Before you think I’m an unconscionable pervert, this post is not about bestiality. It’s about how kids growing up in the Midwest learn about sex far before we take sex ed in school. When I was a kid, I thought my family were the only freaks who learned the facts of life from, well, wildlife, but my husband recently put that fear to rest by informing me that he learned about sex from… tortoises. Yup. Tortoises. Just about the least sexy animal in the world, next to hippos. And giraffes. Giraffes are very unsexy.
My darling husband, visiting the zoo with his dad as a young child, had no idea that he was about to be traumatized forever. As the hubby and his dad wandered toward the tortoise pen, they heard a strange, unidentifiable sound: “Wwwwwoooooowwwww… Wwwwooooooowwwww…. Wwwwwoooooooowwwww…” They followed the sound, curious as to what it could be, and saw a crowd gathered. Pushing their way to the front, they saw two tortoises, one perched awkwardly on top of the other, the top tortoise weirdly making the “Wwwwooooowwww…” sound over and over. My husband and his dad looked at each other, and my kindergarten aged hubby imitated the tortoises: “Wwwwwoooowwww…” His dad made the same sound back at him: “Wwwwwoooooowwww…” And this became their private joke any time they both saw something awesome. “Wwwwwoooooowwww…” This explains… a lot…
Not quite as bad as tortoises– but definitely disturbing– was learning about sex from livestock. Growing up, my family owned lots of horses and cows. I still feel bad for my brothers because I can see how this would cause some insecurity in the male department. Being the oldest, I was a little more educated than A1 and A2. So when they saw our horses mounting each other for the first time, I had to answer some uncomfortable questions. Being the excellent older sister that I was, I took full advantage of the opportunity to do as much psychological damage as I could to my little brothers. It was hilarious. There’s nothing like telling a three-foot-tall person that he is going to remain exactly the same size, grow a member the size of a horse’s when he hits puberty, and then have to reproduce in exactly the same position as a horse. The facial expression is beyond priceless. (Almost as priceless is watching a miniature pony try desperately to mount a palomino that’s about fifteen hands high.)
Parents, take a lesson– unless you want to try ineffectually for years to undo lots of mental trauma and eventually end up paying for a decade of therapy, just have “the talk” with your kids. It’s uncomfortable, we all hate it, and no one can look each other in the eye for a couple of weeks. But it’s preferable to catching your two sons measuring their wieners every day and then asking you how long before they grow horse dicks. No one wants to have that conversation.