From My Dingaling to Rocket 69: Talking With Your Kids About Sex
A favorite CD of mine–RisquÃ© Rhythm: Nasty 50s R&B, is a great compilation of songs that use double entendre in the lyrics to convey sexual meaning.
My five year old son’s favorite track is “Toy Bell by The Bees. It’s about a little boy and his adventures with his “dingaling as he grows into a man. When I first played it for my son, I explained to him that dingaling is a silly name they are using for penis. The next track is “Rocket 69 by Todd Rhodes & Orchestra; vocal by Connie Allen & the Band.
We were listening to the CD the other day and he asked for the first time “What is a rocket 69? My husband, who sometimes defers to me as the sex expert in the family in these situations, replied “Ask your Mom. I told my son that was the name of the rocket, thinking this might satisfy him. It didn’t. “But what is rocket 69? he pressed.
“It’s a special rocket I told him, again thinking this might satisfy. “But why is it special? he wanted to know. Normally, I’m pretty quick with an answer for any of his sex related questions. I give a simple and truthful answer. But as I started to imagine what the simple and truthful answer would be, I decided that in this situation, I would stick to simple and leave off some of the truth.
At five years old, I figured he could wait a bit before learning about oral sex, not to mention about the joys of giving and receiving oral sex at the same time. It’s not that I think the information would be inherently damaging or that he would take it and try to 69 with one of his little kinder classmates. But as a parent and as a sexuality educator, I always have to take into account what might happen if he were to repeat what he learns at home to his teacher or to another child.
For all parents there is a risk we take when we decide to be comprehensive sexuality educators for our young kids in the context of a sex negative culture that equates fear, shame and abuse with kids and sex. There are some times when it is smart to censor ourselves. For someone like me who prides oneself in being open when it comes to sexuality discussions, this can feel awkward at first, but it is a matter of deciding what is appropriate for your child at different stages.
There are some things I will not compromise on, that I feel are too important not to teach him. At his age that includes knowing the correct terms for both male and female genitalia, and knowing that it is not only okay for him to play with his own penis, but that it feels good and it is a great thing to do in the privacy of his room or when he is taking a bath. But oral sex¦really not a priority at this stage in his sexuality education.
But I still had a curious kid on my hands. I got a piece of paper and a pen and wrote the number “69. I showed it to him. “Look, now I turn it upside down and it’s still 69, but now the 6 is a 9 and the 9 is a 6. Wow. He was super impressed. “See, that’s why it’s special, I explained, and my smart little boy was quite satisfied with that simple and truthful answer.