Olivia is at home ill and watching Grey’s Anatomy. There is a girl in the episode she’s watching who suffers from spontaneous orgasms (sounds better than flu). Olivia has just asked me what’s wrong with her.
“She keeps having sort of, well, fits,” I tell her.
“What’s a fit?”
Get a grip, I think to myself. Surely you can tell her what’s really going on. “Well, actually she keeps having an orgasm.”
“What’s an orgasm?”
“Something women have when they’re very happy.”
“Can you explain it to me when the esipode (sic) is over?”
So I now have twenty minutes to try to work out how to explain the female orgasm to my daughter. This reminds me of a conversation we had in Corsica while staying with my friend Rachel. Her daughter Mary and Olivia were chatting about where babies come from.
“Well,” said my goddaughter Mary who is six months older than Olivia. “The man puts his parts near the woman’s parts.”
“Ugh, I’m not doing that,” said Olivia. “Have you done that mummy?”
“She’s got three children so she’s done it three times,” Mary answered for me.
“And your mummy’s got four, so she’s done it four times,” said Olivia. “I’m not going to do it any times.”
“Me neither,” said Mary.
I can hear the credits rolling. Maybe I can distract Olivia with a game of Connect 4. But knowing her, she’ll come back to her question. I’d better think of a better answer than a joke I once heard from a South African (male) friend of mine.
“What’s a female orgasm?”
Copyright: Helena Frith Powell 2007