Let’s Talk About Sex Education

Let’s Talk About Sex Education

In today’s society, it is extremely easy to find out about any number of sexual activities. This may sound like a good thing but I believe it actually hinders learning by muddying the waters.

What a nightmare for the young.  At every turn, they can access so much rubbish and be influenced inappropriately about how to behave sexually. It is so important to gain information from credible sources. Parents need to take responsibility for their children’s sex education and give them a balanced outlook to take through to adulthood.

It is probably impossible to restrict your teenager’s internet activity to such an extent that they are not privy to some kind of damming sex advice or porn movie. Even if you manage to do this in your home there are plenty of other places they can go online to feed their curiosity. And no amount of blocks or censorship will stop a computer savvy youngster from finding what they think they need to know.

Sex Education begins at home

Youngsters are probably more likely to seek out such information if sex is viewed as a taboo word in their own home. Within the family unit sex should be talked about frequently. Start from a young age so that when you, as a parent, really do want to pass on some important knowledge nobody is embarrassed about the topic raised. There are so many people outside of the home willing to influence your child. With this in mind, don’t you think you should get in there first? So the children receive a balanced view.

Young adults should learn that it’s OK to enjoy sex but being old enough to have sex comes hand in hand with the responsibility of treating the other person with respect. This information should be imparted  irrespective of your child’s gender.  Furthermore, parents should teach their offspring communication is key – listening to the other person and imparting your own wishes.

Being a Parent

In my own experience, I found that welcoming my daughter’s boyfriend into the house worked well. If they were going to have sex I wanted them to be in a safe environment. From the age of sixteen, I allowed him to stay the night in my daughter’s room. I do understand that many parents would find this difficult to do, but it worked for us. His family behaved in a similar way so they felt secure to hang out at either home.

I discussed different aspects of being in a sexual relationship, and the importance of birth control and protection, with her. She tells me now I was very direct in my approach – probably too direct. However, knowing I was not going to be shocked or disappointed by her questions meant she was happy to ask me pretty much anything.

Now she is older she continues to tell me all sorts of things regarding her sexual activites. Far too much information! Rather this than worry about her safety.

Growing up for me

Being sexualised early meant I found myself ahead of the game in some ways. My friends and I would talk about what we knew and impart information.

I attended a convent school which meant important things like contraception were not talked about. My Mum was very open but I felt too embarrassed to talk much to her about sex.

My first boyfriend and I learned a lot together as we explored within our relationship. We also entertained and educated ourselves with some friends when he got hold of a lot of old 1970’s porn movies. 

Talking about sex is viewed as taboo by all kinds of people – not to be discussed except in a whisper. With censorship on the up and invading everything, it is no wonder our society seems to be returning to a pre-victorian version.


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Header photo from Pixabay.

21 thoughts on “Let’s Talk About Sex Education

  1. Great post! I’m very open with my son, and I know sometimes we embarrass him with our discussions, but we’ve been open enough for long enough he knows he can come to us with any question.
    Great comments too! If only we were having these conversations everywhere! I do think things are better than they used to be, but I also agree that sometimes there may be too much info and too many possibilities, which can be confusing to young people who are just trying to figure out who they are. Our education has to be age appropriate and right for the particular child.

  2. Your post pretty much describes my own approach with my daughters. They’re 15 and 13 now, still in the *sex is ewwww* mindset, but it was important for me to make sure that they not only know they can ask me anything (at age seven, when they encountered sex ed in school for the first time, my assurance that they could ask me anything was met with the question: “Mom…how does math work?” — I died about seven deaths there).
    It was also really important to me to come out to my daughters as bi, and normalise at a young age that lgbtq identities and love are normal and valid. That includes making fiction available, finding books that not only portray heterosexual relationships. Normalising pleasure, even if it’s awkward at times. And of course talking safety and contraception.

    1. Great about coming out to your kids – I did that too with one of my milder kinks – but wanted them yo know anything is fine if consensual – ty for commenting

  3. I completely agree. We do need to protect our children but sometimes I think that we forget that part of that protection comes from providing them with the appropriate information so that they can “protect” themselves. As a number of people have said, if we don’t tell our kids about it, someone else will and, that being the case, how can we protect them from misinformation that they pick up from their peers (or porn) if we don’t take responsibility and tel;l them ourselves?

    1. We must take responsibility and advice them before they get any misinformation or be open enough for them to talk to us about anything they learn from othersIf things go wrong be there for them with help and advice – not “told u so’s” and disappointment. Influence your kids before others do

  4. This is a great post with some really good advice. I have also tried to be really open with my kids (and am accused of being too forward sometimes too. We try to discuss it in a direct way and also not to take things too seriously which seems to get around any of the embarrassment. 🙂

  5. I agree with this completely, although I’m not sure I’d be able to let a boyfriend/girlfriend sleep over with one of my kids. But we have open and honest conversations, even though my 13yo really wishes I’d stop talking about it, and the 8yo keeps asking, “You know I can hear you? Right?!” And yes, these conversations are best done in families instead of the bad info to be found online. Unfortunately, too many adults don’t have a good sex ed foundation to even have the conversations, either, which is ANOTHER issue that still needs to be addressed. If you’re raised with oppressive views, your own sexuality is repressed, and you know nothing beyond, “Don’t have sex until marriage” how can we expect them to teach their kids anything either?

    1. I was raised as a Catholic with all the bindings that went with it. But when I had children I knew I had to try and get it right. I am sure i did not succeed on all fronts but by realising that sex is part of life and that it will happen anyway meant I could let my daughters boyfriend stay. I would rather they were having sex in a safe place. It was my job to keep her safe. As it happens, because I had been so open about stuff they only did sex things and she was a virgin when they split up 18mths later. As an adult with children, it is also our job to find out what we need to do or learn for the time we are living in. We owe it to the children 😉

  6. Brilliant post -as ever May and I like all the discussions and exchange of information it has sparked.

    I am open with my kids and have always talked about all sorts so they are ready to talk to me if they need to. I helped my daughter get contraception, I talked to my son about his G/f’s contraception. I agree with you – make your home a place your children can spend time with their partners once they become sexually active. When I was told about a girl at their school who lost her virginity on a park bench I felt sad for that girl (although that wasn’t rare in my youth!)

    I also get angry when I think of girls allowing boys to give them anal sex to maintain their virginity!! WTF? That is completely the wrong order of things (from what I’ve learned about anal sex) You’re right May, a wealth of easily accessed sex images and information does not make for good sex education. Far better that we, as responsible adults, try to keep the channels of conversation open, don’t judge – rather advise and discuss.

    1. Thanks, Posy – the anal sex thing is bizarre for sure – maybe there is a religious slant with that. Read a great post on Malflic’s site about it sometime back. Personally, I would never have dreamed about getting involved with anal unless it was a caring long term relationship but I had a friend who used to go to Greece a lot and was into casual sex, and said the boys out there were always after it x

  7. I have a secret life as hanging out in parenting groups on Facebook and I see lots of progress in how kids are taught about sex now days. Lots of openness and inclusivity. Great info.

  8. Very well written! My sexual education, well before the internet took over, was very lacking. It wasn’t something my parents talked about at all. So I just learned stuff from what I picked up from other kids, one rather pathetic Sex Ed class in high school, and from my father’s secret stash of Playboys–which I found by accident. I swear! 😉

  9. I was brought up catholic too. And in conservative asia. No one talked about sex. Mum just said “be careful” whenever we went out. Im the one who came to her at 19 and said – take me to the doc cos i wanna do a HIV test. I guess “blunt” is my middle name. When i was there i spoke to him about birth control too. Mum sat through the whole consult. After we were done she said – are you ok? And i said yes.
    I suppose i am lucky she didnt freak out and get mad when i asked about doing the test. I guess for us back in the early 90s this was considered “open and liberal”.

    1. Thank goodness you felt you could actually go and speak to your Mum even though she had not been the most informative source of sex education for you 😉

  10. I started late with candid discussions, my children were raised in a strict, just say no to sex, environment same as myself for too long. My daughters both became young mothers. 18 sames as me. It saddens me that my fight to keep them “pure until marriage” was even in my thought process. I should’ve focused on calm conversations about birth control, and instead of screaming you’re my princess, value yourself, boys only want one thing, I should’ve been talking about self exploration. I knew damn well I wanted what the boys wanted at 16, so why on earth did I think my kids would listen to bs that I didn’t listen to. They both lied and said they weren’t sexually active, same as I, did in fear of punishment. It’s sick the cycle that changes lives. That’s the past they are doing well for themselves and thankfully the fathers were not absent like the sperm donor I married. I talk to them about sex and my grandchildren we discuss consent, they know they don’t HAVE to hug anyone if they don’t want to not even me. I enjoyed this piece. I read the links too. This was awesome. Keep up the amazing work. I am grateful we connected thanks to #summer100. Hopeful to remain that way as the seasons change.

    1. Wow – thank you so much for that comment – your honesty is inspiring –having been bought up a Catholic I know how those shackles bind – so glad all worked out for your kids and very glad to know you too x

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