Remember when you told me that if parents these days think their kids aren’t having sex, they’re burying their heads in the sand?I laughed then, but now I’m saying thanks. And I’m not saying thanks for your understanding about my sex life because, after all, we both know it does not exist. I’m not saying thank you for understanding my friends’ sex life either, because frankly, they do not really care whether or not you applaud their decision to throw their virginity to the wind. And I’m not saying thank you for telling me that straight-laced adults are stupid, because the truth is that it is not all that important to me what they think about when my underwear stays on and when it hits the floor.
I’m saying thanks for your sense of humor. As I’ve grown up, you’ve made sex something we can talk about. Since I was a little girl, I’ve known how babies are really made. Even though you threw me out when Sex and the City was on, I know it was not because it was inappropriate, but because I was annoying. Sex was an okay topic; you would field any questions I might have had. You did not make me think that my vagina was a horrifying black hole where scary things would happen. Instead, I thought of my vagina as a place where magic could happen: life could come out of there, closeness with another person could happen there, explosions of pleasure could happen there.
You were right outside the bathroom door when I was first trying to insert a tampon, and assured me that, “You better get that in there, because something much bigger is going to go in there one day!” You had a sense of humor about sex and made it into something we could talk about. For this reason, when I bought an unreasonably sexy lace bra in eighth grade, you were able to tell me it would make me look like a baby prostitute, and I respected your opinion and returned it. Your support made me comfortable with myself and with you.
It is for this reason that you are a person that I am able to go when I want to talk about sex. You never encouraged me to do it, but you never discouraged me. You were simply someone I could approach for advice and someone who could make me laugh about sex. One day, you asked me if I would tell you when I lost my virginity. I said, “I’ll tell you if you ask me, but I’m not going to call you the second it happens.” Well, seeing as I haven’t had sex yet, I guess that deal still stands, huh?
In fact, I think it is in part due to your willingness to talk to me about these topics that I haven’t had sex yet. Of course, my inability to find a decent sexual partner of the opposite sex contributes as well, but that is a topic for another day. Your support has made me into a more confident person and has probably contributed to the fact that my hymen remains watertight.
Others might find it ironic that the more talking we do leads to my ability to say no, but this makes a lot sense to me. You’ve made it clear to me that while sex is special, it is not a great mystery that I must investigate on my own. You’ve given me the courage to wait because I know what sex is and I know what I want out of it. Your openness has af- forded me the unique opportunity to talk to an older and wiser person about sex, which is something most people don’t have the opportunity to enjoy.
Thank you for not burying your head in the sand, Mom. You know that in all likelihood, I’m going to have sex one day. You’ve given me confidence in my sexuality and myself. And you didn’t shove it down my throat. It was through your love, your sense of humor, and your openness.
I also think it’s made us closer. I like that I was able to tell you about why I decided not to have sex in high school. I like that I was able to tell you about the time someone tried to rape me. I like that I am able to tell you now that I want to have sex with somebody.
So once again, thanks Mom.