Continuing with last week’s theme I am going to talk about a couple of questions frequently asked by parents and children. The views expressed in this column are mine so take them from whence they come.
This question gets asked more than any other when I am talking to children/teenagers about sex. I think the sex education children are subjected to in school and their peers is shocking. Sex is dealt with in terms of sperm and eggs, then they move into disease and rape!
The question most asked is: What does sex feel like?
It’s a tricky question to answer because I don’t want to send them off to the toilets to try it out, but I’m also there to give honest answers.
Sex is a beautiful thing when you are ready for it. Unfortunately peer pressure and the sexualisation of society makes us believe that if we are not having sex, there is something wrong with us. Nobody can decide whether you are ready to have sex except you! I believe you should wait if you’re not sure and then wait some more.
Sex will be magical if you understand your own body. So my suggestion is that you should first understand your own body. Grab a mirror and look at the tools you have to work with. Then touch them, soft or hard, fast or slow, see feels good. Masturbate, bring yourself to orgasm. Feel the pleasure.
Now understand that how your body has reacted is purely biological. It is meant to feel that way. Feeling that tingle when you’re in the movies with your girlfriend or boyfriend does not equate to love, it just means that your body is doing what it is meant to do.
Do not be bullied into having sex to prove that you love him. If he loves you he should respect your boundaries and wait until you are ready. Think of sex as a precious gift, you wouldn’t want to give it just anyone, so rather wait and satisfy yourself.
When you are ready, make it special. Don’t have sex somewhere unpleasant, like a public toilet or behind the shed. The first time will imprint your sexual journey forever, make sure it’s a great imprint.
The next question is: When should I start talking to my children about sex?
When they are born!
Let me be more specific. Answer with the truth when they ask, but start at the beginning. Call body parts by their proper name. A vagina is a Vagina and a penis is a penis. You may be uncomfortable with the correct names or think it’s cute to call the ‘flowers’ or ‘willies’ or even worse ‘machine gun’!
The minute you call the genitals something else you cloak them in shame. They are just body parts. You don’t call fingers ‘feely wheelies’ or a nose a ‘smelly welly’ – so don’t undermine the genitals!
When you answer questions make it age appropriate. When a 3 year old asks where babies come from, tell them the truth. Tell them that a man and a woman can make babies by having sex, not that you can by them at a supermarket or that the stork does a delivery. You are lying!
Your child will believe what you have told them and when they find out the truth they will wonder why you lied and sex will take on an additional mantle of shame and guilt. There is a wonderful course you can do on how to talk to your children about sex in an age appropriate way. Let me know if you’d like the details.
Lastly for this week, let’s get controversial questions out of the way. So here goes: is it okay to buy a sex toy for my teenage daughter?
That depends on your daughter! Keeping in mind my attitude towards masturbation and getting your daughters to understand the difference between love and lust, my answer is yes, but…
The but is ensuring that she understands that men do not vibrate and nor are they able to hum for 40 minutes. You do not want to influence her sexual patterning but you do want her to be sexually confident about herself and sex toys. If I had a daughter she would most definitely have a cupboard full of toys. My recommendation is that toys for exploration and fun but let her use the hand for orgasm.
I think it’s wonderful if you can have the kind of relationship with your daughter that you can think of getting her a toy, but first have the conversation about whether she want one or not and then bring her shopping.
If you have any questions or comments please email me firstname.lastname@example.org