The Talk

by Telling Dad on November 5, 2010

As parents, the inevitable time comes when our children look up and innocently ask that dreaded question.

“Dad, what’s a prostitute?”

I was dumbfounded when my 9-year old son asked me this today. It was just way too much for my brain to take in, process, and then engineer a lucid response. Having not yet had “The Talk” with him, I was at a complete loss for words.

All I could muster was, “Uhhhh, it’s someone who…kisses people for money.”

“Ooo! I’d do that!”


This kid was completely jazzed by the thought of it, and as much as I didn’t want to explain things to my son, I really didn’t want to explain things to my wife when the school called to say that our son chose “Prostitute” on Career Day.

This all came about because our 15-year old had a choice in the Fable 3 video game he was playing to either spend money to save an orphanage or make money by turning the building into a brothel. Not knowing what a brothel was, he chose to make money. When he told his friends that he made $1.5 million with his brothel, they burst out laughing.

He was lost. They must have clued him in because he came downstairs all remorseful to confess that he had inadvertently chose ho’s before orphans. When I poked fun at him for supporting prostitutes, the usually oblivious 9-year old asked his question without even looking up from his blocks.

I wasn’t sure where to go with this but I came clean and explained that prostitution is illegal.

He looked confused. My wife and I kiss every day. Granted, I don’t pay her every time, but I could see that my explanation was completely missing its mark.

I went on to explain that prostitutes actually have sex with people for money and that it’s against the law. People can go to jail for it. It can spread disease, it’s dangerous, it’s immoral, and it’s a really, really bad thing to do. There was a brief pause, and then,

“What’s sex?”


This kid was completely confused. Why, oh why, didn’t we send him to summer camp? There, he could sit around the campfire like I did and listen to fabricated tales of conquest and sexuality as spun by pre-pubescent boys who have absolutely no knowledge or actual experience to draw from. With sheer imagination and guesswork as their guide, they share dangerously inaccurate advice with a bunch of friends who fortunately have no intention or opportunity to do anything with it.

I had long thought of the perfect way to segue into “The Talk” with my children but in none of my million scenarios did the prostitute angle ever enter my head as a viable option. I called for reinforcements and had my wife take over so I could wander off and ease my heart palpitations.

She, too, was caught completely off-guard and told him, “Well, honey, it’s not really something someone your age needs to know about yet.” She had hoped this would dissuade him, but as with most curious kids, he said he really wanted to know.

As my wife stuttered and stammered trying to think of something to say, he asked, “Is it when two people get naked?”

Nodding in agreement, we felt this explanation was good enough for now.

Heather laughed nervously and said, “Yessss…but…it’s…there’s…you…yes, it’s when two people get naked.”

Seeing how we don’t need to worry about him getting naked with anyone any time soon, we decided to take a break from the issue and do it in stages. We agreed to address the issue when the two of us were better prepared and on some seriously strong stroke medication.

He seemed satisfied with the answer and everyone went about their business. Michael went back to his blocks, Heather went back to her book, I went back to work, and Andrew went off to dismantle his brothel.

In retrospect, I suppose we could have reminded him about the two giant tortoises we saw going at it in their pen at the Fort Worth Zoo. The female was just sitting there eating lettuce, completely uninterested, while her mate propped himself up at a 45-degree angle and started grunting like a dying wildebeest.

We all laughed, but for different reasons. Heather and I laughed because we knew what he was trying to accomplish. Andrew and Michael laughed because of the noises he made. And my dad laughed because it reminded him of his honeymoon.

But then, is this really the vision we want him to have of sex? Turtles? After what we witnessed, we wouldn’t be doing him or his future wife any favors. We’ll have the talk, just not yet.

Tonight, as we said goodnight to our kids, Heather walked by Andrew’s room and said, “Good night Mac Daddy!”

He screamed out, “I’M NOT A PIMP!”

And then, from the dark and quiet confines of our 9-year old’s bedroom, came a distant voice,

“What’s a pimp?”


{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

Cheryl November 5, 2010 at 3:16 pm

Man. I think I had a stroke FOR you. I'm NOT prepared for the "talk" is it too early to send my girls to the convent??


Rob November 5, 2010 at 3:44 pm

How old is that boy and you haven't had the talk yet! Our daughter is 14 and I made sure we had the talk because boys are slim balls and I didn't want them trying to trick her into anything like "Just the Tip". It is definitely a crazy world but your kids make these kind of talks so interesting. LOL.


Telling Dad November 5, 2010 at 3:52 pm

He just turned 9. No need for the talk…YET. But it'll come soon. :)


Mr. Blonde November 5, 2010 at 4:19 pm

I'm wholeheartedly laughing at your expense, Greg. But, it sounds like you played it pretty well. I think we'll work extra hard to keep our two youngest away from their older brothers in 12 years. Thanks for sharing your story.


Mary November 5, 2010 at 4:56 pm



Melinda November 5, 2010 at 5:46 pm

Lol!! Oh no you were off the hook. Having done "the talk" twice with one to go, I would say it is indeed the worst parenting moment. I'm considering making a PowerPoint presentation and leaving the room for #3.


Tonja August 1, 2011 at 2:20 pm

There ya go! Death by Powerpoint…lol You could make it so boring, your kid would never even want to do it…haha

Nichol November 5, 2010 at 5:52 pm

LOL…..I'm cracking up. But this is too funny. My son who is 8 found his uncle playing that one video game, I can't even remember the name. He picked up some prostitute. Anyways, he was just as curious and we had to get into the talk, kinda. It led to two people getting naked and only people who love each other like mommy and daddy. I can SO relate!


Sheila November 5, 2010 at 6:01 pm



Jennifer-Eighty MPH November 5, 2010 at 6:33 pm

Oh boy – now to explain a pimp. ROFL. I'm sorry – but this is funny stuff. I know the feeling of your heart stopping momentarily while you try to come up with a good answer. It's good he chimed in with "when two people get naked". Perfect! I do hope you will fill us in on the rest of the "talk" when it actually happens. I'm sure you and Heather will have some fun conversations between yourselves, trying to figure out exactly what to say :)


lisa p November 6, 2010 at 3:15 am

OMG greg this is just too great of a post, it is hard knowing when the time is right and what exactly to say at those times. I think you did fine!


Sam November 6, 2010 at 3:53 am

Note to self: do not buy video games with brothels! LOL….good luck with the pimp question.


Paula@ Frosted Finge November 7, 2010 at 1:09 am

too funny! I am soooo not ready for the talk. Seeing that my oldest is 5.5, I think I have a while still.


Mizasiwa November 7, 2010 at 6:11 pm

This is brilliant!!! Im so glad our 'talk' is still a long way a way!!


Lorie Shewbridge November 9, 2010 at 7:14 am

Thanks so much for the laugh Greg… reminds me of the time my son asked me what masturbation was around the same age… Oy vey!!

I think it's great that you can have such open conversations with your kids, you are a terrific dad! I wish my kids "sperm donor" was as good. I was the one who had to do all the talking along with their step dad. They will be eternally grateful, trust me! :-)


Brandy November 10, 2010 at 10:59 am

WOW I miss you guys lol. I on the other hand have had to have "The Talk". I wish Kirsta would quit growing and I ABSOLUTLY refuse to have that conversation with the boys. Scott has been voluntold to have it when it is time. You have fun with all of that and I will continue to deal with my quickly growing daughter.


Tonja August 1, 2011 at 2:24 pm

That’s hilarious, Greg! I love the part where in the dark came the question, “What’s a pimp?”…lol You’re cracking me up, but it sounds to me like you’re doing a fine job and raising well-rounded kids. Too bad people have to ruin this with vulgar posts….I was going to comment on the Ex-Box post…I thought it was genious and creative. You got your point across without resulting to physical punishment. Awesome job!!


Danaë August 3, 2011 at 11:25 pm

That was pretty quick thinking. If you want to spare yourself the inevitable embarrassment, you can teach your kids the way my mom taught me: she didn’t. I got curious and was looking through one of her textbooks.

So, you’re gonna have to explain about Tab A and Slot B, or one of you is going to have to go to nursing school.


Jen September 7, 2011 at 2:38 pm

I got stuck trying to explain why girls have never had a penis to my 9 year old. Yikes – he couldn’t get past the idea that girls NEVER had one (oh the comments were….so inappropriate in my head). Finally settled on boys have 2 holes – one for pee, one for poo. Girls have 3 – one for pee, one for babies (saving the details for another day), and one for poop. I know, I shamelessly played the Poop card. Poop is ALWAYS


Jen September 7, 2011 at 2:38 pm

funny when you’re 9


Nicole September 8, 2011 at 7:29 pm

I love this post so much. We finally had to have “the talk” right around my daughter’s 9th birthday. She pushed and pushed with more questions until I finally caved and did it. The look of absolute horror on her face made me a lot more comfortable. :)


Chris T February 22, 2013 at 11:41 am

Maybe horrifying them is the way to go. She won’t go near a boy until she’s 37. Dad’s will love this!

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