Most parents-to-be either learn the sex of their baby during the ultrasound, or at birth, but now there's a third option: Revealing whether it's a boy or girl at a "sex party" (unfortunate name, that) with friends and family.
In an essay Associated Press writer Greg Bluestein explains how he and his wife Sheryl found out they were having a girl. During the ultrasound, they asked the doctor to print a photo of the baby and write down the sex, then put it in a sealed envelope. A friend took the envelope to a baker, who then made a cake with pink icing on the inside. Bluestein writes that at the party:
Our guests started coming over that Saturday night around 7, and two shoes greeted them in our foyer. We asked them to write their names on a slip of paper and tuck it into my giant loafer if they think it's a boy and Sheryl's slender stiletto if they think it's a girl. One lucky winner would take home a prize - a gag gift of baby oil brought by one of the guests.
Over the next few hours, about 50 friends gorged on a dozen pizzas and guzzled down some beer until it was time for dessert. Then we all gathered in our kitchen in front of the massive sheet cake, giving our guests a brief reminder of the import of the moment.
Anticipation mounted as we eyed the icing. We slowly cut into a cake, separating a piece.
I looked. Sheryl looked. I wasn't quite sure. I checked again. She checked again.
Cheers echoed through the house as we saw the pink icing.
It's a girl!
According to Momania, "there are actually bakers that specialize in doing cakes this way," but as with all things motherhood-related, this new trend has drawn controversy.
Bluestein writes that he and his wife wanted to throw the party because they, "...didn't want the news to come at our doctor's office. The thought of celebrating the news at a sterile medical building made her stomach turn." Learning the baby's sex is a special moment for parents, but it's unclear why Sheryl found celebrating in the hospital so abhorrent when presumably she found out she was pregnant, saw a photo of the child for the first time, and gave birth in a medical setting.
Many commenters on Momania say having a sex party is "selfish" and "self-absorbed," and ask,
Why in the world would anyone think that the rest of the world gives a rats patooty about what the sex of the newborn may be – just another example of the yuppie perversion that adds to the perception of the "me first" generation…
Eve Bluestein admits,
At first, I was a bit uncomfortable with the whole idea. It seemed strange sharing such an intimate moment with our closest friends, and even weirder that the baker at the Publix knew our baby's gender before we did.
The idea that a private moment every parent handles differently may become a fetishized public affair is troubling, but it's really just the fetishization — and marketing potential — that doesn't sit so well. New parents and their loved ones are already expected to throw a baby shower and often a christening/bris/naming ceremony after the child is born. If this "sex party" business catches on, will pregnant women be expected to throw another party and spring for a specially baked-cake? Don't they have enough to do?
Image via Ruth Black/Shutterstock.