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Having The “Sex Talk” Organically

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Having The “Sex Talk” Organically

When my sons were growing up they always came to me first about everything. I always had this picture in my head that my husband would be the one to have the “sex talk” with my kids. But that is not how it worked – and I wondered if we were so unusual.

It wasn’t because I had written a memoir around my own mid-life sexual awakening. That is a rather recent event, and my kids are way past the sex talk now – even though I think that the sex education dialog is something that will hopefully continue way past the early years. Perhaps it began with me, because I was the softer parent. Maybe mothers are the parent that it is easier to come to with private things. I really don’t know. But in my world, most of the kids come to mom first when it comes to sex.

For me, the best sex talks always happened when I was listening – not asking the questions or making the sex education talk happen. My kids always liked to tell me things about their sexuality while I was driving in the car. Maybe that’s because I was the most quiet then – and they could talk to me in a private place. And it was always through those openings that the best conversations happened.

I will always remember my oldest son in his late teens, telling me that he lost his virginity as I almost drove off the road! Forget the warnings about texting/cell phones and driving – sex talks and driving should be on the list too!

But it is often in those places, while we are doing other things, that kids feel the safest to really talk about what is on their mind.

In my house, it always felt like my kids were one step ahead of me. After I found out that my oldest was sexually active, I dutifully gave him the “sex talk.” And yes, this was way past the bird and the bees.  My version of the sex talk consisted of making sure that my son took active control of birth control. I talked about condoms and Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD’s). I wanted to make sure that my son was responsible not only to himself but to his girlfriend.

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Pamela Madsen

Pamela Madsen is an Integrative Life Coach Specializing In Women's Issues: Sexuality, Fertility, Body Image, Wellness and Rejuvenation. Pamela is also author of the best selling memoir Shameless (Rodale, Jan 2011), and founder of The American Fertility Association.Her websites and her daily blog,, are a breakfast essential for reporters, writers and policymakers.


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9:02AM PST on Feb 25, 2013


7:20AM PDT on Sep 5, 2012


4:57PM PST on Feb 3, 2012

Thanks Pamela.

10:51PM PST on Jan 15, 2012

Thanks for sharing! Gosh, I never considered being told such heavy news as my kid losing her/his virginity while I'm driving - aaaaaahhhhhhcccckkk! Thanks for the heads up.

11:35AM PST on Jan 11, 2012

Thanks for sharing! I believe you took the right approach to the sex talk. The only thing I got out of my parents was the sex was bad and you have to be married first. My sister and I ended up giving my mom the sex talk as well as our little sister (she's 11 but she's mature for her age, she knows what the clinical terms are as well as how a baby is made). Our little sister goes to us for advice on anything because we actually take the time to listen to her as well as give her advice whereas our mom just sticks to her "don't do this/that."

12:26AM PST on Jan 3, 2012

Great article, and a heart warming way of keeping communication open between mother and children. I had to laugh, and choked on my Melba toast.

My son, soon to be 12, is open with me, and we also talk about everything.

My mother had given me some sort of talk (at age 14), and proceeded to show me exactly how every birth control method works, including putting a condom on a cucumber. I was horrified to say the least, and in college, became sexually active. There would have been no way I could talk to her about it, and was actually irritated with me when I was 27, and living with my then boyfriend, who would eventually become my husband and the father of my son... We're divorced now, and I'm remarried, but, no one complained about my new hubby when he was "just a boyfriend"...

10:01AM PST on Jan 1, 2012

This is a really good article with valuable information. I raised my now 25 year old son alone and I had promised myself to be honest and answer all and every question my sone would ever have. Well - we learn as we go along - but I was honest - sometimes maybe a bit progressive - but it made my son the person he is today - and I am proud of him!

2:59AM PST on Jan 1, 2012

I wish my mother had taken her cues from Pamela Madsen, but it is so true with all communication that things work better when you listen.

10:54AM PST on Dec 24, 2011

thanks for sharing

11:59PM PST on Dec 23, 2011

Great stuff! Now can we update?
Thwarting unwanted pregnancy for those not yet mature enough to be parents is great. But can we now update. Let's not be Flat Earthers!
Isn't it time to teach our children that the purpose of sex is neural stability (neuroscience establishes that reproduction is merely an occasional side-effect) and recreational sex actually sabotages attaining that?
Isn't it time to teach our children that broadcasts from their partner'(s)' brain delete subdominant neural pathways and replace them with the dominant neural pathways of the partner. This brain change is permanent and impacts your thinking processes and through that your personality. So you just might want to tell your children to think a little deeper than size and shape when choosing their partner(s).
If you think this stuff is (science)-fiction read up on neuroplasticty. Lewis Thomas's "A General Theory of Love' is a good start. Or go the whole hog and try my on-line course ~ "Let Me Show You New Worlds".
Don't get left behind. The 20th century is over and most of its knowledge is obsolete.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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