Let's Talk About Sex

My parents never had sex. Ever. In fact, I'm fairly certain the three of us Miller siblings were dropped off by the stork. Screw the fact we all share the exact same features as our parents. Genetics is a faulty science, dammit.

My parents never had sex. I told myself that growing up, and I will hug that sentence to my bosom and cherish it's false truth till the day I'm too old to remember what my name is let alone wonder if my dad ever danced in his underwear in an effort to woo my mother.

Not only did my parents not have sex (which I know without a doubt, as an absolute truth not just because the idea continues to squick me out but also because my bedroom was directly below theirs and I could hear my father's ankles crack when he got out of bed every morning and never not once did I hear any bed spring action and ohmybabyjeebus I need to stop thinking about this before I poke any holes into my firmly held belief that my parents are and will remain the most asexual creatures to roam the planet) but they never talked about sex.

At least, they never talked about sex with me. Probably because every time they tried to talk to me about sex my eyes would glaze over and I'd run from the room in prudish horror.  I was just never comfortable enough in my own skin to talk about something so natural with the people who poked each other into creating me.

Go figure.

Then I had kids. Presumably, because I had sex. Because I never talked about having sex with my parents and didn't know it could make babies. Which means I can blame my stretch marks and long boobs on my parents. DAMN THEM!!!  *shakes fist at the heavens*

(I'm totally kidding, Mom.)

I mean, once I had kids I realized there were topics of conversation I was going to have to discuss with my children regardless of my comfort level. I realized it was time to grow up.

And thus began the long maturation of Tanis and her carefully honed skills of avoiding embarrassing subject matter with the use of humour as a tool of distraction. Or so sayeth the psychologist report shoved in the back of my filing cabinet.

With Fric and Frac firmly entrenched in the early years of teenagedom, it seems there hasn't been a conversation about sex we haven't broached at one point.

There has been the birds and the bees talk.

The premarital sex is evil and will make your genitals fall off talk.

The please don't touch yourself there in public talk.

The no, your father and I weren't having sex on the other side of that closed door, we were praying, talk.

The list could go on. It's inexhaustable really. Mostly, because once I decided to talk about sex the flood gates opened and the repressed person trapped inside me refused to be stuffed back in.

It turns out, as a parent I am completely opposite as how I was as a child: relaxed and uninhibited. Which is why I have no problems walking around half naked most of the time and encouraging my children to skinny dip when ever possible. (Bonus: skinny dipping means less laundry to wash. Laziness disguised by calling it ecologically friendly is always a win.)

So it is no surprise that in the era of first kisses, my children pounced on my openness the other day and asked about my sex life.

This is what happens when one dusts the house while bellowing along to Madonna's Poppa Don't Preach.

"Mom, how old were you when you lost your virginity?" she asked, while her brother looked up from his book, curious to hear my response.

It was in that moment, I cursed myself for being so damn open with them about everything else. It never occurred to me it would come back and bite me on the arse.

I was at a parental crossroad and I knew it. I could ignore the photographic evidence laying about the house proving my children were born out of wedlock and pray their public school education would fail them in basic math skills and flat out lie, or I could be honest.

But, as the wheels spun at Nascar-like speed in my brain, I thought, why do I need to be honest? What do they gain from this conversation? Will I be giving them permission in my honest answer to morph into adolescent whores? Will I betray their trust in me if I tell them the truth? Worse yet, what if I tell them the truth and they finally realize all the street cred I have worked so hard over the years to cultivate with them is destroyed in the seconds to it takes for them to process my response?

I was at a loss and my mouth, I'm sure, was gaping wide open. One moment I'm dusting, the next moment I'm seconds away from admitting to my children I am both cheap and easy. Win!

"What do you mean how old was I when I lost my virginity?" I stammered. My daughter just looked at me and rolled her eyes the way she is so often apt to do at this age and repeated the question, slowly, once more.

"I mean, at what age were you physically when you first had sex with a boy?" Like, duh.

"Well, why do you want to know Fric? Is there something you want to talk about?" Aha! Turn the tables on her! Parenting at it's finest! Oh crap! What if she's actually thinking of having sex?? Who gave me permission to parent these children alone??

"No Mom. I was just wondering. Sheesh. I mean, I know you had sex out of wedlock. You keep singing about it." (Meatloaf for the win!!) "I'm just curious." Then she added something about how she just wants to get to know me better because clearly my daughter pays attention in Manipulation 101.

Luckily for me, it was at that exact moment the phone rang. Her father's Spidey senses must have been tingling. I never did answer my child's question, in part because her father lost his freaking mind when I casually dropped that bomb into his lap and in part because I'm not sure she's old enough to hear the answer.

It's not like I was a two bit tramp, polishing the poles of any high school boys who looked my way. In fact, I've got left over fingers on one hand (even if you don't count the thumb as an actual finger) when it comes to the amount of partners I may or may not have had.

I was the girl who wasn't comfortable in her own skin through adolescence; the last thing I wanted to do was show off all that skin to some boy. I was the very definition of late bloomer.

I'm not ashamed of my past, what it included and how it happened, nor am I ashamed of the boy(s?) who helped shaped me into the woman I am today. Quite the opposite.

But the thought of sharing this information with my child who is stockpiling it inside her mind to help shape the person she will become frightens me more than the mental image of my dad getting naked and asking my mom if she wants to play with his trouser snake.

I want my children to remain children, sexless, innocent children, for as long as possible. Or until I grow so old I forget my own name and they lock me up in an old folk's home. Either way works for me really.

Obviously I have yet to grow up enough to be able to cope with the idea of my children as being healthy sexual beings.

Thankfully, my children have the attention spans of, well, children and quickly forgot that I hadn't answered the big V question. But I know it's there, biding it's time until it rears it's ugly head once more and it's time to face the proverbial music.

The question is, how do I answer it? Do I or don't I? Is it any of their business?

In the mean time, there is one thing I'm sure of. I'm erasing Madonna from my iPod.

She's nothing but trouble.