Do you get the quickie?

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Sex on the Brain

I took my thirteen-year-old son and his friend to lunch today and, as a sexologist, it is my firm (get it, firm?!) belief that this should entitle me to at least five continuing education credits from an accredited institution of higher sexological learning. Let's make that six—for hazard duty—because at times I nearly choked on my enchilada (enchilada, choking, get it?!) as two adolescent boys turned almost everything about the restaurant and the meal into a barrage of non-stop sexual references. Or as they put it, things that are "so wrong" (such as the paintings of upright cacti sprouting twin cactus fruit, behind us).

Even the menu was "wrong" since it featured chips that "wake up your mouth," desserts with "rich, creamy toppings" and "sauces" that "we make ourselves." In lavishly praising the fajitas (or the margaritas—I forget which) the menu encouraged us to "open wide and say 'aahhh!'" The "XX" label on the Dos Equis beer bottle was just too obvious.

So why worry about Internet porn when teenage boys can get just as excited over restaurant menus and traffic signs? On the ride home "One Way Entrance" gave both boys the giggles. Thank goodness we did not encounter "Slippery When Wet"—I might have lost control of the car. However we did pass a "Happy Donut Shop" that happily sold hot dogs too, and a billboard that read "Do Your Car."

Poetic metaphors, double entendres, puns, and innuendo are all ways to convey a sexual point or image, while pretending conversational innocence. Teenagers use these to amuse themselves at the expense of a teacher or parent, who inadvertently says something risque, as well as to develop a convenient short-hand of sexual references and slang. I can admire my teenager's mastery of this form, but sometimes I weary of constant references to penises and all that they can do.

My teenager has sex on the brain. It's so pervasive that I can't even complain about the ugly textured vinyl wall covering in a doctor's reception area without my son snickering about the activity that he imagines has produced the white, lumpy portions of the panel. So forget it, no more trips to the hardware store, with gallons of lush, fresh Spackle and large, furry paint rollers to tempt us. As with a tantrum-throwing two-year-old, the list of places I'm willing to take my kid has dramatically shortened. Okay, so maybe that last statement is a little dramatic. I probably will continue to take this kid to Mexican restaurants and the doctor's office. However, as with a two-year-old, I have to remind myself of what I'm getting into and keep one eye on the exit. Alas, that crayons are no longer a significant distraction. Except (oh god!) for the shape...

As a mother, I find this stage challenging. It seems that when I open my mouth (open, mouth, get it?!) to speak to my youngest son, no matter how innocent in intention, my words unfailingly morph into a double entendre. My teenager will snort, "that's what she said," which apparently means anything a woman could possibly say during sex.

During a recent camping trip, we unpacked the Thermarest sleeping pads along with our tents and the rest of our gear. Like any good mother, I couldn't help but state the obvious: "It'll be more comfortable if you blow yours up." My teenager looked at me and snickered, "That's what she said!" This delighted his friend. Sigh.

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Amy Marsh
July 14th, 2010
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As Carnal Nation's wondrous publishing spree sinks slowly into the sands of time, I invite you to scroll down for links to all my "Love's Outer Limits" columns - a year's worth of weekly writing -...