Thursday 10 September 2009

The Sex Talk

I am so not prepared for "the sex talk". Actually, I think I'm more prepared to give my daughter the talk but far less prepared to give my son the talk.

My mom and dad never gave me the sex talk. Well, I think my mom probably thinks she gave me the sex talk but by the time she got round to it I think I had lost my virginity. I must have been about 17. And my dad, well, let's just say I think my father imagines both of my children were conceived via immaculate conception. I should have been named Mary.

I went to Catholic school and let's just say they teach sex education the way they teach the theory of evolution. They don't.

I was annoyed, nay outraged, when I read my Oprah magazine a few months back to find that they had dedicated the entire issue to talking to your daughters about sex. Hey, what happened to our sons? Isn't it just as important to talk to our sons about their roles and responsibilities? Doesn't so much that happen to our daughters around sex happen because of the boys and what they've been taught (or not)?

But let's not get ahead of ourselves. I'm still at the basics. Stuck there really. I don't have a clue on how to approach this with either of my children. And Seb is definitely at the age where he needs to have a talk.

I've read the general advice: Make sure the vocabulary is accurate but also age appropriate. This could be a contradiction. My husband doesn't even use what I would consider to be accurate terminology. Or age appropriate for that matter. And who's to say what is age appropriate. My daughter is far more mature at 5 than her brother is at 8 about some things.

Oh, I'm so afraid.

I attempted the talk one time when I was out having lunch with him. Just me and him bonding. Over pizza. Jump right in.

I asked him if he wanted to know anything about sex. He didn't miss a beat and replied it was just about a whole lot of kissing and he wasn't all that interested. Right then. Job done.

Just kidding. I knew my job was far from over.

My sister's advice was simple and straightforward. Tell them all. Tell them everything. Tell them now. She assures me this is the approach she's taken with her daughter and that it has worked a treat. I reckon she does this just so they get so overwhelmed they never broach the subject with her again. And I'll bet her daughter's extensive vocabulary makes her very popular at school. Now I'm thinking she might have something here.

You see, I was racing through the drugstore the other day. I was buying Seb a new hair brush and comb, a new toothbrush and some toothpaste, some shampoo, all for boarding school. Oh and I just need to grab me some of these. What's those, mum? Um, just things for mummy when she bleeds.


We join the queue.

So, mummy, why do women bleed?

I gasp. The lady in front of us whips her head around, looks at Sebastian, then at me and cracks me one of those "whatcha gonna say to that?" smiles.

My pulse quickens and my palms sweat. OK, I can handle this. Just the facts mam.....

Women bleed so they can have babies.


Here's me thinking I've managed that one. But nooooooo. it was never going to be that easy.

What does bleeding have to do with havin' babies, mum?

At this point the whole queue is snickering. Loudly. Indiscreetly. I take a deep deep breath. I bend down to his level and smack him. Not really.

I calmly explain to my son in a soft, gentle, supportive voice at his level that this is one of those private subjects that I am happy to explain to him in excruciating detail in private, when we are alone, say in the car. And the radio is turned up.

So we carry on with our errands and an hour or so later return to the car. I have bought him a book on astronomy hoping the distraction factor would be sufficient to keep his attention. I crank up the radio just as soon as I start the car up. We exit the parking garage singing loudly and there I am feeling smug with myself in the hopes that he has forgotten all about it.

I turn right on the road and feel myself coasting home when he leans forward, turns off the radio, and says, ok, so explain, the whole bleeding baby thing.

Heaven help me. I nearly drove the car off the bridge and into the rushing river.

So I gave him the facts. Very basic. Nothing about the seeds and daddy's role. Nothing about loving relationships or healthy expressions of your needs and desires. Or the anatomy.

So I ask you my beloved readers: you gotta help me out here. Anyone got a script I can read from. I just don't think my "when you bleed you're not having a baby and when you don't you are" will put him off for much longer.

And be quick about it. I'm on the verge of a nervous breakdown here.


Anonymous said...

If he is asking, it is time for the straight forward are a wonderful mum and he is very bright..whatever he wants to know he will ask..He will lead the conversation, just fill in the can do it...Love Mom

Anonymous said...

Although I have a few years yet, please forward me the the "script" when you get it!!!! Miss Shelby

Carol said...

There are some really good books to help. Let them have a look and ask the questions.

Clare said...

Boys, Girls & Body Science: A First Book about Facts of Life by Meg Hickling. It comes highly recommended, but I haven't read it myself. The one negative comment I saw said it was more appropriate for 6-7 year olds, not a bad thing.
Love ya, C

Janell said...

Your response sounded perfect to me. And your mom is right - just answer his questions.