When TMI Is TMI — For Me, Anyway

I just read another blogger’s post and I’m still in shock. Now typically, I’d link her, give her cred. But I can’t. It was a post about TMI – and frankly, it was TMI. (Too Much Information for those of you not in the know)

Now, please, if you’re reading this, Miss X – please know I’m kidding. Sort of.

I’m a pretty private person. I wrestle with how much to reveal here.

But I’m also a horrible voyeur. I never thought I’d enjoy reality television – but I do. I don’t watch every season but I’ve been known to dabble in Real Housewives (New York is my favorite), Amazing Race (I loved the family season), American Idol (I guess they let “Big Mike” stay in it to win it) and yes, I’m embarrassed to say I even watched Joe Millionaire. (But I just watched THAT show because I wanted to see the expression on the girls faces when they found out he wasn’t really a millionaire but a construction worker.)

So, I admit. I have voyeuristic tendencies.Hey, it’s why I enjoy your blogs so much. Makes me feel normal.

But Miss X’s blog post talked about sex. And vibrators. And loving sex. And describing sex. And that’s when I started blushing. And there was no one in the room to see it or even know what I was reading and blushing about.

My mother was a nurse. We always called our vagina, our vagina. My boys call their penis (you guessed it!), their penis. My mother very matter-of-factly discussed every aspect of our sexuality with us from the time we could point and ask what “it” was. We were armed with books. Loads of information. There was never a question too personal. She always answered, calmly and factually.

But talking about grown-up, consenting adult sex (or solo sex, as the case may be)? I can’t do it. (Talk about it, that is. Of course I can DO it. I have proof.)

Evidently, I’ve had this problem for a very long time.

When I was about 11 years old, I came to my mother with a question. She was making dinner. Oh good, a captive audience.

“Mom? Is this what sex is?” (And apparently, I proceeded to describe the mechanics of sexual intercourse. Which I’m not going to fully illustrate here – because, as I’ve said, I get quite embarrassed.)

She replied, “Yes. That’s what sexual intercourse is.”

“And THAT’S how you get babies?” I asked incredulously.

“Yes,” she said. Very matter of fact. (Did I mention she was a nurse?)

“But you and Dad don’t do that. Right?” I asked, with a horrified look on my face.

She said, “Well, when two people love each other….”

But I didn’t hear the rest. I ran out of the room and slammed my bedroom door. Apparently, I didn’t speak to my mother for days after and could barely look her in the eye.

So yes, I’m a voyeur.   I suppose that’s why Miss X’s post wasn’t really TMI for me. I enjoyed reading it.

But there’s no way I’m going to share that much with you all.




Ain’t gonna happen.


Filed under How We Roll

24 responses to “When TMI Is TMI — For Me, Anyway

  1. Okay, now I’m curious! But I agree: some things are best left private.

  2. 🙂 Love this, Jane. I often struggle with how much is too much. TMI. I find that sometimes if I’m a wee bit uncomfortable with what I’m writing, then I know it’s something good. But there are times the line is crossed, and it’s hard to tell that I’ve crossed it when I’m right in the middle of it. Perspective. Time & Distance bring a little bit of Perspective to the more revealing posts, I think.

    But you are right, there are some blogs out there that definitely throw around T-M-I and I go running and clicking my way out of there. Another reason to love love love that the blogosphere is SO darn BIG!

  3. Good post. Intriguely written. But I won’t tell you any more what I thought. 🙂

  4. suzicate

    Reading someone else’s accounts is one thing…revealing your own – entirely different. I don’t think I can go there either…blush, blush.

  5. I’m with you. I can’t talk about it either. And I also blush easily…

    What is Too Much Information? It seems as if we all have different standards. As always, we are on similar wavelengths. At ILI today, I am asking whether there is a TMI vis-a-vis kids… Are there certain things, obvious and more subtle, that we should not speak to our kids about? Are their bits and pieces of information that should not be conveyed to them or around them?

  6. Was that me you are talking about?! LOL! Nah. In order to describe something you need to HAVE IT in the first place…

    I found myself a prude when a coworker was telling me details of her sex life, in the context of something funny, but still… I was kind of uncomfortable. Talking about celebrities is one thing, talking about sex between ppl I see in real life? Weird. Now whenever I see her husband, I cannot help but remember the stories!!!

    Now, if I were a Sexual Napalm like Jessica Simpson, I’d totally write about my sexapade. Just sayin’! 😉

  7. Sexual Napalm like Jessica Simpson…hahahahahaha!

    I can’t talk about it either 🙂

  8. angelcel

    Nope, I will not be discussing the intimate details of my life. Maybe it’s because I’m English/French, I’m showing my age, I had a mother who was slightly older than my contemporaries, or a combination of all the above but I’m often amazed at how much people share. There are certain things I just don’t need to know and honestly, you never know when these things will come back to haunt you!

  9. Ah, like everything else I’m a little wishy-washy here. I wouldn’t describe anything like that in detail on my blog either, but I’m fine with someone who feels comfortable doing it on theirs. I always find when I have a good friend that when you can talk about sex at all (usually with humour and sarcasm) I feel we’ve become one boundary closer. TMI is almost impossible to define for me — I never really know it until I see or hear it.

  10. I am often amazed at what people are able to share on their blogs. Amazed and impressed. I sometimes feel like I am too guarded, wound up tighter than fort knox. I don’t want to share details of my sex life with the world but there are other things I wish I were more honest about, more “what you see is what you get.”

  11. My mother was very similar with me. Though she wasn’t a nurse, she always was super honest and we called everything by their proper names. When I first started blogging, my posts were very superficial, but as I have grown, I have found that I have the desire to share more personally. I love blogging because bloggers are all so different. What is TMI for some is just another post for others. There are so many ranges. I think you just have to stick to what’s comfortable for YOU! 🙂

  12. Can’t talk about it. Nope.

  13. Nope. I definitely can’t talk about it either. Or write about it. And I can barely read it. I read a post once about how the author had an experience with another girl and that she liked it and blah blah blah (see I can’t write about it!) and I actually stopped following her on Twitter because I couldn’t take anything she tweeted about seriously anymore. Weird, I know.
    My 5yo niece recently ran up to my brother and out of nowhere yelled, “Babies happen when a man puts a penis in a vagina.” and ran out. Took them by surprise to say the least! (And I like how the body parts don’t seem to belong to anyone!)

  14. LOLZ @ submom! “In order to describe something you need to HAVE IT in the first place… ” That’s classic! 🙂 Also, perhaps, another case of TMI, too. 😉

    Becca: That sounds like a scene from the movie Kindergarten Cop. 🙂

    When I see someone pregnant I usually give her a wink and think (or say out loud if I know her well enough), “I’m pretty sure I can figure out how that happened.” You have to add the caveat these days because, well, you never know. 🙂

    I think everyone must have their own personal limits for TMI – incoming and going – and I say, “viva la difference!”

  15. ck

    My mom was not a nurse. When I confronted her about what sex was it was more of a, “you will NOT believe what Stacy told me today.” I went on to explicitly describe what I learned from this idiot friend of mine who clearly knew nothing.

    My mom kind of shrugged and said Stacy was right. I died inside. Stacy could NOT be right.

    I realized at that moment I never wanted to have that kind of conversation with my mom again. I did not, could not, picture her like that. Which is why, like you, I’ll probably never talk about sex on my blog. Especially since she’s one of my readers.

  16. With people face to face, I have a pretty good grasp on what is TMI for people. On the blog, well, just like saying something political, you just never know how people will take it. Hell, even saying something funny can go wrong.

    I can talk about anything and everything. As for sex, my parents thought I was going to grow up to be the next Dr. Ruth back when I was in high school, dateless but curious, reading about it all. As for telling TMI, my BFF knows everything and I everything about her. I’ve warned my husband, but he doesn’t believe me.

  17. My husband and I have agreed on things that are private. I don’t mind talking about sex but it is not my place to discuss it. Besides, it’s much more fun to talk about with my husband!

    If a fellow blogger decides to venture into those waters, I normally ignore that post and wait for another post that intrigues me.

    I would say that we all are voyeurs. Blogging is a form of voyeurism, is it not? As long as people know that what they put on the web is free info for anyone. Even if it is private.

  18. Also a nurse mom. And doctor dad. And nurses in every aunt of every family. So I always view sex as biological and scientific. But there’s a big difference between talking mechanics (I always feel so badly for women who hear the word vulva or clitoris and ask what it is. You don’t know? Oh, sweetie, let me tell you, cuz…..) and talking pleasure. That’s the line I draw for TMI. Talking one-on-one with a friend is one thing, if we both venture into that territory, not of graphic descriptions, which is not my problem, but the “what I like” or “what she likes” or feelings in general. But on a blog, for all the world to see without preamble, I prefer to keep the line between biological and sensational, if that makes sense. I’d blush reading TMI sexual information, too. It’s somewhat out of context, to read such info on the computer, and somewhat surprising without the mutual dialogue that might lead us there and that allows anybody to step off the ride if its getting to be a bit…too much. There’s reading biology that is intended to inform, there’s reading erotica that is intended to arouse, and then there’s TMI. There, in the middle. Where is sounds like information and gets too…touchy feely. Too close. Keep sex at a distance or keep it really, really close, but in between is the discomfort zone.

  19. Aw, come on; no link??
    I could use a little blushing with my non-existent sex life….
    Uh-oh, TMI, right??
    (kidding, xo)

  20. OH Gods I am dying to read the post you are talking about! Ha Ha HA! But them I might end up feeling overloaded with TMI myself!

  21. Nicki

    I worry so much about who is reading my blog I found one of my pieces for the Momalom Half Drunk Challenge had to be posted anonymously somewhere else. On the other hand, I have no trouble writing erotica and have done so but not under my name.

    Just the complexities that are me.

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