When it comes to talking about sex, puberty and sexual health with our parents, these conversations can usually be awkward and embarrassing. As a result these talks are often avoided. As a young teen I used a puberty book to read about periods and sexual development because I felt too embarrassed to talk with my parents. However now as an adult, I am fortunate enough to have a relationship with both my parents where I am able to discuss most things when it comes to sex and sexual health. However knowing this is not the general consensus, I was wondering what peoples experiences were both positive and negative with their parents and the “sex talk” 🙂
sex is a really sensitive topic in my country. The first and last time I talked to my mom about sexual health was when I first had my period. We were taught to think that sex was to happen when we got married only, NOT BEFORE. I think, simply, we just avoid the topic. I remember that we watched TV show, if there was any intimate scene, my dad would just switch the channel. Rather than teaching, they tried to get us avoid it; because this was what they were taught as well.
I don’t think it was memorable because I simply don’t remember it! I just remember the times where they’d have information nights at primary school (where did I come from type of thing) and then life education.
I don’t think my parents really talked to me about it. But they were also sex positive so that helped and we can talk about it as freely as we please should we want or need to. I do remember reading ‘Mummy laid an egg’ by Babette Cole when I was about five or six which was a really great picture book explaining pregnancy. Very cute.
My parents still haven’t learned to talk about it – preferring to pretend their kids are just abstinent. Topic once got raised by a group of my mother’s friends when we were visiting once, I joined the conversation and suddenly my mother found a reason to change the topic (and when that didn’t work, leave the room).
Mind you they never seem to have had trouble sharing (with others) about their own adventures with my brother or I in the vicinity.
I guess over the years I’ve just gotten used to the fact that they still think I’m three years old and climbing trees in my jelly sandals (and that doesn’t just apply to the topic of sex, they think that way about nearly everything).
I was speaking to my parents recently, discussing how a career as a sexologist would be really interesting and told them I had purchased a book written by Alfred Kinsey (the man who pioneered human sexuality research). Titled “Kinsey, the new report on sex” and boy did they get uncomfortable. Even when I was telling them it is about changing the taboo of sexual health education. They just made jokes to cover up how uncomfortable they were about it.
@mak_trouble891 seems to be a bit of a generational difference, I think making sex and sexuality discussions the norm would help. The more you talk about any topic makes it more comfortable, hopefully the same thing happens here
So this is a little off topic, but I happened to catch an episode of 800 Words the other night that was all about a young guy having sex for the first time. I didn’t just find it interesting that he didn’t go to his dad for the sex talk but that the whole episode dealt with it in what I think was an entirely progressive way. I feel like in the past there would have been a significant morality message and actually having sex would never have eventuated, but this show didn’t labour the morality point, encouraged safe sex, happily covered other teen sex situations, AND included a teen post-sex cuddle scene. Awesome, right?
That’s pretty cool @Kit, hopefully the episode will make people realise that pretending it’s not happening is not the answer.
I was really lucky, my parents were very open, communicative and sex positive.
I had friends whose parents weren’t though and the choices and mental strain I watched them endure was horrific. I really feel it’s parent’s obligations to have these conversations and educate themselves.
I had a couple of age-appropriate sex talks with my mum. The first when I was about 5 or 6 was the “where do babies come from” basic reproduction and parts of the body. Then the periods and puberty talk, then when I was about 14 we talked properly about sex. She told me losing my virginity would probably be quite painful and I wasn’t likely to enjoy sex much for the first few times. I know that’s not a universal experience, but it was for me and I appreciated the heads up.
My mum was *kind of okay* on the sex front, not so much when it came to anything outside your typical bread and butter stuff. Some of that has to do with her own hangups about the LGBTQ community, some of it has to do with the fact that I think emphasis on sex education was being super homogenised at the time. I think my school was pretty much the same too – lots of fairly okay information on condoms and safe sex and period packs getting passed around, but I (and this is a bit awkward to admit) legitimately thought that sex between two women could result in pregnancy until I was about 12. This was pretty terrifying because I was experimenting at the time and thought that I was going to get pregnant!