A while back my friend and I watched a rerun of the movie American Beauty. (Lester Burnham, a middle-aged office guy (played brilliantly by Kevin Spacey) who is infatuated with his teenage daughter’s friend.)
After the movie we got into a rather awkward conversation. My friend related a story about an incident that happened on her daughter’s 17th birthday. They’d thrown a pool party for her and her friends. Picture lots of nubile girls in bikinis in the sunshine rubbing suntan oil on one another. Anyway, my friend’s husband was doing the Dad thing and manning the barbeque for the kids’ lunch. My friend noticed that his behaviour became more and more odd towards late afternoon; he was quite plainly trying to appear ‘cool’ to these girls. He cranked the volume of the stereo way too loud and did silly things like jumping into the pool to splash those who were lying nearby. My pal says they had very interesting sex that night.
So I started to think about this; about how a family dynamic can change when children make that transition to being sexual beings and I began to see it as a topic worthy of research.
Only thing is, nobody wants to talk about it. It appears to be taboo.
One woman I approached did give me a vague description of her husband’s ‘funny attitude’ when their teenaged son started sleeping over at his girlfriend’s house over weekends. She says her husband started ‘strutting around like a Bantam and wanting sex every five minutes’.
I find it a very interesting topic, I’ll have to wait 7 years and keep a beady eye on my old husband to see what happens when my girl is all grown up. He’ll be 62 or so by then.
I’ll let you all know about the every-five-minutes business…