“The Talk” Should Not Be About Sex
Ideally when growing up you will have a parent, mentor, or guide to sit you down and teach you everything needed to navigate this crazy dumpster fire we call life. Everything from “look both ways before crossing the street” to “fire is hot” and “no really it’s too hot, don’t touch” had to be painstakingly explained to us dumb-dumb kids. Yet for some reason, the sex talk holds the (until now) undisputed tile of “THE TALK”. This is bullshit and here’s why.
Firstly, the birds and the bees talk is confusing and inaccurate. Following the metaphor to its logical conclusion you’d think that human male drones break their penis off inside of a queen who later lays several eggs in her nest. This hardly ever happens in real life!
Secondly, very little of your adult life will be spent having sex. I know from personal experience that a married couple will spend an average of 45 minutes a week having sex, foreplay included. That’s a drop in the bucket! A blink of an eye! It certainly warrants a talk but by no means has it earned the title of the talk. The talk should be about something that will figure much more prominently in your life, like being sad or disappointed. We all spend countless hours doing that. Right?
The most important talk you can have with your children is the one explaining that everything they love will eventually die. I’m not just talking about friends, relatives, and pets, though those will all disappear at some point. I’m talking about the little joys you thought would last forever. You know your favorite restaurant? That life affirmingly delicious meat pie shop on the corner? Gone. That snack you get at the grocery store all the time? Discontinued. Ecto Cooler? Hella gone. It’s been gone. Get over it. You’ll try to protect your heart by only loving giant corporate chains that will outlast us all. It won’t work. Taco Bell doesn’t care if the Double Decker Taco was the only reason you got out of bed in the morning. It is gone. Sure all the ingredients are still there, but they will NOT slap them together for you. I have asked.
You can try to soldier on, purchasing DVDs of your favorite shows and clutching them to your chest as other joys are borne ceaselessly back into the past. This will fail. The Drew Carey show is completely unavailable on DVD, which will only exist as a video medium for another six years or so anyway.
This is what we need to tell our children, and is the only subject matter weighty enough to deserve the title of “THE TALK”. Either it will prepare them for the future, teaching them to take joy in every fleeting moment before it disappears, or it will horrify them so thoroughly that they will only go to their other parent with complicated questions. Either way, win-win for you.
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*For each moot, we generate a cover image using DALL·E, an AI art platform that generates images using natural language processing. This image on the right was generated using the title, '“The Talk” Should Not Be About Sex’ in the style of Edvard Munch, Dan's artist of choice.*