All of us, at some point, fall victim to oversharing. Maybe we profess our undying love for someone who is already happily coupled. Maybe we tell our boss about how our drunken escapades in Cabo once led to our brief arrest.
Or maybe, like Jennifer Garner on The Ellen DeGeneres Show yesterday, we mention that our husband has “wonder sperm.”
Garner was making the point that although she doesn't want any more kids, her spouse of seven years, Ben Affleck, would be perfectly capable of knocking her up with their fourth child. “I plan to be done,” she said, but “my husband is kind of a wonder sperm kind of guy. Just have a look at him!”
DeGeneres responded without missing a beat, saying “that's good to know.” But we wonder whether some audience members were left with that uncomfortable feeling you get when you suddenly have to think about the semen of a person with whom you're not that well acquainted.
And so, Garner's remarks beg the question: How much is too much to tell when it comes to you and your partner's sex life?
On one hand, the phrase “wonder sperm” isn't particularly obscene or explicit. In fact — putting aside for a moment the fact that we were briefly slapped with an image of Ben Affleck's testicles — it is a step in the right direction for such a mainstream actress to feel comfortable discussing the mechanics of baby-making so openly.
“Talking about things that we have in common, like a mother worrying she's going to get pregnant again, is really normal and relatable,” says Sandra Dougherty, sex educator and host of the “Sex Nerd Sandra” podcast.
Dishing the details about your bedroom escapades only becomes a problem, she says, when it's done deliberately to titillate.
“When people start using words that will actively turn other people on and will actively arouse them, it can get really uncomfortable really fast,” she says.
The takeaway? “Wonder sperm” is fine, but maybe leave the references to, say, your sex toys, at home.