The only sex talk I received came from a cousin-in-law, yes, someone not even related by blood, when I was about the age of eleven. At least I think I was eleven, I'm not sure. Subject matter rolled around girls getting periods, and choosing between tampons or pads. No mention of "hey, you can get pregnant now" or "women have a vagina and men have penises" (hey, just what is the plural of penis? Is it penises or peni?). Thinking back, I believe the closest I came to the sex talk happened when I was riding the merry-go-round and I shot the middle finger at Tony Leco. I got a spanking and was told that showing someone the middle finger was the same as wanting to touch someone's privates and I had better NEVER do that again.
Obviously, five children later, I have learned quite a bit about sex. As my daughters grew up, I knew I was going to be much more modern and cooler than my mom. I was going to be as upfront and open with them as the law allowed. And as I inwardly ranted, raved, and uproared the first time I caught my four year old exploring, outwardly, I calmly explained to her that it was okay to touch and figure out things with your body, but you need to do it in private. Yes, inwardly I cringed, but there was no way I was going to mentally scar my child from being a sexually, self confident woman when she grew up. You'd think that this would have been an easy thing for me to do, but growing up in a family that tarred and feathered children who were caught "exploring," made it more difficult than the simple textbook solution. Seriously, we were spanked, told that it was a sin, and if we did it again we were going to get a bigger spankin. So, telling my children that it was okay, and a natural thing to do, was a big personal battle won. Go me. I was a modern mom.
As my daughters evolved, talking about sex was initiated by them. They came to me, we talked. We covered subjects ranging from STDs, staying safe, making out, erections, oral sex, what the first time felt like, emotional connections, knowing when, and a slew of other things. I was really proud at the information I provided to my girls. Then my seventeen year old took me down a peg. She walks up to me and says,
"Hey mom, how come you never had the sex talk with me?"
Flabbergasted, I replied, "Huh? I've been talking about sex with you since the fifth grade!"
"Yes," returned seventeen year old, "but you never actually told me how."
"How? What do you mean, how." I said clearly puzzled.
"You know, what parts go where and how to use them."
"You mean...that talk,"
Clearly, I had missed something. Yes, I provided them with information, tolerance, and acceptance, but I missed something. Something big...something important. Something I took for granted. What parts go where and how to use them. So I found myself stumbling around words like penis and clitoris and orgasm (she already knew what that was...whew). We talked about hows and whys and whens (again, she thinks she's in love but they both want to wait...whew). EYE talked about knowing your body and what feels right for yourself. That it was important to know your limits, and that when you were ready to take step, only take that step if you are 100% sure.
It was a conversation that was just a bit out of my comfort zone, which is an odd place for me to be, especially concerning my girls. I was a single mom for the first 11 years of their lives. We fought cancer together, battled living with grandma together, found a new dad together. As cornball and lifetime movie network as it sounds, our battles and experiences drew us closer together than a normal mother-daughter relationship. So to feel weird while having an intimate conversation was a whole new ball park. Nevertheless, I am still kicking myself for leaving out a butt load of information. Important information that often leads one to go out and discover by experience if not provided.
So my question is, now that I have a new brood up and coming, how soon is now? I strongly feel that information provides the best defense. And I truly believe that informing is not the same as giving permission to go out and sleep with everything that walks by. Not only that, I have sons, and they are an entirely different kind of beast (no pun intended). What do you tell them? How do you open up that line of conversation? My oldest son is only two, so this gives me about two more years to get ready (Kidding!).
I'm still laughing at myself. How could I have missed that? Which parts go where and how do you use them.
Hmphf, this modern mom has been knocked flat on her modern ass.