How to talk to your kids about animal sex

I have this great teenage memory of standing next to my father at the Baltimore aquarium, as we both attempted to stridently ignore the gigantic walrus penis that was flopped out right in front of us. I assume a lot of people have similar zoo memories. But, if Lisa Britton has her way, children of the future will at least have some interesting facts to go along with the familial awkwardness. She's the new "birds and bees consultant" at England's Chessington World of Adventures zoo. Her job: Explain copulating animals to kids (and help their parents get past the deer-in-the-headlights response). The Guardian has a short profile.

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  1. Bart Simpson: "Look, Santa's Little Helper is trying to play leapfrog with (girlfriend dog) and can't make it! Come on boy, you can do it!"

    A few years back I visited an aquarium. Might have been the wonderful Monterey Bay aquarium. In any case, a docent explained that the three sea otters normally on display had to be separated because one of the ladies was in season.

    "You might observe behaviors associated with this time" she added cryptically.

    One lady otter was floating on her back high above the audiences' heads, vigorously, um, whacking away.

    I'm glad I didn't have a kid I had to explain that to.

  2. If I'm ever in that situation with my now 2.5 year old daughter, I'll tell her exactly what's going on. Seriously, our society is completely fucked up when it comes to sex, it's incredible. There is no life without sex!

  3. Daddy: "Well, Susie, that sheep has hurt its front leg, and the other one is giving it a ride back to the barn."

    Susie: "Isn't that typical. You try to help someone and they end up screwing you."

  4. Somebody probably should have told all-around-awful-person Neal Horsley about that.

  5. You offend me, and my bacterial brethren(among numerous others, many cruelly underrepresented and marginalized by science's anthropocentric perspective)!

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