Children are exposed to sex in some form more and more each day. Whether it be other family members, friends at school, or music and television, it’s everywhere. Naturally, parents want to be able to control how much their children are being exposed to and stop them from doing what everyone else is doing.
Growing up with only one parent present, that being my father, he had no choice but to be the one to give me…The dreaded sex talk. I can’t remember the first time he brought it up, I do remember him bringing it up quite often but when he found out I had a boyfriend in 10th grade was when it really began. It initially started with him telling me that I don’t have a boyfriend I need to break up with him immediately. This to me was unfair so I wasn’t willing to and I didn’t. That’s when I began to become more distant, sneaky and he soon realized he couldn’t keep me away from this boy so he started talking more. Now I don’t know how the talk went for you all, but my dad always made things very awkward. We could be in the car on our way to Walmart and out of nowhere he’d ask “Are you having sex yet?” Of course I always said no and for a while that was true but I just didn’t feel comfortable talking with him about that. He even went as far as asking if I, like other young girls liked “putting my mouth on it.” At that point I realized that was a conversation I never wanted to have with him or anyone else. Not even my sisters when he asked them to ask me if I was sexually active, and to give me the talk since I wouldn’t talk to him. Maybe it was just the way he approached it, or maybe it was just the fact that he’s my father. I would have rather had my mother have that talk with me.
I’m now 23 years old and sometimes he STILL finds a way to bring it up. Asking if i’m using protection, if i’m on birth control, and constantly telling me how men are as if I don’t already know by now. Eventually I did tell my sister I was no longer a virgin, after her asking again. I was relived that she didn’t judge me, had nothing negative to say, and spoke to me in a way that was more comfortable to me than my father. However, I still didn’t prefer talking to family about sex at all. If I was ever curious about anything I would go to google which can be misleading at times, but I would also talk to my close friends. Most of my friends were sexually active and would tell me about it anyway, I was actually one of the last to have that experience so it was a lot more natural for me to go to them. There’s also something about a strong friendship that’s a lot more comforting than any one else.
I don’t believe parents should stop talking to their children about sex because at the end of the day they care the most and are going to be the ones to give the best advice but, they should instead get to know their children more to find out the best way for that individual child. Everyone is different, what made me feel uncomfortable may not have made one of my sisters or someone else uncomfortable. Some people are just more open than others and nothing is wrong with that. You shouldn’t be upset or disappointed if your child doesn’t feel comfortable talking about something as personal as sex, just let them know they when they are ready and if they do get curious they can come talk to you at any time. It’s okay to tell them to be careful because there are STD’s, it’s okay to inform them about pregnancy but don’t be a pest. You don’t want your child to be resentful or rebellious which happens far too often, not just about sex. In my opinion, it’s going too far to constantly ask anyone personal questions. Ask or attempt to have the conversation a few times, after that leave it to the child to decide if he/she wants to discuss things more. Especially if they are old enough to make their own decisions and learn from their mistakes on their own, you can’t protect them from everything.
I often run polls on my Twitter account. Many to go with my blog, sometimes just for fun. On Monday, to go along with this particular blog topic, I Tweeted a poll (above picture) asking how many people were comfortable having “the talk” with their parents. My goal was to have at least 100 votes but that’s okay, the post received 67 votes. Of the 67 voters I can’t say how many were male or female, or their ages. My followers ages range from teenagers to young adults under the age of 30. As you see from the final results, 33% of voters said that they were comfortable talking with their parents about sex while a larger 67% said they wouldn’t be.
If you’re a parent, how did you go about having the talk with your child? Was it difficult? Were they open about it? If you’re not a parent how would you go about having the talk? Or how was it when your parents had the talk with you?
Until next time, love Lee.