My friend recently had her first sex talk with her eight year old son.
He stumbled (yeah, right) on the word "sex" in the dictionary and wanted to know more about it.
My friend took a deep breath and explained.
When she got to the part about THE PENETRATION, his face fell in horror.
"Mom!" he gasped. "Have YOU done THAT?"
"Well," she said, "I have you and your brother so I've done it at least twice."
"Eeeeewwww. Why would you DO that?" he asked.
"Well," she said reaching... "it feels really good."
Her son thought about that and then said,
"When I touch myself it feels really good."
"I'm sure it does," my friend confirmed.
"I mean, it feels REALLY GOOD, Mom."
"I know," she said stifling her laughter.
Still curious, he asked her how you choose who you have sex with and she told him you do it with people you love.
"So could you do it with Grandpa?" he asked.
Repressing the image of her naked father-in-law, my friend tried her best to explain about partners.
"Can I do it with my friends?" he asked.
She explained that, at least for now, it was something that he should do by himself. It was private.
"Why is it private?" he asked.
She didn't know what to say, especially not to an eight year old.
"What should I have said?" she asked me. "What would YOU have said?"
We agreed that neither of us want anything to do with arguments related to shame or the idea of sex being dirty.
We laughed about the possible answer that if sex WASN'T private everything would come to a grinding halt and the streets would be filled with great masses of gyrating, nekkid people.
But then worried that her son would say something like,
"Why would that be bad?"
Well? Uh... because then our collective national work ethic would be shot?
It's a weak argument really.
If given the choice between going to work this morning or joining a great pile of pleasure in the street... I mean, how do you explain why anyone would prefer going to work?
What are we left with then?
"It just is, that's why"... or "Because I SAID so."
What should one say?
How would you explain why sex is private to a kid?