‘Dad, what’s a “blow job”?’ What should you say?

We all dread questions like this as a parent (the awkwardness! And how much should I say?), but it’s actually a great sign that your child is coming to you with their questions rather than the internet. When we were this age, oral sex may have still been seen as a taboo or wasn’t something we learned about until we were older. But with its frequent mention in film, television and even music videos, as well as its ubiquity in online pornography, ‘blow job’ has often entered the vocabulary of many kids by year 5 or year 6.

It’s important to be honest with your child and not try to evade answering their question. That being said, you don’t necessarily need to give them explicit detail. Depending on what you believe they’re ready for, you might just like to say, ‘It’s a type of sex that people might choose to do together because it feels good.’ If they ask how, or if you want to give them the full details, you can say, ‘It’s when a person puts their mouth on someone’s penis.’ You could also say, ‘It’s a type of oral sex, which is where a person puts their mouth on another person’s genitals (penis or vulva).’ You might also want to ask them where they heard the term. If they say they saw something online, you can lead into a talk about online pornography. If they just heard it from the schoolyard, don’t worry, sex becomes an endlessly fascinating topic for kids around this age – it’s just great to know they feel comfortable coming to you for the facts.