The Readers Respond: How I Learned About Sex

I’d like to consider myself able to talk about sex with more dignity and maturity than a 12-year-old boy. Note, I said, “I’d like to.”

When it comes to talking to my kids about sex, especially around my budding man-child, I’m a hot mess. He’s uncomfortable, I’m uncomfortable – even the walls are uncomfortable. You think there’s an app for that? Because I need one.

As for me, I learned about sex on an evening I like to call “The Birds and the Bees Ambush of ’84”. On that fateful summer evening, I sat down with my parents for dinner only to hear my dad say, “Lori, it’s time you understood where babies came from.” I thought I already knew. As it turned out, I didn’t. Had Judy Blume taught me nothing? What goes where? Eww! Why? No! My parents handled the discussion rather professionally. There was a lesson, examples from nature and even a Q & A session at the end. I did have two questions: 1) Could we pretend we never ever had this conversation? 2) Could I have my childhood back?

Sex education is stuff kids need to know. My parents did it right by me by keeping the discussion open and honest. I only hope I can manage to do the same.

I asked you fine readers to open up your memory banks and share those intimate details about how you learned about sex growing up. Your answers were as awesome and cringey as I suspected. Check them out!

  • They thought I didn’t need to know 1 of 17
    They thought I didn't need to know
    "We're Catholic, so what I found out was that I didn't need to know anything about it until after I got married!"
    @marymac via Twitter Pajamas and Coffee

    Photo credit: Shutterstock
  • Sexy suds 2 of 17
    Sexy suds
    "By watching soap operas with my mom."
    @LilMissRysMama via Twitter Somewhere in the Middle

    Photo credit: Shutterstock
  • Creepy sex cartoon 3 of 17
    Creepy sex cartoon
    "There was a very creepy cartoon they showed us in 5th grd, complete w/cartoon uteri & peni culminating in pads being chucked at our heads. It was thoroughly traumatizing & put me off the whole sex thing for a good 10 years! lol"
    @TruthfulMommy via Twitter The Truth About Motherhood

    Photo credit: Shutterstock
  • A romance novel 4 of 17
    A romance novel
    "I was a bookworm. In 3rd or 4th grade I happened upon a trashy romance novel by accident. Then the questions started."
    @lilloveandluck via Twitter With a Little Love & Luck

    Photo credit: Shutterstock
  • My mom 5 of 17
    My mom
    "My mom. When I was in 5th grade and had to give her the permission note. When we got home that day, she wouldn't let me out of the car till she told me everything. Everything! Ughh... lol..... I was horrified. 🙂 What goes in where? She didn't want me to go through what she went through. Her mom didn't talk to her about it, and she had to find out from friends, books and even her Pastor."
    via Patsy

    Photo credit: Shutterstock
  • Special hugs 6 of 17
    Special hugs
    "In grade 3 an older classmate told me about sex at recess. It seemed so ridiculous I didn't believe her! The next year my mum gave me a book. I read it cover to cover but was obviously mixed up as I thought adults hugging were having sex for the next year!"
    @catherinehewlet via Twitter In the Details

    Photo credit: Shutterstock
  • Nun too embarrassing 7 of 17
    Nun too embarrassing
    "A nun taught sex ed w/ a cheesy comic book in 5th grade & sent us to the hallway if we giggled. Which we did."
    @expletivebaby via Twitter Dear #$&!% Baby

    Photo credit: Shutterstock
  • I got the talk 8 of 17
    I got the talk
    "I went to private school so I was late to the game. I heard a few things from my neighbor but my mom have me the official 'talk'."
    @mamafulton via Twitter

    Photo credit: Shutterstock
  • I overheard 9 of 17
    I overheard
    "While sitting in the back of my grade 1 classroom, girl sitting next to me whispering loudly to her friend as I listened in horror."
    @bellamummy via Twitter Those Young Moms

    Photo credit: Shutterstock
  • I looked it up 10 of 17
    I looked it up
    "I looked it up in the encyclopedia after hearing the word."
    via Elizabeth An Armada of Love

    Photo credit: Shutterstock
  • %&@! 11 of 17
    "My cousin taught me the F word. Then my mom explained. I was 6."
    @bookieboo via Twitter Mamavation

    Photo credit: Shutterstock
  • I walked in on my parents 12 of 17
    I walked in on my parents
    "One summer, when I was six years old, my mom and my sisters stayed in Atlantic City with my grandparents gallivanting on the boardwalk, spending our days at the beach and playing ski ball in the arcades. When we returned home to Atlanta at the end of the season, I couldn't sleep that first night back, so I wondered into my parent's bedroom. Unfortunately, it was not the best idea to march in on my parents, who had been separated all summer. In the midst of what was clearly an orgasm, my mom jumped up and ran into the bathroom, completely naked and a bit hysterical, leaving me to fend for myself. I went back to my bedroom, clueless to what I had just witnessed. When I mentioned it to her later, she told me I must have been dreaming. Finally, after mentioning it for over 30 years, she recently said to me, "How do you still remember that?" It was clearly not a dream. That was my first introduction the the birds and the bees."
    via Holly The Culture Mom

    Photo credit: Shutterstock
  • Where DID I come from? 13 of 17
    Where DID I come from?
    "Book my mom gave me called "Where Did I Come From" w/ naked cartoon characters that I found strangely erotic."
    @SaidKristen via Twitter What She Said.

    Photo credit: Shutterstock
  • A PBS special 14 of 17
    A PBS special
    "My friend and I went to the library when I was about 11 and she pulled out a book about procreation. Then my dad found out I was looking at that book. I had to sit through "The Miracle of Life" on PBS. Most uncomfortable hour of my life!!! Hence I had kids at 36...the whole experience freaked me out!"
    via Dora Just the Things and I

    Photo credit: Shutterstock
  • A friend 15 of 17
    A friend
    "3rd grade, my friend had a book her mom gave her. She told me in my driveway and called it 'mating.'"
    @lifenut via Twitter Lifenut

    Photo credit: Shutterstock
  • Sunday school 16 of 17
    Sunday school
    "At church! Unitarian Sunday school... my mom was PIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIISSED!"
    @evinschmevin via Twitter Food Good, Laundry Bad

    Photo credit: Shutterstock
  • Cable TV 17 of 17
    Cable TV
    "All the technical stuff in school, but all the practical and real life lessons were from friends and quite honestly were MTV & HBO!"
    via The Harried Mom

    Photo credit: Shutterstock

How did you learn about the birds and the bees?

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