Five people who made me embrace my virginity
Why Netflix’s ‘Big Mouth’ is awkward and glorious for teens to adults
Writer’s note: This post was first published on Medium’s “Tickled” on December 22, 2020 and will now be permanently housed on Substack’s new “Tickled” column.
There are many shows that I’m late to the party on, and “Big Mouth” is one of those shows. The most glorious part about this Netflix show is how terrible the sex education advice is. My favorite tip so far is from the Ghost of Duke Ellington (voiced by Jordan Peele) to Nick Birch (played by Nick Kroll). Why is Duke Ellington on a show about kids, puberty and animation? Because he “died” in the main character’s house — so apparently he now wants to give relationship advice. But the pianist’s ghost started off strong, telling teenager Nick, “Women — get this — just want to be treated like human beings.”
And as with every scene of this adult-animated show, it didn’t take long for him to go off the rails. Ellington then burst into song: “Listen to the ladies, and you’ll be rolling around in a big field of titties. But don’t trust the titties. The nipples are tiny cam-e-ras.”
I’m sorry. What was that again? Genius and awful advice at the same time. Even though the Netflix show is rated TV-MA (intended for mature, adult audiences and not children under 17), they say so much wild stuff on here that I don’t know if I’m old enough to hear it. I do, however, spend an equal amount of time hiding my face, laughing and yelling “Oh, gawd, they’re the worst.” “Big Mouth” has taken me back to my childhood years, which was also filled with equally useless and unnecessarily scary advice about puberty and sex.
Here are the top five memories in my own world of the ’80s and ’90s that quite possibly gave me all the sex education lessons I needed outside of a classroom. First lesson: Never lose your virginity. Here’s why.