I am a parent to two young children, both of whom are now pre-teen age. As they get older, I have noticed them asking more and more questions about sex and relationships as well as society and sex.
I have talked before about the very limited information about sex that I received when I was growing up (literally: “be careful” said to me once before I had a date aged 17). I have always been determined that there will be an open and ongoing dialogue between me and my own children about sex and relationships.
I will be talking with Dr Lori Beth Bisbey this week on the Sexy Lifestyle Network about porn and parenting – you can listen by clicking here at 7pm on Thursday evening. I will posting writing next week about why I am open about my bisexuality with my kids.
Here are the things that I say to my children about sex… what do you tell yours? Do get in touch at: email@example.com
What I tell my children about sex
That sex is not about performance but enjoyment for everyone
That people’s tastes change and that everything can be discussed and evolved
That you will fart, maybe even wet yourself or think you have… that you will make silly squelchy noises and that that is OKAY. And if you are with someone that says they aren’t then you need to consider if they’re worth being around
That you cannot control or command desire or love
That practising polite and firm ways of saying thanks but no thanks can help in all areas of life not just sex
That staying healthy and strong can make sex even more fun
That everyone makes funny faces when they come and often silly noises too
That sex is for you, and those you are with, to enjoy, it’s about deepening and exploring your connection with the other person(s)
That you can’t expect someone to learn about your body if you haven’t – so, masturbate, explore, touch and try things on your own… in the bed, the bath, the show, on the floor. Wherever you are private, safe and comfortable
That you can take your time getting to a sexual relationship and take your time during sex – there is no rush. There is also lots of fun to be had from a quickie
That sex is usually best sober. Alcohol loosens inhibitions but can also minimise your responses and reduce your pleasure
That your brain is the sexiest organ of all. Think about sex, explore, question and wonder about what you desire. Wonder is the key to great sex
That, in your mind, everything is possible and nothing in your mind is taboo… maybe try erotic poetry, writing or drawing to explore ideas
That earning and keeping trust, good listening and communication skills are key – learn to do these before you start having sex and you will get along more than fine
That you shouldn’t be doing sexual and physical things for someone else that they won’t at least discuss doing with and to you, too, if you want them to
That NO always always means no. Unless you have a consensual non-consent or other carefully discussed agreement in place. BDSM, kinks and fetishes are valid things. Learn about them. And from people that know not people who pretend to know
That an educated you is a powerful, sexy you. Most people know more about the types of food on McDonalds menu than they do about sex (i.e. what they like, what might be possible, how to communicate about that)
That not feeling like sex is fine, that feeling like lots of sex is fine
That there are people that don’t like oral sex. And there are people who love it as well as love to give it. That it is always best to ask before you assume it is desired
That anyone putting pressure on you to do anything you do not want to do is not cool
That sex is PLAY – that put the penis in the vagina is only ONE small aspect of a playful sexual life
That masturbation is vital, necessary and to be enjoyed, solo or with others
That orgasm can feel great but should never be the “goal” or “point” of sex
That reading erotica can be lots of fun – solo or shared
That porn can be great if you are choosing to watch it – but that it is to real life sex what GTA is to driving to the supermarket
That there is no request that cannot be listened to and then politely rejected, enthusiastically accepted or agreed to be talked about further at a later date
That there is nothing like enthusiasm, and genuine enthusiasm, for showing you where you are going right. And that there is nothing like ASKING if you aren’t sure
That porn is for you and for sharing, that is can be fun and stimulation but that to much of anything is not a good idea. That if all you do is look at porn rather than get out there and meet real, live people it is a bit like looking at glossy trace sites rather than going off on an adventures: ultimately empty and meaningless. Watch ethical porn as well as mainstream. Think about what it is telling you and what turns YOU on. Engage. Question.
That ‘How does his feel?’ ‘What makes YOU feel good?’ ‘And, I would love to hear what you like…’ are the sexiest things any of us can ever hear, even sexier when the answers are actually listened to and discussed afterwards
That safety equals respect and that birth control and safe sex is everyone’s responsibility
That sexting is almost always more fun once you have met and not before
That trust is the key and that likely you will have yours broken and break it too…
That we all make mistakes but that clear communication can help minimise the harm caused
But, mostly, I just listen to them. To their concerns, their questions and to make sure I create space all the time for these conversations and not just once.
If you have any questions on this subject get in touch at: firstname.lastname@example.org