The devil's in the house of the rising sun...
There is gloom and doom while things go boom...

And the flowers and the trees...

Is the age of the old "Birds and Bees" speech dead and gone?

I'm not sure why I'm asking this or why I'm even thinking it for that matter, but here I am. And I'd seriously like to know if the days of dads sitting down with their sons (and mothers with daughters, for that matter) and delivering some insanely awkward diatribe that is intended to convey the concept of sex from one generation to the next has gone the way of the DoDo.

Did any of you have such a speech from a parent or, as a parent, have you delivered this load of hooey to your kids?

To the best of my recollection, I never received "the talk" from my dad. And, to be honest with you, I'm not entirely positive how I learned about sex other than from the three moving boxes worth of magazines that one of my best friends discovered his dad had hidden in the basement of their house. I'm dead serious here. Three flippin' boxes worth. And they weren't even particularly well hidden.

Of course, every time we visited this friend's house, we were in said basement checking out the goods, as it were. It's amazing how quickly a youth can evolve from being a giggly kid excited about any little piece of illicit porn and chanting words like "boobies" to being a discriminator of what images are well shot and which models look better in which situations. I think that took all of two weeks.

There were other lessons learned from a variety of other sources throughout my formative years, as you might expect. But this Library o' Hef was my formal introduction.

And I'm sure my dad is happy he never had to suffer through "the talk."

So how did you learn the story of the birds and the bees?

This post was written in support of the Grassroots Blogger Book Marketing Campaign 2008. Don't worry, neither this post nor I am eligible for any prizes. Damnable thing about being the creator of the promotion.

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Comments

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John

Oh man, don't even get me started. NO, my Dad never had that talk with me. THAT talk or any other talk about anything - ever. I'll spare you the tangent.

I found out about (hmmm, which euphemism should I use here...) dipping into the honey pot from my cousin when I was about 8 or 9 I think. I didn't believe him. And since tomorrow it'll be FOREVER since I engaged in that activity, I don't think I believe him AGAIN. It's urban legend.

sizzle

My mom never sat down with me and told me about the birds and the bees. Hell, I was having sex for a year before I finally asked her to help me get on birth control. Meanwhile she had already put my sister on it. LAME! And since I went to Catholic School our sex ed was sorely lacking. Good thing we school girls had active imaginations. :)

ajooja

Experts say the best thing to do, from a parent's perspective, is to answer your children honestly when they ask. It's important to use the proper names (penis, vagina, etc...) too.

I asked, "Where do babies come from?" when I was 5.

Somehow, my dad did exactly what he was supposed to do. He gave me the information I needed without giving too much detail. It was perfect.

diane

I didn't get a talk, I got a book. Read book, ask questions for clarification. Later on, the talk was pretty much, "Don't do it."

Brandon

I never got the talk either. I don't even think I got anything close to the talk. I think I probably asked some stock questions when I was really young and got the stock answer, but when it came time to really learn about it, like you I discovered a box of magazines and figured it out on my own.

Hilly

Yeah so before my Dad got sober, my sister asked him what sex was. Mind you he got sober in '79, so I was only 8 and my sister was 6. He just blurted out, "It's when a man sticks his penis in a woman's vagina so they can make a baby".

Haha, so no real speech actually. We figured out the rest on our own.

claire

Hmm... my parents took me to LAMO (Learning About Myself and Others) when I was in elementary school. It was an after school program for parents and their kids about sex (sort of). I remember it covering plant reproduction- pistils, stamens...

A stray comment or two from Mom later, but no speech per se. Huzzah for decent sex ed in school. Besides, I'm fairly certain my parents' sex knowledge was woefully out of date anyway with all the contraceptive advances and the arrival of HIV/AIDS on the scene.

kilax

No one talked to me. And I didn't figure it out for a LONG time. Sad.

Melanie

My mom's exact words "Don't let a few minutes of fun ruin your life, it's not worth it."
Hopefully I did better for my son. While we never talked specific what goes where details, I let him know that I would answer any questions. We did discuss respect both for himself and girls, that oral sex is actually sex (kids these days don't seem to think it counts!) and things along those lines.

SJ

By the end of the month, assuming I don't chicken out, you'll know why no talk was necessary in my family.

When I tried to give my daughter some sex information, she just laughed and said, "Mom, I learned all this in Health class in 5th grade." They even taught them how to put condoms on bananas!

Foo

My BFF and I stole a baby making book from her parent's bedroom, hid on the sideyard of her house and giggled ourselves silly as we flipped through the pages. We had sex education in the 6th grade and learned all about ham wallets and beefsicles and their roles. My BFF is now a lesbian, married to her partner and pregnant...huh? how did that happen? :o)

Mocha

I'm from a good Catholic family. We didn't talk about sex. Only abortion and I recall seriously NOT connecting the two.

Why are you asking me?

I got pregnant at 14. Coincidence?

Karl

My Dad shoved the Karma Sutra into my hands and said, "Good luck."

kapgar

John, okay, I won't ask. ;-)

sizzle, naughty girl! Naughty Catholic School Girl! Naughty! Naughty! Naughty!

ajooja, that's pretty cool. Bet your dad was in shock when you asked though.

diane, well if that wasn't an invitation...

Brandon, the collections some parents had was amazing, wasn't it?

Hilly, bet your mom loved that one.

claire, why does the name of that class look like "LAME-O"? Appropriate from the sound of it.

kilax, please don't say "on my honeymoon."

Melanie, yeah, I don't understand why kids don't see that oral sex is still sex. That confounds me. There was never any question in my mind that they were one and the same. Well, you know what I mean.

SJ, oh this should be interesting. Please don't chicken out.

Foo, clearly the book lied to you. Why won't people understand that the stork brings the damn baby! So did they actually call it ham wallets and beefsicles? I'd love to see that book.

Mocha, yeah, but you got a helluva good egg of a daughter. I've heard of so many young pregnancies gone bad in terms of the relationship between mother and daughter. So count yourself blessed, even though I already know you do.

Karl, well that's a helluva gift. Some of us get Legos and G.I. Joes. You get the Kama Sutra. Sounds fair.

g-man

Well before my my mom tried to explain via the book "Our bodies Our selves" (Or something like that) I had a pretty good idea about how it all worked. I can recall my buddy found his uncle's stash. He (the uncle) was a granola crunchy hippy type, so he let us read (look at them) citing that it was natural. Whatever, we got to look at naked women.

Good observation on how we can go to giggles to critiquing lighting and stuff. :)

tori

My mom gave me way more info than I ever wanted much earlier than I was ready for it. But hers was always tinged with "don't do anything with a boy before you are married because it is wrong" and that included kissing. Because her advice was so slanted, I believe that in combination with my rebellious nature is why I did things that I shouldn't have when I was too young. You know, just because she said not to.

With my own kids, I am letting them lead the way in what we talk about. 3 of my kids know everything including different kinds of birth control, while the youngest probably still has no idea how things happen. He's only 4 and has never asked about how babies are made or anything. BUT since we call him our surprise baby, the other kids know exactly what that means and how a person can get pregnant without trying to get pregnant.

My oldest daughter (10) thought it was "gross" that her parents have sex just for fun (they all originally thought you only did that to make a baby) and that is how the baby was made, but is so happy to have him that she forgives us.

Avitable

My parents just put on their honeymoon video.

Nat

My mom was a sex-ed teacher for public health in the town where we lived. I got the straight goods. I was about 5 or 6. No birds, no bees.

We are actually in the process of looking for a book to explain the whole thing to The Boy. Who knows something happens to make babies, he's just not sure what... ack.
Ack. Ack. Ack.

Nat

Sorry for the double post but:
We have also been honest from the start as well.I think it's important not to lie to your kids.

Nilsa S.

Discovering those magazines is hilarious. My grandfather kept similar magazines in their bathroom - much more out in the open!

My mom trapped me. As a teenager. In the car. On the way to the mall. And had the most awkward conversation ever. Because, I so clearly already knew about the Birds and Bees. But, there was no where to go, unless I wanted to jump ship in the middle of the highway.

Carly

My learning was threefold:
1) The timeless classic, "Where Did I Come From?"

2) A combination of "Forever" by Judy Blume and pretty much everything Jackie Collins had written in the late 70s and early 80s.

3) A parental porn stash.

I seem to recall a minor "when mommies and daddies love each other very much they lay very close together and make a baby" kind of talk, but that sounded a little far fetched to me.

kapgar

g-man, we really do evolve into discriminating little bastages, don't we?

tori, well, we are one of only two genus' (genii?) of animals that have sex for pleasure... us and dolphins.

Avitable, ummm...

Nat, yeah, I'm sure it's best to be honest. But it's gotta feel strange as hell.

Nilsa, the highway might've been a better option.

Carly, birth by osmosis? That would be a better story than the pregnant "man."

Kevin Spencer

I didn't ever get the talk either. A book was apparently good enough for me. But it was the 'book that shall not be mentioned' as it just arrived on my bed and no one spoke about it ever.

kapgar

And I'm guessing you didn't dare walk around asking each and every person who it was that left it behind, eh? Welcome aboard, BTW.

Iron Fist

I never really got the speech from either of my parents, and I figured out most of the legitimate information on my own, BUT I also remember discovering numerous boxes of Playboy and Hustler in the back seat of a Volkswagen van that one of our family friends left parked on our property for a year. I guess it kind of sounds weird when I say it like that.

kapgar

Iron Fist, only a little weird.

Stacey

Heh, that's exactly what I wrote about today. I never got the talk either. No book. No mags. Nothing.

kapgar

Stacey, flyin' blind, eh? That had to be fun!

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