Sex Education Through Humiliation?

While I was hiding at our cabin in the woods we were thrilled to have some good friends come over and join us for dinner.  There was great food, fine wine and fabulous conversation.  There were also a couple of twelve year old girls sitting with us “old” folks at the dinner table. The chat turned to boys and how “disgusting” they are.  We may be old, but we aren’t stupid.  None of us were taking these blushing giggling girls at their words.  Their mouths may have been declaring their complete repulsion of all things male, but those blushing faces were giving away all of their secrets.  Oh dear…

Well you know what wine does?  Makes conversation a lot more frank.  We decided to push the envelope and see where this conversation might go.  The unsuspecting little creatures were peppered with questions.   “Are any of the kids in your class dating yet?  Who has a crush on who? There was a boy/girl party?  Let’s hear about that one!  Did you know that when I was in grade 8, there was a girl in grade 7 who had a baby?” (that shut them up for a moment)  Before I knew it I had blurted out… “Just promise us that before you have sex you come and talk to us first, we will get you on the pill and have a wee chat about condoms too.”  Gulp.  Wine much?  Classy. 

Shrieks of laughter, promises made, and then yes, they were excused from the table leaving the four “adults” behind to discuss how very fast our babies are growing up. 

The next morning as I did the reflection on the nights sex education by humiliation I came to this conclusion.  I did the right thing.  We had an honest, open and fun discussion with my daughter and her girlfriend about sex.  They were not uncomfortable they just thinks all four adults are crazy  and I am fairly certain we avoided any permanent emotional scarring. 

Back in the olden days, when I was growing up, I am pretty sure I never heard the word penis, vagina, period or sex uttered above a whisper.  At least not without extreme blushing and tension.  Tampon commercials were enough to make my folks squirm.  I LOVE my parents, they did an amazing job and I have no complaints, but it’s my job to try and do things my own way right? 

I don’t want my daughter to grow up thinking sex is a dirty word, and even though we did it while under the influence of a glass of wine,  I think we took advantage of another teachable moment. 

Tell me, do you jump all over the teachable moments or is sex a dirty word in your house?

In the meantime, Cheers!  A toast to open and honest communication.



  1. good job having it…the first one is always the most awkward…but its necessary…too many wait until too late to have these convos…

  2. Open and honest communication is the only way to go – whether or not wine was involved.

  3. I agree, you seized the moment and the wine probably made it easier for everyone, less pressure, making it more informal, but message still received.

    We’ve covered the basics too, (on a different level) because my children have to half-siblings and The Girl had all sorts of questions when the second baby came. I just figured it was best to get it out of the way. I got a book, we read it and I answered any questions that came up… matter of fact… I’m glad I did it!

  4. Everything is discussed openly in our house…not the DETAILS, but you know. I am constantly having teachable moment conversations with both my girls….covering all bases.
    Still waiting for my Mom to give me the 411.

  5. Because I work with at risk youth, I am a BIG believer in having frank discussions with your kids about sex. I think starting at 8, with some of the basics, is a good time.

    My mom found out I was reading Flowers in the Attic, when I was in 5th grade. It was being passed around the classroom. That’s what started our discussion. Nothing like incest to get things going!

  6. I agree with everyone! I think you have to start “the talk” early. My mom had chats with me and as awful as they were I appreciated that I could tell her anything.

  7. Great post!!! I believe in open honest and sometimes wine induced frankness when it comes to sex education. My Mum talked early and often with me and I would like to think I made responsible choices as a teen in part because of it 🙂

  8. My 7 year old has started discovering his body…I walked in on that after bath time trying to figure out what was taking so long to brush his teeth. I am still in a state of TOO YOUNG…but I went out and bought a book about our bodies and we discuss it so that he knows it is ok. I am trying to be open and honest and not one of those “my kid is never going to…” parents.

  9. I think it’s great. My parents never talked to me about sex either, and I could never go to them with questions about that or anything else. I think keeping open communication is SO important as our kids get older. My teenage daughter tells me EVERYTHING. Sometimes it’s kind of scary, but it’s a good thing!

  10. Being open and honest with our kids about the changes that are happening in their bodies and what is to come is so important. If you can find fun and casual times to slip it in there, all the better. Your daughter definitely knows that she can come to you with anything

  11. I think you approached it in a great way. The opportunity was there and you took it. Was nothing serious or embarrassing. Just straight forward. Sex should not be a dirty word. That is where balancing friend and parent comes into play. Our children need to be able to come to us for information and get set up with protection instead of their friends.

    Of course my son is only 3 so who am I to talk. I may be looking you up in 10 years or so to come over for a glass of wine.

  12. When my daughter was 6, she asked me if it was okay ‘to suck a boys penis’

    Apparently, a boy in her class asked her suck his penis. My answer was: “only if you want to and only if you are at least 18.”

    Spontaneous teachable moments are the best.

  13. Sounds great to me! I’m all for open & honest sex talk. My oldest knows where babies come from, how they get in the Mommy & periods, she is 7. Once she’s 8 we’ll talk more about some things specifically relating to her.

  14. I remember the same scenario with my friends and our parents. We still have a laugh about it to this day.

  15. Kudos for the open line of communication! I wish more parents would open those lines. It’s so incredibly important!

  16. I love it! My parents were very honest and open with us about sex. I am one of 4 kids and while none of us remained virgins until our wedding night, we were responsible, knew our options and trusted that no matter what we could go to our parents. Cheers to you!

  17. my boys totally feel comfortable coming to us with any questions they may have about the birds and bees. we give them age appropriate info.

  18. LOL! OMG! I love you! This is such an awesome post! 😉 When I was growing up, it was kinda the same as when you were growing up. I remember tampon commercials being very awkward in the presence of my parents!

    My child is only 2 years old, but I would hope that we’d have open communication about everything. I see my teenage nieces and my sister-in-law and am amazed and jealous of the relationship she has with them. They are so close to her and talk about EVERYTHING with her.

    I’m still stuck on not knowing whether I want my children to think of me as a friend or as a parent…or a bit of both? Can’t we be both? Does there have to be a line? I’m still learning…Thank goodness Little One is only 2 and I have a few years to think about this!

  19. Jumper here! It’s always the easiest to have these talks when they just come up and you can seize the opp for what it is. By setting a formal time to talk (which I’m not ruling out at all), everybody’s more uncomfortable. Spur of the moment convos don’t allow them (or you) time to worry about it what may be said.

  20. When the time is right, I will send my daughters to you!

  21. Twelve is fine. I think I had the ‘talk’ with each of my kids at about ten. Somedays I’m more open then others depending on everyone’s mood and yep, wine at the cottage always loosens my tongue too. 🙂

  22. My parents were products of the sixties, frankly they were so open it made me squirm.

  23. just found your blog today! im trying to survive suburbanhood too while being a nanny for 3. and i look like im 14 or so. imagine the looks i get!

    come and visit me at 🙂

  24. Agreed! Honest communication is the way to go. It’s the way I plan to go, too!

  25. I think it’s great that you talk about it!

  26. I know I’m supposed to be enlightened, but I (italics) blush and gulp when I’m supposed to talk about it. Can I just pay someone?

  27. Good for you, I think that it needed to be said. Heck my husbane taught me most of what I know, my parents didn’t talk about it at all the the program in school was pretty lame.

  28. I think open & honest communication is the key. Kids are nervous and anxious to come to parents who don’t talk about sex and act like it exists. My parents never talked openly about it until AFTER I got in high school. Too little, too late. I think you’re on the right track. 🙂

  29. My oldest is six-so not truly there yet. Though we have talked with him about touching himself and we definitely use the proper terms.

  30. kathy downey says:

    I believe you should talk to your kids early better to learn the facts at home than the 1/2 truths somewhere else.

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