how should i tell my mom i’m having sex?

dear heather,

How should I tell my mom I’m having sex? That sort of thing can make things weird, although all my life she’s said she didn’t want me to wait until marriage to have sex. But we also don’t bring up things that could make things awkward like saying “I love you,” or talking about something that would make us sad. I don’t really know how to explain it. I just can’t think of a way to bring it up.

I can see why you’re stumped about how to handle the situation. This is a tough one. Even though she’s said that it’s good to explore sex before marriage, she may feel a bit of confusion about actually knowing that it is happening, or feel protective of you.If you are sure you want to tell your mother, it may help to examine your motivations for doing so, and to let that inform your decision as to how to bring it up.

Is this an attempt to feel closer to your mother? You said the two of you don’t talk about intimate or controversial things. Maybe you want to be more emotionally intimate than you are now. If so, you might start by saying that something important has happened and that it feels odd to keep this new part of your life a secret.

If this has more to do with needing some advocacy around health care–for example, scheduling gynecologist visits or examining your options for contraception–you might emphasize that this new thing is happening in your life and that you really want to behave responsibly, so you need her support.

Sincerity is probably best, though, so speak from your heart. Only you can say to her what you really feel.

take care,

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