The First of Many Talks About Sex
Originally Published: April 26, 2013
Revised: September 30, 2014
It’s never been hard for me to talk to my mom about sex and sexuality. We have a really close relationship, and I always talk to her whenever I have a problem. We first had “the talk” when I was 15. It all started when I asked a question about sexually transmitted diseases because I was learning about them in my health class. But we didn’t stop there. We have had multiple conversations. These conversations have taken our relationship to a whole other level. Talking to my mom at first was a little awkward, but nothing too bad, and it got easier as we continued having conversation after conversation.
Are you one of those teens who haven’t had “the talk” with your parents or guardians? I’ve got some suggestions for starting the conversation.
Sometimes, you have to take things into your own hands, like I did, and have “the talk” with your parents.
The Right Words
Starting the conversation may seem intimidating if you have never spoken to your parents or guardians about anything related to sex or sexuality. Your parents may have never guessed you would want to know about something like sex, or they may have been waiting for you to ask. You may not know what your parents are thinking, but you do know what you’re curious about. Think about exactly what you want to say to your parents before you say it. Do you want to ask them about what it was like when they were teenagers? Or maybe you saw something related to sexuality on TV that you want to ask them about. Practice what you want to say before talking to them—almost like when you practice saying “Hi!” to your crush in the mirror a million times before you actually do it. It’s helpful, and it may calm your nerves.
The Right Time and Place
The next thing you want to consider is when and where. Find a place where you and your parent can talk in private with limited interruptions. Sex isn’t exactly dinner table material, but make sure the setting isn’t anywhere too public. Choose a day where there is nothing planned, and when you can have your parent’s full attention.
Since I live alone with my mother, it was easy to find a private place, but finding the right time was my major problem. We are so busy most of the time, but when it is something you really want to talk about, you will find the time. I decided to talk about it when we were watching TV one night. If your parent is busy, don’t be intimidated. When you want to talk, almost any parent will be willing to listen to what’s on your mind.
The First Talk
If you sense your parent or guardian is tense or nervous about the subject matter, let him or her know you are too. Your parents might feel more at ease knowing that you also are going through the same emotions as them.
It might also help to remind your parents that they were teenagers once too. Ask them what it was like when they were growing up. Ask them if they ever asked their parents what you’re asking them, or ask what their parents told them when they were growing up. It will help you relate to each other and make everyone a bit more comfortable.
I asked my mom if her mother ever shared anything about sex or sexuality with her, and my mom said no. She wasn’t told any information, and she didn’t dare to ask because at that time, the subject was taboo—completely unacceptable to even mention. This made my mom want to have a better relationship with her kids, and be open to talk about anything and everything.
It will be so much easier after the first talk. You can learn from the first conversation what makes your parents or guardians extra uncomfortable and gradually work from there. You may be waiting for your parents to sit you down and have the sex talk with you, but how long is too long to wait? Sometimes, you have to take things into your own hands, like I did, and have “the talk” with your parents. I bet you’ll both be glad you did.
Please login to comment on this story
While pregnancy rates amongst U.S. teens are at a low, rates of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) for teens have been on the rise. Fewer unplanned pregnancies are great, but it’s important to also take the proper steps to reduce the […]
Read Story »
Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are not something people talk about very often. Even as a staff writer for Sex, Etc., I find it difficult to bring up STDs. It’s easier for me to talk about the health or medical aspects […]
Read Story »
Many teens’ first relationships are quite the learning experience. Being in a sexual or romantic relationship may be the first time you really consider your boundaries with another person. Just like consent is important for any sexual situation,…
Read Story »