Paging through an old magazine the other day I came across those photos that were taken of Miley Cyrus for Vanity Fair. I don't know if you remember the pics or the debacle of moral outrage that ensued over bare-backed Miley with a smudge of lipstick, but it was big.

You see, Miley's photos oozed something a purity-ring brandishing teenager isn't supposed to ooze: sexuality.

Apparently, most adults are still under the impression that sex and sexuality are strictly confined to people over the age of 21.

Now, I don't know what your teenage years were like, but mine sure as hell weren't spent in a hormonal vacuum. In fact, much of my puberty was spent crushing on one boy or another and creating wild fantasies about them. And not of the moonshine and roses kind.

One boy in particular taught me a whole lot. Beautiful Tall Tony.

I met Tall Tony at church. I was 14, he was 17. And I swear the only thing that pulled me through those endless sessions of blindingly dull sermonising was thinking about this gorgeous, broad shouldered, dark-eyed boy that would come to sit next to me after the choir had sung.

Fortunately for me, our parents became friends, and between visits of tea and cake, church camps and prayer groups, Tall Tony and I begin our basic training in Seduction 101. We mastered long, lingering stares, coy smiles and slow, intense brushes past each other.

You could've cracked the pew with the sexual tension.

What we were engaging in was the game of flirting – of foreplay really – and it came as naturally as breathing. And why shouldn't it have? Fucking is something the human species has been doing for a very, very long time and technically, we're supposed to be shagging ourselves silly from the moment we hit puberty. Our bodies are wired for it.

The fact that we generally don't is actually contrary to our nature.

So it kinda makes me wonder why people get worked up about apparently seductive images of Miley Cyrus. Is it because she shouldn't be sensual for her age? Or that she shouldn't be having sex at her age?

I'm not sure I understand why people would applaud her hackneyed sense of moral righteousness about her virginity and purity ring and squeal in dismay at a picture that alludes to her as being a sexual being.

I have a suspicion it has to do with the fact that most adults are intimidated by the cocksure sexuality of some teenagers. And if these adults are parents, that kind of denial becomes dangerous.

Pretending sex that only happens on TV isn't going to save our children from pregnancy, wicked men or AIDS. Swaddling sexuality in a blanket of virtuous shame only creates a lifetime of issues.

Maybe its time for us to move out of the Victorian era and stop pretending that youth is a time that's meant to be innocent.

Personally, I only started liking Miley Cyrus when I saw those pics. She was suddenly a really real person instead of that strange Hanna Montana construct she had going for her 24/7. Now I only wonder if the same could happen for the Jonas Brothers...

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