Death By Priapism

She approached me with a serious look on her face and quietly asked, "Mom, can I ask you a question?"

I looked up at her and nodded my head.

"You know you can ask me anything," I promised solemnly.

Internally I braced myself for the very worst. Whatever it may be, I reminded myself, I am strong. I can handle it.

"What is death by priapism?"

Oh. I had been expecting a diatribe on the latest teen drama in the grade ten class and instead she hit me upside the head with this.

"It's probably something your dad could better explain; you should Skype him." I like to share the parental responsibilities whenever things get weird and/or uncomfortable on the home front. I'm thoughtful like that.

"He's at work," she said flatly. "If you are busy I can Google it," she thoughtfully offered.

Yes, because I want my daughter googling priapism. STAY OFF THE GOOGLE!

"Do you know what priapism means?" I asked.

"No, but I think it's something dirty because the boys in class keep making a joke about it."

OF COURSE THEY DO. They're fifteen-year-old horn dogs that walk around thinking their bottom half is going to explode whenever a pretty girl walks by.

Home schooling is suddenly sounding more attractive.

"Well, priapism is what is otherwise known as a prolonged or persistent erection. Apparently it is quite painful."

"So like a boner that won't, um, deflate?" I could see the wheels in her brain spinning behind her slightly embarrassed expression.

"Yes. Exactly."

"So death by erection?"


"Is that even possible?" I swear if she asks about blue balls next I'm shipping her to her father on the next darn bus.

"Um, well I'm not a medical doctor but I know there are medical treatments for that condition. It can lead to strokes and such if left untreated. I think." Clearly I need to spend more time on WebMd.

"So in theory a guy can die from his..." She clearly was struggling to say the words.

"His stiffy," I helpfully supplied.


"In theory."


"Priapism is very rare and is usually caused by an underlying medical condition. It's not something typically healthy teenaged boys or adult males need to worry about."

"Got it." She was clearly ready for this conversation to be over. Like, Stop Talking Mom!

"So if a boy is telling you he needs to have sex, of any type, with you because he's about to die from bursting, he's full of it." Clearly I wasn't ready for this conversation to be over. Like, I Can't Seem To Stop Talking!

"I've GOT it Mom. I was just wondering."

"Okay. But just so you know, it's not really a laughing matter. It's a medical condition, not a joke!"

"Okay Mom."

"You know you can talk to me about boners or anything, anytime, right?"

She just glared at me, willing me into silence.

Just then her brother walked into the room.

"Hey Mom, can I ask you a question?"

Fric and I both look at each other and then I smiled. In for a penny, in for a pound after all.

"Sure, what's up kiddo?"

"Where's the hand lotion? I really need it."


His sister burst out laughing. I tried really hard not to smirk. After all, I'm supposed to be the mature one under this roof.

"What? What's so funny?" He just stood there, looking all innocent and teen boyish and confused.

I couldn't help it. I cracked up too.

"What? My elbows are dry! What's so funny?" Frac walked away, muttering about being surrounded by nuts as his sister and I continued giggling like schoolgirls.

Boners. They'll get you every time, no matter how mature you think you are.