You see, son, when a man and a woman love each other very much…

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Tod Kelly

Tod is a writer from the Pacific Northwest. He is also serves as Executive Producer and host of both the 7 Deadly Sins Show at Portland's historic Mission Theatre and 7DS: Pants On Fire! at the White Eagle Hotel & Saloon. He is  a regular inactive for Marie Claire International and the Daily Beast, and is currently writing a book on the sudden rise of exorcisms in the United States. Follow him on Twitter.

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65 Responses

  1. Avatar Murali
    Ignored
    says:

    Last night my wife informed me that my youngest son apparently has a girlfriend. It’s hard to parse out exactly how I feel about this.

    How do you think I feel.. I’m being outclassed by a 13 year old!!!Report

    • Avatar david in reply to Murali
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      says:

      You aren’t buying enough Subway sandwiches!Report

    • Avatar George Turner in reply to Murali
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      says:

      My neighbor is in junior high and is up to girlfriend number eighty something, at last count. Sometimes we just refer to them by number. A few months ago he spent the night in a treehouse with a bunch of cheerleaders from a rival junior high, I think having dated all the cheerleaders at his own school. He’s even dated high school girls and has been hit on by college women.

      His latest girlfriend (who looks like a runway model) gets dropped off here by her parents, and last week when they came to pick her up the neighbor kid gave her a kiss that would’ve made Cary Grant’s jaw drop. I think he even knows her name, so this one might be serious.Report

  2. Avatar zic
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    says:

    So immature was I in high school that given the choice between risking being seen by my parents or their friends buying protection at the neighborhood drug store or risking having unprotected sex, I opted for the latter. Somewhere out there, there are some grown women whose father’s owe me a punch in the face.

    I’d tell this to him. But I’d modify that last sentence, replacing, “Whose father’s owe” to with “who.”

    I never found much benefit from telling them what they should do; but great benefit from telling what did, and what, in retrospect, I did that was really, really stupid.Report

  3. Avatar dhex
    Ignored
    says:

    ““Humping,” he said cheerfully, “Is when a man takes his penis and hits a woman’s stomach with it.”

    “Actually, that’s foreplay.””

    i laughed so hard i peed a bit. classic.Report

  4. Avatar James Hanley
    Ignored
    says:

    “Actually, that’s foreplay.””

    And now we know why Tod exercises so much self-control here at the League. Ever since that day he’s never uttered a word without writing it down, having it reviewed by a team of lawyers, then approved by his wife. By the time he gets through that, the thread is usually long gone from the front page.

    Good luck, Tod. My “talk” came from my mom, in an even weirder way than yours. In response to some question completely unrelated to sex, girls, or, as best I can remember, anything having to do with the human condition in any way, she sat me down at the kitchen table, and with a vast degree of embarrassment began to explain things to me. About three sentences in, before she’d gotten to anything remotely informative (or even anything truly embarrassing), the phone rang. She leaped from her chair, grabbed the phone, and we never spoke about it again.Report

    • Avatar Will Truman in reply to James Hanley
      Ignored
      says:

      My parents fell short of the comparatively robust conversation your mother had with you.Report

    • Avatar Russell M in reply to James Hanley
      Ignored
      says:

      yall are lucky. i was handed a penthouse by my step-father and told that by reading the forum i could know what my sex life would never ever be like.

      but then my dad was always a bit of a buzzkill. too bad he was right. I never had any of those fun stories happen to me. as far as i can tell no one ever has. but at least the pictures were better then the ones in health class. and the mag did not make me watch that 70’s movie about giving birth. that just about scared me of off women forever. truly scarring.Report

  5. Avatar Will Truman
    Ignored
    says:

    My planned speech for any future son goes:

    Having sex – protected or not – runs you the risk of derailing your life [See Addendum 1, columns A and B] or causing you extreme mental anguish [See Addendum 1, column C].

    Every single time you have sex – protected or not – you run the risk of having your entire life derailed. [See Addendum 1, columns A and B, focus on column A]

    Every girl you have sex with – protected or not – you are potentially giving enormous power over you. [See Addendum 1, columns A-C, focus on column B]

    Having unprotected sex exponentially increases the possibility of your entire life being derailed [See Addendum 1, columns A and B, focus on column A] [See also Addendum 2]

    In summary, you’re going to have sex sooner or later. Later is better than sooner [Explained in supplementary fashion before, during and after this speech]. Reducing the frequency of sex and the number of partners reduces the likelihood of bad effects. Protected sex is much, much less likely to cause bad effects than unprotected sex (excluding addendum 1, column C, though even there it might apply).

    The speech to my daughter will contain most of the elements from above, though with some differences. Addendum 1 would be reworked.

    Addendum 1:
    Column A – A list of all of the possibilities of what happens if she becomes pregnant, why all of them suck, and how you have virtually no control over any of it.
    Column B – A list of STDs, with graphic pictures if I can find them.
    Column C – Possible negative emotional consequences of sex.

    Addendum 2Report

    • Avatar Tod Kelly in reply to Will Truman
      Ignored
      says:

      I think I’m trying to walk that thin line between “want him to hold off having sex till he’s mature enough” and “want him to have an unhealthy fear of sex for the rest of his life.”Report

    • Avatar Michelle in reply to Will Truman
      Ignored
      says:

      This was not totally unlike the conversation we had with my stepson when he was about sixteen, where we told him that, if he wa going to have sex, he’d better be using a condom even if the girl told him she was on the pill because of STDs and possible pregnancy. The words “child support” were mentioned many times.

      My husband, the Russian, has a much more open attitude toward teen sex than I do and would have allowed my stepson to bring girls home had he wanted to do so. At any rate, he didn’t have great difficulty with giving “the talk.”Report

  6. Avatar Will H.
    Ignored
    says:

    You might consider starting off by claiming to be “a student in the matter” rather than “an expert,” and ask him about how much he knows already, what his attitudes are toward it, etc.
    That would give you a workable baseline.
    I think it’s one area where correcting errors is more important than imparting knowledge anyway.

    Best of luck to you.Report

  7. Avatar BlaiseP
    Ignored
    says:

    Ecch, talking to my kids about sex was pretty graphic, all things considered. Sex, I said, can be the most fun you’ll ever have in your whole life. For all this stuff and nonsense about Romance and Love and all that hokum, sex makes fools of us all. It’s how we reproduce.

    When the door to temptation opens, I can tell you which part of me gets through that door first. Do not follow that rascal around, he will get you into trouble. For when he gets hard, your brain gets soft.

    And sex should be fun for your partner too. Be nice. Ask before you do anything. There are lots more ways to have fun than the way girls get pregnant. You keep that rascal wrapped up. Basic rule of thumb, my boy, when it comes time to have unprotected sex, look around that room. If you don’t see enough space for a baby crib and a changing table, maybe you ought to think through your options and maybe have some other sort of fun than the kind that gets girls pregnant. But if you do see enough room for a crib, if you two really want a child and have a home for that child, boy, that’s how you were conceived and brought into this world. You were a wanted child and I wept with happiness when I was told you were within your mother.

    Just you make sure your children enter the world the same way.Report

  8. Avatar zic
    Ignored
    says:

    This is all very interesting; I would be so much more blunt.

    But my youngest brother died from AIDS. We talked very frankly, often, and honestly. And we still do. Because it’s not something to be ashamed of, to bumble about with, or to hide. It’s a natural human thing. Girls get as bothered by it as boys, and are much more prone to hide their behavior.

    But pregnancy is the slight problem.

    Don’t muck around. Your children will grow up in a world where their friends are watching internet porn by the time they’re 13. Where some will be doing drugs, and the worst at that age is easiest to access — alcohol; some of it will probably be yours.

    Talking about sex, about drugs, about alcohol, about pregnancy, about STD’s should be common and regular; it should be anything but ‘the talk.’ If it’s one big event, and an uncomfortable and fumbled one at that, you are not communicating life skills to your children, you’re letting them learn from the street and checking off a box as a job accomplished when you’ve done nothing of the sort.Report

  9. Avatar Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    So I wrote a comment and I asked Maribou “can I post this comment?” and she told me “No, it’s misogynistic and the only people who will think it is funny are retrograde.”

    She went on to say “if you wanted to be accurate, you’d say that if he gets into a serious relationship, someday he will ask his significant other if he should post a comment and then he will hear ‘no, you shouldn’t’ and his partner will go upstairs with half of his toast. And, besides, Tod didn’t ask for advice! He asked for good wishes! You should just give him best wishes!”

    Then she went upstairs with half of my toast.

    So I am left here saying “best wishes, Tod.”Report

    • Avatar Tod Kelly in reply to Jaybird
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      says:

      You know, of course, that for the rest of the night I”m going to be wondering what you going comment before Maribou advised you not to…Report

    • Avatar Will H. in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      No! No! No!
      Never, ever ask for permission!
      Beg for forgiveness is SOP.

      Tod, I think you’re going to need to have the Talk with Jaybird . . .Report

    • Avatar North in reply to Jaybird
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      says:

      What was on the toast?Report

    • Avatar Russell Saunders in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      Or, in my case, he will sometimes post things and his partner will occasionally peruse them, from time to time finding things he (the partner) finds of dubious value or prudence, and will affix him (the writer) with a Look of Disapproval, but by then things will be Too Late.Report

    • Avatar MikeSchilling in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      It’s a good thing you didn’t post it, because I’m morally certain I would have proven to one and all that I’m retrograde.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to MikeSchilling
        Ignored
        says:

        I’ll just rot13 it. (Note: I’m rewriting it when I’m sober so it won’t be as good.)

        Ba fbzr hcpbzvat Fngheqnl, lbh naq lbhe jvsr arrq gb gnxr uvz gb n fubccvat znyy. Bar jvgu n Frnef be n Craal’f be fbzrguvat. Znxr uvz gnxr uvf jnyyrg.

        Tb gb gur jbzra’f pybguvat frpgvba naq unir lbhe jvsr unir uvz ubyq ure chefr naq, ng gur fnzr gvzr, gnxr nobhg unys bs uvf zbarl njnl. Unir uvz fgnaq va gur jbzna’f frpgvba bs Frnef sbe nobhg na ubhe. Rirel 10 zvahgrf be fb, tb hc gb uvz jvgu n oybhfr be fbzrguvat naq fnl “qb lbh yvxr guvf bar?” naq, ab znggre jung ur fnlf va erfcbafr, rkcerff qvfnccebiny.

        Nf lbh qevir ubzr rkcynva gb uvz gung nsgre gur ubax ubax tnzr raqf, ur jvyy svaq uvzfrys jvfuvat gung ur unq uvf zbarl onpx, nf ur fgnaqf naq ubyqf n jbzna’f chefr va gur jbzra’f pybguvat frpgvba bs gur fubccvat znyy… NAQ GUNG JVYY OR RIREL FNGHEQNL SBE GUR ERFG BS UVF YVSR.Report

  10. Avatar NewDealer
    Ignored
    says:

    “So immature was I in high school that given the choice between risking being seen by my parents or their friends buying protection at the neighborhood drug store or risking having unprotected sex, I opted for the latter. Somewhere out there, there are some grown women whose father’s owe me a punch in the face.”

    Wow that’s risky!Report

  11. Avatar Rufus F.
    Ignored
    says:

    I don’t know if anyone can top my birds and the bees story. I know that’s trolling for a response, but it’s also true.Report

    • Avatar Rufus F. in reply to Rufus F.
      Ignored
      says:

      So, just to cut to the chase and not troll, my mother was a heavy drinker and we asked her at age four or five what “the birds and the bees” is because we’d heard the term on television. I don’t know why she said this, aside from wanting the kids to leave her alone and not ask again, but she told us that bees, when they want to have babies, urinate in each other’s mouths, which totally repulsed us, and pretty much ensured we never asked about the birds and the bees, or sex, or socialized with any bees, from that point on.Report

      • Avatar Shazbot5 in reply to Rufus F.
        Ignored
        says:

        You know birds don’t have external sex organs, so they’re a really bad analog for mammalian sexual reproduction.

        When the boy and girl bird fall in love, and when their environment is filled with a lot of fat and protein and the days are long, the boy bird dances and dances until she notices him. Then the girl bird wraps her face around his, or sometimes sticks her mouth down his throat, and he throws up and she drinks the throw up and sometimes she throws up back so he can drink it back. Then the girl bird lays down really flat, and the boy bird stands on her back like a surf board. Then they rub their cloacas together, which is like rubbing your butt hole against a girl’s. The boy shoots some sperm out his butt hole which goes up the girl bords butthole, where it fertilizes an egg. Eventually the girl bird lays the egg.

        Smetimes this happens when the birds are only a few months old.Report

    • Avatar Will H. in reply to Rufus F.
      Ignored
      says:

      Awww, c’mon Uncle Rufus!
      Tell us what things were like back in the Old Days!Report

  12. Avatar Kazzy
    Ignored
    says:

    I learned from an episode of “Blossom”. True story. More in the AM.Report

  13. Avatar Shazbot5
    Ignored
    says:

    I got all my knowledge about sex from TV and it is funny the conclusions I drew.

    1. At first, I thought sex was just rolling around together mostly naked or possibly partially naked. It took me a long time to infer that some act of penetration was involved. I thought that sex was enjoyable just as an act of hugging and kissing and rolling around. (This is how sex is portrayed in the vast majority of movies and TV; they cut away before the orgasm. Just lots of gentle oohs and aahhhs as if the participants are experiencing something like a relaxing massage.)

    2. Eventually, I determined that penetration was involved, somehow, (a combo of recess and nature shows, maybe) in the biology of sex.

    3. I finally realized that women would sometimes have an orgasm during sex. (Women would make jokes about it on TV and occasionally some movies would show women making orgasm sounds) But I really didn’t know if men did. This is not a question I asked often in my mind, but it was there, in the background. Eventually this question was answered in a very scientific way in the public school class where they talk about sex, but I still wasn’t sure if orgasm was something men felt or if it was just a biological act.

    You just don’t see male orgasm or hear it referred to on TV. (Maybe nowadays you do.) Indeed, I was still somewhat unsure about the existence of male orgasm or whether it was pleasurable in the way that female orgasm was depicted to be until I finally felt it. (If my kids read this, this happened when I was 29.)Report

  14. Avatar Rufus F.
    Ignored
    says:

    I’m just not going to have kids, so we don’t have to talk to them about sex.Report

  15. Avatar Russell Saunders
    Ignored
    says:

    I imagine, it being Monday morning when I write this, that “the talk” has already happened. But if “good luck” still holds meaning, then “good luck!”

    As the “adolescent specialist” in our office, I get a lot of parents telling their kids “if you have any questions, ask him ” before fleeing to the safety of the waiting room. Only once have I ever had a patient who was both ignorant of the details of sex and interested in hearing them from me. It was… weird.

    But I guess I had it coming. I was the kid on the playground who explained everything to the other kids. Suffice it to say, we had a satellite dish way back when the technology was first introduced, and a lot of them spicier channels didn’t get scrambled for quite some time.Report

  16. Avatar Rod Engelsman
    Ignored
    says:

    How to Teach Your Kids about Sex and Reproduction

    1. Buy a farm.

    2. Buy animals to populate said farm.

    3. Tell your kids to play outside.

    They’ll figure it out.Report

    • Avatar zic in reply to Rod Engelsman
      Ignored
      says:

      That’s the good part of growing up on a farm.

      And then . . . the dark side. With a herd of 120 give or take milk cows, you don’t want a single set of male genes, you want some diversity working toward improving blood lines. Luckily, there’s a thriving industry in artificial insemination. I’m guessing I was about 12 when my father ordered some expensive ampules from a star bull. He was pretty excited, kept going on and on about it before it arrived. And then the fun job of using it.

      We had, on and off, raised promising bull calves into adult hood, purchased a few over time. They’re not docile, stupid animals like cows are. They’re rather wild and quite dangerous.

      So I just want you to imagine my internal dialogue as I tried to comprehend how the precious material in these ampules got there; because get there it did, and there were pregnant cows — the promise of calves and milk and security for the family — promised. And one farming-related job added to my ‘don’t want to be’ list.Report

    • Avatar Kim in reply to Rod Engelsman
      Ignored
      says:

      As a city kid, the two weeks spent on a friend’s farm were invaluable. We got to see horse breeding. It was… hilarious.

      We also got to see the gelding who still thought he could perform. Even more hilarious.Report

  17. Avatar Sam
    Ignored
    says:

    When I was a social worker – which is how I start most of my comments around here – I generally worked with teenage boys. Because of the reasons they arrived at our facilities, they were already well versed in sexual understanding and as a result, we frequently had to have frank conversations with them: about who to fantasize about, about appropriate behavior, about masturbation. All of that was uncomfortable but doable, in that the topic of sexual discussion often makes my skin crawl.

    You can imagine then my discomfort when I was called out the boys facility where I worked for a group conversation with ten teenage young women. I was coupled with a woman and we sat down around a table and asked everybody to submit anonymous questions which we would then answer. Every. Single. Question. Came. To. Me.

    I think the most amusing one centered on the idea that it “hurts” men if we don’t get off, truly one of the most odious lies men have ever developed in the ongoing pursuit of orgasm. The question was written something like, “What’s up with blue balls?” and I sort of giggled and went, “You were lied to.” And then, quite vociferously, a chorus of “NU UH!!!” filled the room as young woman after young woman confirmed that they’d fallen for this scam. And then I had to very patiently explain to them that it doesn’t hurt when men don’t orgasm, that men are lying when they say that it does, and that they are under no obligation to relieve their partner of his ghost pain.

    Then I took a break and my skin melted off my body.

    All of this is the long way of saying that I castrated both my children to avoid this in the future.Report

    • Avatar Kim in reply to Sam
      Ignored
      says:

      A prolonged state of arousal is not good for anyone. Going through three or four days of being continually aroused actually can lead to physiological damage (blood clots).

      Most boys know where their “off” switch is. 😉Report

      • Avatar Sam in reply to Kim
        Ignored
        says:

        There’s no teenaged boy anywhere on Earth going through a prolonged period of arousal, I assure you. I speak not only for myself, but for every other man everywhere.

        As to the second point: I believe I communicated the same thing to those young women I was speaking to.Report

        • Avatar JustRuss in reply to Sam
          Ignored
          says:

          Well in the interest of science: When I was slightly older than a teenager there was a young woman I desired more than anything else in the world. On her last night before moving out of state we spent the evening together, and ended up at my place with her too tipsy to drive, but not too drunk to say no, after which she passed out. I was, ahem, literally up all night, too much of a gentleman to take advantage, too much of an optimist to, uh, handle things myself. Alas, she slept til dawn, then awoke, reaffirmed her decision of the prior evening, and drove out of my life forever.

          I can’t say they were blue, but yeah, it hurts.Report

  18. Avatar Neo
    Ignored
    says:

    “Tod Kelly is a risk management consultant…” may be the most amusing line in this post.

    Good luck!Report

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