Ajar Thread: In Which Sex Toys & Family Really, Really Don’t Mix

Because it’s Christmas Eve, a lot of people are gearing up to see their families or already dealing with filial matters. As I live in the same area as most of it, I’m around my family a lot. I’ve only lived a little over a quarter century of life, but I’m pretty sure what happened when I was 18 takes the cake as far as worst and most embarrassing family incident ever.

I was reminded of it thanks to a post I came across today: My Super-Religious Mother Found My Vibrator And We Had to Talk About It.

a cat licking itself then being startled back into a less vulnerable position


Don’t let how mortifying my experience was deter you from sharing yours.It was 8 years ago or so, on a Southern California day as fine as most days here tend to be. I’d had a fairly uneventful day at university and came home a little earlier than usual since I had no evening plans.

I had barely entered my room when my parents said that they needed to talk to me. As this wasn’t very long after I’d come out as an apostate of Islam, I figured something was up

And how. My parents had found my old high school Jansport in my closet, which I affectionately referred to as “The Backpack o’ Sin.” Inside its zippered confines were hidden various items of which my folks would not approve. That day, it contained many things that my parents disapproved of: 4 bottles of Blue Moon, a 70’s style mini dress, various hosiery and lingerie items, a pair of super-tall yellow high heels (for stand-up sex with my 6’7 boyfriend), a few months’ worth of daily birth control pills, and assorted condoms.

The worst was none of those. It was the sex toys. Especially a very, ahem, imposing-looking one that Oprah had recommended in her magazine but that I hadn’t even enjoyed using (it left me numb).

My parents hadn’t even had a proper sex talk with me, and there I was, 18 years old, trying to deal with them trying to interrogate me about my sex toys through the mutual sense of intense awkwardness. They were worried that I was being forced to use the toy by my boyfriend. They were worried that I would end up pregnant or with an STI. They were worried that I’d given oral sex to him.

I pointed out that their worries presumed that I wasn’t at all into the sex. That went over about as well as you’d expect.

They had dragged me over to the local neighborhood park before they had started the chastising. After what felt like an eternity, they wrapped up the conversation by informing me that they had disposed of the backpack at some random industrial dumpster so that I wouldn’t be able to find it even if I wanted to. After we got home, I called my boyfriend. When I told him what had happened, he started to chuckle but then caught himself and apologized, saying that one day I would look back on it and laugh.

I am looking back now and laughing, but even back then, I burst out giggling.

What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s happened with you and your family? Absurd and funny preferred but certainly not required.

Ajar Thread: In Which Sex Toys & Family Really, Really Don’t Mix

15 thoughts on “Ajar Thread: In Which Sex Toys & Family Really, Really Don’t Mix

  1. HFM

    Not quite that bad, but…

    When I was a teenager, my boyfriend and I talked online frequently. One morning, we were entertaining ourselves by telling “Yo mama” jokes. (You know…”Yo mama so stupid, she thought Grape-Nuts was an STD” “Oh yeah? Yo mama so fat, she ate coal and shat a diamond”.) Then I had to go to school, so I said my goodbyes, closed the chat window, and left. Then he messaged me again, bringing the whole conversation up on my screen with a flashing alert.

    I get home that day, and my mom wants to have A Talk about the terrible things my boyfriend has been saying about her. I was really confused at first…and then it hit me. And then I got to explain “Yo mama” jokes to my actual mother, who’d never heard of such a thing and didn’t believe me.

  2. 2

    Back in 1998, on what would be the last family vacation we would take before my Dad’s death, we arranged to meet in Cleveland. I was on my way to Toronto for a Sci Fi Convention (I met Mira Furlan of Babylon 5 and Lost) and they were heading off to Pinery Provincial Forest with my sister and her small at the time kiddos. I was quite excited because I had saved up enough ($220) to get tickets to see the Indians play at then fairly new Jacobs Field for myself, my Dad and my little brothers. We met at the campsite they had picked out and I helped set up the tent, then we headed back downtown. And smack dab into a 2 hour or so rain delay. Not wanting to waste our money, and the game being fun and close (it was the first baseball game I had ever seen outside of Riverfront Stadium back home in Cincinnati,) we held our ground and waited until the last out. When we arrived at the campsite we found a disaster. My sister and family were holed up in the car. In the tent we found my Mom and everything we brought completely soaked. There was nothing really to do. The three of us curled up as best we could (the boys took the car) and we spent the night shivering and giggling and talking until we gratefully drifted off in the wee hours neer dawn.

    It was the last night I ever spent camping with my Dad and Mom. I’ll never forget it.

  3. 3

    Well, there was this. I was young (18) and had just moved to a new town. My sister and her husband had graciously offered to let me stay in their laundry room until I found my own place, as long as I helped out with the kids. The first job I found was a midnight to eight AM night-stalker job at NationalGroceryChainStore. I would get off in the morning, head back and chill until I could fall asleep.

    One day, I heard my niece calling for me in the late morning (my middle of the night). I got up and tended to her, and then went looking for my brother-in-law, who I was sure was home. I peeked into the study to see him standing, facing the computer screen, thrusting his hips whilst jacking off to some really poorly produced porn. I stuttered, backed up, closed the door and then innocently called, “Hey, BIL, little niece is looking for you!”. I’m pretty sure he knew that I knew.

    Later, I learned that he did not know how to clear the internet history. So I would do it for him. And he never complained when I sneaked some of his wine.

  4. 4

    I had one very narrow miss just the other day with my in-laws.

    Although I identify as male, I often enjoy wearing dresses, skirts, tights and other ‘female’ clothing (For want of a better term), which my wife is quite ok with.

    Although my wife and I are both atheists, her parent are Christian (her father’s a pastor). Admittedly they are reasonably progressive.

    Nonetheless, I don’t think my father-in-law of a mere 11 days was ready to walk in on me lounging around his house in a purple dress and tights. Fortunately, at the last moment I realized that someone had come home early from Christmas shopping and managed to flee to the bedroom, closing the door and shouting that I was in the process of getting dressed. Still it was a narrow thing. Their house needs noisier floors 😀

  5. 5

    Well, this is by far not the most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened between me and my family (some really terrible things have happened but they’re not amusing in the least), but this sounds like a good one to share 🙂

    I guess I was 23 or 24 at the time, and I’d just escaped my disastrous and abusive first marriage and gone to live with Mom. I was able to bring a pickup-truck load of important things with me, due to the kindness of a friend. I had an excellent stereo and speaker system (take that, ex), all my clothes and books, and a decent set of pots and pans and kitchen equipment. Since I had left home, my mother had married a schizophrenic alcoholic who proceeded to destroy or steal anything of any intrinsic value I had brought with me, starting with my wedding ring (“I know a guy who can give you a better price for that than a pawn shop” and then “You owe us this for letting you stay here”) and my stereo (“how far can I make the volume go up”) and my kitchen stuff (“It might as well get some use while you’re here, oh, sorry, it broke/it got scratched with a metal spoon/I used it outside/I lost it”) and my clothes (absolutely no explanation for why he threw half of them away, leaving me with no good work clothes).

    On the fifteenth or so time I complained to my mother, she told me, “Don’t worry, I’ll make sure he leaves your stuff alone.” And she did, for the most part, prevent him from destroying what little there was left. But one day I came home from visiting friends to discover she had gone through six full boxes of books and confiscated all of the ones she thought were “inappropriate”. My science fiction collection, donated (“trash”). My books on Tarot (and my collection of cards), Celtic history, runic alphabets, even typographical symbols, thrown away (“witchcraft”). My rare collection of first and second edition D&D books, all my third edition books, and all of my other role-playing books, many of which I had had since D&D was first published in box sets, literally incinerated (“Satanism”). Neither she nor her pet drunk ever paid me back for anything they destroyed.

    A few weeks later, while driving with both of them, I found myself suddenly forced out of the car in the parking lot of a women’s homeless shelter downtown (which was closed, it being eleven in the morning). According to them, it was “inappropriate” to have me as an unspecified sort of “influence” in their house. Guess who rescued me when I was sitting by the roadside with my handbag in my lap wondering what hit me? The parents of one of the members of my D&D playing group, who immediately realized something was wrong when they saw me looking shell-shocked in a bad part of town. They were on my side when I told them what happened and wouldn’t let me go back “home” until they’d had a stern talk with my mother. She came and picked me up and refused to tell me why the whole thing had happened at all, but I wasn’t kicked out again.

  6. 6

    I did not mean to make that sound so bitter. Sorry. I really do look back on it with some amusement because, you know, it was just my stuff, and I was really happy to have had a friend’s parents stick up for me and say what happened to me wasnt right. (Thanks, Mr. and Mrs. Drake.)

  7. 7

    Bloody hell, badgersdaughter, that’s awful. I wish there were some way of virtually and remotely (in time and space) scruffing the pair of them and forcing them to face and see and understand how utterly vile their behaviour to you was. Please join me in a helping of roast vegetables via USB if you’d care for some (currently having some of last night’s leftovers as a late lunch, today being a free random do-nothing day here).

  8. 8

    @badgersdaughter. My condolences for the lost books. I remember a couple of my catholic school comrades having similar episodes with their parents and “demonic” D&D material. This was back in the80’s however, the height of the Satanic Panic. I’m appalled that anyone would act that way anymore.

  9. 9

    My mom came to visit this week.
    1. I was excited to show her my new place, until, of course, I go to the restroom and come out to her giving me her “you disgrace me” look, which has been overused for decades. Anyways, she referenced my “toy box” as it were and it was akward.
    2. My former roommate once found a toy in the shower and ran around the house in her towel waving it around, asking who it belonged to–leaving my other roommate and I in a fit of laughter while she came to terms with what she was carrying.

    Nice post, still not a fan.

  10. 10

    *hugs* to badgersdaughter

    Fun one: my husband and I got together in a night of too much drink and a mistletoe, which left both of us a bit unsure as to whether it had happened or not (the being together part. The snogging for sure). But I’d given him my phone number and he called me.
    Three things
    1. This was long before every second grader had a mobile
    2. I was still living with my parents
    3. I have a cousin by the same name as my husband and who’s basically a train wreck on legs.
    So when he called I was taking a shower, my dad answered the phone, mistook my probably boyfriend for my cousin and asked him if he needed assistance cause he had crashed the car again, or if he’d been arrested.
    The guy who didn’t yet know he was going to marry me one day was way too confused to clear up the misunderstanding, BUT he called again later.

  11. 11

    I moved out at 18, and have never lived with my parents as an adult, so family finding details of my sex life has never been an issue for me. I did have issues with a Japanese girl I had as a roommate, however, and I have a few funny stories about her. She was rather conservative, and as far as I know, didn’t have a boyfriend in the two years we lived together. She wasn’t religious or anything; she was just a really shy person, and quite sexually naive as well. She didn’t even cotton on that the girl who stayed over in my room a lot was my girlfriend until one day when her casual disregard for my closed bedroom door gave her more information about my sex life than I’m sure she wanted to know.

    We kept our washing machine on the balcony outside of my room (this is quite common in Japan, where space islimited) and when she wanted to do her laundry, she would often just barge into my room without knocking or else would just give one quick knock and then come right on in. I used to get upset with her about it, but she never seemed to understand how important privacy is and kept right on doing it. One late Sunday morning, she did the “knock once and barge in” routine, and stopped in absolute shock when she saw me and my gf in my bed, naked, with only a sheet over us. On the floor next to the bed was a bottle of strawberry lube, a couple of dildos, and a rope. We had been fooling around with some shibari techniques she was teaching me (she had been a pro domme at one time) and of course, the lube and dildos were just for fun. 🙂

    She never came barging into my room ever again, that’s for sure. I was glad she finally learned that lesson, but did feel a bit sorry about how she had learned it.

    Of course, she never mentioned this again. Our relationship was never a close one and the Japanese treat sex as something that is very private, and they are very good at pretending not to know things that they know. But she was rather cold to me after that, and often demanded to know “who is that” when friends who weren’t gender-conforming were over. The day I moved out both of us were relieved to be rid of the other. She obviously though something was very, very wrong with me. 🙂

  12. 12

    I was eighteen or nineteen and living with my parents; I had my first boyfriend over to watch a movie. It was mid-afternoon.
    Now, perhaps an argument can be made that it isn’t prudent to start taking clothes off in the middle of the day in a common area, but the family room did have a door. And one could equally respond that if you knock, and you hear, “GO AWAY”, you should be at least dimly aware that something is probably going on on the other side of that door that you don’t want to see.
    My poor dad. It could have been worse – it was just that the boyfriend and I had gotten a little carried away and I’d removed my shirt so he could better access my boobs – but still generous heaps of embarrassment for all.

  13. 13

    […] There are a lot of things I’ve said so many times for their ability to catch people’s attention that I don’t think twice about how I’m basically framing my life in rather garish colors. My second day of high school was 9/11, for instance. See also: I used to be a scarf-wearing Muslim girl, I’ve gotten serious death threats, I’ve been s…. […]

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