Unlike This Reddit Dad, I Would Rather My Kids Have Sex Behind a Dumpster Than in Their Bedrooms

A dad on Reddit recently wrote about how he wants his young teens to understand they are ready to have sex. As much as I appreciate some of his viewpoints on sexual maturity, I can't help but feel he is woefully misguided on some of them. 

Namely, I would rather my kids have sex behind a dumpster than have sex in their own bedrooms. 


One of the points the dad -- who has kids ages 13 and 15 -- makes is that: 

"I also told them not to have sex in creepy places like school stairwells or behind the gym. They have perfectly good bedrooms with doors that lock and their friends will be welcome to stay for breakfast." 

I can't get behind this, at all. I want my kids to have happy, consensual, satisfying, healthy sex lives, but I sure as hell don't want them doing it in my house. I know my kids will have sex before they go off to college and move out of my basement, but that doesn't mean I have to be happy about it or let them turn their bedrooms into their own little sex palaces.

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I lost my virginity when I was 17 and a half (sorry, Mom). I did this by sneaking around and getting busy in places that were not my own house. Not only did I risk the chance of getting caught by another adult or the police, but there is also something to be said for the scandalous nature of doing it somewhere other than the safety of your childhood bedroom. Especially in retrospect. Not only does it make kids understand the seriousness of what taking off your pants involves, but it's also a pretty sweet memory to have when you are folding laundry 20 years in the future. I personally don't want my own children to have intercourse until they are emotionally and financially prepared to deal with an unwanted pregnancy, but even more than this I don't want to know about it. 

Sure, I want to vaguely know about it. My kids who are preteen age understand consent and birth control, and when the time comes I will make sure they are protected against STDs and pregnancy. But I have less-than-zero interest in knowing they are actually having sex. I don't want to know. I want them to come to me with questions and concerns and I want to have open discussions with them about the physical and emotional ramifications of intercourse, but I don't want them toddling downstairs with their sexual partners the next day for me to toast bread and pour juice for. 

Another aspect of this dad's opinion I can't get behind is he wants his kids to be: 

"Mature enough to understand the need for and to use condoms." 

Yes, condoms are great at protecting against STDs, but condoms have a failure rate of 12 percent, even with perfect use. Sorry, that's too risky for me. I don't want my babies having babies until they are ready to have babies. This means that in addition to using a condom, I want my daughter to be on another reliable form of birth control and my sons to only have sex with girls who are also using another method of birth control. 

I applaud this dad for wanting to have an open dialogue with his kids about sex, and I think you can have these views without stating, as he did: 

"I also want them to believe that sex is not shameful, but is just a thing that people do ... An advanced form of 'hanging out' with your really close friend. As such I want them be totally at ease saying stuff like: 'Dad, [name] and I are talking about having sex, can [he/she] stay over this Saturday?'"

Sex isn't just an advanced form of hanging out with a friend! That's a pretty damn big "friendship" bracelet. You cannot contract an STD or get knocked up by hanging out with a friend. This is what makes sex special and sacred. It should be that way! And having these opinions doesn't mean a parent thinks sex is shameful; he or she just thinks it's more than hanging out

I want my kids to have sex, when they are physically, emotionally, and mature enough to be ready to. They just have to get the hell out of my yard before they do. 


Image via © Kevin Dodge/Corbis

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