My New Sex Ed Teacher: Mom

photo by ILoveButter

A contributor friend of ours, who wishes to remain anonymous, has a confession to make:

Until about a year ago, my mother was always very close-minded about sex. I never had “the talk” with either of my parents, and I learned about intercourse and other modes of love making via fellow classmates, porn, and the public school curriculum. Though I would have liked to have more direct communication with my mom about the birds and the bees, I did pick up a few messages about sex through my parents’ everyday reactions to the stories I shared with them from school. For example, during my sophomore year in high school, when I told my mom how a fellow classmate skipped lab to go visit a certain “male friend” in New York to have sex with him, my mother shook her head, spat in the air, and said, “Whore! That girl’s got no future.”

As you can imagine, as a child and teenager, I had mixed feelings about sex. The second time I got my period, I hid my bloody underwear for two days in a file cabinet before my father discovered them (he shrieked with horror). Over time, however, I improved and managed to come to my own conclusions about sex, which, surprisingly, turned out to be healthier than one might expect. Without any formal guidance, I had avoided becoming another Bristol Palin, and my parents never had to endure any Juno moment, where, rubbing my stomach, I told them that I was pregnant.

But now, out of the blue, my mother has adopted a whole new attitude on sex and communicating with one’s children about intercourse, contraception, and pregnancy. During one of our midnight snacking sessions, she suddenly said, “I know you’re not sexually active. But do you think about it?” I was in the middle of biting into a piece of toast. Instead, I bit my tongue and started yelling in pain. I felt embarrassed about being asked such a question, especially from my self-professed anti-sex mother. I couldn’t tell at the time whether her question was an attempt at open-mindedness or a trap to entangle me in some family scandal. At any rate, I told her in my matter-of-fact voice that yes, I do in fact think about sex but I never feel compelled to act on anything. She shrugged and left the conversation at that.

A few weeks ago, my mother again began a conversation about sex. She was lying on her bed, her head propped up by several pillows. She said to me, “Sex isn’t always comfortable or even thrilling. Especially if the man doesn’t know what he’s doing. Or is soft and short. Sometimes, I think that length doesn’t matter as much as the hardness. Maybe I’m wrong, though.” And then she went on to do the unthinkable: talk about the details of her and my father’s sex life, mentioning porn, satisfaction, and who knows what else, because I stopped listening. Sitting on the edge of the mattress, I reacted in the way I thought most appropriate — by screaming, “Mom! I don’t want to know about these things!” Her reaction was a mixture of hurt and frustration, as if she was just trying to get a message through to my thick skull but was failing miserably. She flipped over on her side, crossed her arms, and replied in a nonchalant voice, “Fine. Have it your way. I’m just telling you the facts now, so you’ll be prepared later.”

I can only interpret my mother’s sudden interest in conversing about sex as a feeble attempt to make up for past mistakes, which, however inconsequential they were (in my opinion), left her feeling guilty for what she believes is my general inability to harbor romantic feelings for others. And so the topic of sex is continuing to make surprise appearances in our daily conversations. Sometimes, I address them directly (“Yes, I occasionally subdue my sexual urges by masturbating”). At other times, I dismiss them quickly (“I’m not going to talk about this anymore, Mom, since discussions of anal sex don’t apply to me right now”).

Even though I have not made any irrational decisions about sex (remaining a virgin for my own personal reasons), I really would have liked my mother to have played a more active role in my sex education during my childhood and adolescent years. But I appreciate the fact that she is going out of her way to finally address an issue we have both submerged for too long. So now I’m torn between feeling like it’s “too little, too late” and “better late than never.”


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10 Comments on "My New Sex Ed Teacher: Mom"


Laurie
5 years 2 months ago

she probably came from the era that NO ONE ever dared talk about sex. Then she had to morph her way through the fears of STDs, AIDS and the horrible things that happen in the sexual world today. I don’t fault her for trying but she does need to step back and look at how she is talking with her daughter. Open communication should have started years ago. Maybe only in recent years has she learned to feel comfortable with her own sexuality. It being something she can express freely is natural. She is trying to help. I think it is great she shares, however I do agree she should not use her personal experience as a point of reference.

Women need only the tools to learn themselves sexually, how to be safe sexually and to understand that there is a vast difference at various stages in life as to how men and women relate to one another sexually. It constantly changes. THAT is where the breakdown happens with in communication and the knowledge of sex. No one prepares women OR men for how sex evolves through life. Be open minded and free to express as long as it does not hurt anyone.

Warren L. Kammerer III
5 years 5 months ago

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It is a shame U have such a cold and distant relationship with your mother. There should be few boundaries between mother and daughter, only love and acceptance, attention and affection. You have a hard lesson to learn about being loving, open hearted and open minded and need to let go of all the judgemental nonsense you are clinging to.
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Petra
5 years 5 months ago

Your mother loves you. The last thing a mother wants to picture is her beloved daughter having sex with someone who she is not sure is the one to love her and take care of her after sex. As mothers we love to see our daughters have fun and the best and most beautiful things in life. As a mother it is the most painful and scarriest to see or even think our daughters are in danger, risk, or getting hurt. Your mother loves you and every act was an act of love. just like you, she is doing her best to show you the best of life. So that you have a rich and full life with as little pain, risk, or danger as possible. I am sorry to see others don’t see the courage and love your mother has to be your best friend as she sees you growing and in need of answeres. Your mother loves you, you are very lucky to have a mother that cares and more than anything a mother that is wild and couragous to share what she feels would help keep you close and safe. Now it is your turn to be open minded but most of all open hearted.

Shay
5 years 5 months ago

Your mom is just looking for someone to listen to her, or maybe she’s just trying to build your relationship. /kanye shrug. Whatever it is, don’t shut her down. You may not want to hear it, but it’s gonna make her happy, so just endure the pain.

Lamia
5 years 5 months ago

I can’t imagine my mom doing that. Like the poster, my mom never really talked to me about sex. Everything I knew was from school, friends, and once I got internet access, sites like this one. Thankfully, I developed somewhat of a healthy attitude toward sex.

My mom never said word one about it, other than it’s “forbidden” until I was married (though she was seven months pregnant at her own). My dad talked to me a little about it, but I think it was a little awkward for him. I remember one day, I had to drop him off at work and as he was driving, he asked, “So, how far have you and (ex’s name) gone?” I was appalled! It was just out of the blue! No, I didn’t tell him because he has a habit of swearing up and down he won’t tell my extremely conservative mother and then he does anyway.

He became more open and less awkward once I moved in with my fiance and he put two and two together, figuring I was no longer a virgin. He talked about pregnancy and birth control…though he did use him and my mom as examples. Yes, I know they had sex…and they did it often. However, I don’t want to hear about them doing it. My mom still not saying a peep, but that’s fine.

Basically, I kinda get why her mom is sharing her stuff. She might not know any other way, as inappropriate as it may be.