UPDATED June 17th, 2017
Ah, the walk of shame. Most of us have been there at one time or another. (Hey Freshman year of college, remember me?) But usually the incident we are shamefully walking away from was our own doing. And then you become a mom, and you have a whole new set of experiences to be embarrassed about—not the least of which is talking to boys about masturbation. If you have a teen son and have seen Bridesmaids then chances are you will never forget the line about teenage boys. “They smell, they’re sticky, they say things that are horrible, and there is semen all over everything. Disgusting. I cracked a BLANKET in half.” Ugh.
But like it or not, masturbation is a part of life, and it’s definitely a part of puberty in boys. A recent study confirms that teen boys, more so than girls, do it early and often. At some point all boys do it, and at some point most moms accidentally witness it. Terrifying but true. So what do you do? How should you react? According to Dr. Cynthia Robbins, Assistant Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at Indiana University, “It is important to let adolescents know about masturbation because they may receive either no information or mixed messages on masturbation, yet it is a major way adolescents express sexuality.” It’s a sticky situation (sorry, we had to) but luckily you’re not alone. Here are 10 ways to handle that dreaded mom moment, talking to boys about masturbation.