BusyBodies Sex Education Resource for Parents of 10-14 year oldsWhenever you visit your hometown there are bound to be places which evoke a strong memory or a blazing sense of nostalgia. There have been so many for me on this trip to Langhorne, Pennsylvania. There are malls, schools, parks, people, and streets.

Today, driving down a small road in Feasterville, I fell into a memory so vivid and realistic that it might qualify as hallucination.

It was October 16th, 1986, and my dad and I were heading home from a Thursday evening football practice. His Bonneville was the same as every time we sat in it: smoky, monotone sports talk on the radio, avid conversation about our next meal. I bet pork chops, he bet spaghetti. I had just turned 12-years-old and was cultivating a peach fuzz mustache that had sprouted a few weeks earlier. Life was pretty solid.

We were moseying along when we became aware of a beautiful woman in a miniskirt so short it was more of a fanny pack. We had never discussed women before, and my dad shot me a couple looks which unsettled me. The result was a heavy fog of discomfort settling in the Bonneville. When my dad turned the radio down I knew I was in trouble.

Dad:  “Ahem…”

Me: “Why did you turn off the radio?” I began searching for an open window I could squeeze through or a heavy stick I could knock myself out with. I couldn’t help thinking that this was the price to pay for growing a mustache.

Dad: “Listen, don’t screw anyone til you’re 18 or 19 and when you do, wear a rubber. Got it?”

I nodded.

Done. Radio back on. I breathed again, it was over. My relief was made sweeter by pork chops for dinner.

There had been a rash of talks going around our development that fall. Like the talk. We were all about 12-years-old, so it was that time. Michael had gotten his on a trip to the pumpkin patch. Scott had gotten his at a Flyer’s game. Eddie had gotten his while eating cheeseburgers and Mac and Cheese. That one was like a professional hit: give him his favorite meal and then talk to him about sex.

We had even gotten a sex talk at school. Well, sort of. Father Talen, an 897-year-old priest who spoke Latin to us in the hallway, spoke in extraordinarily vague terms about our ‘one eyed monster’ and being led astray by ‘the beast within.’ Though he seemed satisfied with the success of his talk, we were left wondering why an ancient priest would talk to us about tapeworms and diarrhea.

What was most amazing about this rash of talks was their absolute uselessness. I had a higher probability of needing instruction on how to fight of a deranged wildebeest with an accordion than a sex talk. Still, my dad, usually a loquacious man, went against his chatty nature on this one topic and though he created me and paid for my college education I have never been more thankful of anything he’s ever done for me.

In any event, the talk had come and I had survived it; I was now a man, a man with a blooming mustache. Life was good.

My arrogance was about to be punished.

A few days later I was coming home with my mom from the store. Her Subaru was in its usual condition: packed with groceries, Philadelphia Eagles glove hanging from the rear view mirror, Irv Homer groaning about something on the radio. I was stroking my mustache when my mom turned down the radio. I looked at her and thought: no, no, this already happened! What are you doing! But before I could say a word, she said the single worst sentence in the history of mother – son conversations.

“I know you know about masturbation.”

I would love to report my response, but I have no recollection as I was trying to self immolate by applying the cigarette lighter to my Jams. I do remember her follow-up sentence, which is the second worst sentence in history.

“I was watching Oprah.” Oprah. Arch nemesis.

Things get vague here, but I did catch the gist while trying to stuff zucchini into my ears while praying for a bolt of lightning to mercifully end my suffering. It seems that Oprah had a show in which mothers talked about their sons’ tragic deaths due to auto-erotic asphyxiation.

And she didn’t want me to do that. And that was the talk I got that Sunday morning.

So today, as I drove down this little road in a Pennsylvania town in grew up in, my nostalgia attic was knocked loose and I was forced to remember the sex talk from my dad, the ‘one eyed monster’ talk from a thousand-year old priest, and the ‘don’t strangle yourself while you jerk off’ talk from my mom.

Translation: I need to come back to Prague. Now!

Your most awkward talk?      

  1. #1 by Kim on August 26, 2013 - 6:06 pm

    My sex talk consisted of me, my mom and a book that she had check out of the library which was illustrated with cartoon characters. Cartoon characters… doing it. Awkward!

    • #2 by Damien Galeone on August 26, 2013 - 7:42 pm

      OK, my question is this: At any time during the conversation did anybody say “What is Mickey doing to Minnie?”

      Cause if so that would be rad.

  2. #3 by Tiffany Buczek on August 26, 2013 - 6:11 pm

    Ah yes, back when they were called “rubbers.” Ha! Your dad probably had it right by keeping it short and sweet. Anytime I’ve discussed anything sexual in nature with my son, it’s like this long-winded, female explanation of things that probably ends up confusing him more. He’s entering 6th grade this year. The year of Sex Ed. I can’t wait.

    I should probably keep things short like your dad did. Of course, I’ll use my special mother ammo to make my point: Guilt.

    “Don’t make me a grandmother before I’m 60, or I just may have a heart attack and die.”

    Still, I have to laugh at the whole masturbation/asphyxiation talk. Talk about awkward. How did she KNOW you knew about masturbation? Hmmm…was it the sheets, socks, tissues, showers, what???

    • #4 by Damien Galeone on August 26, 2013 - 7:48 pm

      Yes, well, to be honest for a second there I thought he was telling me about his car tires, but I soon figured it out. I was a sharp lad.

      Oh, I am guessing that when a 12 year old goes from spending zero time in his bedroom to 100% of his time there, you just put the pieces of the puzzle together. Sound…hint hint hint familiar…wink wink wink…yet?

      • #5 by Tiffany Buczek on August 26, 2013 - 8:29 pm

        If it replaces the obsession with video games, it may not be a bad thing.

        Oooh, my Captcha phrase involves the word, “insertion.” How ironic…

        • #6 by Damien Galeone on August 26, 2013 - 10:29 pm

          I am pretty sure he will lose interest in the joy stick to…well, you get where I’m going…

  3. #7 by Andy on August 26, 2013 - 7:25 pm

    “I know you know about masturbation.”

    And in the 27 years to follow, you earned your Phd in it. Well done!

    • #8 by Damien Galeone on August 26, 2013 - 7:44 pm

      Excuse me sir, PhD pending. My thesis on the application/insertion of kitchen utensils is still under evaluation with the board, though it was very well received in academic swinging circles.

      What was your thesis again?

      • #9 by Damien Galeone on August 26, 2013 - 7:44 pm

        …something with nipple clamps and banana flavoring, I seem to recall…

        • #10 by Andy on August 27, 2013 - 9:43 pm

          *sigh* Nipple clamps and banana flavoring? No, it was plastic forks and wetsuits, man. Geez, do you take me for some kind of pervert?

  4. #11 by Viťa on August 26, 2013 - 10:14 pm

    My mum just left a book called Everything I wanted to know about sex lying about the flat and guessed correctly I would find and read it sooner or later. Than she just asked if I have any questions. Smooth one.

    Call on me when you`re back Dame.

    • #12 by Damien Galeone on August 26, 2013 - 10:28 pm

      Sure thing, Vit. Also, that was damn clever of your mom…just be thankful she doesn’t watch Oprah!

  5. #13 by Kelly on August 27, 2013 - 3:09 am

    There is a traffic light in my hometown that I remember having a conversation with my father at. I was around twelve as well and told him that I had heard at school that Bon Jovi was gay. He said all too quickly “Bon Jovi isn’t gay.” So I was like “How do you know?” and he said “I’ll tell you when you’re older.”

    Every time I come to that traffic light I think of that conversation. Mostly because of his quick response. What horribly hetero things was Bon Jovi getting up to that made my father respond so definitively and WHY did my father know about them? I’m thirty-five now and I’m afraid to ask.

    There’s really no way your parents aren’t going to scare the living daylights out of you from time to time.

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