"You know you can always talk to me about your sex life! I remember when your father and I first got together ..."
This invitation to spill your beans probably crops up before you even have any to spill. Sure, there's a whiff of something. Maybe she's caught you gazing at a classmate at school pickup. Maybe you tell too many stories about Amy's brother when you come back from her house. "Amy's brother doesn't listen to that band." "Amy's brother said he liked my jeans." "Amy's brother, Amy's brother, Amy's brother Amy's- brother, Amy's brother."
Anyway, someone told your mother that it's important to be open about these things. She wouldn't want you to develop a complex, would she? What better way to ease your discomfort than "I remember when your father and I first got together." WELL I REMEMBER WHEN I DIDN'T HAVE TO PICTURE MY PARENTS HAVING SEX.
"You can always talk to me about your sex life" just serves to highlight your lack of one, which is especially bruising when sex is all you think about -- tinging the corners of your heavy-breathing dreams, chronically manifest in your peripheral vision, but just out of reach. Knowing too much about it will recontextualize innocent fantasy into something scary and dirty. Hey, you've seen people making out in films. That lingerie ad. Then there was that video clip Paul sent round the class. You got through 12 seconds before switching it off like a scary movie.
Of course, these scraps and gaps have generated so many questions that it's hard to know where to start. And your mother would be more than happy to explain "why people make those noises" and that no, you don't "stand on your head to stop getting pregnant." But you will refuse these invaluable pointers. The final nail in your pre-adolescent coffin would be to hear that your parents were at it more than you are (not hard, but still unfair). Sex isn't sex yet, but what it is belongs to people your age -- fumbling, yearning, et al.