We’ve reached the biology part of “How Sex Works”—HOORAY—so everyone strap on your science helmets.
This two-page layout is themed “A girl at puberty” and includes this helpful chart, titled “Differences in growth.” This chart proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that, yes—sometimes humans, even female humans, are different shapes and sizes. Not every human is the same exact height and weight. Seems like the orthodox laws of puberty just got a kick in the ol’ groin. Plus 1
It’s understandable, then, that these particular girls chose to have their faces shadowed out. No one wants to be ostracized by the science community for participating in a study that debunks the traditional thinking that every human is the same person. Also, no one wants to be ostracized by their own group of friends for appearing in a book called “How Sex Works” while wearing a flesh-colored bathing suit.
Hold up though, everyone—my girl Sally has a question:
My breasts are small, but my friend says I still ought to wear a bra, or the muscles will get weak. Do I have to?
Dammit Sally. Your friend is either a complete moron or tricked you into embarrassing yourself in front of everyone single person who has ever read this book (a.k.a. me). I recommend you put down the bra and get some new friends who don’t think going bra-less causes your calf muscles to atrophy. Let’s see what Liz and/or Dick have to say:
Breasts have no muscles.
Thank you. So what have we learned so far?
- Not every person is the same exact size.
- Breasts are not muscles.
I can feel my puberty knowledge blossoming already! Plus 2
Now, if you thought morphing into a breast-muscle missle machine was tough, try turning into a man! There are a lot of questions.
My friends have started laughing about me and saying that I smell. What can I do? William, 14 years
Have you tried not smelling bad, William? I feel like that might be something you can do.
Unlike Sally, William’s friends are actually doing him a favor. You cannot call yourself a friend if your friend stinks and you’re not like, “Dude, you stink.” (h/t Winston Churchill) I’m not sure how it reached the point that William posed this question to a teenage sex book before discovering the wonders of deodorant more organically, but whatevs. Let’s see what Liz and Dick have to offer:
Many things about your body change as you grow up. One of these is that you start to sweat more and your sweat has a different smell. A bath or shower every day is the best safeguard against odor. Wear clean clothes and socks whenever possible. Use deodorant or an antiperspirant; you can buy these in supermarkets and drugstores.
There is a lot of #science in that answer, and it’s kinda presumptuous on Liz and Dick’s part that clean socks are readily available—uh, we’re middle class over here, not British royalty, sheesh. Still, knowing where to buy deodorant is helpful for the super smelly tween like William who has no parents, teachers, or other life resources to guide him on the most basic rules of hygiene. And I should know—I spent three embarrassing months looking for deodorant at various Orange Julius locations until a friendly stranger with a van brought me to a drugstore. Plus 1
What should I do about the fluffy hair on my face? Ben, 15 years
The first thing you should do is stop describing the hair on your face as “fluffy.” Seriously, wtf. Are you a Persian cat? Get a grip on yourself, Ben.
The rest is up to you. You can let the fluffy hair grow wild until you have a weird-ass fluffy as hell adolescent fluff-beard, or you can shave it off with a razor, like, for example, Gillette’s new Fluff-Off Xtreme series of blades. Again, this is a great question for a teenage sex book and not like, your dad. A book taught me how to shave, too. (posts picture of an adolescent me standing at the bathroom sink trying to shave while an open book rests on the counter and my mom stands in the background looking on proudly) Minus 2
My breasts have started to swell , and they are quite sore under the nipples. Am I going to change into a girl? Adam, 15 years
Holy s***, Adam. YES.
This happens in quite a few boys of your age and is nothing to worry about.
Really? I honestly never knew this, but OK—if you say so, weird, outdated sex book. It’s definitely nothing to worry about if you’re a boy and you start growing boobs, which as we all know are just muscles. Plus 1