This Awful 'First Time' Story Is a Wake-Up Call -- Whether You Have a Daughter or a Son

sexual consentTalking with tweens and teens about sex is something that's challenging for many parents but that doesn't make it any less crucial. Humans of New York shared a heartbreaking first-person account from a young woman whose first time happened as the result of a coin flip, without her consent -- something that haunted her for years. 

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The anonymous woman's story has struck a chord with so many because as devastating as it is, it's not uncommon. Reading her gut-wrenching words, you can feel how she was cruelly robbed of something that should've been special, and yet she blamed herself for the careless and inconsiderate way she was treated. 

Something our sons and daughters need to hear is that "maybe" means "no" until it is officially changed to a "yes." And, let's always remember that a "yes" can quickly change into a "no" if something doesn't feel right. What happens to your body is your decision alone -- not one that gets to be dictated by another person, much less a coin. 

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This part is truly one of the hardest to read:

For the longest time I felt like it was my fault for feeling hurt. Like I was being overly sensitive. It took five years for me to realize that consent is not a coin flip.

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For many, wanting to experiment sexually coupled with the thrill of being liked in that way can blur lines in the heat of the moment. Talking with both our sons and our daughters about understanding what they're comfortable with and how to express themselves in those moments is vital, no matter how difficult or uncomfortable it might make some parents feel. 

While it can be hard to give a firm "no" when bodies are saying "yes," standing strong and making sure your partner gets the message loud and clear -- with no room for confusion -- can spare years of regret. 

We need to teach both young men and women that unless both parties are in agreement that it's an emphatic "yes," anything else is unacceptable and should be considered a "no."

As parents, it's on us to get that message through to them, no matter how difficult it might be.  

 

Image via Michael C. Gray/Shutterstock

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