Teaching Kids About Sex: I received a compelling email from a senior in high school and I would love to get your help answering it. And I want to give a really good response. So here I go. Today I was talking to my college age sister about a terrible law of chastity lesson I had in seminary and explained my frustration about how Mormons have such an unhealthy way about discussing sex. In short, this combination leads to kids like me.
Unfortunately until today I thought that was the same definition of sex. Before I go on I want to add that I have a normal family and very normal parents. Like my dad learns current songs on the guitar and my mom is obsessed with current fashion designers. I have great relationships with both of them. I know that they like the idea that their kids could come to them with any questions, but I know that they would probably feel uncomfortable talking to me about sex.
How can I open up a conversation about sex with my parents? Who else should I go to for real information? As a parent is it difficult to talk about this with your kids? As mentioned before I really do appreciate your approach to motherhood especially regarding tricky subjects such as this. Not only does it create trust between you and your kids but it prepares them to be functional teens and adults. Thanks a lot, —- Dear Lisa, Thank you so much for your email.
I can see you have a ton of confidence just to write it up and send it. So high five to you! I also think you are not the only 18 year old that feels this way.
So thank you for bringing this up. And trying to help them avoid feeling uncomfortable should not be the priority; you getting the information and knowledge you need is the priority. But sharing this email will be sure to open their eyes and help them realize you need them to talk about it.
Sex is very normal, and not talking about it is what makes it seem weird, uncomfortable and not-normal. So open conversations can bring it back to normal really quickly. In addition to your parents, I hope you will also ask other adults in your life teachers, church leaders, aunts for open conversations about sex.
The experience of sex is so personal, and everyone you talk to will have experienced sex differently in small or big ways. Their insights will help too.
Here are some things from my own experience with sex that might help. These are things I want my own kids to understand. My apologies in advance if this is too deep a dive. I know there are people, who for one reason or another, struggle with having a happy sex life.
Just know that no matter how much you know ahead of time, there will still be plenty of things to learn even after you start having sex. You have to try different things like try different positions, or different times of day, or different locations until you know what you like and what works for you and your partner. That definitely happened for me and Ben Blair.
We were both virgins when we got married and even though we knew the facts of sex, it still took awhile until we were any good at it. Also, what you like during sex can and does change, so you have to keep trying things throughout your sex life. Foreplay caressing, touching, kissing, making out is tons of fun. Laughing about sex with your partner because there are awkward parts during sex is also fun.
The anticipation of getting to have sex that night is fun, and flirting all day is fun too. Sometimes pulling off your jeans looks super awkward and you fall over.
Is this a person I can be completely awkward with? What if I burp or sneeze or fart! Will my partner be a jerk about it? Steer clear of jerks. Related to this, what you or your partner has seen in porn is pretend. Whatever you or your partner think you know about sex from porn, you need to set aside. Because who wants to have sex with someone who is not that into it? The general goal is for both people to have a lot of fun, and for both people to have an orgasm.
Not sure what an orgasm is? Women typically have orgasms from stimulating touching, rubbing, licking their clitoris. In the movies, both people always have an orgasm, and they always have an orgasm at the same time. Figure out how to have an orgasm on your own. Consider it your responsibility.
You probably already know, but just in case, masturbation means touching or rubbing your own genitals until you have an orgasm. Religious people are often told that masturbation is evil and they should not do it. I disagree with this. I think mastering your orgasm before you get married or start having regular sex is important. Even if it seems like everyone else is doing it. I have zero interest, and there is no scenario where I think that anal sex will feel good to me.
Now a couple of resources. It may feel overwhelming to you, because it deals with teenage girls who are actively having lots of sex and know all about it. They really want to help empower parents to be the primary sexuality educators of their kids.
I follow their Facebook page so that I know when they have a new video. Again, thank you for writing, Lisa. I hope this helps get some open conversations about sex started in your home. Feel free to send more questions. What advice do you have for Lisa not her real name? And parents, how often are you teaching your kids about sex? Do you have websites or books that you would recommend to Lisa?