Letting Life Lead
My children are quite young yet, but always on my mind is the reality of preparing them for one of the major roles in their life. Americans don’t like to talk about the S word and certainly don’t like talking about the S word in front of the children. Which makes no sense, since that is how said children are made. I remember watching the “special program” on TV and that was really weird, and by the time my mother decided to talk about it, I didn’t want to talk about it. I had already learned quite a lot from some questionable schoolmates and the rest from the school library. The copy of a particular soft-cover book was dog-eared, bent, and someone had drawn in a considerable amount of body hair in pen and added any missing vocabulary.
I bought the book It’s Not the Stork just after my first was born as a way to help us to talk about just the practical aspects of bodies and procreation. I know this is not enough though. It might seem silly to some, but there are days that I am frightened by the thought that I might die before I have a chance to have these conversations with my children! As equally as panicked as I am to actually have them.
What will I do when my children ask me about sex. Not the biology part about sperm and eggs, but the other part? The part that is about personal and cultural reasons?
“Mom, I want to talk about sex and not that sperm and egg stuff. ”
I hope my darlings might forgive me if I choke on my coffee or drop a plate. I can see myself being as awkwardly progressive as the dad from American Pie.
I hope I can say, without visibly sweating, the truth:
“People have sex because it feels good. Sometimes they do it because they want to have children. Sometimes they only want to get married and share it with one person ever. But, mostly, people do it because they like it. ”
“People will tell you that if you have sex with more than one person or before you are married or for enjoyment that you are wrong or ruined or dirty. That is not true. Sharing body with another person will not change who you are, but the reasons you have sex will change your experience. If you are being pressured or coerced and feel conflicted, that’s a reason to decline and walk away with your head high. If you feel like you need to deceive and push your partner then you don’t understand the first thing about sex and you better turn around and keep walking. When you feel ready, you will say yes without hesitation and only accept the same from the other person. Never believe it when anyone tells you that you ‘lose your virginity’. Be sure the reasons are a good one and even an awkward, horrible first time will not be a lifelong regret. You lose nothing the first time you have sex, but you do gain new experiences so be sure it is what you want with the person that you choose at the right moment (with a giant box of condoms and a lubricant for goodness sakes). ”
Cue an embarrassed, “Mom!”
“What? If you can’t talk about lubrication and condoms then you definitely won’t be ready to take your genitals out for a test drive. Know what happens when you drive a car without oil? Same thing. And don’t try to drag race the first time out. Think moped.”
“So, you think I should wait?”
“If you are waiting for me to tell you when then you aren’t ready. I can tell you that I want you to have good, healthy, safe experiences. When you are ready you will ask me the real questions, and I won’t need to tell you what they are.”
I am quite sure the conversation won’t go exactly like that, but I try to practice it in my head so that I can actually speak when that day arrives. I may also have to smooth over things with a Dad for one of them. The following bloggers say it better than I can:
The Goodmen Project: Dear Daughter I Hope You Have Awesome Sex
The Goodmen Project: You Can Get Laid Without Being a Jerk (A sister advices a brother)
What If We Admitted to Children that Sex Was About Pleasure?
Laci Green – Consent 101
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