and maybe I like hearing that, but there’s no way I want anyone to see me without all my clothes on. Look at me clothed all you want. But for heaven’s sake, not when I’m nude! It’s difficult for me to change in the locker room, and I never get all the way naked there. No one but my doctor has seen me nude since I was seven, and even then I was totally uncomfortable.

Getting naked here, in class, with everyone looking at me, everyone else being dressed and sitting staring at me—this is about the worst thing I can imagine happening. This is worse than awful. Worse than horrendous.

Mrs. Roberts’ foot begins tapping again.

Surely she’ll allow us to keep our underwear on. She has to do that. I begin undressing slowly. I very much want Julie to be ahead of me here and all eyes to be on her. There are 26 kids in this class, so 24 are looking at us. A little over half of us are girls. But, girls or boys, I am sure whoever is stripped first will be the focus of their eyes.

I take my eyes off the class and look at Julie. She’s moving as slowly as I am, but she is undressing. I am too. It occurs to me that Mrs. Roberts could not have drawn the names of two better kids for this. Julie is as goody-goody-two-shoes a kid as I am. Neither of us would make waves if dropped into a still pool of water. Would any of the other kids in the class have accepted what we’re being told to do as easily as we two have? I doubt it. It makes me wonder if the drawing was rigged. Not that I’d ever ask.

I’m down to my briefs. Another reason to be mortified. Most 13-year-old boys, which most of us in this class are, wear boxer briefs or boxers. Those are the undergarments of choice these days for boys. I wear briefs. Well, it’s what my mom buys me, and I don’t make a fuss or voice a preference. No one sees what I wear anyway. We don’t shower after gym, and my changing back and forth from gym shorts is done behind my locker door. I only know briefs are out of vogue because I do glance at other boys changing. They almost all wear boxer briefs, with just a few boxers being the other choice.

Julie is in her panty and bra. We stand there looking upset and not making eye contact with anyone. My hands are in front of my briefs. She has one in front of her panty and her other arm concealing her bra. I don’t know why she’s covering her panty; there isn’t any bulge there or any embarrassing lack thereof. For me, there isn’t much bulge either, and I hate that the kids might be wondering about that.

Of course, very few kids my age sport bulges; boxer briefs would make them plain to see if they existed, but at least in my locker room, bulgy boys are missing. Now, I’m standing in front of a class proving I’m the same, and like it or not, I’m embarrassed. But even more than embarrassed, terrified of what comes next.

“Okay, you two,” Mrs. Roberts says, “now the rest of it. Hurry up. We have lots to cover and not that much time. The class knows what naked kids look like. We’ve gone over this in class. You being live models is just another variation, and maybe we should have had this before. But stop dawdling. Do it now!”

If I wasn’t conditioned as rigidly as I am, I’d never do this, but a lifetime of obedience is behind me pushing. I take off my briefs. I don’t drop them; I hold them in my hand and let them strategically dangle over what’s always been hidden before. My face couldn’t be any redder.

It takes Julie longer. She has to remove her bra and panty. She does and drops both. Mrs. Roberts glares at me. Shaking, blushing, I drop by briefs, too.

But my hands go back in front.

“Hands at your sides, both of you, and face the class. Class, anyone making any sort of comments will come up and join these two, then be asked to leave.”

We oblige. The class is silent. We’re now both blushing. Mrs. Roberts ignores that.

The class is very interested in staring at us, but it does remain silent. They know Mrs. Roberts isn’t into making idle threats.

“All right. Now we’ll go into preparations for sexual intercourse. Getting naked is a prelude for that, and so we have these two demonstrating that. Normally, from this point on, they would be in a bed, but with Keith and Julie lying down, you wouldn’t get to see much, and because some partners like to do the act standing, this will still be illustrative. Keith and Julie will remain standing. Well, Keith will.”

She stopped to take a breath. I was trying not to shake.

“Normally there is a lot of foreplay,” she continued. “The purpose of that is to get the participants sexually excited, the woman’s body ready and internally lubricated, the man aroused for penetration.”

She stops and looks at me. I’m not aroused. She frowns.

“Well, perhaps arousal will come later; Keith may be unaccustomed to people watching when he’s, uh, getting sexual, and he could be a little nervous. Boys, don’t be nervous when you’re at this stage of preparation or you might do a Keith.” She thought that was funny. But no one laughed or even cracked a smile. They were too busy gawking. She frowned and continued, “For now, we’ll just have to pretend Keith is erect. You can all imagine that. Julie’s arousal would not be as obvious, but the signs would be erect nipples, flushing of her skin, and possibly some moisture on the lips of her vagina. We’ll assume that, as well. We must as, unfortunately, we can’t have them indulge in foreplay. But we’ve talked about it in class, and you know what they’d be doing to attain maximum arousal. So, imagine that, then accept the fact that they’re both now prepared for penetration.”

What I was preparing to do was to run out of the room, but I can’t. I can only think about that and wish. I stand still, entirely frozen. Most of the class seems to be focusing on me rather than Julie. Both the boys and the girls. I wonder if that’s because boys these days don’t see other naked boys, and this is a rare treat for them. The girls look because they’ve never seen a boy my age with everything showing. Or maybe naked boys are just more interesting than naked girls. Well, they would be for me.

Mrs. Roberts tells Julie to walk to her desk that’s right behind the three of us and has Julie stand facing the side of it, providing a profile view for the classroom. Then she has her lean over it and put her hands on it. Julie does as instructed. Her back is now at something less than a 60° angle and her bare rear end is sticking out. Her small breasts are much more obvious now.

“Keith,” she says, “come over here and stand behind her.”

Reluctantly, in a major fog, I obey. I stand about a foot away from Julie. Our sides are facing the class. Mrs. Roberts tut-tuts. She’s disappointed. She says to the class, “Keith should be erect by now. He’s preparing to penetrate his partner. The height of his arousal should be very obvious to everyone. I was sure . . . well, it’s obvious that instead, he’s still entirely flaccid.”

She shakes her head, then steps up to me, and I’m very worried she’s going to touch me, perhaps fondle me, maybe try to make me erect. Then she stops, and her face lights up.

“I think I know what the problem is here!” She sounds happy. “Mark, come up here for a moment.”

Mark is the cutest boy in the class. I look at him a lot, hoping he never notices. She’s going to have him come up here! He’s coming toward me. I’m naked, and Mark is approaching! He’s smiling! He’s got a devilish smile, and he’s looking at me. All of me.

I start to get hard. Mrs. Roberts smiles. “I thought so. Keith’s gay!”

I panic! No one knows this! But here comes Mark, and I’m getting hard! Everyone can see that! I can’t stop it . . . I’m fully hard now . . .

“Keith! Wake up. You’re going to be late to school!”

I’m suddenly yanked too fast from my dream. It doesn’t even seem to be a dream, even now. It’s way too real, and everything I was feeling then I still feel now. I force myself to sit up in bed. I’m sweating, probably pale, still about half asleep, and disoriented to the max. Light-headed. Confused. Half of me is still in that classroom.

My mom is standing in my doorway. “Hurry up. No time for breakfast. Get a move on. And wear clean undies. Remember, you have Sex Ed today, and who knows what’ll be going on in there.”


Photo by Max Fischer at Pexels