when a man loves a woman…

My dad never had the talk with me. Not that I wanted him to. I understand he comes from an entirely different generation, one where sex is only broached when someone’s daughter is pregnant, and even then it is whispered and cloaked with vague euphemisms. I completely understood his reluctance to take any part in my sex education. Once, before we were forbidden from watching ‘The Bold and the Beautiful’, a kissing scene made me ‘put up a tent’- one of my very first ones- and the timing could not have been worse. My dad saw it, as did anyone who was trying to look anywhere but at the wrestling lovers on television. There was a week of uncomfortable silence between us, until he announced that from that moment onwards, we, the kids, were expressly prohibited from even thinking of watching ‘that highly inappropriate program.’

Then there was the time he returned home unexpectedly and found me using his sound system and mum’s favorite glasses to entertain a female guest. It was the first time I had brought a girl home, and my analysis of his daily routine had clearly been faulty. He stood at the door for several seconds, during which I contemplated the beating I was bound to receive, and then he beckoned me to follow him into his room. I believe I saw something like pride in his eyes. In his room, he asked me if an hour was enough for me to ‘handle business’ (the pervert), and then he left and came back three hours later. So in truth, my dad has never really sat me down to give me the talk. And I am extremely grateful for it.

My mum, on the other hand, has done everything in her power to give me the talk. And I have done everything within my ability to avoid it. At some point in time in my youth, she had gotten so good at slipping in sexual facts that it was impossible to predict the trajectory of a conversation with her. Once we started out talking about the merits of doing Aviation Technology, and then, completely out of the blue, we were discussing virginity. I immediately made for the door, but by the time I exited the room, I had heard more than I cared to about hymens and their societal relevance. I don’t blame her either. I understand her desire to be a good mother and her fears as a parent in these times.

This is why I am perfectly poised to educate my own kids about sex. No one wants to be scarred for life by their own parents. And, being my children, they will have access to the internet as soon as they can read. So I will deliver the talk somewhere between ages six and twelve. I will keep it short and sweet. I will maintain a straight face and resist the allure of the double entendre joke. I will say…

When a man loves a woman, he fulfills the very purpose for which he was created. He accepts his own insufficiency and seeks that which can complement him. When a man loves a woman, he asks her, as politely as he can, if she would please let him insert his flash disk in her USB drive. And he accepts full responsibility for whatever software he may leave lying around her system. When a man loves a woman…

No. I changed my mind. This business of talking sex is not my forte. What I will say to those children is that the day one of them gets knocked up will be the day I go to jail for murder. Meanwhile, I will leave this unpleasant task of holding up cucumbers and explaining wet dreams to their mother. I guess I am my father after all.


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