Last week Grams told you about having the "sex talk" with our daughter when she was in third grade. I think I may was well go ahead and tell you about a similar conversation with our son Nick.
When Nick was in the fourth or fifth grade our local parish church offered a class in christian sexuality. There were separate classes for boys and girls. Children had to have special permission slips signed to attend. They covered the basics of the reproductive system and, obviously, taught abstention. We signed Nick up for the classes thinking it would open the door for discussion and we wouldn't have to cover the basics ourselves.
Anyone who knows Grandad knows that it would have been virtually impossible for him to talk to our son about the changes that were taking place in his body. He's just not comfortable with that kind of conversation. And I definitely didn't feel qualified to tell him about about male arousal and his body. I thought this method would work extremely well and it would provide the opportunity to answer his questions and discuss sex without embarrassment. And it did. I was very pleased to learn that a good portion of the lessons the boys took concentrated on respecting girls and not pressuring them for sex.
Now, fast forward to his senior year in high school when he had his first serious girlfriend. After they'd been going out a while I started to suspect that perhaps they were having sex. I thought it was time to raise the subject again. I know that no matter what you teach your kids about abstaining from sex, you also better teach them how to handle it once they become sexually active. Basically, I wanted to make sure that, if he was having sex, he was using protection and being as safe as possible. So, one night I waited up for him to come home.
Nick and I are both night owls. Grandad goes to bed early. We were in the habit of sitting and talking when he came home from a date. So he was not surprised that I was still up when he came home.
Now, you should know that I'm a very direct person. I don't beat around the bush. When I have something to say, I just say it. So I did. I just asked him straight out, "Nick, are you sexually active?"
He got this odd look on his face and said, "You mean with other people?"
I completely lost my composure. It was all I could do not to laugh out loud. Seriously, I had to get up and go into the other room. It was a good ten minutes before I could go back into the living room, finish the conversation, and make my point that if they were having sex, he needed to be taking appropriate precautions.
And that was that. It was quite a while before I had another conversation about sex with him. Heck, it was quite a while before I could look at him without wanting to bust out laughing.