Talk to Your Daughter About Sex Without Dying of Embarrassment


sneakersMy husband has already informed me that I will be having the sex talk with our kids. I'm really tempted when the time comes to just say, Well kids, you are never having sex. That is final. Off to the nunnery and seminary you go. Except we're not really Catholic. It's okay to not want them to ever have sex, right? I mean, they can once they meet THE ONE and then give me grandbabies. But please! None of this too young stuff that ... you know ... I did when I was way too young to be doing ... you know.

Sigh. I know. It's going to happen. I have to be prepared. I have to be honest and real and exude cool so my kids actually listen to me and not roll their eyes and think how lame mom is talking to us about something she knows nothing about. Because that's what they will think!

Thankfully there is Dr. Kenneth Ryan, father of three girls, who knows exactly what we should say, and how we should say it.

Dr. Ryan is also a relationship expert and author of Finding Your Prince in a Sea of Toads: How to Find a Quality Guy Without Getting Your Heart Shredded. He says many of us make the mistake of lecturing instead of conversing. (Okay so no chalkboard demos, instead this is a chat over cookie dough brownies. Got it.) Plus, it may be the most awkward conversation you will ever have with your kid, so bring out your best jokes but be honest. Maybe even mention some celebrities -- like Justin Bieber and his lady Selena Gomez -- to divert attention and pressure and still get your point across. Dr. Ryan explains that this is how to talk to your daughter about sex, and some of it certainly applies to talking to sons, too.

Tell her that lips are her secret weapon. Say: Learning to converse easily with guys is one of the most important skills you can learn. Guys like being with girls who make conversation easy and interesting. Conversation is a skill you can learn just like playing the piano. If you practice, you can get good at it.     

Tell her about fateful attraction. Say: Attraction cannot be forced or faked but it can be influenced. Physical attraction will fade if you do not have an attraction based on character and personality. (In other words, don't just like a guy because he's cute.)

Tell her that you can't put a condom on your heart. Say: Contrary to popular opinion, your heart is at just as much risk as your reproductive system. Since you can't put a condom on your heart, safe sex is a myth. A girl's heart is at much greater risk than the guy's.     

Tell her sex is like duct tape. Say: Sex is meant to help one couple bond together permanently for life. Each time it is used outside of marriage, it loses some of its stickiness.     

Tell her guys say "love" to get sex. Girls give sex to get love. Say: Sex won't buy you genuine love. It is very easy for men to have sex without love or commitment but women violate their own inner voice of sanity and femininity when they have sex without commitment. His self esteem may go up but yours will go down. Perhaps it's not fair but that's how it is.     

Tell her sex causes blindness. Say: Sex helps married people overlook each other's faults. Unfortunately, it has the same effect on single people, often causing them overlook critical flaws and make a poor choice of who they marry. Does he truly love you or does he love having sex with you? That's the million dollar question and sex can give both of you fuzzy vision and confusion. 

Tell her sex is part of the superglue of marriage. Say: Surfaces must be clean and dry for good adhesion. Marriage -- once that time comes -- is tough and you need as much going in your favor as possible. If you ruin the magic of sex by treating it like a meaningless toy before marriage, you are heading into marriage with one strike against you. Sex is a big deal in marriage and you need the magic.     

Tell her that all the celebrity stuff she sees is fluff. Say: Famous people are no smarter than you when it comes to relationships. In fact, they are more likely to have a warped perspective of reality. They are not necessarily a reliable role model and they won't tell the interviewer the real problems in their life so what you see with a celeb isn't always the whole story.

Tell her to dump the guy humanely. Say: Men want to know the truth so if it's not going to work, tell him so he can deal with it and move on. He would rather know where he really stands than get dragged along. Sandwich the bad news between a couple of compliments. Be gentle but direct.  

Would you try any of these approaches when talking to your child about sex? Any other advice you can share if you already had THE TALK?

Image via Biscarotte/Flickr

sex, tough topics


To add a comment, please log in with

Use Your CafeMom Profile

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Comment As a Guest

Guest comments are moderated and will not appear immediately.

Kritika Kritika

On the contrary, who wants to fly with an unexperienced pilot?

nonmember avatar Cass

My mother was there for the "mechanics" talk, but I figured where I stood on the meaning and importance of sex on my own. Although my approach is more laissez-faire than my mother's, I'm not a slut. Just teach your daughters and sons how to keep themselves safe and let them decide how important sex is. Trying to impress your values on them is doomed to fail unless those were already their values. In my case, if my mother had told me her way was the only way, I would have felt alienated and struggled far more with my sexual identity than I ever did coming to my own conclusion.

nonmember avatar Whatever

Nice if not a bit abstract but I would add that it's just SEX. It is not taboo, it's part of life. It can be as good a thing as it can be damaging. Oh and make sure your kids know how to use a condom correctly too.

nonmember avatar Marie

This article is some of the most sexist writing I have seen on this sight and repulses me. I would never want to tell my daughter that "her heart is at much greater risk than a guys" and that "guys say love to get sex and girls have sex to get love." This only teaches her that she is weaker than men emotionally and that she can't trust them, ever. Let's teach our daughter's that they are weak, and have to protect themselves against the evil desires of men? But, maybe even worse, what does a conversation like this say about our sons? That is it ok for her brother to use words to get sex and that he is a strong man who won't experience heart-break like her? That's horrible. Some sisters might handle breakups elegantly and date a lot of guys, and some brothers might be sensitive, treat women well, and take months to get over a breakup. This article is horrid.

Freela Freela

Wow... what a man-hating guide to sex for teenage girls!  Telling her that her heart is more likely to be broken than a guy's (because we know that boys are evil sex-machines with no souls, right?) and that guys use love to get sex whereas girls use sex to get love.  Yep, got it- men are bad and will use you and leave you at the side of the highway like a used tissue.  What exactly do you suggest that I tell my SON about sex?  Oh wait- it doesn't even matter, because apparently he will be manipulating girls into sex and then tossing them like yesterday's trash just by virtue of having a Y chromosome!

What I plan to tell my KIDS (my son included): That sex is a natural drive, but that like all natural drives it can be destructive if we aren't smart about it.  That sex is much better with someone you love and respect and in the context of a relationship.  That actions have consequences and that not using protection one time as a teen can change your life forever, so be prepared and think!  That they need to respect themselves and their partners and treat others as they would like to be treated.  And that it's not a taboo subject and if they need to talk to me I'll be there to listen and give the best advice I know how.

nonmember avatar Mike M

A few thoughts I have are: Younger kids are more interested in listening to the advice that their parents give them as they don't yet have the attitude that they know it all - so if you make sex an ongoing discussion as they are growing then they will learn more from you that way (and the more likely it is that they'll feel comfortable talking to you about sex and other personal topics).

If one enters a relationship with expectations that must be met, if those expectations are not met they will end up being disappointed (and possibly have their heart broken - e.g., if you expect that someone who currently loves you will continue to love you for the rest of your lives. If you simply want another person to be happy with whoever they're happiest being with then you're much less likely to have your heart broken if they break up with you).

And I agree with Kritika - I saw a study some time ago which indicated that people who have had a number of sexual partners were happier (statistically speaking - individual cases are likely to vary) with their sex life than those who have had few or only one partner. (For one thing, those who lack sexual experience are less likely to know how to solve any problems or complications they may experience.)

Momma... MommaGreenhalge

Except for the parts that make it seem like all guys are heartless man-whores, that's pretty much the gist of it. This is pretty much what I want all three of my kids (including my two boys) to know.

Momma... MommaGreenhalge

Oh, but there is one big difference. I don't plan to have THE talk with my kids. It's a process, just like everything else. We can talk to them even now about how to respect their bodies and be careful to respect others. As they grow older, we'll deal with each piece of the puzzle one at a time instead of waiting until they're twelve and sitting them down for a big one time talk.

the4m... the4mutts

This blog is blather. Its sexist, makes women appear weak, and assumes that everyone feels the same about sex before marriage.

Oh, and you contradict yourself. "Use a celebrity like J.B." then, "tell them celebrities are not good examples".

Sounds like whoever originaly wrote this dribble, is in for being a 40 yr old grandmother.

Laura Tabor Michel

I think this is an amazing article!  These are all great reasons that as a young girl, I would have understood better than, "You're Catholic and it's a sin!"  Kudos to the author!

1-10 of 26 comments 123 Last