We are huge StarTalk fans in this house. Huge. Neil deGrasse Tyson has managed to make science fun and entertaining, accessible to the masses, and juuust the right length for a day of errands with the boys. We rarely listen to anything other than podcasts when I drive, because I get veto power as the driver, and the boys are more likely to come to a quick podcast agreement than to be forced to listen to whatever world music I feel like listening to that day. StarTalk is the podcast of choice and thankfully the boys haven’t really noticed or commented on the double entendres and occasional bawdy humor. Fine by me.
Several weeks ago I caught that StarTalk was doing a two-part series on the science of sex, with Dr. Ruth and Mary Roach as guests. I’m sure you’re familiar with Dr. Ruth and why she might be a guest; Mary Roach wrote a very entertaining book on the topic a few years ago. “Hooboy, self,” I said to myself, “You might want to just skip over those two episodes with the boys. You’ve already had The Talk with A and isn’t it husband’s turn to answer probing and uncomfortable questions from the innocent and socially clueless tween? Let’s just skip over those and learn about something else right now.” Self was happy and content with this option.
Self is an idiot.
See, my dear innocent and socially clueless tween had apparently subscribed to StarTalk on his ancient iPod some time ago, and has been listening to the podcast at night while going to sleep/sleeping/being dynamited awake. No dreams of sugarplums for this boy, no no no. This one has dreams of meteors and multiverses and interstellar travel…and very straightforward talk about sex.
I finally had a chance to listen to the two-part podcast driving down to Indianapolis last week. It was actually really good, very informative, very entertaining. And then I’d remember that A had been listening to it repeatedly since August, and I’d be less entertained and more “ohhhhhhh shiitttttttt….” I’ll never be able to drive parts of the Tri-State Tollway again without thinking of Dr. Ruth.
He has yet to ask any detailed questions, and I don’t know if that’s because he doesn’t know how to ask what a <fill in the blank> is, or if that’s because he’s Googled the answer already…and I don’t know which of those options worries and amuses me more. We’ve talked about porn and how to do careful Google searches so that you don’t end up bleaching your eyes and brain at the end of the day, but I also want to make sure he has accurate information.
In the grand scheme of things, you could do a lot worse than learning the ins and outs (heh) of sex from Neil deGrasse Tyson, Dr. Ruth, and Mary Roach; middle school gym class comes to mind. It was entertaining, it was memorable, and it was factual. It’s a great springboard for us to discuss sex with A, and someday with J.
At least now I know why my innocent and socially clueless tween has been making cracks about my sex life.