Did your parents stumble through the sex talk? Lucky you if they did not. Here’s why that talk makes so many uncomfortable. First a little joke.
I love this cartoon, because it reminds us that children interpret what we say their own way. The sex talk is a tricky path for most parents. Here is one little understood reason why: USA and that does not mean the United States.
My version of USA means Unacceptable Sexual Arousal. I coined that phrase and its acronym hoping it might spread in a half-joking way some important knowledge. I am still hopeful and do ask you to share this post if you find it helpful to understanding your and your kids reaction to the sex talk.
I once aimed a kiss at my son’s cheek when he turned his head and landed on his neck. Made both of us uncomfortable. Why? An innocent kiss had turned somewhat sexual. USA at work.
I adored my father and was the apple of his eye. I loved hugging him and he me. Then puberty hit and suddenly I no longer let him hug me face in. My shoulder kept me a bit away from bodily contact. USA at work, at least for me, but not for him.
Both our sons loved to creep into our bed at night. We also liked that habit. Then at about the age of six or seven, they stopped this practice. USA for them, if not for us. Also, apparently not unusual for many kids to turn away from the family bed at this age.
One of my class exercises when I taught human behavior at CUSSW was to have my students spend ten minutes watching a couple making out. Not hard to do on campus or riding the NY Subways and to report their feelings back at the next class. This was an experiment in USA.
Most of the class reported feeling uncomfortable, many were somewhat angry and thought such displays were inappropriate, a few reported it made them jealous or aware of being lonely. One enjoyed and one reported that it make her want to hurry home and make love. She was the one aware of USA.
How do you respond when seeing people making out in public, You need to fully understand your own beliefs about what is acceptable sex and what is not.
REALITY CHECK – such arousals are not the problem, how we act on them is. Which is why I developed this Poster Coach to aid parents when talking about sex with teens.
The rules apply to all seeking sexual pleasures.
I was raised when the main moral approach to having sex, meant only between a man and woman after marriage. The Free Love era changed that and then AIDS brought in more restraint. Too much restraint, however, is as bad as too little. As the Buddhist make much of – the Middle Way is the best way.
I fervently hope you find sex joyous. At its best it is between two committed partners, but face facts – for some it is an athletic event and commitment is not the aim. As long as the rules I set out above are followed, athletic sex has its uses. Sexual release is one of nature’s way of easing stress as well as insuring species survival.
To read more about the conflict between cultural beliefs and Mother Natures wishes read this blog post about how to have better sex.
PARENTING TIPS LEADING TO JOYOUS SEX
Parenting tip one: Examine your own beliefs and feelings attached to the sexual act. If is not the joyous experience it should be, you need to work to see how its joy has been taken away from you and to work toward greater joy.
Parenting tip two: Massages convey the message the body is a source of pleasure. Massage your baby, your toddler, your growing child; and then at about six or seven switch to back rubs or if they make the your child uncomfortable cease and desist.
Parenting tip two: Make one of the family rules “Care for your body.”Emphasize healthy eating, healthy habits.
Parenting tip three: Help your child enjoy moving their body. This might be through a sport, but stress the pleasure of the game, not the winning. Encourage one “move-your-body” type of exercise that can be practiced for the rest of the child’s life. Think swimming, jogging, hiking, biking, dancing.
Parenting tip four: Make it clear you enjoy your body.
Parenting tip five: Deal reasonably with your child’s exploration of his or her body. Acknowledge the pleasures to be found and that does include permitting masturbation but emphasize that such behavior needs to be private.
Parenting tip six: Model bodily expression of affection toward others, but always be sensitive to the level of affection other people are comfortable with. Think USA.
Parenting tip seven: Teach the right to say no to unwanted touching or kissing. Do not insist that toddlers’ kiss relatives. Most will do so willingly, but their right to refuse should be encouraged and upheld.
Parenting tip eight: Do not neglect teaching manners, not high etiquette, but getting along with others. Studies show this is an important ingredient in finding success, and building self esteem.
Parenting tip nine: Being able to defend yourself matters as much as good manners. Knowing self-defense is a right and having the tools, both verbal and physical, to defend yourself is essential to feeling good about yourself. Connect your child to a Peace Dojo.
Parenting tip ten: Create opportunities and look for teachable moments to talk about sex. Include talking about safe sex rules in the same way you talk about safe driving rules. Use the media and books to expand your teaching a your child grows.
I hope joyous sex is part of your life. If so, talking to your child will probably be relatively easy. If for any reason joyous sex has not entered your life, any talk with anyone is fraught with pain. What to do? You need to consider talking to a counselor to help defuse the pain. You deserve better and so do your children.
If you are worried about a child’s sexual activity think about buying my eBook When Good Kids Have Sex. It costs less than dollar french fries at MacDonald’s. By using the Kindle Application you can read it anywhere.
As always thank you for all you do. Please share this post if you found it helpful.