I just came back from a wonderful kink event this past weekend. I cannot say how wonderful it was to hear over the crackling camp fire the moans and screams of the pleasures being enjoyed all around me at the camp site. I felt this camp to be one of only a few options for many of the attendees to actually let the walls containing their inhibitions down and enjoy their sexuality is a safe and consensual environment. They were able to be who they wanted to be, who they think their true selves are by “indulging” in their desires they have to suppress.
I had many discussions with several different attendees; their backgrounds ranged from from single adults, parents, to a non-monogamous couple who run different types of sex parties (both swingers and BDSM focused), and there appeared to be a consensus that their fears were focused on the “Leave it to Beaver” family structure focused on social derived morality than an educated, informed view.
I posed the question of sex education to many who sat at the cap fire. I told my sex, or lack of, sex education I received growing up (READ IT HERE). How the lack left me more confused and left me wanting more information. In the days before the internet, getting information concerning sex consisted of walking a mile to a market which sold adult magazines, or the bookstore at the local mall. Most agreed my education was almost worse than no education at all.
That is why I was a little taken aback when those with kids feared talking to their kids about sex. As I stated before, I have no kids, so I have no context in how difficult and terrifying for both parties to talk about sex. Their child has a desire to learn more about a part of their own humanity and identity while the adult worries about telling them too much or inappropriate.
My advice to them was to gradually, in small increments, have a discussion about sex with their kids; no one likes a huge data-dump of information about a given subject all at one time. It could be something as simple as checking in with their kids, provide context to a scene they had seen on TV or movie… something as small as that can take some of the fear out of sex and sexuality.
One thing I was happy to hear, each parent wanted improvement in the Sex Education offered to their children within the schools. They wanted it more science fact based then the shame education they currently received. It shocked me to find out a local school district’s sex education consisted of approximately 60 PowerPoint slides. Of these 60 slides; 35 consisted of graphic images of STI infected genitals, 10 explaining the male anatomy and sperm, 10 on the female body and the remaining five slides on child birth. There was absolutely no reference on how to be safe.
I was pleased to hear what they thought should be most important aspects which should be covered for their kids:
- They thought non-gender specific discussion on the relationships
- Consent strongly enforced, even before the sex-ed class
- How to stay safe
- Not to lie to the children and give the impression sex isn’t pleasurable, but comes with responsibility (See three previous bullets)
So the discussions made me feel a little bit better as there are people out there desperately wanting accurate unbiased information concerning sex and sexuality for their children, but the stigma they feel from the vocal minority who still want to cling to the unrealistic “Leave it to Beaver” moral model.
The best site I have found to date, geared for a young adult and parents concerning sex is Scarleteen. If you have similar discussions with parents concerning how to discuss sex with their children, give them the web-address to this Scarleteen. Next time you are at the doctor, tell them about this site so they can give to other parents. As adults we say, “Knowledge Is Power”, why can’t the same be said about the kids. Now don’t push too hard, offer the site to other parents and let them make their own informed choices.
Now my last plea to each of the readers of this post; if you are able, please contribute to help Scarleteen keep providing the education, advocacy and support young people want and need; services directly informed by those needs as they express them themselves. You can support Scarleteen HERE