Keeper of The Fruit Loops

My Teen Asked Me About A Sex Act While I Was Driving

January 4, 2016
Teens and sex

I knew this day would come as I had been warned by those who had gone before me.

He’s going to ask someday.

She’s going to have questions.

You need to get your story straight.

You have to be *prepared* because you’ll be caught with your pants down when the Fruit Loops ask about the specifics of sex.

And, in a dark car, on the way home from dinner, it happened:  Fruit Loop #1 and I had a whopper of a conversation.

I had no idea that my teen was about to ask me about a sex act on the way home from dinner.

While I’ve mostly recovered from the trauma, my friends are still reeling from the advice I gave him.

The evening started out innocently enough. After attending an event as a family, Hubby and I decided to take the Fruit Loops out for dinner at one of our favorite watering holes (read:  drink martinis as the Fruit Loops consumed large quantities of fried foods and dessert). We spent that time talking to each other, visiting with friends who’d also gone to the restaurant and joking with our favorite bartender.

It was a picture perfect moment:  warm sweaters, noisy atmosphere, a family smiling together. I had no way of knowing that Fruit Loop #1 had questions brimming and he’d decided he was going to get some answers on the way home.

As we had taken two cars, Fruit Loop #1 opted to ride home with me. I should have seen this as a sign, people. Of what, I don’t know, but I should have seen something coming.

Once in the car, and about two seconds after I navigated the car away from the curb, Fruit Loop #1 dropped a bomb on me: there was a sexting scandal at school and he was upset.

Let me repeat that:  my twelve year old was upset about a sexting incident. Twelve. As in, they don’t even have the word “teen” in their ages yet, bitchachos.

Pardon me as I try not to drive this people mover right into a tree.

While he was not involved (THANKYOUSWEETBABYJESUS), he was upset about the consequences, the children involved, and the general implications that this kind of thing brings. He wondered what would happen if he received salacious texts, who he should tell, why kids would do such a thing.

Heavy topics weighed on his mind and he wanted to talk about all of it. WITH ME. As I was driving heavy machinery. In the dark. Without Hubby as a back up.

I’m not going to lie: I was caught with my pants down and I swear, the deer we passed on the road did not look nearly as surprised as I did when I was driving.

But, I made a choice to keep driving, to take the longest way home possible because my tween was talking, openly talking to me about sex. I didn’t know when, or if, this situation would ever present itself again.

I don’t know if it was the dark, country roads I slowly drove, the fact that we weren’t facing each other or if the stars just magically aligned to make him open up, but it happened.

And it was eye opening.

As we quieted from the sexting discussion, he coyly and shyly said, “I have one more question,” and the tone of his voice made me realize I needed to brace myself.

“What’s that, bud?” I said.

“Well. You know. Some of the boys, they talk about this thing that involves blowing. And work. Blow work, is it? Something that is like a job and involves blowing. I don’t know what that means. Can you explain that to me?”

Holy Sweet Mother in the heavens above, I don’t think I’m going to survive the teen years.

Here I was, in a car, being asked a specific question about a sex act from my twelve year old.

In the split seconds that followed his question, I debated:  do I tell him?  Do I push it aside and tell him that’s for grown ups? Do I pull over on the side of the road and call Hubby to take over?

How hard will I have to junk punch Hubby when I get home?

I honestly didn’t know what to do and, as I gripped the steering wheel and tried to keep myself from driving into a cornfield, I made a decision.

I told him. I was honest and forthright.

And, then it was him wearing the deer in the headlights expression.

As the reality of the answer set in, and, realizing these moments with tweens are fleeting, I took it one step further:  I told him a committed relationship is a two way street and when you are intimate with someone, it’s never one sided. If he’s alone with a girl, it’s to be enjoyable for both of them and it’s never okay to let a girl please him solely.

I told him that if you get one, you give one.

Plain and simple.

Because no daughter in law of mine is going to stand in my kitchen and wonder why he’s such a greedy asshole in the bedroom.

And, judging from the looks of horror on my friends’ faces as I’ve recounted this story, I seem to be in the minority when it comes talking openly with kids about sex.

I’ve been accused of condoning pre marital sex. I’ve been told I crossed a line by explaining the specifics of a sex act to my child.

I’ve been told that I’m asking for trouble by telling him that his eventual girlfriend’s needs are important, too.

Mostly, though, my friends have cry laughed at the image of me driving down the street being asked about knob polishing. And, naturally, they all asked how soon I’d be blogging about my drive from hell….

But, for all the judgement, all the shocked outcry, I stand by what I told Fruit Loop #1. I stand by my honesty and I hope, that in doing so, I’ve set the stage for him to want to come back to ask questions, to get good, solid answers from his father and I.

And, in that moment, he trusted me with his thoughts and was open and honest with me.

The least I could do was be honest right back.

Because if you get it, you give it, people.

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61 Responses

  1. I love your blog and have been reading this for a while now. This entry, however, has to be the best one ever. I am sending it on to my DIL, mom to a very wily almost 8 year old and a precocious 6 year old, both boys, who already ask questions that make you blush. Quality writing, Christine, and even more quality parenting.

    1. Virginia, this comment made my day. I know you’ve followed for a long time and for that, I’m grateful. Thank you so much for your kind words….and for continuing to come back to read my crazy musings!

  2. You are spot-on here, Christine. He asked an honest question, and if you’d danced around it he would have lost trust in you and probably gone elsewhere with the next one. Good for YOU! The best part of this? You lit a spark about reciprocity, and maybe when the other guys are hee-hawing about what they are (supposedly) getting, he’ll be a bit more respectful of the whole act and his part in it.
    You’re my hero.

  3. I LOVE THIS. I think it’s perfect. I love truth telling. Honestly, I almost enjoy the looks on their faces when I tell them things, SHOCKING things, because they asked and they are smart, wonderful, insightful girls who will know when they’re being LIED TO (except for Santa, which makes me doubt their intelligence). Sometimes I say, “the world is SO WEIRD RIGHT????” because it really is. Sex is the weirdest thing ever.

    I hope when they are tweens, I handle all the questions with as much grace and humor as you do :). We might have to meet for emergency breakfast/coaching session.

    (someday, remind me to tell you why my kids think the Easter bunny is a human sized man-rabbit who lives under our basement. It has to do with being terrible at answering questions about things that do not have pre-established back stories)

  4. You are right ON!! “Honesty is always the best policy.” is not just a bunch of words strung together. If you don’t tell your children the truth, even about the horrible “sex” questions, they WILL find out the truth from their friends, that parents are liars. Good JOB Keeper!!

  5. If I were one of those psycho-stalker-followers I would hunt you down today and attack you with hugs and kisses to say Thank You. Thank you for being honest with your son. I’ve explained sex to my son & daughter using very similar wording hoping to save them from naive humiliation that too many young/old people are made to feel. When we give them KNOWLEDGE, we give them the power to make well informed decisions. I will never understand why so many parents feel it necessary to lie to their kids about sex. I’m not saying to bust out *”The twenty-seven 8 x 10 colored glossy pictures with the circles and arrows
    And a paragraph on the back of each one” giving detailed instructions, but state the facts. And as a mother of a teenage daughter, THANK YOU for explaining it as a mutual act for a committed relationship.
    So, if for some reason you’re out in the western suburbs of Chicago anytime in the future… I suggest wearing a very clever disguise! Unless you don’t mind a grown woman hugging and kissing you in public!
    *a personal favorite way to explain things… Thanks to Mr Arlo Guthrie – Alice’s Restaurant !!

  6. I love how you handled it! Thank you for sharing. Those fruit loops sure are lucky to live in such a great box of cereal:)

  7. Honesty is the only way to properly handle your kids’ questions like this. I still thank SWEETBABYJESUS that my husband had an extremely random day off and picked up our 12-year-old daughter from school the day her Health teacher decided to drop anal sex into a list of things to be safe with. WHAT 12 YEAR OLD NEEDS TO KNOW ABOUT THAT?!?!?! He is a pro and explained it in a matter-of-fact way. She was horrified but still asks us every question that comes up in that arena because she knows we’ll respect and trust her enough to be honest.

    1. You’d be surprised! A lot of kids think that’s a safe way to have sex because they can’t get pregnant and they don’t understand it’s much riskier std wise. Some girls even think it’s ok so they can preserve their virginity for marriage. I’m glad the schools are talking about it. It’s become a problem in some places because of misinformation.

    2. They definitely need to know that. Anal sex is one of the highest risk factors for hiv transmission. Kids are having anal sex because they think it’s safer. They need to know the truth about their bodies and about safe sex

  8. I was always very honest and forthright with my girls, bless them. I am fortunate that They are both happy and relatively well adjusted 18 and 20 years olds. I always told them I would be there when they needed (brutally honest) information, a ride home, or advice. There’s no sense in lying or varnishing anything with kids these days, not when they have the Internet and their friends.

  9. As a former middle and high school sex educator, (which you might think means I know my sh*t, but just actually means I was scared I was going to have to refinance my house to pay for therapy for my daughter after teaching her class) you did exactly the right thing. I live in the south, and so many of these kids know nothing about the mechanics of their own bodies or the mechanics of sex and their parents think that any mention of either of these things is going to immediately make their kids have sex. When in fact, the opposite is true. The more parents talk to kids about sex in an honest and open way, the more of a protective factor from sexual experience it is for their kids. And you are laying the ground work right now so that your son knows it is okay for him to approach you with any questions he might have in the future. Well done, fruit loop keeper! P.S. I still have those nasty STD slides somewhere in a closet if you want to scare him to death. It was always the boys who passed out in my classes. Heh.

  10. Girl, I commend you. Being honest and open is so important. Kids will figure it out themselves and the figuring out part might be extremely misguided, so setting the groundwork for open discussion is awesome. Now, if you’d like to come over and explain to my three year old about how her baby brother came out, which is a burning question for her that I can’t seem to answer, that’s be great. 🙂

  11. Well Played. Good on you for the honesty, the sense of fair play, and the lack of scaring and shame about something that we all (adults) know to be beautiful and kids only know “WTF?!” and “eeewwww, groosssss!!!” about. If we could all have the courage to do the same thing, the world would be a better place and my daughters wouldn’t have to put up with nearly so much crap as they get older. Or your son.

  12. I am with you 100%! No one told me anything when I was growing up and I promised he would not be so naive. I want him to have all of the facts. My son is 12 and just like yours we were in a dark car driving from who knows where and I felt like I’d been gut punched. I was not prepared as I thought I would be. But ready or not I told him about sex. I answered his questions honestly even when I wasn’t sure I should. I haven’t condoned pre-marital sex or any other type of sex but I have pre-prepared him with some of the good and the bad. He knows about pregnancy and diseases (which school helped on learning diseases too). He is young and hormones are still low but I can only hope we are raising him right, that I can keep the openness about sex and he’ll make the right decisions. Good luck with your fruit loops and thank you for sharing your conversation 😊

  13. I love this! I, too, try to be open and honest – only to the questions they ask (or to clear-up overheard misconceptions – like when my boys were discussing the gender of our dogs and one said “Maggie’s a girl, because she has a kagina.” and the other said “A gagina?” and he said “NO A KA-GINA.”). I also openly and honestly explain to my boys, when they asked, why I have a period. I try not to give them too much information, but just the right amount to answer them accurately and honestly. I also beg/plead with them to never, ever, ever take pictures of their private areas and send them to others, nor to forward or distribute naked pictures of anyone. If they want to see what a girl looks like naked, I will buy them a Playboy. I don’t want them to become a registered sex offender because Johnny sent a picture of his girlfriend to one of my kids.

  14. I grew up in a home where sex was hush-hush. What I learned was what was taught in sex-ed. When I became a mom I decided to be open and honest with my son. Answer questions when he asks. I told him that kids at school would start talking about things, and when they did he needs to come to me so that he knows the truth. Sometimes he does. Thank you for this. Thank you for reminding me that it’s OKAY to be open & honest with my son as a mother. That is not *just* “Dad’s job” to do so.

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  15. Great advice! When I first began dating girls back in high school my mom decided I needed “the talk” and my father was far to shy to speak as frankly as she did. She bluntly told me, “If a girl is letting you have sex with her, you need to make sure she enjoys it.” As a 33 year old man I think the advice has served me, and the women I’ve had the pleasure of being intimate with, very well. Your son will thank you one day.

    1. I’m also a victim and I and my friends purchased 8 vouchers which is a really huge amount of money, I’ve already reported this matter to eBay and I’m planning to go to DTI as well. It’s going to be better if we will file a group complaint. What else can we do?? Any suggestions please.

  16. You handled that amazingly! And your friends who think you were wrong, well, they’re wrong.

    My mother flipped out on me when asked her questions about sex. All it taught me was that I couldn’t trust her and so I wound up getting all my info from my friends. I did things I wasn’t wholly comfortable with way too young. I don’t know if having open parents would have prevented anything, but at least I would have had someone to talk to after when I was confused.

    You not only gave your son good honest information about sex, but more importantly you taught him that he can trust you. He WILL talk to you again, and although that’s kind of uncomfortable, it’s also good because you will not only know that he’s getting good information, but you’ll also be informed about his life so you will have a bit more insight if he’s struggling.

    Good job mama!

  17. That is so funny. I had a similar talk with my five year old! That’s right five! He asked the following, “mum did you know that girls like to lick mens penises, why?” Yes I was bug eyed and coughed, literally for several minutes. My answer was, ” yes son, some girls do that and some men like having it done but only when you are married so you don’t have to worry about that until then”. He was very happy with that answer as he had a girlfriend and thought that was what they had to do.

    I really thought I had another 10 years before this type of chat with him.

    Ever since then he has asked questions and I have answered no point telling untruths or giving false information.

  18. Brilliant, just brilliant. So funny I nearly spit my coffee out as I read it. Seriously though, it’s so important to be open and honest about sex. My parents were total hippies so I knew all about it as soon as I was old enough to ask and I really think that that knowledge and the demystification of sex made it much easier for me to resist the pressure in high school to have sex to ‘be cool’.
    Having said that I’m still freaking out about the day my kids get old enough to ask, but I know I will answer honestly.

  19. Thank you for writing this! I am the single mom of 3 and 4 year old boys who already occasionally ask questions (we’re not quite at the level of your 12 year old yet). I believe that honesty is the best policy but that being said it can be quite difficult to have certain conversations. Thank your forging the trail and sharing the story. It’s going into my “parenting toolbox”!

  20. Loved it!! My son is 11 and I can see questions forming in his head. Unfortunately, I am the only one that can answer any questions he may, one day, have the courage to ask me. Thank you for this incredible image and story, I think it will DEFINITELY pop into my head when my day comes!

  21. You did great! Bravo!! I’m farther into parenting – my baby is 19 yrs old. I answered my kids questions honestly, using proper terminology (as well as slang if thats how the question started) and they are all well adjusted, educated, normal kids/adults. I actually think the honest explanations and terrifying descriptions of STD’s made all four of my children delay their leap into sexual freedom.

  22. I just found you through a Facebook share, and I love how you handled this so much that I’m now an instafollower.

    I still have the day burned into my memory of explaining nocturnal emissions (ahem) to my oldest when he was about that same age and woke up in a panic about the weird stuff coming (haha) out of him.

    He’s 18 now, and we’ve since had way too many uncomfortable conversations about sex. Including a how-to discussion when he asked for tips on helping his virgin girlfriend (who is eager to lose that particular card) get over her innate clenching reaction when it comes to any kind of penetration. 😐

    Sometimes I’m amazed by my life. And horrified. But mostly amazed.

  23. you need a damn metal. boys should be taught the principles of get one, give one. honestly, i think he will remember that for the rest of his life. you are a great mom. honestly is the best.

  24. Obviously you have spent a lot of time with your kids and talked to them that they can be open with you. That’s amazing and I wish more parents could. I was always honest with my kids because my mom was not open with me. And I couldn’t agree more with your answer. You rock.

  25. Good for you, and I feel your pain. My son ask me not too long ago about “eating out”… It was a conversation at his school lunch table and all the boys had different stories about exactly what it meant. He ask me to tell him the truth.

    Like you, I freaked out (in my head) and thought how the hell did I become responsible for answering questions like this?!? I sucked it up and told him the truth.

    My mom was always honest with me and for that I am thankful. I’m happy my son is comfortable asking me hard questions even though it’s not always easy.

  26. I’m dying laughing. You are awesome and you gave awesome answers…I gave the same ones. I try to always be honest with both my boys about any question they ask. Always have and always will. I’d rather I talked to them about it (or hubs) than they got their info from friends or the internet. Rock on Mom!

  27. You tell them what they need to know that is age appropriate. But once puberty hits, pretty much everything is age appropriate. My son asked about wet dreams “for a friend” at a stoplight. At least I was stopped. That was just about as bad as blowing employment. And I had to explain the purpose of Viagra during a football game commercial. As awkward as it was, I will always be grateful that he felt comfortable enough to ask me.

  28. You are the winner of the best blog post EVER. Best post, best advice, best parenting. Much better than when my friend’s daughter asked her what is a blow job, and the mother told her to Google it!! Daughter was understandably horrified. Last time she will ever ask her mother anything. Your son will come to you for just about anything for the rest of his life. And someday when he has his own children, he will realize how uncomfortable that was for you to tell him.

  29. I agree with you in every way, and when one of my little dorks gets the balls to ask this, I hope to God I have the balls to answer with as much candor. It needs to be said, and it shouldn’t be as taboo as we make it out to be. If hiding sex and being secretive kept kids from having it, humans would have died out long ago.

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  30. I have had almost the same exact conversation with my son. And, I did it for the same reasons. 1. Always tell the truth because they count on us to be honest. 2. I want to make sure my daughter in law is happy and committed (I don’t want him moving back home😘)

  31. I love your response. As a teacher who has had to cover the whole sex topic with 14 year olds I assure you they not only want honest answers, they need them. Lack of information is as dangerous as misinformation. Teaching your boy that his partner deserves pleasure as well isn’t promoting sex–it’s promoting healthy, positive relationships, and teaches him something about the respect he should have for his partner. I love it–well done.

  32. I was asked this same question at about that same age by the boy that I nannied for. And I answered the exact same way! Great advice.

  33. You did amazing! By teaching him that its a 2 way street with regards to sex in committed relationships, you did him a favor. You let him know that that 2 way street delves into ALL facets of the relationship. Well done Mama!
    I’ve said something similar. I’ve told my girls that though sex may seem scary now (not a bad thing, mind you, my oldest is 14) when you find that person, like I found their father, it’s enjoyable/amazing. (I’ve had people give me that same look when I tell them I’ve told my daughters this info.) I hope they find that someday. I’ve also cautioned them that boys may use that line “if you love me, you will” to pressure them. Those are the boys that don’t love them and only want sex. If they are willing to wait, they will find the person to make it worth waiting for.

  34. I’ve dated so many of those ‘other guys’ who were never taught this message, so I absolutely congratulate you on raising your son honestly and with respect for the future women he’ll date. Hope my daughter eventually (in about 10 years!) finds someone as well taught as your son!

  35. I love the way kids wait till you’re driving at great speed! My daughter (now 11, then aged 8) waited until I was driving at 100kmph in heavy rain. Then announced from the back seat “I have two boyfriends Mummy!”

    After regaining control of the car I tentatively enquired further.

    “The first one is Jarrod, but don’t tell him because he doesn’t know.” This made me relax, but somewhat prematurely, as she followed up with… “and the second one is Will, because he’s got a really big telescope!”

    Thank God for ABS brakes and all of that because without them, I’d have ended up off the road!

    Luckily I’m also aware that young Will does indeed have a big telescope and this is a drawcard for my science obsessed daughter. However this statement would have a different connotation were she a little older and less science minded!

    1. Not to mention the time as I dropped her at her (Catholic) primary school and as the principal helped her disentangle her schoolbag from the back seat, my dear daughter innocently inquired “Mummy, how do you NOT get pregnant?” With the principal grinning in anticipation at me, I gritted my teeth and suggested she save the questions for home-time!

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  37. I encountered a somewhat similar situation when my boys were about 8 or 9. We were driving along on a family outing to some store, most likely on a journey to buy some sports equipment. We were laughing, singing loudly to music on the radio and having a good old time. After about 20 minutes of driving, one son quizzically says from the back of the van, “Mommy, can I ask you a question?” “Sure Bud, what’s up”, I reply. “What’s a whore?” comes from my innocent little angel’s mouth – which immediately prompted my husband to simultaneously do a spit-take with his soda, turn down the radio, and ask my little darling to repeat his question again for all to hear. “What’s a whore?” now loudly fills the car in slow motion and in my mind eccoing for eternity. I glance at my husband who can’t stop laughing and inquire why my sweet little boy wants to know. “Well, I heard the word the other day and when I asked Daddy, he told me to ask you.” As my mind is racing to find just the right words to come up with an accurate definition to satisfy his curiosity, my eyes shoot daggers at my husband who by now looks like he could pee himself he is laughing so hard. Question successfully answered, crisis averted, husband in the doghouse for quite a while, the rest of the day a smashing success. To this day, whenever anyone says “Can I ask you a question?” my husband and I look at each other and silently mouth the phrase “What’s a whore?” and laugh at the memory.

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  43. I have always loved your blog, but I have so much respect for you, I have no words.. You had the most difficult conversation a parent can have, and did it without judgement. He can now bring absolutely every concern or question to you. That is a special place of honor you now occupy. And yes, they will ask you things in the dark they would never have the courage to ask you in the daylight. And that’s better than ok!

  44. I think you handled EXACTLY how it should have been handled. I applaud you! This is exactly how to keep those lines of communication open between you and your children/young adults. BRAVO!

  45. Been there, done that! 🤣
    I am a single mom. My oldest would cringe when my youngest (then 11/12) would ask questions. Everything from, “ Why do those things have WINGS?”, in regards to women’s hygiene products, to “What does SPANKING YOUR MONKEY mean???). Most of these conversations happened in the car almost causing me to run off the road, or at the dinner table where I would spit beverages out through my nose! But honesty was always my policy. And to my credit, I believe I have raised two men (29 and 32 years old now) that respect their wives and are great husbands die to those conversations (plus teaching them how to clean house and do laundry)!
    Thanks for always entertaining us with tales of real life parenting! ❤️

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