I work in the sexual health education field. As you can imagine, I’m very comfortable talking about and looking at images and concepts involved in sexuality. Here is my problem: my mother, my grandmother, and my young step-brother are coming to visit. I have a fun, fairly tasteful framed print hung in my living room of a drawing of adults in a variety of co-mingling sexual positions. It’s a real conversation-starter, and I like the way it looks. But I’m torn between honoring my profession and maintaining my beliefs that sex is normal, natural, and something that shouldn’t be hidden, and not wanting to offend my grandmother or scare my step-brother. (My mom wouldn’t care.) Should I take it down while they’re visiting?
As a sex-ed teacher, surely you know that there are appropriate ways to talk to different people about sex, and that answers to questions about sex need to be carefully tailored to suit one’s audience.
Six-year-old: Mommy, how did that baby get in your tummy?
Mommy: Well there, young Brayden, let me tell you about what Mommy and Daddy like to do after you go to bed. First, he puts on a lady nurse’s uniform…
Grandma: What is this lovely picture of, dear? Is that a crocus and a pickle? Let me get my glasses on…OH MY WORD!
You: Call 911! Grandma just had a stroke!
Take down the picture. Go to TJ Maxx and spend twenty bucks on an inoffensive print of the Eiffel Tower, and hang it up for their visit. Just because you believe in good sexual health doesn’t mean you have to scar people for life with it.