It’s probably safe to say that discussions with your parents about anything sexually-related are awkward. Maybe you lived in a “naked house,” though, and are super open about everything. But the majority of people would do a facepalm if they were sitting in a room with their dad when a sex scene came on the screen. Funnily enough, this week’s question didn’t even have the word “sex” in it, but that’s what everyone turned to for what would suck the most to see with your mom.
The question at hand: What movie or TV show would be super awkward to watch with your parents?
Emily Hartl: Purple Rain would be the most awkward, mostly because of the explicit finger f—ing scene. Plus, it was most definitely popular when I was a wee one so I’m pretty sure my parents have actually seen it which automatically makes it doubly awkward.
Ali Davis: I actually watched an episode of The Real L Word while sitting next to my mom. (In my defense, I had not seen it, and I guess I hadn’t paying attention to how loud the screams of disgust from my peers had gotten.)
Fortunately, it was an episode that did not have any penetration in it. Unfortunately, my mom has a sense of humor.
About halfway through, she started brightly saying “Are these your nice friends? Is this who you hang out with in Los Angeles?” She continued to do so for most of the weekend.
Bridget McManus: My mother is incredibly prudish when it comes to sex and drugs. When I was a child, she ran across the living room to cover my eyes during the Dirty Dancing sex scene, and she walked out of the movie theater when Reese Witherspoon started to make out with her high school teacher in the black comedy Election. When my sister and I accidentally took her to see There’s Something About Mary for her birthday, well, let’s just say it wasn’t a Merry Christmas that year.
But since I recently saw the NC-17 rated film Shame (all alone in a theater, like a pervert), that would be my pick. Michael Fassbender‘s sexual addiction tale showcases drug use, lots of full frontal nudity and graphic sex scenes. Fassbender also runs across a busy New York street without looking both ways, which is another huge no-no.
Mia Jones: Well since my biological mom actually owns a shirt that shows “finger banging” in sign language, I’m never all that uncomfortable with anything we could possibly be watching. Her addiction to Maury usually trumps anything we’d be watching anyway.
As far as my stepmom is concerned, she is usually so tired she forgets what was just on the screen. I’m pretty sure that if Shortbus was on, her only question would be, “Where are the buses?”
Mah Boo’s parents, though — it seems that without fail, we start watching whatever Lifetime or Hallmark movie her dad has on the DVR and when it’s time to choose something that hasn’t been pre-recorded, it always turns out to be the most inappropriate choice we could have picked. Our most recent terrible decision was just this past weekend when American Horror Story ended up on in the background. All of a sudden, there was a young, attractive woman on screen diddling her skittle to the thought of having sex with two or three different men (or ghosts, and one of them was in a creepy full-body latex suit — I’m really not sure with that show). I had many nightmares that night.
The Linster: Since both of my parents are on to whatever comes after life, here’s an actual Most Embarrassing TV Moment. My dad was in the nursing home and I never was quite sure when I went to visit him what he would remember and what he wouldn’t. So if, for example, he asked me when I was going to get married, I knew he’d forgotten I was gay. And you know, who cares at that point?
One day, though, I walked into his room and he was watching a Jerry-Springer-type show hosted by a very loud woman I’d never seen before. The chyron said, “BISEXUAL SECRETS.” Daddy barely looked up when I walked in, so I wasn’t even sure he knew I was there. But after an especially unseemly confession about how said bisexual had gone from a girl in one room to a guy in the other — in the same apartment — he turned to me and said, “Honey, you don’t do things like that, do you?” I stammered, “Daddy, nobody does things like that.” “Good. I didn’t think that’s what you are.” And he went right back to watching the show.
Karman Kregloe: This is not a hypothetical question for me to answer. A few years ago, I was home visiting my family in Virginia and decided it would be a great idea to introduce them to Bound. In my memory, it was a really well-executed modern film noir with great writing and cinematography. I recalled that it had greatly exceeded my expectations when I saw it in the theatre, and figued the suspense and violence in it would make it a good flick to watch with my parents (they like violent movies, I don’t know why). So we sat down to watch it together and I suddenly recalled that it was also a big lesbo movie. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, my parents are cool about the gay thing. But then Gina Gershon started sniffing her fingers and pounding away at Jennifer Tilly and I felt like an ass. I remember thinking, “Quick, Joe Pantoliano, start killing people!” I guess I could have looked at it as payback for when my mom took me to see An Officer and a Gentleman (sex!) when I was 13, but in both cases, I was definitely the more traumatized of the two of us.
Erika Star: Too late, been there done that. A few years back, I was watching Mulholland Drive with a sick friend and her mom. Turns out, said friend mixed up her Dayquils with Nyquils and passed out, leaving her mom and I to sit through Naomi Watts‘ erotic lesbian scene with Laura Harring. I’m pretty sure I squirmed as moms contemplated the “complexities” of the scene. I can’t even imagine what that experience would have been like with my own parents. The thought of sitting through even an advertisement for The Real L World with my mom makes me break into PTSD sweats. I’m not even sure I could have made it through the lez episode of Glee without some mild perspiring.
Dorothy Snarker: Last Christmas, I went home to visit my mom for the holidays. One night we decided to watch a movie and at the RedBox she picked The Kids Are All Right. We went home and put the DVD on. I was nervous about having to explain the complicated sexual politics of lesbians watching vintage gay male porn afterward. But then, when it was over, she turned to me and just asked, “So, what happened to the garden?”
Trish Bendix: I think I’d die watching Room in Rome with my parents. It would probably be silent and awkward, peppered with questions from my mom, like when she used to watch The L Word. Instead of a few scenes of naked lesbian sex, the whole movie is just NAKED LESBIAN SEX. There’s not really any reprieve (or actual merit) at all.
What would you hate to watch with your parentals?