The Talk: How to Explain Mermaid Sex to Your Kids

The Oregon Mermaids come to Director Park this Saturday for a day of face painting, mermaid tales and “animal encounters.” Bring the kids if you want, but be warned, they’re going to start asking a lot of questions—mainly, “Mommy, where do mermaids come from?” and “Daddy, how do a mermaid and human consummate their love?” Having “The Talk” with your kids can be hard and embarrassing for everyone, so we’ve laid out a few talking points to help you share with your kids the beauty of Homo sapien and merperson sexual relations. 

Q: Are mermaids boys or girls?

It's best to refer to any half-human, half-fish being as a "merperson" until you know how they self-identify. Merpeople are very gender-fluid, but usually they fall into the categories of mermaids, mermen and male mermaids. Merpeople have genitalia similar to ours except on their front, with their anuses right above their private parts. Mermaids have vaginas, mermen have penises in sheaths, kind of like dolphins, and male mermaids have both penises and vaginas.

Q: How do merpeople have sex?

When any group of merpeople love each other very much, they rub their parts against each other, sometimes inside each other, in a special, watery cuddle.

Q: How do merpeople and humans have sex?

Because humans can't breathe under water, if they want to have sex with a merperson, they need to get out of the water for a little bit. Merpeople can be out of the water for up to 12 hours, but they can't walk, so this means having to have sex on the beach (don't do this in Florida). Another option is to fall in love with a transhuman—lots of mermaids want to be humans, and there are both surgical and magical options to give them legs. Logistically, it's easier for merpeople to special cuddle with a human once they've transitioned. Sometimes, if magic is involved, they have to trade their voices for legs, though. If they're mute, be extra careful to make sure they give consent to the special cuddle.

Q: Can merpeople and humans have babies?

Merpeople aren't the same species as humans, but they are in the same genus, like goats and sheep or donkeys and horses. That means they are close enough to humans to interbreed. It's always best to do some genetic testing before you have babies with a merperson, though, because sometimes a half-human, half-mermaid can be end up being born with fins instead of arms or a fish head instead of a face.

GO: The Oregon Mermaids and the Portland Aquarium educational team will be at Director Park, 815 SW Park Ave., 823-8087,, on Saturday, July 18. Noon-2 pm. Free.