Parenting Sexuality Technology

Sex, Avoidance & Facebook: A Twist on Gratitude

Ever since he was just a little guy, Tech Support has chosen to ask me the tough questions when we are alone in the car. There must be something about being in the back seat and not having to make eye-contact or something that allows for this discourse to take place.

Not too long ago, Tech Support (now age 12) asserted that he plans to wait to have sex until he marries.

And then he added, “You know, just like you and dad.”

I almost crashed the car.

Tech Support knows that his father and I lived together in New Orleans.

For four years.

He has seen the pictures.

So I wondered: Was I supposed to say something at that moment? And if so, what?

I asked some folks on Facebook.

The Facebook peeps were super helpful.

What would you have said?

What creepy uncomfortable questions have your kids asked you lately? How did you avoid answering? What did you say? Or what weird questions do you remember asking your parents?

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

For those of you with children, be grateful you have people to ask you these questions.

And for those of you who don’t, be grateful that you can drive around without being interrogated.

Tweet this Twit @rasjacobson

47 thoughts on “Sex, Avoidance & Facebook: A Twist on Gratitude

  1. I have no answer to help you, but I know I’m doomed. Vivian (age 7) thinks she’s going to buy a baby at the hospital (both vaginal and c-section deliveries spook her, as they do me). She doesn’t want a husband either.

    So I’m dealing with simpler questions. Like this:
    “Mom, what does theory mean?”
    “It’s like a hypothesis.”
    “Oh, is it testable?”

    I’m doomed.

    Let me know how to answer your question so when I get to that stage there’s hope…

  2. Monkey #1 does the same to me. That’s when he asks about religion and money and so on. His favorite song for the longest was “Three Wooden Crosses” and imagine the day (he was 8) he asked “What’s a hooker?”

    He’s 11 now and not yet asking about sex, thank goodness. It’s coming though!

    1. KB: I swear to you he said this without a trace of irony. He is so innocent in this area, it’s frightening.

      He is sophisticated about many things, but he cannot (or will not) take off his blinders about me.

      Or his dad.

      That day is coming.


  3. You should be very proud. In today’s “hook-up” society, for a teen to make that commitment is fantastic and shows strength of character. My own 17 year old son is currently holding to the same commitment – he has a girlfriend but they are not “dating” until after highschool and are saving themselves for marriage. This is something to celebrate!
    Here’s hoping young Tech makes it.

    1. Tech Support is definitely NOT a hook up kind of guy.

      That said, I don’t know how I feel about the whole “saving yourself for marriage” thing; there are several men I might have married with whom I would NOT have been sexually compatible.

      This might not be the Christian view, but I think it is actually important to know that people are compatible in this arena, too.

      What can I say? I am a child of the ’70s.

  4. I agree with #4 in that the fact that he brought that subject up on his own to his mother and made that celebacy vow out loud is actually really pretty cool. While I know he’s young and friends/hormones could change that line of thinking, for now, it shows he’s got a great head on his shoulders.

    As for your virginial innocence, I go with avoidance with that one. You obviously don’t have to lie about it, but you also don’t have to share those details unless you’re directly asked. You know, blast the radio or change the subject 😉

  5. “Sometimes it’s good to get to know each other for a little while first. Before you go all the way, that is.”

    Even though it may have been 4 minutes into the first date, you still qualified the statement with “sometimes”.

  6. I have a rule that anything that happened before my kids were born is none of their business. I am honest about anything that happened after they were born.
    Happy Thanksgiving to you and Tech Support!!

  7. Ha ha! We get questions/comments like that occasionally. There is something to be said about avoidance or answering with just enough info to satisfy the questioner. The other night we were out to dinner and the subject of drugs and pot came up. My daughter asks me if I’d ever tried pot!! I was absolutely stunned and didn’t know what to say. After I picked myself off the floor my wife and I were both (mostly) honest with her, that we’d tried it as college students, and she seemed satisfied with the answer. Ahhhh… the parenting of teenagers… good times!

    1. Oh, that’s an easy one for me.

      Because I was a teacher, I know that kids don’t REALLY want to know about me and my drug use, they want to talk about something that is going on with them. Or one of their friends. So I deflect and ask: “What’s going on?” And then they start to spill it.

      Maybe I should have applied that same reasoning to this situation.

  8. LOL. I think you’re doomed. He’ll have it figured out himself anyway when he’s older. I asked my mom that same question in the car and her horrified face and refusal to answer told me the answer anyway. Hahaha! It’s clear I’m not ready to be a parent because I still find this so funny.

  9. Oh dear – I’m in a minority of one. It would depend on the company – which other ears were listening. But then – or later – I’d answer – though not in frank detail. I suspect, however, that the questioner would probably wish he hadn’t asked.

    1. See, I’m with you Paul!

      I would have probably gone into total detail. I might have destroyed him forever. Somehow, I just knew that I had to shut up. But it was very, very hard.

      Heaven forbid the day he actually asks this as a full-blown question. 😉

  10. I am convinced my parents had sex three times – that’s it. Me and my two brothers, that is all I am allowing myself to think about!? How is that for use of punctuation? My mom always reminds me when I asked “the question” – where do babies come from? and swears she scorched one of my dad’s shirts while ironing.

    We had an awkward moment a month or so ago while watching a dog show with my daughter and she asked if that’s how we have babies – she’s 9 – I answered it takes more than 63 days – and it lasts a lot longer (carrying and the growing up) ….. I don’t know if she got it, but she kept watching and didn’t ask again. I am hoping she asks her mom next time! LOL

  11. My dad gave me a book rather than open himself to a discussion. And I never wanted to think about my parents in that light, so I never asked them anything. My daughter lived with her mother in her pre & early teen years, so I didn’t get any questions from her. Presumable she learned something somewhere, since I have three grandsons.

    1. David:

      Tech Support KNOWS the details about how sex works. Like the way a book would describe. We have had discussions about the intricacies of baby-making and all that.

      He just doesn’t realize that his dad and I were *ahem* “friendly” before we were married.

      I am not about to enlighten him on that subject.

      Maybe one of his friends who subscribes to my blog will tell him.


      That’s funny.

      Glad your daughter figured things out along the way. Three grandsons sound wonderful!

  12. Ha! Oh those FB responses were classic. I think the ‘not giving a direct answer’ and letting him figure it out when he’s older would be my approach.

    I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I may roll myself out of the house at some point today…

    1. I’m just waiting for him to actually ask it as a question and then I’m going to ask him: “Hey, what’s going on? Is there something you want to talk about?”

      Just like I’d discuss drugs.

      But he has to ask the question first.

      Until then, I’m driving fast and turning up the radio.

  13. I too have a son (9) who likes to ask hard questions while I’m driving. My fave was when he interrogated me about their music teacher who is raising her grand daughter.
    “But I thought you could only have babies when you were married?” (I may have told them once that babies came from SO much love between a mommy and a daddy.)
    “How come Miss D’s daughter had a baby? Where did it come from? Why does Miss D have it?”
    And so on…

    I’m all for driving faster and avoidance.

    1. What is it about the car?

      I have a friend whose sons pummels her with existential questions in the car: “Why are we here?” and “What is the meaning of life?”

      Seriously? I would have to pull over and have a heart-to-heart.

  14. We’ve always done our best to be honest with the kids (who are now all adults). That said, there are things that we didn’t tell them. There are things that aren’t any of their business. We are always open for discussions about sex. How it works. The hard details about where babies came from.

    Tech Support’s question isn’t any of his business. That is between you and your husband.

    As to the “celibacy until marriage” argument, it’s stupid. When and where you have sex doesn’t matter. Every religion that I know of has forgiveness built into it somewhere.

    This doesn’t mean you should go out and have sex with everything in sight. It just means that G-d is forgiving. It’s rather funny, but it is only Americans who freak out about celibacy in this way. No other nationality gets excited in quite the same way. Of course no other nationality seems to care about the religion of their politicians, I guess it goes together.


    1. Wayne:

      I know I have said this before, but you are one of the most sensible people I have ever had the privilege of meeting in the blogosphere.

      I’m not a “freak out” parent, rather I am known for providing too much information when a little silence would have been just fine.

      He didn’t ask, so I didn’t say anything.

      But when he asks, I will respond appropriately. You can bet on it.

  15. I can’t even handle the fact my oldest asked me if Santa is real. I got really really mad because the magic is over. So good luck.

  16. Oy, that’s such a hard question . . . I DREAD the pre-teen and teen years when I have to get into this stuff. My oldest is 7 and when he wanted to know how people have babies I said, “From God.” Evasive but works for now. As for Tech Support’s assumption . . .I saw let him assume. It’s not like he asked you directly . . . not really. One day he’ll assume the opposite, and you don’t have to confirm or deny. Ultimately, you and your husband are not required to share that info with the kids . . . at least in my opinion!

  17. Hah. I have dealt with this question a couple of times already. It is a joyous thing. Provided my son with a rudimentary explanation and got a response that was like “you put your what into where?!”

    That was followed by boys must hate doing that and my brain dead response of “not really.”

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