Oh, god. The awkward.
We all remember the mortifying "talk" with our own parents. We all also have stories of parents pretending sex doesn't exist and feigning ignorance about our virginity, well into adulthood. Eventually, every parent has to have "the talk" with their kids, and when they do the results tend to be rather awkward ... and super hilarious.
Check out some stories from both parents and their children about their first time having "the talk."
1. I used an opening joke.
"I found that humor made it better. I started off with, 'I'm a parent, so I don't know anything about sex. If you want to know anything, just go ask the kids at school,' and that broke the barrier and made the rest of the conversation easier. We had this talk when they were in grade school (as girls were already give boys blow jobs.)
"We talked about touching, using your tongue and mouth (which grossed them out!) and actual penetration. I have girls and I told them about keeping their body as a temple; don't let anyone in unless they really want it in there. I told them I'd answer any questions."
2. I was straightforward ... and my son was horrified.
"He was 9 and an older kid told him about something called sex so he asked me what it was. I wasn't prepared, but didn't want to avoid his question, so I told him what it was. He was horrified and said that he would never do that. Then, I said if he really loved someone he would feel differently because he would want to be close to them. His response was a whew and then, 'I don't have to worry about that until I'm in fourth grade!'"
3. Sex-Ed courtesy of Miley Cyrus.
"I told my 10-year-old boy about sex when he was in fourth grade. I figured it was time. I bought an age appropriate sex book and we read it together. Then, we went on the internet and Googled 'conception' to watch millions of sperm swimming to one egg.
"He said this topic was 'very interesting because it was like science.' I haven't told him about homosexuality yet. His cousin has a partner whom my son calls 'Aaron's brother.' He also found the Nicki Minaj 'Anaconda' video on YouTube. This blew his mind. He couldn't believe that a girl would touch another girl's butt.
"He also found the Miley Cyrus 'Wrecking Ball' video. That was another chapter in his development. I got a note from his teacher that said he was telling the little girls in his class about both videos. It's hard to keep kids young. He's still pretty innocent. I have another book that's more sophisticated than the first one. I'm planning to read that one with him soon."
4. I made them pay for condoms ... while I stood there and watched.
"I've always been fairly open about sex with my kids. It's not a taboo subject in my house. I didn't want them growing up thinking that they should be ashamed of their bodies or that the sex of their partner mattered so long as those partners were good people, so I've brought it up regularly since they were young.
"We've had more of a running conversation through the years rather than a 'let's sit down and have The Big Uncomfortable OMG-I-Don't-Want-To-Be-Here conversation' that you see on sitcoms and hear about from your friends. The conversation started when my eldest got old enough to notice her brother had different parts than she did, so we talked about it ... age appropriately.
"We talked again when they started middle school, again when they had sex education classes in school (both years), yet again when puberty started, and when they started dating. We continue to discuss it now (they're 15 and 17) and I'm proud to say that both of my children come to me with their questions. They know I'll give them the straight answer. I also don't make a big deal out of these talks.
"There's no reason to feel shame or embarrassment on either side. I always kept age appropriateness in mind, used proper names (penis and vagina, not willy or thingy), and most importantly, I let them know that both their bodies and those of their partners (when they were old enough to start thinking about sex) were to be treated with respect, that no means no, and that sex is best when love and trust are involved.
"Then, when they started high school, I took them to the local drug store, gave them some money, and made them pay for condoms while I stood and watched. You see, I don't want to encourage them to have sex; I just want to ensure that when they do have sex, they do it safely."
5. I used the correct anatomy; she was mortified.
D = Daughter (11 years old)
M = Me
M: So, when 2 people are attracted to each other, they kiss. And they also do other things like touch each other to give the other person pleasure. That's why we also call it making love.
D: Gross! (She couldn't even look me in the eyes; she was so embarrassed.)
M: It won't be when you are ready to do it. Anyway, the touching of each other's private parts can also lead to sex. Sexual intercourse (when between a man and woman; I tried to be as PC as I could) is when the penis enters the vagina.
D: Oh, no! (She threw her hands over her face at this point, and couldn't look at me at all.)
M: Sweetie, I know it's hard to understand this now, but wouldn't you rather hear this from your mother first? During intercourse, the man and woman feel really good and close, and sometimes they both (or just one person) have an orgasm. When the man has an orgasm, he ejaculates semen. You will learn more about this in health class.
M: I don't want to overwhelm you with too many details. When women orgasm, they feel really, really good. I know I'm going to sound old-fashioned, but you only want to have sex when you are in love with someone. It's a special bond and not something you want throw around. You want to honor and respect your body. You don't want boys/men to use you or take advantage of you. It's special and private. OK?
D: Um, OK.
Overall, I believe she listened to everything I had to say, but she was definitely embarrassed and uncomfortable. That's pretty normal for an 11-year-old girl, I suppose.