Do you remember the first time you learned about doing it? A recently released survey done by AVG Technologies has revealed that by the age of ten years old, most children today will have already had their first “birds and the bees” talk with their parents. This is significantly earlier than previous generations, with parents in the survey reporting not having had the conversation until they were at least 15, if ever. Part of that quick jump to those uncomfortable conversations is because of how readily available porn is. 47 percent of parents surveyed said they had the sex talk earlier because they figured their kid was going to find their way to Pornhub — might as well explain all that moaning and bare, hairless flesh.
Back in the day we didn’t have the threat of kids being constantly plugged in, so there was time for more analog “facts of life” talks. Here are some of our favorites from around the office.
From the Library
My parents gave me the book Where Did I Come From? when I was five or six. I still have it. The exact same copy. I mostly remember looking at the book with my friend while lying on my living room floor. I think there was definitely a bit of awkwardness and a sense of naughtiness, but at the same time the book is so unsexy that it made sex feel like “that gross thing your parents do” more than anything else. (If you can find pictures from the book, look at it.)
That said, I had been masturbating since I was three, so I was vaguely aware of sexual pleasure all the same.
You Know, Right?
When I was 11 or 12, my mom — a super-sweet lady who I’m very close to, but who is very, very squirmy about anything capital-A Adult — said, “You know about sex, right?” I said yes. She told me to ask her any questions I had whenever I had them, and I’m sure I did, at some point. Honestly, that was exactly what I wanted in a sex talk.
When I was 10 years old, my puppy got into my mom’s room and began to chew up her supply of condoms. Following Chloe into the room, I noticed bits of chewed up latex and wrapper on the ground. “Mom, Chloe’s chewing this weird thing!” I shouted. My mom decided to take me out to a Friendly’s — an ice cream chain in New England — to have a little talk with me. I began to cry. I’m not sure why. It might have been the fact that I learned my mom was having sex, but more likely it was because my puppy had been in very close proximity to all of it.
Our Bodies, Yourselves
My mom tried to sit me down and talk to me when I was eight or nine, after she realized I’d heard some incorrect basics from That One Childhood Friend Who Was Always Trying to Show Me Her Vagina. When she started to tell me, she was so nervous, and I ran away screaming and crying, “HOW COULD YOU DO THIS TO ME???” Eventually she gave my Our Bodies, Our Selves and made me promise to read it. I didn’t. I don’t recall how old I was when I found everyone wasn’t a C-section (like I was), but I was real upset.
It wasn’t really a birds and the bees talk but when I was 17, I went to Warped Tour and they were handing out free condoms. I took a few and stashed them in my underwear drawer and completely forgot about them. A few weeks later, my mom was helping me clean and I didn’t know that she had gone through my drawers and saw the condoms. She woke me up in the morning and basically immediately asked if I was having sex because she found the condoms. When I groggily explained where I got them from with my head still in my pillow, and that, yes, I had had sex with my ex boyfriend but wasn’t having sex with anyone at that time, she didn’t say anything and just nodded her head, and I just laid there. The next morning, there was a large new box of condoms in my drawer.
Back to School
I had to take a class with my parents in the evenings every Wednesday for like four weeks with my dad. We never had a “talk” per se. I was super embarrassed the whole class. But I learned what masturbation is, so it was 100 percent worth it.
Take It Easy
I don’t think my parents ever tried to have a sex talk with me. However, a week before I went to college my older brother got really serious out of the blue and said “Just…. don’t be easy.” And that was it.
Always Wear Socks
The only thing I remember is being told when I was like, four or five, that “a condom is like a sock for a penis.”
I was eight years-old, when my mom told me that women suck mens’ penises like lollipops. This all happened after I was sucking on a popsicle in front of the guy she was dating at the time. It was one of those rainbow pops that was long. I guess it made her feel weird. I felt horrified, and grossed out by the thought of doing that to a man when it certainly wouldn’t taste like my favorite things to eat.