Judy Blume on Talking to Her Kids About Sex

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Judy Blume. Photo: Brent N. Clarke/FilmMagic

Fairy godmother of puberty Judy Blume continued her press tour for adults last night, speaking with Samantha Bee at the 92nd Street Y about her latest novel, In the Unlikely Event (a book for adults), and what it’s like to be an adult talking to kids about sex. Asked whether she was as honest with her own children about sex as she is in her books, Blume responded that, since she had been told virtually nothing about sex as a kid, she vowed to do a better job as a parent. “When they asked me questions, I would answer them,” she said. As for when she decided to have The Talk with her kids, she explained: “When I came into the kitchen one morning and my son was bouncing around saying, ‘Randy’s having a baby, Randy’s having a baby!’ And Randy, my little girl, was sitting down on an egg, I knew it was time.”

Blume also clarified that while her young-adult books have a reputation for being candid about sex, she thinks a lot of that goes over kids’ heads. “When you’re young and you’re not there yet, you just read over that stuff,” she said. “My friend wanted a ‘special place’ after she read Deenie, and so she decided that her special place was her elbow. She rubbed it and rubbed it and rubbed it.”