And I Wrote This Book.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Home-Schooling: The Sex Talk

It began as an everyday day. Having cleaned off a bowl of Lucky Charms, I placed it in the kitchen sink. Everything was fine so far, perfectly boring.

Then Dawn entered the room. She stepped towards me with wide-eyed authority.  In the next few seconds, I’d receive news I’d never forget. Though I’d try.

“Robyn Mommy told me how babies are made. Wanna know?” Dawn allowed no time for response.

A fragile 9 year old, I planned to avoid boys forever, at least until after I married one. By then I’d be much older, like 22. In the moment, though, I wasn’t at all curious about babies or boys or anything besides going back into the den to watch Tom and Jerry.

But Dawn was a person of vast wisdom and maturity. She was 10.

So as my big sister stood inches from me on the blue and white speckled floor, I couldn’t help but listen.

Dawn scrunched up her face in preparation. She took in a quick, decisive breath.  Next, the news spewed forth in a tone overflowing with disgust and glory. “The man puts his penis in the woman’s va-gi-na,” she informed, with enthusiastic emphasis on each syllable of “va-gi-na.”

Finished with her tutorial, my big sister turned and left the room.   

I froze, confused, utterly mortified, determined to shake off what I’d just learned…It didn’t work.   

Nearly 40 years later, it still doesn't work.

And to think, it began as an everyday day. 


How were you home-schooled on sex? That was it for me. [Sometimes the silent messages have the loudest impact.]  I'd love your story, maybe for an article in - in which case, I'll let you know. At any rate, I welcome your version of Home-Schooling: The Sex Talk, either in the comments section below (if it's brief) or through email (see my profile page). Thank you!

Happy, sexy-or-ordinary weekend and new week!


  1. Mine was far worse.
    My creepy step-father sat me down on his lap with the book called "Girls and sex". I was like 8 or 9. This was around the time he started molesting me.
    The book had pictorial diagrams. It was ridiculously overwhelming for a small child who only wanted to know when the baby was going to come OUT, not how it got there. For goodness sake, I already had one younger brother and I was 6 when he was born. I didn't care THAT much.

    So... that was pretty horrifying all around. My mom sat in the same room and just... watched. I was like "WTF MOM?"
    Letting some creepy BOY talk to me. Blegh.

    I'm still scarred.

    The talk with my kids went much differently. I let them lead the conversation. They are still probably scarred but at least they actually ASKED for it lol.

  2. My dear friend, thanks so much for sharing that. We're such a sick society, especially in terms of sex. It's rare that kids get home-based messages that are safe and healthy, imparted in safe and healthy ways.

    I'm so sorry for what you endured. It's the strong, resilient parents like you who turn things around for our kids to grow up with healthy teachings about sex.

    Thanks so much, again, for bravely sharing.

  3. Thank you though. I don't see myself as brave. Just wish people would let the kid lead the conversation. Sometimes our little brains can only hold so much, can only accept or absorb so much before it is TOO much.

    My sex talk was one of those times.

  4. No, not at all. You've paved the way. In the field (social services), we know how common this is, and how healing it can be for others to know they're not alone.

  5. My talks with my kids was worlds different than the non-talk when I was growing up.

  6. haha can happen on an everyday easy enough. Mine was basically keep it in my pants until I can afford the consequences if one slipped past the goalie haha

  7. I wrote a post about my sex talk experience. It's called "The Birds and the Bees" and it's archived on 3/9/12 if you want to check it out.

  8. Are you kidding? I figured out what I was really doing with my wife. Fortunately, she's a very patient woman.

  9. The day before my wedding, my Mom asked me if I needed to talk about “marital relations.” It might have been helpful if I had not been almost 25 years old. I assured her that I knew the basics.

  10. haha hilarious...

    I think i came across that great piece of literature, Where did I cum from, at 8.

    yep, its still weird. lol

  11. Does anyone still talk about the stork these days?

  12. This story was pretty hilarious Robyn, I can't remember how I picked up on things because there definitely wasn't any kind of grand talk or something, I laughed really hard at her saying "Mommy told me how babies are made. Wanna know?" for some reason.

    Miley's comment really moved me too, it takes an incredible amount of courage to admit that Miley and I'm so sorry that you were forced to go through something like that.

  13. I was in such denial, that when someone tried to shock me with the truth, I simply didn't believe it.

    Miley, you sound like an awesome mom. I am impressed that you are so healthy and balanced with your own children.

    Bless you guys.

  14. I didn't have a big sister, and my folks weren't much for giving the benefit of their knowledge on that score

    So all of the neighborhood boys went up in the tree house and speculated

    If nothing else it was entertaining

  15. MsA, thank goodness for parents like you (and Miley) who turn things around for their kids.

    Pat, I'm laughing. Though I support a more thoughtful conversation, I can't help but want to give your folks high-fives. Then again, did they not realize condoms are much cheaper than raising a child?

    Stephen, thanks. I enjoyed your story.

    Alex, it's refreshing to know there are couples for whom the first time was with their spouse - many couples. And what better way to learn? =)

    Teri, I love your story and the outmoded term, "marital relations."

    Anthony, I never heard of that book. Can we assume it didn't win a Nobel prize for literature?

    GB, yeah, I forgot about the stork. That bird was rather busy years ago. I think he's long forgotten.

  16. YW and Cheryl, thank you. Yes, Miley is a phenomenal woman, mom, and inspiration. If she's reading this, she's blushing, because she's humble too. (We love you, Miley.)

    Cheryl, shame denial doesn't always work, huh? Smiles.

    IT, I'd love to know what was said in that tree house. Do share. Please.

    Thank you, all, for your kind comments and sex talk stories.


  17. You know, now I see it written down like that in your blog, it makes me realise what a weirdly bizarre thing sex is.

  18. Yeah, I'm blushing.

    I also laughed... 25 years old, day before the wedding? WOW.

    I like your readers *almost* as much as I like you, Robyn!

  19. Wow! Many years and lots of celibacy posts later you still are tortured by this revelation. That's pretty funny Robyn...uh, if you intended it to be that is!

  20. My mom told me two different times. The first time was when I was in second grade and I thought it was funny. My mom was always off the opinion that if you were old enough to ask the question, you were old enough to get the answer. The first time she told me, I told another kid in my class. I whispered as well as a small child can. Lots of kids found out how babies were made that day. I am sure I made lots of parents happy.

  21. yeah my mother's facts of life talk (my father was too embarrassed to do it) was frankly horrible. hope you are doing well R.

    Completely inappropriate to tell me this at my bachelor party.

  23. Robyn - We were like nine and ten years old... I honestly can't remember that far back, otherwise I'd be happy to give you the play by play

  24. LOL. Oh my.

    I remember those horrible school videos on sex where the boys and girsl were separated. They talked about your period and what not. It was like the traffic video..."Blood Flows Red On The Highway"... only different. Then I looked it up in the anatomy book at the library.

    Too bad we didn't have Google back then. LOL

  25. Rosalind, yes. Sorry to spoil the fun. Sex is weirdly bizarre when clinically described, especially by a kid.

    Miley, thanks. I like you and my readers a lot too.

    Chuck, I (almost) always aim for humor. In this case, well, yeah, I'm glad you find it funny. Thanks. PS I'm still tortured by the revelation.

    Ruth, that's funny. You should've visited all public schools. We would've all been better informed.

  26. David, at least she tried (I guess, but am not sure, that's better than nothing). And thanks. I hope you're well too.

    Al, does that mean you canceled the stripper dressed as a police officer? Darn, I was trying to get some extra cash to tide me over.

    IT, thanks for checking back in. You likely would've remembered anything shocking or actually informative.

    Be well, all,

  27. LOL-Oh no! You know, I don't actually remember "the" talk. My mom was so chill about how she explained things to me that it just flowed--important, yes...huge, life-altering talk, no. Honestly, if Mr. Right EVER shows up and we have children, I hope I can be as good a parent as my mom--how she managed the sex talk without it feeling like THE talk, I'll never fully comprehend. lol

  28. @Momma Fargo: If blood flows red on the highway, I'd think about getting a SUPER-absorbent pad. I'm just sayin'....
    @Robyn: No, no, the evening was an experiment in debauchery. I'd be ashamed, but I don't remember much of it.

  29. Momma Fargo, Al has a much better comment than any I could ever think of. But I do remember that stupid movie. It not only taught me nothing about sex but it did nothing to prepare me for getting my period.

    Frisky, I have the utmost respect for you and your mother. That's how it should be: non-shocking, natural conversations all along, not a one-shot klutzy blathering lecture or nothing at all.

    Al, oh but I do. I'll keep quiet about it, don't worry. Wink. PS Thanks for the huge "tip" -shall we say?


  30. I think our talks began right around the time my "monthly visitor" arrived. My mom even made me announce it to my dad and brother. Later she bought me a ring with my birthstone to celebrate the occasion. Though it was a beautiful ring, I could hardly bring myself to tell others what it symbolized at the time. When the subject did come up, I would just let the conversation flow naturally. Julie

  31. Empty, that is very sweet and overindulgent - the act of a doting Jewish mother. And I really like that you let the conversation "flow naturally." Nice one.

    Thanks for sharing your story.

  32. I honestly don't remember "the talk", so I don't know if it was ever had or not. I do remember having to watch the video in school...and that was not cool. I hope when I have kids I can do it in a nice, non-awkward way.

  33. BabySis, I'm sure you will. You're going to be a great mommy - sooner rather than later. Smiles.