Having “The Talk” (With Daughters) Do not attempt this sober.

So I finally had “the talk” with my daughters. You know, the talk about sex.

This is more or less how I looked. And probably sounded.

First, some background on how *I* learned about sex: When I was eleven years old, my mother handed me a highly technical textbook IN FRENCH and said, “If you have any questions, I’ll be in the kitchen.” Then she left me to it, scurrying away like I had just contracted the plague and was suddenly highly contagious.

Luckily, I knew how to read French. My parents are Francophiles—my father is Syrian and grew up in Haiti, while my mother is Syrian and went to a French Catholic school in Lebanon. Look, I wrote all about this shit a while ago, and I’m not going to repeat it now, so fucking subscribe to my blog so you know what the shit is up, ok?

Back to my story. I don’t remember what the book looked like, per se, but I do remember a prominent picture on the inside, of a man and woman having sex in a photo with inverted colors.

Why would someone do this to the Mona Lisa, you ask? I don’t know, TO GIVE US NIGHTMARES FOR LIFE?

It was TOTALLY fucked up. Forget the fact that you couldn’t really tell what these people looked like—you couldn’t even tell if they were enjoying themselves or in SEVERE, NEAR-DEATH PAIN. I turned the book upside-down, trying to get a better idea of what was going on, with no luck. But that wasn’t half as bad as the description that went along with it, which I WISH I could remember word-for-word. I can’t, so I have to paraphrase what 11-year-old Me got out of it:

The man inserts his penis into the woman’s vagina.

Okay. I got this part. I learned it from friends who said indiscriminate things at slumber parties that I wasn’t really invited to (their moms invited me. Trust me, I know this).

He then rubs his penis against the interior of the vagina, back and forth, until he ejaculates.


Look, as it stands, Woman has to suffer the indignity of having a PENIS (have you seen those things??) inserted into her VAGINA. Now you’re telling me she’s gotta endure this fucker RUBBING HIMSELF BACK AND FORTH until he ejaculates? Are you kidding me???

11-year-old Me decided, without question: That was NEVER happening to me. You’ve GOT TO BE KIDDING.

David Bowie is TOTALLY horrified.


So is Maya Rudolph.


…As is Charlotte.

Of course, I held on to my horror TIGHTLY until hormones kicked in, and then obviously it wasn’t so horrifying anymore. But there is NO REASON to tell your daughters that shit, okay? They’ll figure it out on their own.

SO back to me telling my girls about… you know… sex.

I decided to just lay it out there, you know? Just tell them the facts, then follow up with the emotional aspect (which they wouldn’t understand at all, in any case). I was somewhere in the middle of explaining “insertion” when my older daughter, nearly 11 years old, said, “Mom, PLEASE STOP. PLEASE. I don’t want to hear this. I beg of you to STOP.” And promptly walked out of the room.

And you know, I feel her pain. (I also feel her embarrassment, horror, and mortification). But I couldn’t just stop talking. I was on a roll, and I was getting that shit out before the day was done, come hell or high water. I yelled, “COME BACK IN HERE, I’M TALKING TO YOU” while my 8-year-old cringed on the floor, half covering her ears, singing, “LA LA LA LA LA LA.”

I’m not really sure how much of it either one of them heard. I think I was talking to myself toward the end. Like I was convincing myself that it was all for the good of mankind, or something. Jesus.

In any case, mission accomplished. My kids can now learn the rest of it from their peers, the way normal kids do it. (Look, I’ve told them to come to me with any questions, which I’m *totally* sure they’ll do. HA.)