Post # 1
I just can’t tonight.
So I’m recovering from a second knee surgery, dosed on pain meds (NOT as fun as it sounds, they make me severely nauseous) and my partner is suffering from a horrible cold turned sinus infection. A couple of friends have been coming by to help us with our small scale farm—I don’t know what we would have done without them these past few months since I’ve been on a leg and a half—and have been doing a bang-up job, but this morning we discovered that a fisher cat had terrorized one of our goats to death 🙁 .
On top of this, I just found out that my step-cousin, who is fifteen, is pregnant. She wants to have an abortion. Her mother (who is very religious and anti-choice), has been badgering her about keeping the baby and giving it up for adoption to the extent that she has left home and gone to stay with my step-father and mother. Her mother is now threatening my step-dad with legal action, saying that since my mother is pro-choice and an OB/GYN, she is going to “offer her one for free on the damn dining room table” and “fill her head with nonsense about safe sex” (???). So my step-cousin is inconsolable, my mother is enraged, my step-father has already had one panic attack in the past twenty-four hours, and I am stuck here on my ass fifty miles away, completely useless.
Maybe this is the pills talking, but it’s started me obsessing about how the hell I’m going to talk to my eventual kids about sex. This girl has always been a little risk-blind when it comes to making reproductive decisions (I don’t mean the abortion, I personally think that is the most level-headed decision she’s made to date), which I’ve attributed to her mom being so hard-line about sexuality. But I also had friends growing up whose parents couldn’t have been more open and informative and they still ended up in harm’s way, sexually speaking. I mean, I had a really level-headed approach to these things as a teenager, but I don’t know if that was the result of my parents’ attitude and words of wisdom or the fact that I was just a weirdo compared to most of my classmates.
So for the sake of my eventual offspring, mamas of teenagers out there, I’d love to know, what did you tell them regarding sex/choice—and do you think it helped them “make good choices” *cringe*?
Post # 2
I don’t have kids, but my mom talked to me about NOTHING and my school talked to me about NOTHING as well! Personally, I’d have an honest conversation about what safe sex is, what consent is, and the consequences of having unprotected sex, as well as what STI’s can do to the body. Science has proven that the frontal lobe, which controls your decision making, is not fully developed until you’re 25. Teenagers will make dumb, teenage decisions. However, I think if they understand the consequences (I mean certain STI’s can cause infertility, permenant sores that require life long use of condoms, and even death). All you can do is educate and hope for the best! But you have years before this will happen if you currently do not have babies 🙂
Post # 3
I watched a video in my high school sex ed class that I’ll never forget. It was a video of a woman giving birth. She was screaming at the top of her lungs. The doctor made an incision to help the baby escape. Right before the kid (and everything else) gushed out, the camera got right up and personal with the woman’s jayjay. I think the video worked as intended. I’m 43 with no kids.
Post # 4
My husband says if we have a daughter, we tell her that men will always have sex with a condom over no sex at all. So far we have a son, and hope to have one more, so we will see. I think being open is important. My parents didn’t say much but I’m naturally risk-averse. My mom did ‘casually’ ask me if I had any birth control to claim (she manually submitted our drug claims at the time) around when I started dating.
Post # 5
Count me in as one of those kids whose parents NEVER talked to them about sex. I remember the one time my mom tried to, she enlisted the help of my aunt (who was childless, a nurse, and I was her “favorite”). I just remmeber being soooo mortified that when they asked if I had questions I said no and that was that. I think I was around 7-10 (I can’t remember exactly what age) and it was never brought up again.
I also didn’t have the kind of relationship with my mom that I hope to have with my kids. My parents divorced when I was 10 and my mom went from being the super involved stay-at-home pta president mom to working and spending all her free time with her new boyfriend. In the most important years my mom was totally unavailable to me. I’ve watched my best friend be a very involved mom with her own two kids who are now 12&14. She’s strict but also relaxed, as a result they talk to her about everything.
Currently I only have a son but I will 100% be discussing with him the importance of using protection (always!!! no matter if the girl is on BC), treating his partner with respect, no means no, etc.
Post # 6
My mom also never talked to me about sex. I hope to have a more open relationship with my kids where they feel comfortable talking to me.
Funny story: I went to Planned parenthood to get on birth control when I was 20. I was still on my mom’s insurance and scared she would somehow find out that I bought birth control through her insurance (that’s why I didn’t do it through my gyno). So I get birth control and use my debit card to pay for it… when my Mom was a co-signer on my debit card. I only thought about it after I charged the card and FREAKED OUT. I remember crying and driving to my bank asking if a co-signer could see my transactions. I ended up calling my Mom and telling her not to look at my bank statement because I bought her a gift on it.
Post # 7
Hahaha, oh no! That sounds terrifying. My school did the whole “scared straight” tactic as well, although I wanted to be a vet at the time and my mom is an OB, so I was already well acquainted with the horrors of birth.
Fabulous advice. I can’t even with the “sex with condoms is lousy” rhetoric that poisoned my high school. Like good luck finding any other form of bc that protects against HIV, pregnancy, most STIs and hepatitis in one go. I also get super critical of people who tell teenagers how unreliable condoms are—UM, NOT WHEN USED CORRECTLY!! The pill/shot/implant/ring/whatever is great when you know your partner intimately and trust them, but it’s truly irresponsible to tell impressionable, sex-crazed kids that rubbers are just inherently shoddy.
Post # 8
I grew up in what I thought was a conservative midwestern town, but my public school had extremely informative sex ed that started in 4th grade and went on yearly until I graduated high school. I learned literally everything about sex, consent, and contraception from my public school system. Go figure.
I also didn’t have sex until I was 25, with the person that ultimately became my spouse!
I plan to follow the same “curriculum” that my school followed with my children. Age-appropriate anatomy and physiology as young as 9-12, more details about consent and contraception in the teenage years. Never lying or “glossing over” details, and answering questions as honestly as I can.
I think the best you can do for your children is make sure they are well informed about the world around them and the challenges they are likely to face.
Post # 9
I think you’re totally right, that the biological facts should be gone through early on without judgement or moral implication (of course this might be harder for the more religiously-certain among us). Come to think of it, that’s kind of what I got from my mom when I was that age, and I too was a “late bloomer” by many people’s standards. Sex was not a morally or socially fraught issue, but a clear biological process. Later, of course, the messy world of feelings
started intruding on that, but even then, my mom was always very scientific about it (how sex affects our brains). My dad was the romantic. He was the one who told me that sex is the most fun when you’re in love with the person (at the time I writhed with embarrassment, but it stuck with me—and he was right)
Post # 10
I was never taught about sex from my parents or school. I think their idea of ensuring I didn’t get pregnant was by sending me to some sort of church youth group 🤣.
Basically as a teen I was terrified of sex and knew nothing.
Post # 11
My mother was always described as “Bohemian” in her upbringing of me and my brother. We always had very open conversations about sex. Safe sex was encouraged as was smart decision making. We are so open that when I was dating someone with a fetish I’d never come across before I spoke to my mother on her view.
Post # 12
My mom would have gladly talked about it, but I didn’t want to and got most of my information from books, in which I took a strong interest.
Tbh it seems a bit luck of the draw. I waited to have sex until I met my spouse in my 30s. My sibling has been sexually active since 12. Chalk and cheese but the same upbringing.
Post # 13
- Wedding: February 2018 - UK
My parents were pretty open about it all. I remember having the first talk with my mum when I was about 8. It was mostly her introducing me to the terrifying (at the time, to an 8 year old) reality of menstruation, but that led to a conversation about the reproductive system in general. School did some similar lessons, both primary and secondary school. When I was a teenager, we had more conversations about the emotional side of things.
I was always taught about safety, from the very beginning. My mum always told me if I needed help accessing protection then she would help me with no judgement.
Post # 14
Not a mum, but my parents were fairly decent about covering the biology, consent, and safe PIV sex stuff. But they missed a beat totally? I’m bi, and I’m *way* more romantically interested in people than sexually so there was literally no need to keep on about the condoms.
What I could have done with, and plan to teach my kids, is 1) queer people exist and also have safe sex, and 2) what healthy romances and attraction feels like. knowing the technical details doesn’t really help if you’re making bad decisions because you don’t have a model for relationships in general beyond Disney films?
Post # 15
- Wedding: August 2019 - City, State
I am also in the “nothing taught” camp. Which, combined with virtually no parental supervision or rules, a rebellious teenager attitude, and a boy with a pickup truck, I wound up pregnant at 17 years old. So, your cousin is not alone.
My first call after taking the test was to my aunt, whose first words were an unfaltering, “Okay. What do you want to do?” I told her that I was not in a place to raise a kid (working full time at McDonald’s in addition to being in my senior year of high school, no college or career aspirations in sight). I called Planned Parenthood and scheduled the abortion for 2 weeks later, which was their earliest opening as they only preformed them one day per week. My aunt was already an auithorized guardian at my school, as she had lived with us for a while after her divorce and my parents never took her off the list. She called me out of class, took me to PP, and I stayed over her house that night to recover (aforementioned absence of parental supervision). It was the best choice I have ever made for myself and I have not once regretted it in 9 years. I am very proud of myself for making that decision, and I think it was the catalyst that drove me to be so swlf-sufficient today.
To answer your question: I would tell my daughter everything. Sex can be scary, exciting, risky, safe, joyous, manipulative, expensive, freeing, enjoyable, and tragic. Sex is not an act to take lightly, but it is not sacred. Enjoy things other than sex until you can bear the weight of the worst-case scenerio.