Advice Moms Give Their Daughters About Sex (We Are All SO Not on the Same Page!)

mother and daughter

We can all probably agree that talking to our kids about sex is important, but what are the messages you want your daughter to hear? Read on to find out what a diverse group of women plan to tell their girls when they become young women, from "wait until marriage" to "I'll buy you a vibrator!"


I was 15 and sitting in the passenger seat of my mom’s car when she glanced at me and offered this memorable bit of wisdom: "Honey, you should know that sex is pleasant but nothing to get worked up over."

At 15, I was still a virgin. Still, I'd done enough kissing and groping to know that, in fact, sex was something that did make me feel "all worked up," so this wasn’t exactly helpful advice. It is also not the kind of advice I imagine giving my now 2-year-old daughter when she grows up.

More from The Stir: 10 Ways to Screw Up the Sex Talk With Your Kids

I plan to tell my daughter that sex is, or at least can be, amazing. But I also want her to know that amazing is more likely to happen when you are ready and happy and feel safe and comfortable with your partner. I want her to know that her body belongs to her alone and that she is under no obligation to share it with anyone else. I want her to know that I don’t care about the sex or race of her future partner(s), as long as they treat her with respect and make sure sex is something that makes them both feel good.

I was curious what other moms plan to tell their daughters about sex and found a whole range of messages:

“I’m torn. I really want her to have a good sex life someday but I also REALLY don’t want to know about it. I want her to feel empowered but I also want her to wait until at least college. I want her to be safe and I don’t want to be a grandma anytime soon!” -- Ashley H.

Wait until you’re married. It’s a gift from God.” -- Sara W.

“My mom didn't discuss sex with me much growing up. It wasn't taboo or anything; she just sort of trusted me to figure it out. But I think the media's sex negative attitude has definitely sunk in. I wish I would have had her tell me that sex is beautiful, fun, empowering, and nothing to be ashamed of (of course while also educating me about how to be safe). And I also think it's fair to tell kids entering and going through puberty ‘yes, sex can be scary. Some bad stuff can happen.’ But it does them a disservice to leave out the reasons people do it anyway (it's FUN).” -- Jackie M.

Do what you do because you want to do it and are ready for it, not because someone else wants you to do it or because you think you’re supposed to do it.” -- Becky P.

“That it is a shared experience, not a thing you give/take for any reason. That it can make babies and transfer diseases, so wait. I hope she has a sex life (with her husband) that makes her feel free, loved, and restored." -- Linnea B. 

“I would tell her that it is always her decision about what she does or doesn’t do related to sex. I would buy her a vibrator so she can learn what she does and doesn’t like. She should own her sexuality and not rely on someone else to teach her or take care of her needs.” -- Mary F.

“I want my daughter to feel empowered sexually. I want her to be in touch with her body (pun intended) and know what she likes and what she doesn’t like. Hopefully she’d figure out those things about herself BEFORE becoming sexually intimate with a partner. I want her to feel free to explore sex in a safe, trusting environment with partners who respect her and care about her. I plan to be open and straightforward about talking about sex and avoid it being a taboo topic. I want to learn the best way to talk to her about things at various stages of development, and feel like I still have a lot to learn!” -- Brandy L.

“It’s not a form of payment or a favor. It’s supposed to be fun for both parties. Don’t let anyone shame you.” -- Maura L.

“I definitely want my daughter to know that she can talk to me about ANYTHING, but I want her to also know that some things are for adults, not kids, not teens. Sex toys would fall into that category. Porn is not something we condone in our home, so they/she will hear about it as something negative that we don't need to be involved in. It objectifies women (and men) and the whole industry is so awful and corrupt we do not want to be involved.

"Genitals are private. We don't show them to other people and we don't look at other people's. Some adults make different choices. I don't have any clue what I'll do if she wants to have sex when she's 16 with her boyfriend who she thinks she'll be with for the rest of her life, but by golly, I know I'm going to try to keep communication open so that she'll talk to me and I can help her talk through that decision.

"I strongly believe a person is not emotionally ready for sex until they're at LEAST 18, and even then should only do it within a serious committed relationship.” -- Olive M.

Which of these messages makes the most sense to you? How do you plan to talk about sex with your daughter?

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