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The most cringeworthy ways parents have explained the birds & the bees

From time immemorial, parents have locked children in cars, stared them down across tables, cornered them in living rooms and stuttered through the big talk about the facts of life.

As parents prepare to talk to their kids about the ins and outs (pun totally intended) of the birds and the bees, it can be helpful to think back on the sweaty kitchen round-table sex talks their own parents gave them on the subject — or not.

SheKnows rounded up the good, the “bad” and the hilarious of “the talks” of yore, thanks to 10 helpful volunteers who relayed the talks they had with their parents.

More: Middle schoolers get uncomfortable sex ed lesson in English class

Now, we’re not judging; pretty much any time you have to talk to a child about what goes where and when and what the consequences can potentially be, there’s going to be some hiccups. Worth noting is that some of these stories span multiple generations, including ones when the parental thwap of helicopter blades was but a wee twinkle in the eye.

Valerie’s memory of “the talk” is pretty funny, and lots of women can probably relate: 

“I am almost 52 and my mother has still not had that talk with me. The closest we came was [when] I found some douche in the cabinet and asked what it was. She said, ‘That’s none of your business. Stay out of it.'”

John’s parents were similarly disinclined to go into detail:

My mother and father handed me a book, told me to read it and let them know if I had any questions. That was that.”

The same is true of sisters Mina and Mary, two of five daughters:

Mary said, “First period. ‘Supplies are in the bathroom. Go read the box.’ Thanks Mom! So glad I had an older sister for the ‘birds and bees.’ Lots of girls in high school on how not to get pregnant.” Mina chimed in, “Ha ha, she told me to read the box too, guess we had the same talk… “

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Now for the downright hilarious and inexplicable. Staniel from Texas got “the talk” a few times, each more perplexing than the last:

“From my mother, after she found out I had a girlfriend in college: ‘Are you at least using protection?’

From my dad, right before my first homecoming dance: ‘If your junior homecoming is anything like mine, you might want to stop by the drug store before you head out.’

From my dad, right before my senior prom: ‘Dad’s Prom Night Recipe: 1 Lady, 1 SUV, 1 pillow (optional). Shake vigorously.'”


Still, Lacey has that one beat with her story of the time her mother enlisted her to explain the facts of life to her little brother:

“I got the talk in school and just moved along from that. My mom thought it would be great to talk to my little brother though, when we moved and had to ride the school bus with high schoolers. She thought the car would be the perfect spot. She warned me before we left to not say anything or laugh at his questions. This was going to be as ‘normal’ and ‘safe’ as possible. She asked him if he knew what sex was while sitting at a red light. He blurted out ‘yeah that’s when a guy puts his thing in a girls butt, Mom. I know all about it.’ And I lost it. I laughed hysterically and ruined ‘the talk’ for my little brother. Possibly scarred him for life. But it was a great laugh.”

Jessica was also recruited to assist in spilling the beans to a younger sibling:

“My mom gave me the talk with a book for an hour every week while my sister was in dance class. Then, two years later, she gave me the book and said ‘Give your sister the same talk we had.’ My sister refused to continue once she heard what I was going to talk to her about. Good times.”

But the prize for the most succinct, least informative, but most effective sex talk ever goes to Chris, whose mother kept it short and sweet:

“‘Don’t bring a baby up in this house’ was the talk I got!”

More: Being the “favorite child” turns out to be worse than you thought

How did your parents talk to you about sex? Will you do anything different when it’s time to talk to your own kids?

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