Everyone says it. There’s even a song about it: Children are our future. So when we start talking about sex positive adults and changing the culture, our best hope as parents is to teach sex positivity to the next generation so by the time they’re adults, making a rape joke is always something your peers will shame you for.

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Think about it. Our children know what we, their parents and society in general, teach them - directly or indirectly. If you’re like my mother and you refuse to even say the word “sex” let alone discuss it with your curious tween, your kid could grow up like me - sexually repressed until my 30s and now I’m a kinky freak.

Okay, maybe that’s not so bad, but really, if we want to change the world for the better and have a chance of living in a more sex positive world where we accept gender differences, sexuality across the spectrum, and maybe have a chance of ridding ourselves of rape culture, we’ve got to raise our children to become sex positive adults. Add that to your list of things to get right as a parent.

 

Want to raise them to be sex positive adults? Use the right words


I’m a freaking sex writer (sure, under a pen name) and I still blush every time I have to say “penis” to my 10 year old. Who, by the way, is also blushing. We have to get over the embarrassment. We don’t want our kids having sex too early but that doesn’t mean simply using the appropriate terms for body parts will send them down a lewd and lascivious path. Ditch the “down there” and “hoo-hoo.” Call things what they are.

 

Don’t avoid their questions


My oldest hates to ask me questions about sex or body parts. Maybe it’s because he’s a boy and I’m, clearly, not. Maybe it’s just because I’m the “Mom.” But he practically curls up into a ball. If I wasn’t so determined to help him learn how to embrace sexual health, sexuality, and sexual responsibility (eventually), I could easily avoid those questions. It’s tempting. Don’t do it. Let them ask, and even encourage their questions.


Even for sex positive adults like us, this whole open-about-sex-with-kids thing isn’t easy. They won’t make it easy for you. Frankly, I have to pull those questions out of him, but I know they’re there. And I don’t want to imagine what a bunch of 10 and 11 year old boys will convince themselves about sex. When my oldest asked about the “p” word, I thought we were discussing one thing (penises) and really, we were discussing something else: porn and perverts. You really never know where your kids will take the conversation, but remind them they can say anything.

 

Be open but age appropriate


Whatever is “appropriate” is unique to your kids. I’d never be the one to tell someone what they should and shouldn’t say to their children. My conversations with the 10 year old are often in the presence of my youngest, who’s 6. I choose my words carefully - like when I had to discuss porn and perverts. Porn is okay when used responsibly and is for adults only. Perverts are often people who don’t care or understand how they’ve taken a harmful obsession with sex and are using it for their own means to the detriment of others. Okay, I think I said it better than that, but that was my meaning. At their age, talking about cocks, anal sex, and what the plumber is really doing in a house isn’t appropriate.

 

Remind them others might not have the same conversations

 

In a perfect world, we would all be open with our children about sex, and we’d all raise sex positive children into sex positive adults. Yeah, and porn would be real, vibrators would be free, and sex would always end in an orgasm. Instead, this is the real world, and sometimes it sucks. I’ve had to remind my children on more than one occasion that while they can ask me anything, and it’s okay to talk to their friends about sex, they may not want to tell the entire class what “porn” and “pervert” means in their house. Mostly because I really don’t feel like having that parent-teacher conference. But I explained that other parents want to teach their children, and it wouldn’t be appropriate for them to be the ones to educate their friends in the lunchroom.

Really? I wish I didn’t have to give that last disclaimer. And I know that in a few years, they’ll talk about sex even more with their friends. All I can hope is that what I teach them between now and then will sink in enough that they’ll be the ones telling their friends that they won’t go blind or get hairy palms when they masturbate, and that when someone says “No” they mean no. If that happens, I’ll know I’ve done my job better than the generation that came before me. If we put our minds to it, as parents, we really can raise the next generation to be sex positive and more educated about their bodies, sexuality, and consent.

 

Kayla Lords is a freelance writer, sex blogger, and a masochistic babygirl living the 24/7 D/s life. Follow her on her website or on Twitter @Kaylalords.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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