Growing up, many young adults achieve what is long considered to be the pinnacle of awkwardness. Having the sex talk with their parents. If you are really lucky, both your parents will be involved.
I don’t know how parents determine when it is appropriate to broach this subject with their children. It generally seems to happen after you have had your first kiss but before you have sex for the first time. In fact, it generally happens before you have sex education at school and all you know about sex is hearsay from your friends.
Like how one time, my best friend in 5th grade, M, told me about how boys would try to lick the inside of my mouth when we were kissing because that’s how French people kiss, apparently. And all I could imagine was the way our dog, Rosie, sometimes tried to do that and how gross it was. And I vowed to never let a boy lick the inside of my mouth. And I have been pretty successful with that so far.
Anyway, I’ve heard this conversation referred to as “The Birds and the Bees.” I have no idea why it is called that, so I Googled it. Apparently it refers to bees pollinating flowers (the males in this story) and birds laying eggs (the females in this story). I’m not really sure how that relates to humans having sex but, what do I know? I’m not having kids.
I never had that talk with my parents. I was the second youngest of eight kids. I don’t know if my parents had that talk with my other siblings, but they either had it six times before I came along and got tired of it or they never had it with any of us.
I imagine it is uncomfortable for parents to have that talk too. Kids don’t want to talk to their parents about sex. Parents don’t want to talk to their kids about sex. And nobody wants to imagine that anyone else ever has or ever will have sex. But we all do.
I had two conversations about sex, if you want to call them that. Both with my father. Both while he had been drinking.
In the first conversation I was 16 and had walked in the door after spending the night at a friend’s house. My father was on the couch and I tried to run up the stairs without interacting with him.
“Hold on a minute.”
“I want to tell you something.”
I looked at him. “What?”
“I just want you to know; it’s okay if you are gay.”
This conversation was so out of nowhere that I was completely caught off guard and had no idea what an appropriate response was. It took me a few seconds to translate what he had even said into something that made sense in my head. I stood there looking at him blankly for many, many long seconds.
I finally replied with my typical wit. “Okay.”
That was the end of the conversation. I can only imagine that is was spurred on by the fact that I had been allowed to date for months and nobody was interested. Also, I didn’t wear makeup and had an extremely short haircut. (My father wasn’t exactly progressive).
The following year I had my first boyfriend. He was handsome and a foreign exchange student. One night, I came home from a date to find my father, again on the couch.
This became a common scenario with my father drunkenly watching television when I arrived home from a date. He would insist that I stay up for an hour or two and watch TV with him.
One night he turned to me. “It doesn’t matter what you do sexually. As long as you are honest with everyone involved.” This, it turns out, was one of the best pieces of advice I ever received from either one of my parents.
And that was the extent of my conversations with my parents about where babies come from. But one time I read this book that said orgasms feel like sneezes.
I like the feeling of sneezing. I don’t know if I would compare it to an orgasm. It’s more like peeing when you have been holding it for a long time. I would say taking off a really uncomfortable bra after wearing it for 12+ hours is closer to an orgasm. Afterwards you just feel so relaxed and comfortable.