Mommy, what’s a dildo?

Yesterday one of our children walked into the kitchen and casually asked “mommy, what’s a dildo?”  I paused in what I was doing and looked at her, my eye brows raised.  This was unexpected just a few minutes before company was expected.  She hastened to add “is it bad?  You don’t have to tell me if you don’t want to.”

Bad?  Bad!  Dildos bad?  Should I tell her that for some women they’re really, really good friends?

Not bad.

Not wanting her to think she did something wrong I did my own hastening and let her know that a dildo wasn’t bad and she could always ask me questions and I would do my best to answer.  Before I answered her question though (and as I debated showing her a dildo up close and personal) I asked her to share with me in what context she heard the term in the first place which then led to her asking me about it.  It seemed only fair and I wanted to ascertain what she already knew as well as what she may be feeling about the situation where dildo came up in the first place.  There may also have been a part of me that was feeling protective about who was talking with my little girl about dildos in case I needed to kick some ass call the authorities have a calm conversation with that person.

She looked away and smiled then settled in to tell her tale.  While at an event she and a few friends were hanging out when 3 of the group started dishing on a movie she hadn’t seen.  One with dildo jokes.  They all seemed like they wanted the others to think they knew why it was funny, she told me, but she didn’t think any of them really knew what a dildo was.  She tried to laugh at the jokes but they just didn’t seem funny to her, she explained.

Fair enough.

So I told her what a dildo was.  It took all of one sentence that was something like this (a paraphrase, I was in the middle of making potato salad, can’t remember the exact phrasing I used):

“A dildo, also called a personal vibrator, is usually a phallic shaped hand-held vibrator that people use to massage themselves usually but is most commonly understood as being a tool people, often women, use to pleasure themselves sexually by stimulating the clitoris and vagina.”

That wasn’t the end of our conversation, she asked me several questions about how one uses a dildo and why and why not use your hands or have sex with her partner.  All of which I answered matter of fact.  After a pause without any further questions I asked her if there was anything else she wanted to know.  She said no then giggled.

“What’s so funny?” I asked.

A huge grin on her face she told me “I definitely think my friends had no idea what a dildo was, I don’t think they would have thought those jokes were so funny if they did, they would have thought the jokes super gross!”

She walked away in a fit of laughter and I debated calling her back to remind her that maybe those girls’ parents would rather be the ones that told their own daughters what a dildo was but then I decided that should she share, she’d be passing on accurate information.

Besides, it wasn’t like she brought it up in the first place.

~Jessica

How do you talk with your kids about sex?  

How do you respond to their questions about more adult topics?

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