A Non-Parent, A 10-Year-Old And An Awkward Question.

Over the last while, I have been feeling busy, with my thoughts seemingly in a million different places. This generally leads me to be involved in more brainless activity than usual. To put it simply, while I’d usually opt for a book, over the last couple of weeks, I found myself watching more YouTube videos than anything. I watched anything from comedy, to pranks, to serious, to emotional videos, and then as it so happened, a random documentary on a morbidly obese woman accused of murder.

Chilling on my bed with my cousin’s tablet, totally engrossed in the documentary, my 10-year-old cousin walks in the room, looks at the screen and asks me what I was watching. With the video not on full screen mode, she sat next me looking at the contents on the screen. I began explaining the documentary, as per her question, when she suddenly but innocently spits out:

“Toni, what’s an orgasm?”

Everything in time froze and I was stuck in my head. In that lengthy split second I was utterly confused and dumbfounded. All I could hear was myself saying, “uhm… uhmmm… its er… er… uhm…” I was trying to figure out why she just blurted out such an arbitrary question. I then noticed that among the suggested videos on the screen was one labeled something like, “woman suffers with 100 orgasms a day”.


Needless to say, I was completely freaked out! I began explaining all kinds of confusing metaphors about climbing a mountain and reaching the top, going “whoo hoo”, while crumbling on the inside with a million questions running through my head.

At 10 years old, is it appropriate for her to understand this?
What is the child friendly way of explaining this ridiculous question?
Should I explain?
Should her parents explain?
How do I not make her embarrassed?
How do I not be awkward about this?
OMW!? Where am I?
What do I say, what do I say, what do I say?
Lord have mercy on my soul!?

Clearly this caught me off guard, as one of THEE MOST awkward moments I can remember in my whole entire life!

After rambling about everything and nothing that actually made sense, I was left with a visibly confused 10-year-old.

At this point her older sister (14) then walks into the room.

In another foolish moment, I blindly dig myself into a deeper awkward hole by thinking the older one might have a clue. Another confused response, “orgasm? No. what’s that?”

*Cringe. Again*

I now had to attempt explaining again.

(Can I just say how much respect I have for parents who actually teach their kids these things?!!)

In the middle of my inner embarrassing panic meltdown thing happening, the 10-year-old suddenly says, “Toni, maybe you should explain to me in more grown up terms, maybe I’ll understand better.”

*another cringe*

The earth clearly was not going to swallow me in, so I did the only thing I could do. I took a deep breath and rationlised the following with myself:

1) Someone needs to explain in a non embarrassing way. Why not me?
2) This is only as awkward as I make it.

So with that, I went ahead and plainly (almost clinically) explained in simple understandable terms. I followed with “If you still don’t understand, you can ask your parents… but I’m pretty sure it’ll make more sense when you’re older.”

And that was it.

They were un-awkward, satisfied with the explanation and we all moved on to the next topic as if nothing happened. My inner turmoil suddenly seemed dumb.

Perhaps some things in life really are only as awkward as we make it?

(A bit of a shout)
To all parents – Thumbs up and a big salute! It seems like a ridiculous (i.e. incredible and incredibly challenging) journey from a non-parent’s point of view. To all parents who are open and honest with their kids, intentionally teaching them at every opportunity, loving with ridiculous love – You are changing the world!


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