Discussing sex in a conservative home
I was raised in a conservative Baptist home. My parents never spoke of “sex”, they didn’t even use the word in reference to male and female. When they filled out forms they were always sure to say, “gender” to avoid references to anything that might indicate the nasty business of procreation. I never even received “the talk” from my parents. (Side note, that’s not a complaint since I would have been more uncomfortable than them!)
In fact, not only did my parents dislike any mentioning of coitus, but I instinctually knew that I should NOT ask any questions or make any references to anatomy, nakedness or anything that made my mother nervous.
I remember being completely on edge if we were watching TV and something of a sexual nature came up. My palms would sweat and I’d anxiously wait for the scene to pass. In general, I would typically always rather wrestle a steer than deal with discussing sex at home.
The issues extend into today
This issue has extended past my childhood and into my adult life. Just a couple years ago, my father was telling me about the pre-marriage counseling he and my mom received.
He told me how the pastor had asked if my parents needed counseling on sex. My mother was in the kitchen while my father told this story. When my dad uttered the word, “sex” she gasped, clutched her pearls and barked, “JIM!!!” as if he had just exposed himself in public. Apparently, the fact that I was in my 30s with 7 children, didn’t make the word any less shocking to be used around me.
Side note, apparently the entirety of the pre-marital counseling they received on this sensitive and important subject, involved their pastor nervously wringing his hands and skirting around the issue, eventually finding the ability to say the taboo word and ask if they needed help on the subject. My parents, full of the bold, naïve, nature Baptist churches proudly instill into their members, quickly responded they didn’t. When the pastor heard the dismissal, he released a loud sigh of relief and quickly moved on to the next issue.
I find it hard to break the cycle
This has led to the fact that while I am fully comfortable discussing sexual things with my peers, I find it difficult to discuss the topic with my children BUT my children don’t share my ability to fane unawareness of anything sexual.
So I was watching a tv show, Wayward Pines, with my older two kids, Jeshua and Ezekiel. It’s not a super inappropriate show, but one lady in the show who is an unusual characters and says unexpected things had a line that … surprised me. She turned to the main character, who was trying to find his wife, and said, “I bet when you find her, you’re gonna bang her brains out!”
I froze, wondering if the boys caught the line and drew any specific meaning from it. A couple moments passed, the show moved on, more things were said, not involving the banging of brains and everything seemed ok …. Then Ezekiel asked, “Dad, what did she mean when she said, ‘bang her brains out’?”
I also struggle with responding correctly
I sat silent for a moment, wondering how to respond to this. Should I redirect him and avoid the subject? I could find an article to help me? Answer honestly but speak in such non-specific general terms that I don’t really say anything? Or should I just bluntly tell him it means to have sex with someone … specifically in a rough manner?
While I ran through the options, my eldest son, Jeshua released an exasperated sigh and spoke up confidently. “It means he’s going to beat her brains out all over the walls!”
Ezekiel seemed to ponder this for a moment … accept it, then go back to watching the show.
“…… uh …….. sure” I muttered mostly to myself
I think it says a lot that my upbringing makes it more acceptable to let my kids think a reference is about violently and viciously murdering a spouse than talking about sex.
I wonder if people with normal childhoods have this problem too….