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Oh, Shit! My Mother Just Asked Me, ‘What’s a Fetish?’

Your parents are supposed to teach you about sex, not the other way around. Right?

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I do not know how to talk to my mother about sex.

In fact, the simple idea of broaching the subject terrifies me. I think most mother/daughter duos can live without talking about sex, but in my case, my entire career is built around the topic, so it’s impossible to escape.

My mom has not been super enthusiastic about my decision to go into the fantasy-making business. She avoids talking about my job or asking questions of a non-personal nature. However, lately, I think she’s attempting to bridge the gap.

On a recent visit, my mom used our ride from the airport to her house as a time for an important investigation.

“So, Jincey, what do you know about fetishes?” she inquired, steering the wheel with one hand, while the other hand tapped out messages on her iPhone.

Immediately, a sort of panic washed over me. Oh, God. Where is this going? Is she going to ask me about my work now? Has she been watching my movies? Did I shoot anything with fetishes lately? Well, there is that one scene with Madison Young… Oh, God.

However, instead of freaking out, I played it totally cool, and just said, “Hmm? Fetishes?” In other words, I basically pretended like I didn’t have the faintest idea what she was talking about. But the lady didn’t fall for it.

“Yeah. Fetishes. Like, where do they come from? I mean, when do they start?” she continued, obviously very curious.

I made up some kind of bullshit answer. I’m not a sex therapist, so I really have no idea. Maybe I should have told her that, but I felt like she was trying to reach out to me, so I didn’t want to shut her down.

For some background, my mom is in her mid-60s. After 37 years of marriage, my father died very suddenly in a car accident one morning, leaving my mom to live out her golden years alone. Over the past 10 years that he’s been gone, my mom has had a couple of boyfriends, and also a good amount of time single. When she was dating my father, it was a different era completely, the Mad Men era. People certainly did not talk about fetishes back then.

She is now dating in a world that is radically different. I guess she’s looking to me to decode things for her, both because I’m young, and also because she sees me as “sexpert.” In addition, I think she wants to make the most of her time left here on this planet and enjoy one of life’s biggest joys. The problem is that even with all the passion I have for my job, I still find it impossibly hard to talk to her about sex!

I think a lot of the difficulty comes from the fact that we never talked about sex when I was growing up… well, except when she said, “Do not have sex before marriage.”

Of course, implied in that statement was her assumption that I would marry a man, but that’s another column entirely. The point is, whether she likes it or not, she planted a lot of seeds in my mind that sex was bad, sinful and shameful. I’m still trying to weed those thoughts out of my garden.

To be fair, I’m sure that she was brought up to believe in the evils of sex and therefore probably wanted to teach me what she thought was the “right” way of living. That means she is now also forced to unlearn all those bad teachings.

A few weeks ago, she sent me an email with the subject line, “YES?” No text in the email, only a photo of herself in a blonde-ish wig, fake glasses and a push-up bra. She wanted my approval for a new “sexy” look she was test-driving. I laughed hysterically while walking down the street looking at her picture. She looked amazing!

I posted the image to my Facebook page, and my friends went crazy, saying things like:

“Woah, your mom’s so hot!”

“This is too funny!”

And the cringe-worthy compliment, “What a MILF!” This comment caused a jabbing pain to the back of my right eye.

I texted her and joked, “I’m nicknaming your alter ego. You are now called Sophia Boom-Boom. Sophia, you are officially causing a sensation on Facebook.”

She responded, “Like me or be my friend.” She was nosy about what everyone was saying!

So, after years of not being friends on Facebook, I took the leap and sent her a friend request. I followed up the request with a caveat via text.

“WARNING: Mom, 90% of what I post on Facebook will NOT be appropriate for you to read. Please heed this warning when you stalk my page.”

She wrote back, “Sophia Boom-Boom is open-minded.”

I’m still nervous about being Internet friends, and my confusion and fear persist about how to discuss sex, but we’ve taken the first baby step into unknown territory. I’ll let you know when I run into any land mines.

Originally published by The Huffington Post on October 12, 2011

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