(make sure and watch all the way to the end. Awesome.)
Ok, so here’s the thing.
My parents are pretty much Hank and Peggy Hill. As closely as flesh and blood people can resemble animations, that’s the level of resemblance.
I love my parents. I could not have asked for better.
But here’s the thing.
My parents never acknowledged that sex exists. Not to me, at least. My sister told me the facts of life one afternoon while we were standing in the bathroom of our childhood home. I don’t even know what we were talking about or why, but I remember telling her that babies were made by kissing and she got all business and spilled the beans.
I don’t know why my parents chose never to broach this subject – well, I mean, I do, I guess. My parents and their utter Baptist stiff neck prudery were never more uncomfortable than when something a bit off color was mentioned. To be fair, mostly this refers to my mother – whenever the conversation seemed like it might perhaps be in danger of going anywhere near nakedness or kissing or getting naked, my dad would just go shoot or build something.
I remember once I asked my mom what a condom was.
I grew up in the eighties, man. AIDS was the hairy ugly unknown sexmonster and Whoopi Goldberg was on TV almost every night taking about condoms and safe sex.
I had no clue what a condom was. I was what, eight? So I asked, and for some reason I’ve always remembered my mother’s answer.
“It’s….it’s like a rubber glove.”
To be totally fair, this is not inaccurate. After all, it IS like a rubber glove. For man parts. But Mom left that part out, and for quite some time I pictured a condom like a magical Michael Jackson glove that for some reason protected sexers magically through their hand pores.
Anyway, my kids know all about sex. I decided long ago to take the completely opposite approach with them than my parents took with me, because once I started having sex, it was not only a huge dirty secret (let’s face it, my parents didn’t even know I knew what sex was, much less how to do it – and I might as well say it here…Mom, that time you read in my journal about my angsty teenage sexual escapades, and I told you it was a creative writing experiment? Yeah….it wasn’t. I feel much better now), but they’d have shackled me down if they thought I was even thinking about it.
So, after watching the Sex Ed episode of King of the Hill the other night with my kids, I think I’ve made the right decision. after all, if they can laugh with me about grownups who are scared to say “penis” and “vagina,” surely when the time comes, they’ll know that I can be trusted to confide in.