Tuesday, 15 December 2009

How not to talk about sex with a teenager

Now it may not surprise you when I say I don't have the best relationship with my step father. I’m going to hold back from throwing insults and show a little respect. We never shared anything while I was growing up. Complete polar opposites but, there was one night when he put on the dad pants and made my inner girl scream with embarrassment and cringe at the awkwardness. That was the night we were both taken by surprise by an ‘adult scene’ in a movie.

When you're a 13 year old girl, sex scenes are extremely awkward to watch with any member of family. If I was to witness one with my mother now I probably make obscene comments until she blushed or walked out of the room. Back in the day I was quite content to pretend I didn't know what sex was. That was of course until that fateful night.

My mum had gone to bed. It must have been a Friday because I was allowed to stay up and watch the rest of the movie with my step father. Mum was quite liberal and let me watch M15 movies, it was no different from any other movie... or so she thought. As we sat there, the plot thickened. I must admit I don't actually remember the plot or what the movie was called but that’s not important for this story. What’s important is while I was munching on popcorn and sipping herbal tea, (no normal tea after 7pm due to the caffeine. If only she could see me now!) All of a sudden the main female character was taking her clothes off. Hmm, thinking quickly I looked away,
“Wow check out how interesting this piece of popcorn is?”
Yes things got that bad and we stooped to that level to try and avoid what was going on over on the TV.

I looked from my piece of interesting popcorn back to the TV. The main male character was looking at the female character like a lion that hasn't eaten in weeks and has just spied a zebra fresh from the watering hole. AHHHH my down played sexual education was diminishing before me. I knew what they’re doing, my step father knew what they’re doing but did he know that I knew? I guess not.

I squirmed, the step dad squirmed. Not exactly a bonding moment to seal our already fragile relationship! As the female character (with boobies out) mounted the male character in a sexual position that made my Barbie look amateur, my step dad turned to me with a bright red face and said, "she's just comforting him."

Not knowing whether to laugh, cry or run from the room and wash my eyes and ears outs with soap, I was mortified! Here is my step father, on a Friday night, in front of the telly, trying to give me ‘the talk.’ I racked my brains trying to find a witty comment, an excuse to leave the room but I was rendered speechless and frozen. All I could muster was a big fat, “Oh.”

I think he though the look of horror and shock was because I had no idea what was going in the movie. I guess he made the assumption that my mother had neglected to inform about the finer points of baby making. I was more than happy to let him believe that if it meant he wouldn’t make any more comments like, “Comforting him.” Trust me when I say this; that looked far from comfortable! I think ‘Oh’ did the trick though because he didn’t say anything back and he left the room to fill up the already full pop corn bowl. Too little, too late.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing this intimate piece of upbringing *sigh* - it echoes some of my experiences, although I luckily never had a moment of such awkwardness created by a well-intending but clueless parent. Although, I keep having trouble to find this entirely funny - to me it's rather a bit tragic.

    Seriously, what I keep finding funny, though, is that every generation seems to face the same questions: do my parents know that I know (and how much I know)? Do my parents know that I did 'it'? It's parents who are the ones more embaressed than their teenage children, it seems - although what keeps amusing me is that in my teenage years there were a very few uncles, aunts, teachers and friend's mothers who had a lot more of a relaxed and communicative attitude than my own parents.

    Having said that, I will never understand why sex education is something you may be exposed to (supposed to grew up in a country such as the Netherlands or Germany) as a teenager and then never again. Just as if dealing with sexuality is a static and one-off issue that is based on rules applicable throughout the life course - what utter nonsense!

    Some weird ideas we hold about sexuality and inter-generational communication, it strikes me. Do you find it any easier speaking to your parents nowadays, say, about sex after the menopause, sex during and after childbirth - and - more importantly, is it any more comfortable (this term has just gained a new meaning to me) to watch an unexpected sex scene on tellie?