The Importance of Teaching Boys About Their Toys

It’s a fact. No one has ever loved anything as much as men love their penises.

As a mom to 3 boys, two of whom share the exact same penis loving DNA, I have learned just how early this love affair begins. Much earlier than I expected, I’ll tell ya that!


My youngest son basically came out of the womb with his hand glued to his genitals. And it hasn’t stopped since. My twins took a little longer to discover theirs, but once they did, it has been ON like dicky cong!

For a while now, it’s been a regular part of my sentences to the boys to say things like, “That’s your penis. You can play with your own penis, but leave your brother’s alone. No honey, I don’t want to look at your penis. And you don’t need to show it to anyone else either. It’s yours. Put your penis away sweet pea.”

Recently, I had to stop them from hugging each other in the bath tub as they tried to join their favorite body parts together. After stopping that, in their hysterical bath time episode of toddler humping, I had to explain to my son why it wasn’t ok to grab his brother’s head and pull it into his crotch.

There’s a hair thin line you walk as a mom of boys teaching them the privacy of their nether regions and the importance of keeping it that way, versus shaming them for loving it so much.

As much as I don’t want to face the fact that I have 3 boys who from now on will only love me half an ounce more than they love their penis; and really, when the teen years hit, I may fall off the map completely, it’s a truth I have to accept.


And it’s ok.

There’s nothing wrong with a boy understanding and exploring his body. I just don’t necessarily want to witness it.

But it’s my job as a mom of boys to teach them real words and real things about their private parts, just like every other part of their body. I’m proud of the fact that my 3 year olds have known real terms for things since they could form words, and even though it can be embarrassing when my son loudly announces in the grocery store, “Mom, you don’t have a penis like me. You have a bagina,” I’m still glad they know what it is.

From the moment the boys said, “Mommy, what’s this?,” I have taught them that their penis is their very own. It belongs to them and if they want to play with it, stretch it, or admire it, they are free to do that. But within limits.

1. We do not play with our penis in public.

2. We do not play with anyone else’s penis (or anything else).

3. We do not let anyone else play with our penis.

4. We need to wash our hands after touching our penis.

I have emphasized numbers 2 and 3 especially. Although we tend to think of girls being the ones victimized more than boys, there are unfortunately lots of people out there who abuse boys just as much as girls. If I have anything to say about it, I’m certainly going to do all I can to keep it from being any of my boys. On either end.

In light of the recent news about Josh Duggar, and the fact that this type of abuse was something experienced by many people I know and love dearly, even within my own family, I feel an even more pressing need to make sure my boys understand appropriate touch and exposure, both in and out of our home.

While it’s funny to joke about how much boys love their penises, the truth is the obsession with this appendage has gotten many a man in trouble, both as children and adults. It’s sort of a never-ending thing, this reality of sexualized bodies and what to do with the private parts. So as an all boy mom, the pressure is on. Both to protect them, and others.

I certainly don’t believe that just because my boys are obsessed with their penises that means anything abnormal will come from it, but I am acutely aware of the need to educate them from the get go.

So that’s what I’m doing.

I teach them the right names for things. We talk about who is allowed to see and touch their penis and under what circumstances. I make sure the lines of communication stay open about all things, to include their tiny best friends. And I toe the line carefully between too free and too hushed about these body parts we love to hate or hate to love.

I never want them to feel ashamed of themselves or their bodies. And I never want them to feel like they can’t talk to me about anything and everything.

My boys, like all boys, love their penises. And it’s ok. As long as they keep them to themselves forever, all will be well in my world. But since I don’t live under a rock and I know that’s not possible, I want to at least teach them the right things from the beginning for their own safety and protection, as well as that of everyone else.

It’s a fine line we walk, but if we do it right, we can hopefully teach our boys (and our girls) how to protect themselves and respect others when it comes to what’s between our legs.

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