Friday, November 06, 2009

Giving "the talk"

A friend of mine has a pubescent son who is showing signs of interest in sex and the pleasures of his own body.

I think many kids are embarrassed by having the world of sex and the world of their parents mix, or even touch. So instead of "an earnest talk", I suggested getting the kid a couple of books, and not even handing them to him, but placing them on his shelf for himself to find.

I know I would have preferred that when I was young (And it was pretty much what happened). Don't you think many kids are like that too?

Or maybe another way is to have a friend of the family do The Talk. But personally I think it's too big a subject to be covered in a talk, I think some study is the ticket. Of course I was very much a Reader from an early age. What do you think?


The Dissonance said...

I found the 'book' in my Jr. High school library. I was shocked but it was a great read. I gave my grandson a recommended book. My son figured it out long before I even thought about giving him 'the talk'.

Word Verification: adicirm sounds like a topical ointment.

Anonymous said...

These days they pretty much force that stuff on the schools, so parents are off the hook. IT shouldn't be necessary for him to say anything.

Your Humble Narrator said...

As a kid, I'd have rather lived in an environment where sex was openly talked about and never regarded as a big deal. I figure that's the healthiest attitude, personally. S'pose it depends on the kind of kid you're dealing with.

Philocalist said...

Its an issue like this that raises a question in my mind about the pros and cons of the internet.
I'm taking a wild guess here, but I would think that any child, male or female, in the 'developed' countries of the world, will have had access to virtually unlimited imagery and information by the time they reach this age.
Much of this will have been of a sexual nature, good or bad, but the balance of probability is that they may well have a distorted vision of 'reality' where sexual issues are concerned.
As a father, I raised a daughter alone. Last year, she married in her mid 20's (having had very little interest in the WWW; just five months later, my son was born, and already I realise that this could potentially become a nightmare, as I know that it is nigh on impossible to protect a child from everything, all of the time ... particularly where the internet is concerned.
I'm wracking my brain trying to recall how I 'discovered' these 'joys' ... think it might have been 'trial and error', as I have no recollection at all of 'The Talk'! :-)

Monsieur Beep! said...

Always done under cover, but producing billions of offspring: extremely amazing, or just typical?

Kent McManigal said...

My parents gave me a book. I'd have preferred my parents had found a knowledgable female to teach me. Nothing like hands-on knowledge.

terry said...

growing up i learned everything about sex from my older brother and girlie mags, when i fathered two sons and they were old enough to be given the "talk" they looked at me and said, "What do you want to know about sex Dad?"

TC [Girl] said...

HILARIOUS, Terry!! lol! :-)

Anonymous said...

Hmm... It is best to start to discuss it with children before they get to puberty - that way they do not get so embarrassed. No need to get into too much detail - only go into a little more depth if they ask, and you feel it is appropriate.

When I got married the second time, my 2 daughters knew more about pregnancy than my new wife when she got pregnant - despite more daughters only being about 11 and 12.

eolake said...

Personally I think under-exposure is far more damaging than over-exposure. The latter just makes for boredom at worst.

Anyway, my grandmother told about as an adult young woman she talked about with a couple of girl friends about babies and such. One of them professed the theory that they came out through the navel...

eolake said...

Wouldn't it be nice to live in a society where such was possible.

neeraj said...

... a knowledgable female to teach me.

That would be the best, I agree ... I personally would have preferred that very much, too. Of course, with the right atmosphere, in a loving way, at the right moment. I don't recall how it was exactly with me. I was a late starter. To know about the facts was one thing, with the help of some books available, but to explore it all and to grow into some deeper understanding was a long way which could have been much faster. But o.k., I don't complain, it was an interesting journey, full of life and love.

I don't know what to recommend today, because I have no children. Basically I see it as a delicate balance between 'not to force anything' and 'giving the right impulse', very individually. Maybe it's a good idea to have a help from some understanding friend ... but be aware of the actual laws about 'sex offenders' :-(

The basic problem, as I see it, is that 'we' (= Western civilization) don't have developped appropriate rituals of initiation for the passage from boy to man resp. from girl to woman. Such a ritual should not only give a knowledge about some basic facts, but much more: An experience of the beauty, the wonder and the 'sacredness' of sex, opening a door into the space of developping love, awe and even 'cosmic consciousness'. Sex understood deeply in a loving way is the first rung of a ladder into something universal.

I know, when it comes to the issue of sex, many don't know about the life enhancing and spiritual quality of it, even hysterically denying it. Put the blame for it on the various religious belief systems. They don't differ in suppressing sex, because 'it is evil'. But that's a self-fulfilling prophecy: If you suppress it, it WILL become evil. And that creates a vicious circle. For a better future we have to break this, and the only hope is an individual revolution.

In my vision, in a better world experienced women would teach boys to grow into manhood, and experienced men would teach girls to grow into womanhood. Of course, it's delicate and needs a rightly understanding society around it and very responsible really adult and wise people fulfilling this vision ... which is simply not the case right now, except hidden exceptions I don't know about. Maybe so in some future. (At least it was possible in some tantric past long ago, as far as I know.)

Or maybe it would be a good solution what the Anthropologist Bronislaw Malinowski reported about the sexual education among the Trobriander ( For some more details see (from German Humboldt-University, but in English).

However, I'm taking the risk of panicked reactions ... just look at the fact that even simple innocent nudity provokes such hysteria as you can see all around. And many other hysterias mostly caused by suppressed sex resulting into violence around the world (about this mechanism see e.g. the work of Wilhelm Reich). Sometimes one can get really depressed about the state of human race. "Homo sapiens" - what bitter irony it can be!

I have to tell a joke as a counterbalance - but first I have to split ...

neeraj said...

Be aware, it's a religious joke about another 'giving the talk':

A "modern" Islamic couple, preparing for a religious wedding, meets with their Mullah for counseling. The Mullah asks if they have any last questions before they leave.

The man asks "We realise it's tradition in Islam for men to dance with men and women to dance with women. But, at our wedding reception, we'd like your permission to dance together."

"Absolutely not," says the Mullah. "It's immoral. Men and women always dance separately."

"So after the ceremony I can't even dance with my own wife?"

"No," answered the Mullah, "It's forbidden in Islam."

"Well, okay," says the man, "What about sex? Can we finally have sex?"

"Of course!" replies the Mullah, "Alla ho Akber! Sex is OK within marriage, to have children!"

"What about different positions?" asks the man.

"Alla ho Akber! No problem." says the Mullah.

"Woman on top?" the man asks.

"Sure," says the Mullah. "Alla ho Akber. Go for it!"

"Doggy style?"

"Sure! Alla ho Akber!"

"On the kitchen table?"

"Yes, yes! Alla ho Akber!"

"Can we do it with all my four wives together on rubber sheets with a bottle of hot oil, a couple of vibrators, leather harnesses, a bucket of honey and a porno video?"

"You may indeed. Alla ho Akber!"

"Can we do it standing up?"

"No." says the Mullah.

"Why not?" asks the man.

"Because that could lead to dancing."

Pascal [P-04referent] said...

I'm rather at ease with speaking to people.
A few years back, I met a young cousin, in his early teens, which I had barely seen. We started chatting. He told me he liked comics a lot. I asked him: "So, you also like to read books for grown-ups?"
He stared at his shoes and answered with a very shy voice: "Sometimes..."
I smiled and specified: "What I meant, was books with no pictures in them!"
We pretty soon got along just great. :-)

I think it's complementary. Some things books are very useful and convenient for, for others it's best to have somebody you can speak frankly with.
Provided there is such a person.
I was about 5 when my parents, using a well-designed article in a parenting magazine, explained to me "everything". It seems to have greatly helped me be mature and level-headed about such things later on. While some of my friends would hilariously tell me "dirty" jokes whose only laughing reason was their being "dirty". No wit, no funny punchline, but hey, if it's kinky, you're supposed to automatically burst into giggling laughter.
I'm acutely aware of how lucky I am, to have had open sensible parents in this very repressed (and repressive) mediterranean society.

My brother's kids are still quite young. Last year, the older one, a boy, said to his mother after their bath: "My sister doesn't have a wee-wee.
- Yes", his mother said", I told you, little girls don't have a wee-wee. Only little boys have one.
- I have a wee-wee!"
Then he paused for a second, pointed at me, and said: "Uncle Pascal doesn't have a wee-wee!"
My, and nobody had told me until that day? ;-)
Hey, he used basic logic: Uncle Pascal is NOT a little boy! He's very big. :-)
Um... still, maybe we should go over "the talk" one more time before quiz day, no?

Facing "the talk" can also help the adult face his/her own inhibitions by remembering that these things are very natural.

You use Adicirm too? ;-)

This is one of the major reasons why I'm so enthusuastic to promote Domai and GoddessNudes. Straightening the very badly crooked vision of things that are beautiful and natural.

"as I have no recollection at all of 'The Talk'!"
Hmmm... suggesting the presence of amnesic repression.
I've become quite aware of my having repressed some major memories, exactly like Freud mentioned.
But they typically were not repressed because they were related to sex. I seem to have never repressed memories related to THIS topic. More related towards the horrors of war, and, more importantly, linked to people being mean to a child (me).
The sort of memories we repress are highly informative about what traumatized us (and still does).
Then again, lucky me, I was never sexually abused. We're not always responsible for determining what we need to repress. Sometimes "shit just happens", you know?
Overall, I think I managed pretty well, in regard to growing up relatively balanced.
Maybe this is why I like to help those who were less fortunate, even in the "privileged West".

"Always done under cover"? Uhm... pun intended? :-D
Whatever happened to good ol' fashoned "rolling in the hay"? Or "cooking Mama on the kitchen table"? Or "back seat rocking"?
I wonder how many of us came into existence NOT under the wooly warmth... of a BLANKET! (what else, you pervs?), and/or thanks to the marvellous virtues of ethanolated beverages.
Ah well, it's alway the labor of love. Intense, sweating labor.
Esteemed officers of the law, now I hope you reflect about this next time, before rudely interrupting a couple "celebrating life". A thoughtless uniformed intrusion, a rude shriek from Granny Spinster, might well prevent the birth of the next Mozart. So please be considerate and "do not disturb". :-)

That was "the talk" of Doctor Pascal, meant as a public service message. Please transmit it around you.

Pascal [P-04referent] said...

Hilarious? Yes, definitely. But also cute.
I'd love to become buddies with your children. They're SO the helpful, considerate type, friendly towards their elders! :-)
Besides, I might have a couple of technical questions they could help me with. Before quiz day, I hope!

"One of them professed the theory that they came out through the navel..."
No-no-no, you've got it all wrong! A little kid once explained to me: "when the baby in the belly is ready, you press the button, and the baby comes out". (Authentic quote.)

"I'd have preferred my parents had found a knowledgable female to teach me."
Wouldn't we all? :-)

"Nothing like hands-on knowledge."
Um... did you mean that LITERALLY?
Ah, who gives a f... I mean, a [respectful mating in a spirit of love]? Let's TAKE it literally! :-)

Actually, many young men HAVE learned that way. The exception exists. They're just too wise to publicize it. Fortunately.
"Oh, Stifler's Mom!" :-)

"The basic problem, as I see it, is that 'we' (= Western civilization) don't have developped appropriate rituals of initiation for the passage from boy to man resp. from girl to woman."
Many scholars lecture in worry about "the disappearance of coming of age rituals in the West". They say stuff like wasting a year of your life doing military service had a precious symbolic value. I'm not too convinced. I mean, I'm not convinced about "rituals for the sake of rituals". I put far more value into learning than into undergoing the "ceremony that everyone undergoes".
See previous paragraph.
Some (many?) people need to feel a sense of purpose, to "fit in" by being like all the dudes (well, like the COOL dudes). Others only need the means to find their own purpose.
Besides, many "rites of passage" mainly result in extreme social pressure from fear of failing. I loathe that. Always have, always will.
So, "APPROPRIATE rites of passage" is quite aptly formulated, Neeraj.

"I know, when it comes to the issue of sex, many don't know about the life enhancing and spiritual quality of it, even hysterically denying it."
Yes, this addresses the node of the problem: how can a teacher teach more than (s)he knows?
Not to mention the issue of determining WHO is, or should be, a teacher. Outside from the parents, most of the self-appointed ones are about as helpful to young minds as a bulldozer through an egg hatchery. With a drunken driver.
But enough reminiscing about the Boston bishops. ):-P

"Homo sapiens" - what bitter irony it can be!
That's because nobody wants to be known as "Homo stupidus".
It's lucky enough that some dare call themselves "Homo sexual". ;-)

BTW, Neeraj, with apologies, but I just HAVE to steal your joke, translate it, and blog it in the near future. I'm preparing a post about the comic book biography of BinLaden (in French), which I'm currently reading. It's got a great image of young Osama discovering that "the West promotes filthy smut" (pant, pant!)... :-)

Pascal [P-04referent] said...

Just got this pearl of wisdom from a fortune cookie... on Facebook!
"Conscience is the voice of the soul, passions are the voice of the body."
It's all about harmony, isn't it? Harmony requires good balance. :-)

Pascal [P-04referent] said...

"However, I'm taking the risk of panicked reactions ..."
Trobriander savages? Eek! Time to panickate!!! Hayulp!

neeraj said...

... I just HAVE to steal your joke ...

STEAL? How are you going to do THAT? I will have it anyway ;-) Except you have developped some method of telehypnotizing:

"Now relax ... relax more ... you are going to get sleepy ... sleepy ... and now you will forget all about this joke ... forget ... forget ...";-)

So, just go on ... BTW I have STOLEN it myself, I don't remember from whom :-) And even if you are successful with that hypnotizing, I have it stored on my hard disk! One day I will stumble upon it again ...

(In German it's called 'RAUBKOPIERTERRORIST' or some variation of this ;-)

I simply declare this joke as 'open source'.

Pascal [P-04referent] said...

I downloaded it from the internet, so...


Recently got me the Futurama DVD of Bender's Game. In the extras, is a sequence titled "Bender's anti-piracy warning". A parody of the classic, unskippable, warning present at the start of this very DVD... but Bender style! Your friendly neighborhood devoid-of-morals kleptomaniac robot comments on what the voiceover is saying to him (with increasing desperation): "You would? But, er, you wouldn't steal... a human head?"
Hilarious, had me in stitches. Rather than spoil it all for you, I'll hope one of youse mokes can find it (or post it) on U-tube. Because I might have about 15 minutes of power left before midnight. Time to return my rental jack-o-lantern carriage while the lights are still on and the battery's still holding. Or sumpkin'.
Oops! Lost my slipper. I've got to get me a new pair before winter really settles in.
(A drag princess, me? Why, what in Fairyland would give you such an idea?)

neeraj said...

"Bender's anti-piracy warning" ...

I'll hope one of youse mokes can find it (or post it) on U-tube.

Yes, see

Pascal [P-04referent] said...

Neat. Thanks, meatbag. .-(8°#)=

BTW, don't you think Bender would find cigar smoking more convenient if he followed the latest afro-lebanese fashion?
(Hmm, maybe THAT's what these Tripoli boys are finding "romantic"? Huge cigars?...)

"Son, we REALLY need to have a talk. Ever heard of GIRLS?"

Pascal [P-04referent] said...

Hmm... my dictionary tells me that "moke" is equivalent to "nigga". That's not at all what I meant. My "Thirties" gangster slang ain't too good, see. Perhaps the right woid is "mooks"?
Unless that's just another mix of two slurs.
(sigh) Now ya gotsa go ta college foist so's ya can be a mobster? Shoot. Dis friggin' sucks. Who sez ta walk da walk ya gots ta talk "the talk"?
(Is that a clever return on topic, or what? :-)