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Sex Positive Parenting: 3 Common Questions & Answers


    It can be hard enough to maintain a healthy sex life with your significant other, let alone having to teach your own children about it too. Sex can often be an uncomfortable topic for parents to talk about with their children, but it doesn't have to be. Being sex positive isn't just about being OK with sex and sexuality. Teaching your children a healthy view about sex can keep them from being sexually assaulted (imagine if they don't know what's appropriate and inappropriate?). GetLusty staff writer and mom is here again with some common questions and answers on sex positive parenting.

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    #1 When should I talk to my kids about sex?

    My motto is to talk to your kids as soon as they start asking, because that means they are interested and starting to pick up on life. Usually this happens around 8-10 years old, depending on your child, but some questions may happen sooner. You have to decide when the appropriate time is to explain certain things depending on how mature your child is.

    My twins are about to turn 11 in January and they've pretty much asked about most things like periods, sex, how do people have babies, etc. Plus, they see plenty on TV and hear many things at school from other kids. However, when my four year-old asked me what my breasts are, I just told him they are part of my body because it's hard to explain biology and sex education to a child his age. When all else fails, use your judgement.

    Also, if you do feel it's time to talk to them, but don't know how, you might want to refer to a few websites (we love Airial Clark of the Sex Positive Parent) for reference and GetLusty will continue to have more articles especially for sex positive parents. My preference is just to be straightforward and natural. Don't feel embarrassed. It's a normal part of life, and as parents it's our job to teach our children about it and we should do it in a positive manner so they don't grow up thinking sex is something bad or unnatural.

    Sexual violence is a big problem in our world, so it's best to start teaching our children about sex while they are young. Sexual violence also starts early, so ensuring your kids know what's appropriate and what's not appropriate for them and others is essential. This was also noted by Maria Falzone, sex educator and comedian, in our podcast with her.

    #2 Should I monitor what my children watch?

    I used to think I didn't have to monitor what my children watched because, as a parent, you want to look at your children as innocent little angels. The truth is - they are not. They are human and naturally curious. I learned this the hard way one day when I logged into my Netflix account and reviewed the history of movies viewed. This is when I discovered that my son had been watching some swanky movies here and there.

    I talked with him and let him know that it's not appropriate for his age and asked him why he had done it. He said he didn't know. Obviously, he was curious and that's pretty normal for his age. However, my point is that it's best to teach and educate your kids about sex as best as you can. Otherwise, they will be learning about it from the media, and the media might not always instill the same values that you may have as a parent.

    While a few peeks here and there are innocent and normal, that doesn't mean you want your child doing it all the time. Even the Disney channel has some shows that I do not feel are a very good influence on my 11 year-old daughter. They make out and are disrespectful to their parents which I do not think is a good example for her age. At this time, in my opinion, she needs to be worrying about school and positive sex education.

    #3 Condoms or abstinence?

    It can be a difficult decision. Hand your child a condom or not give them one at all and tell them not to have sex. While certain religions may feel one way or the other, it is still important to teach your children about safe sex. Whether you teach your children abstinence or you teach them to use a condom, the importance of educating them about various STDs or STIs (check out our extensive list of STDs A-L and STDs M-T. Knowing is a must. You can teach your children abstinence, but that doesn't mean they will follow what you teach. It's important to make sure they are fully aware of the risks of unprotected sex and that all diseases are not curable.

    We all hope our children will follow our advice no matter which standpoint we teach them from. From my perspective, the best way to prevent our children from making the wrong choices is by explaining all of the options available and why certain options are safer. We have to fully explain the consequences that can occur if they choose not to follow our advice and it's better to give examples of why. I usually show my children stories on the internet to give them something tangible they can visualize and see for themselves that what I'm telling them is real and my ideas are not just being made up.

    As a child I had sex education in school. Unfortunately, many schools have cut sex education out for budgetary reasons, so that is why it falls on the parents even more now. Sex positive parenting isn't always easy, but it doesn't have to be rocket science. Just be yourself and be open and honest with your children to the best of your ability. Remember, when they start asking - start telling, because that means they're ready. While you may not be ready for "the talk", it is a job that must be done. Promoting sex as something positive is the first step to educating your child.

    Good luck! As always, with any specific questions, please e-mail us at reply@getlusty.com or me directly and we'll get them answered!

    Eileen Prouffe is a GetLusty staff writer with over ten years as a working mom trying to keep her love alive. If she's not having fun with her three kids, she's staring into the eyes of her loving husband. She looks forward to sharing her ideas, tips and knowledge with everyone to help improve relationships and put an end to dull sex lives. Get in touch with Eileen at eileen@getlusty.com.
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