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.