Honest to Betsy, I never thought in a million years I would ever entitle a blog post this. But somethings just need to be shared.
I am a firm believer in talking to your children openly and honestly about sex, sexuality, drugs and what ever else. If my children ask me a question, I answer it. And I encourage them to ask questions about everything. My children have never stopped the 3 year old “why?” phase because I have never answered them with, “Because I told you so.” Even if I was not in a mood to explain things to them, I would because I believe in education. I believe in explaining to my children why certain rules are in place and how things work. After all, I am trying to raise functional adults and not obedient children.
My children brag to their friends about how they are free to come to me about anything and are not afraid to tell me anything or ask me anything. I may not always like what they have to say or ask but communication and conversations are never not encouraged. Kid2 was telling his friend this just today. So his friend told Kid2 to ask me the following question on his behalf and report back the answer, “How do girls masturbate?”
To say I was shocked may not be the right word, but I was surprised. Both my boys already know all the technical stuff about sex, how sperms fertilize eggs and periods and nocturnal emissions etc etc. They even know about male masturbation. For some reason, I never thought female masturbation would ever come up. Stupid, I know.
So I responded with the following, “I am not going to answer that question for your friend. That is a conversation he needs to be having with his parents.” So Kid2 returned fire with, “Well then I want to know.” Shit! My plan to deflect the question failed! I responded with, “I am not prepared to answer this question at this time.” It was a very similar response to when he asked me at 6, “How do the babies get from the dad’s testicles into the mom’s vagina?” I told him then to give me a day to think about how to answer him and ask me again tomorrow.
Well Kid2 started to think. He came up to me and said, “Well if a guy masturbates by rubbing his penis, does a girl masturbate by rubbing the lips of her vagina?” My brain assploded with the question! Obviously he was not going to let this drop, not even overnight. So I began to feverishly think of how to answer the all important question of ”exactly how do girls masturbate?” I replied, “Well not really hun. There are more parts to the vagina than just the lips, but you are getting close.” He gave me a boggled look and you could see he was thinking even harder trying to answer this mystifying equation. He said, “I don’t get it mom. It’s not like a guy where the parts hang out in front and are easy to grab and rub.”
GAH FUCK! Okay breathe. Seriously folks, this will happen to you. And if you want your children to have the real facts of life, you need to know how to answer these questions so that your kids are comfortable about sex and sexuality and will come to you for their sex education and not their friends or the streets. Cause we all know if you stand up immediately after sex, you can’t get pregnant and if you do it doggy style you will have a boy.
So I tweeted my little HOLY FUCK moment of the day and began to seriously think how do you answer this question when it is really only one of the few things your child does not know. So this is how I did it. I grabbed a book I have on male sexual health. It really is a good little book. (A Lifetime of Sex: The Ultimate Manual On Sex, Women, And Relationships For Every Stage Of A Man’s Life if you want to look it up). It has nicely labelled drawings/pictures of anatomy as well. Then I called kid2 to the couch where the following conversation took place.
Me: Tell me, how do people have sex?
Kid2: (gives some stupid vulgar answer thinking I am one of his friends and he is being cool and stuff.)
Me: If you want me to give you answers, you need to answer me properly. We use the proper terms in this house.
Kid2: Well normally before hand there is kissing and the undressing of clothes. And then the guy puts his penis in the girls vagina and you know… then after awhile the sperm will come out when he orgasms and if they are not smart and are not using birth control, she can get pregnant if she is ovulating and the egg is in the fallopian tube.
Me: Okay you’ve already told me you think this feels good for the guy. But do you think the penis going in and out of the vagina feels good for the girl?
Kid2: Well I guess so.
Me: Okay we will assume that it does. So if a guy rubs his penis to masturbate since that is kinda replicating it going in and out of a vagina, how do you think the girl does it?
Kid2: OMG! Does she stick her finger in her vagina?
Me: Yes she does. But there are other parts that cause pleasure as well. (Brings out diagram of vagina with labelled parts) As you know, you have a head on your penis. Well girls have something kinda similar made with the same type of tissue. It is called the clitoris. Rubbing that and playing with that is another way a girl can masturbate.
Kid2: Wow. Who knew masturbating for a girl was so complicated.
Me: Are you satisfied with the answer? Do you have any other questions?
Kid2: Nope. That was interesting.
And that is how to talk to your (almost) 11 year old about female masturbation.