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#31 of 40 Old 10-26-2012, 08:59 AM
 
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So your body's history is a gift that you give to someone? Does the same apply to your bowel movements?





Your body and your sexuality is yours. You can share it if you want, its your body. I believe informed consent is at the crux of this issue, and any girl menstruating is mature enough to get informed if she wants, thats where the guiding adults in her life have a role.

They should have given you the book,  Taking Charge of Your Fertility. I will give this book to my dd when shes ready, ill probably encourage my boys to read it too.


I have similar feelings. We never talk in my house about losing virginity but rather in creating a shared, caring, consensual experience for you and your partner. There's something to be GAINED here.. not lost!
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#32 of 40 Old 10-26-2012, 09:32 AM
 
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I have similar feelings. We never talk in my house about losing virginity but rather in creating a shared, caring, consensual experience for you and your partner. There's something to be GAINED here.. not lost!

 

I agree with this, and yet I also think my daughters should be aware that there are some boys who pretend to really care about a girl in order to get sex, and then turn around and tell their friends how "easy' she was.

 

I think it usually does take some time to really get to know someone to the point where you can trust them at a sexual level.

 

I was really intrigued, a while back, to read about an indigenous culture in which there is no word to distinguish "virgin" from "non-virgin." If I'm remembering right, the children in this culture leave their parents' tents at around age 9 and go to live in a communal "children's tent" (in which the parents are not allowed), and in which they're free to experiment sexually, and often start doing so at what people in the U.S. would say is a pretty young age.

 

This is intriguing to me -- but since I am raising my girls to live in U.S. culture, I feel like I'd be doing them a disservice if I didn't protect them from having sexual experiences (with other people, I'm not talking about their own personal explorations of their own bodies) before such time as they really know the meaning of terms like "sexual intercourse" and "virginity," and really understand what loaded concepts these are for some people. In our culture, I think it can be very upsetting to a girl to learn about concepts like virginity (and about how some people really make a distinction between those who are virgins and those who aren't) AFTER they've already had sex.

 

I also think it would be really crass of me to decide "for" my daughters that the opinions of boys or others who might define them as "loose" don't matter just because "I" think people with double standards are real jerks and their opinions don't matter. I feel like they have a right to gain an understanding of some of the different points of view that are circulating around in our society, so that they can make their own decisions about what does or doesn't matter to them.

 

That said, I would certainly prefer for them to see sex as gaining something, and not as giving anything up.


Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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#33 of 40 Old 10-26-2012, 09:38 AM
 
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In my opinion if you choose to get married you are choosing to have your body belong the other person (and they're giving you theirs), so it better be somebody you trust to respect you and do right by you. So there is something to that. Anyhow, our way will be continue teaching the biology of it, that it is pleasurable and great under the right circumstances, teach about the difficult relationship, unplanned pregnancy, or diseases results that could come of it, and how to be safer if they choose to have sex. I'd support my child and their partner if there was a pregnancy, while encouraging they work fast toward adult level responsibility I certainly wouldn't cut them off. But as for what's right they will know it is for within marriage only and besides those risks, morally we believe you are basically cheating on your future spouse if you do otherwise - not unforgivable but a problem nonetheless.

 

Susan's economic ideas are interesting to me. We married and started having kids young (I married at 18, first child at 19) and haven't really suffered from it, money was tight at first and DH worked hard to finish school and work at the same time so some semesters were rough time-wise. I finished my degree slowly too, as a sahm I only wanted to be educated not have a career. Seems like college education means less and less for income levels nowadays though, so it's almost a why wait thing. And being a one income family isn't too bad living frugally, nice to have the calm time together and things taken came of at home. Everybody else has to live frugally to get by too so it all works out as normal especially in the region we now live, where our household income is actually above avg.

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#34 of 40 Old 10-26-2012, 10:15 AM
 
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Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post

 

This is intriguing to me -- but since I am raising my girls to live in U.S. culture, I feel like I'd be doing them a disservice if I didn't protect them from having sexual experiences (with other people, I'm not talking about their own personal explorations of their own bodies) before such time as they really know the meaning of terms like "sexual intercourse" and "virginity," and really understand what loaded concepts these are for some people. In our culture, I think it can be very upsetting to a girl to learn about concepts like virginity (and about how some people really make a distinction between those who are virgins and those who aren't) AFTER they've already had sex.

 

I had the unfortunate experience of losing my virginity before I knew what the word meant because I was raped when I was 10. Then I get to live through years and years and church youth group classes focused on how being a virgin was the most important thing a man looks for in a wife.

 

Not surprisingly, I ended up with a lot issues and spent many years in therapy. orngtongue.gif

 

With my own DDs, I'm not sure how I would keep such concepts as "sexual intercourse" or "virginity" a secret -- we have a normal life. We don't live in a cave with a rock in front. What I have skipped, completely and totally, is the notion that a woman's value is in any related to her status as virgin/non virgin. It is a deeply offensive concept to me, and one that was very destructive to my own emotional development. Therefore, I have ensured that my DDs have been brought up know that it doesn't matter. At all. It isn't any one's business.

 

I'm happily married and have been so for quite some time. My body is mine. I love my husband and I love sharing my life with him, but I still belong to me. I wouldn't want a man who saw it any other way -- I've had the experience of not having my body be my own, and I'll not do that again.


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#35 of 40 Old 10-26-2012, 11:08 AM
 
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Linda, I'm so sorry about everything you went through!

 

I agree that I wouldn't want either of my daughters to feel like her sexuality belonged to anyone but her or that her experience, or lack thereof, in any way defined her value.

 

In my previous post, I was thinking about some of the ways that different people define what it means to be "sex positive." The indigenous culture that I was writing about does indeed sound very sex positive, and I think it's great that the concept of sex as "loss" doesn't seem to exist in this culture.

 

While I don't personally know any families in the U.S. who are quite this sex positive, I do occasionally read about people in the U.S. who think it's great for children to begin experimenting sexually with other children at a very young age. I'm not saying that anyone here was advocating this -- but I do think that too early of an introduction to sex, whether it is forced or not, can cause some children to feel like they lost something.

 

Maybe I feel this way because in our culture, sometimes one child pressures another child into something -- but this may not be the case in less aggressive cultures.

 

About the idea that some men are looking for a virgin to marry, I think this preference is very much tied to our society's tendency to see a couple's sex life as the man's responsibility. I think the idea that a girl or woman should take responsibility for her own sexual pleasure -- you know, get to know what she likes so she can tell her partner and sexual pleasure can be something they work on and create together -- still hasn't really taken root. There still seems to be a very strong emphasis on male sexual prowess, or lack thereof, in the media.

 

While I wouldn't say that many men these days are really looking for a virgin, I think that some still do hope their wife will have less experience than they do, simply because they don't want the pressure of having to compete with a lot of other guys, even if those relationships are just memories. Hopefully, the idea of sex as connection and communication will eventually become more prevalent than the idea of sex as a man proving himself. I have a feeling that when it does, a whole lot of other things will change, too.


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#36 of 40 Old 10-26-2012, 01:07 PM
 
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I married someone who wanted a really experienced sexual partner. He didn't view my history as a problem or as something "taken away" from him. He views it as "I get to benefit from all this experience! Score!" It takes all kinds.

 

I'm sure my kids will pick up the term "virgin" at some point. I'm not planning to lock them in a closet. I think that sex is one of the best parts of life. I want my girls to believe that sex is a really wonderful thing they will probably have a lot of... once they are fully developed.

 

Linda, I was a "slut" before I knew what the word was. Or what the word sex meant. Or rape. But I knew how to perform the acts. I'm glad my children will not grow up believing that those acts are things that all girls and women are required to perform.

 

Trobriand Islanders were one culture that encouraged "pre-marital" or rather, pre-fertility sex. I think that such acts have to be contextualized. I think that part of the reason that youthful sex is so traumatic in this country is the degree to which children/teenagers have no agency. They have to take the negative consequences of decisions but they don't get the positives because they aren't adults.

 

I always feel kind of weird and like I "should" be pro-sex in all contexts for all people at all ages. That's the pressure I feel from the sex positive community. I feel like these things must be examined in context. In modern America... it seems like a better idea to wait for a wide variety of reasons. Not till marriage--I have no horse in that race. If my children never marry I'll be fine with that. I just want them to want sex before they have it. Not just kinda not say no.


My advice may not be appropriate for you. That's ok. You are just fine how you are and I am the right kind of me.

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#37 of 40 Old 10-26-2012, 02:38 PM
 
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 I just want them to want sex before they have it. Not just kinda not say no.

That's a really good way of putting it.


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#38 of 40 Old 10-26-2012, 03:50 PM
 
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I remember getting unsolicited advice from teachers and coaches, too, about how "saving it is the best gift you can give",

 

I would absolutely freak if I found out that teachers or coaches were talking like that to my child. If one of them had said it to me, I'd have slotted them into the "creepy' category, and kept a close eye on them. That's just so out of line.


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#39 of 40 Old 10-26-2012, 03:50 PM
 
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I think if teenagers are mature enough to handle it, it's fine. But that's a tough thing to call, and as parents we can't prevent our kids from having sex if they are not "ready". I was ready when I was 16, was in a committed/loving relationship, and it was a great experience for me. I thank my lucky stars that my mom is an amazing woman, and was very open with me about sex from a young age (my dad was, too). When I decided to have sex my mom took me to get on BC and also had a frank discussion with me about sex. It wasn't about STDs or pregnancy (as I already knew those things) but instead about emotional attachment and making sure that sex was pleasurable for me, not just my partner. When my kids get to the age when this is an issue, I will try to have a similar talk with them, but it will be a little different because they're boys. I will suggest that before sex happens that both they and their partners should know how they would feel about a pregnancy. I will make sure my sons are understanding of female pleasure (this is going to embarrass them but oh well!). 


Jean, feminist mama raising three boys: W (7), E (5) and L (2.15.13)

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#40 of 40 Old 10-27-2012, 06:40 AM
 
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Hopefully, the idea of sex as connection and communication will eventually become more prevalent than the idea of sex as a man proving himself. I have a feeling that when it does, a whole lot of other things will change, too.

 

This is so what I want for my children. I have two teen boys who I hope don't feel pressured to prove themselves and two littler girls who I hope won't be dominated by a boy who feels the need to prove himself.

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