DD2 actually asked me the other day about contraceptives and about when I became sexually active. I had no problem talking about contraceptives, though if you boil my answer down to its most basic, the take home message is that all contraceptive methods are imperfect and if you're not ready to accept the potential consequences of birth control failure, you shouldn't be having sex.
The second part of her question I skirted around. I told her vaguely that I was older than she is (she's 15, I was 16) and that I had no guidance and really wasn't ready.
Then we talked about why she was curious. She is thinking about this stuff but doesn't have a love interest right now so it doesn't seem concrete and imminent. I hope she will continue to be open with me so she's not going through confusing things without guidance, and that I'll recognize the signs if things are changing with her.
I don't know if I really want or need to read more on talking to them about sex, after all. I have given them enough information to understand how their bodies work and how reproduction works, we've talked about abstinence and contraceptives, and they know that across the board, I will always accept and love them and ultimately support them, even when I disagree with their choices. I think if I tried to talk with them more about sex it would feel forced and uncomfortable because discussing such matters in detail- with anyone- is really hard for me, and I think I can accept that about myself without pushing too hard to change...
mama to two teens and two tots madly in love with DP
I love this thread! It's fabulous to find parents who are prepared to wrestle with the issues of their children and sexuality. It's not at all an easy thing to do....sharing values that are sometimes different than the ones that we grew up with or where a partner's values are somewhat different than our own, or when a community's values are in conflict with our own.
As parents we are always needing to challenge our assumptions and the lessons we learned as kids. And where sex and sexuality is concerned, our earliest learnings were not always the most comprehensive or respectful of our right to know about our bodies.
My kids are young (9 and 6) but I hope that when they decide to become sexually active (which means kissing onward) they do so equipped with sound information and with the ability to communicate openly with their partners. My job (which started with naming their genitalia properly) is to teach them to understand and love their bodies (and the pleasure it can feel) and to understand the power that sex can hold and which must be weilded with the utmost care.
I started a blog for parents looking to confront and wrestle with these issues. Thought folks here might be interested. www.sexplainer.com
I think a lot of parents dread this. My dh and I have all girls, somehow girls are thought of as being more likely to get hurt by sexual relationships, but I don't beleive that. Yes, girls are the ones who can get pregnant, but in most cases that can be avoided.
I did make sure my girls knew (know) the parts of their bodies as small children, learned things organically as they got older. I'm not comfortable sharing MY sex life with my kids, it just isn't their business, but they know their father and I are in love and make love and I'm guessing that's a good role model behavior.
I did tell my girls about birth control options. I had a diaphragm when I was 17, used foam the first few times and it left me feeling nervous, so I finally got on the Pill and it was a relief. I wanted to go to college, and didn't want children too early. I know our oldest one chose The Pill at 16, but somehow she was amazed that I knew she was on The Pill. She told me the first time she had sex, she was in love, they used The Pill AND a condom and I just sat and nodded as she told me and hoped she wouldn't go into any detail, in fact I asked her not to. What was I going to say. The second girl was quite a bit older. She was a late bloomer, and I remember having to reprimand her older sister for teasing her at 18 because she was still a virgin. I made it clear to our older girl that when her younger sister had a physical relationship with an other person was her decision, not mine and not her sister's. I think she was around 19, but she plays her cards close to the chest and I don't try to pry things out of her. She's 25 now and has had the same boy friend since she was 18 and they've gone on vacation together, so it's same in assuming they've been having sex for years. I know I instilled the idea of using some form of birth control and making sure they were with someone they trusted and hopefully love.
Our youngest dd, I don't know. She's only 13 now and doesn't seem the least bit interested in boys. She does have Aspergers Syndrome and doesn't really seek out a great deal of social stimulation outside of school, so it could be a while.
I always have an updated version of Our Bodies Ourselves in the bathroom or on the dining room table, and my oldest really enjoyed reading it. My middle and youngest kids call it "Mom's hippy feminist sex book." *sigh* I'm trying.