Monday, December 27, 2010

Talking about Ornithology & Apiaries

Nate and I were eating breakfast the other morning, you know, like you do. He was having waffles and I was having my peanut butter and jelly on english. All of sudden, without warning, he asks me this:

"Mom, what does jizz in my pants mean?"

I think my brain exploded at that moment. I mean, talking about sex and sexuality with your child isn't supposed to happen over breakfast! You don't casually talk about Latin terms of the male or female anatomy whilst chewing on Cheerios. And how the HELL does he know about that video?!  If you're not savvy, HERE is the link. (it is slightly NSFW for language, but no swears)

He tells me that a friend from school had told him about it, and I clearly wanted to throttle that child. Kids are exposed to those things every day and I should not be surprised that he heard it, but I was surprised that he was willing to even ask me what it meant. I didn't want him to learn about sex, more correctly, sexual dysfunction in that way. I hadn't really thought about it until it landed in my lap, tied with a tidy bow, waiting for me to experience it. 

I have always told Nathan that his penis is a penis and that the only people to touch it are him, his parents and his doctor in the doctor's office. He knows that if someone touches him in a way that makes him uncomfortable to tell an adult. That's as far as I've gotten with him and have felt confident in that information. I knew the TALK was coming soon, I just didn't know it was going to be on a school day. I think I handled it well, considering the improvisation of it, but a game plan is better.  

When is the right time to talk about sex with your kids, especially your Aspie? Here are some tips which may help you: 

1. Repress your FIRST IMMEDIATE reaction.

ALL parents will have an initial reaction to those kinds of statements from the mouths of our babes. My first reaction was overwhelming horror at this boy who had made my child say "jizz in my pants." I knew that him seeing me react with disgust would only matters worse and would squelch any initial conversation he started. I gave myself 10 seconds to collect my thoughts and then began speaking. 

2. Have an idea of WHAT you want to talk about

Now, like me, if you get the sneak sex talk, you may have to pull some sex ed out of your back pocket. It's hard to keep that in perspective when trying not to choke on your breakfast, but you may want to have some idea of what kind of moral lessons you want to instill in your children before it comes up. You may be caught off guard at Grandma's house or at the movies. Boy & Girl Scouts motto ring clear here: Be prepared.   

3. Use clear, simple terms

I tried to explain to Nathan about sex making it as easy for him to digest as possible. I explained that "when a man and a woman get together and love each other very much and they want to make a baby...." I understand there is infinite subtext that I did not cover, but this was the first time and I wanted to not overwhelm but not to lose him in the innuendo.  Aspies appreciate the linear and comforting nature of clean speech. 

4. Keep it brief

I'm a talker and would have probably bored Nathan to death, or at least to distraction. His attention span is VERY small, so I spoke clearly but quickly for no more than 10 minutes. I kept him engaged by asking him questions, both open ended and simple response.  Your first talk about sex shouldn't be a 3 hour diatribe with charts and video, as you'll talk about it more than once with them. Brief and to the point is key.  

5. Tell them they can always come to you 

I tell Nate that he can ask me anything, and it's true. I want him to feel comfortable enough to come to me with questions or problems. He doesn't always come to me right away and your children may not either, but if you give them enough room to ask, they will. Their natural curiosity about life and how thing work may have them engaging you sooner than you think. 

All in all, I think I handled it well, even in my pajamas. I feel that he understood what we talked about and maybe even absorbed a bit of it. He did ask if there was a technical term for "jizz" and I said, "Well, you can say 'ejaculate' or 'sperm'." He responded, "EWWWWW!" 

That's my boy. 


  1. Back in 1967 when I was about 8 years old (obviously no diagnosis of Asperger's available back then), I pressed my mother for details on how it happens that a woman gets pregnant. She said that her husband gets really close to her and fertilized her egg by doing so. My little brain was picturing kissing so obviously I was getting a little weirded out by the idea that something would go from him through her digestive tract. So I kept pushing her and pushing her for details until she finally told me what went where. Obviously I was like "oh gross!" It was more information than I wanted, and yet I had asked for it.

  2. I almost spit out my tea reading that first part! when the time comes here, I'm calling you for help :-)

  3. @Alysia: Call away! I can't guarantee it will work a second time, but it's worth a shot! LOL

  4. @Anonymous: That's more than I personally got. My mother only told me that "men were out for only one thing!"