Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Sex Talk -- The Basis For Life, the Bedrock of All Parental Trauma

Brad got a nice refresher from Ali, his six-year-old on his sex ed talk that we had so many years ago when he was eight the other day.  She told him that he has no womb.  She knows this because of a book she checked out of the library. 
Brad and Julia apparently don’t feel the initial sex talk I had with him him went well enough so many years ago provided a decent enough pattern, so they’ve allowed Ali to do it for herself it would appear.
I really didn’t do a very good job. I actually used paper and pencil with him for some unbelievable reason.  I have no defense.  It just seemed like a good idea at the time.  
Brad and I I were parked in my Volkswagen Beetle outside of Peruvian Park Elementary School for appropriate privacy, I remember, and I stammered and stuttered through the whole thing.  At the last minute I remembered talking about the rabbits we’d been raising and I recall saying “Didn’t it ever occur to you knowing how baby rabbits were made?” 
And he responded, “Yeah, but then I thought, ‘That couldn’t be.’” And our conversation was over.
Ben’s sex talk was even worse. I just kept talking to him waiting for  some
response to come over his face. It never came.  He stayed perfectly stoic.  I asked him later about it, years later, and he tried to comfort me by saying he knew most of it anyway. I knew it was a lie, but I took comfort from it anyway.
It’s amazing more of our children are not in analysis from the way we raise them. We probably ought to just give them books and let them learn about the Facts of Life on their own anyway. Didn’t most of our parents do a pretty lousy job of it, either by omission or blundering through.  
Friends had it all wrong, by-and-large, but at least they weren’t so traumatizing.


Anna said...

I never really had the "sex talk" with either of my parents. We had "sex ed" classes at school, where the girls would go into one room and learn about the female body and the boys would go into another room and learn about the male body. About 7th grade they put all together so we would learn the opposite gender, but very analitical and medically based. Although, my mom did asked each of us if we would rather have her explain it to us. I chose to stick with the school, while my older sister chose our mom, but I think our mom forgot to talk to my sister about it or left a few things out, because she had to get a crash course from her husband on their wedding night. But, all in all I think we generally know what's supposed to happen when the time comes, either from "sex ed" at school or talking with our parents and friends.

Becky said...

I don't think I ever had a talk from my parents, but I did check books out of the library. My parents were available as I got older to talk to, it was a little uncomfortable. As a parent I have let my husband talk to my sons (at least the oldest), I take care of our daughter. I think we need to talk to our children about sex. There is so much sexuality pushed by the media. We want our children to know facts, that it is nothing to be shy about (yes, you will be attracted to someone) and that there is a time and a place. Sorry to get on a soap box...good topic!

Lindsey said...

My friend's parents showed her a video. It was a cartoon. It was traumatizing.