discuss: do you talk to your parents about sex?

When I was in high school, my dad sat me down to tell me that if I ever got pregnant, I should feel comfortable coming to him and my mom. I mumbled, “Okay,” blushed intensely and immediately thought to myself, “Nice try dad. But if I ever get pregnant, I’ll deal with it alone.”

I knew my dad meant well and that he was doing what parents were supposed to by making himself available–but still, the thought of telling him something so intimate and personal just seemed utterly impossible.

I was thinking about this not too long ago as I was teaching a girls’ health class. The topic of talking to parents about sex came up, and I was curious to hear what they had to say about the subject. Maybe in the intervening years, kids and parent had somehow bridged the communication gap?

From what I heard, that didn’t seem to be the case.

Sure, some claimed that sex was a regular part of conversation at home, something they talked about over dinner, but a lot of others made gagging noises when they thought about bringing up the topic with the adults whose roof they lived under, and some hadn’t really considered that talking to mom and dad about this stuff was an option.

Keeping in mind my own teenage reaction to my father’s attempts at conversation, I asked my class if there was anything their parents could do to make them more comfortable talking about sex. Some said “no” flat out, but a few others offered these suggestions:

  • Don’t just bring up the topic out of the blue. Make it seem normal to talk about sex.
  • Don’t bring up sex or puberty if anyone (including dad) is around. Make sure there is privacy.
  • Don’t act weird about it.

That didn’t give me a ton to go on, but it did remind me that while those who oppose comprehensive sex ed often say this topic should be discussed at home, in a whole lot of cases it just isn’t. So unless the sex ed opposers are able to tap into something in the parent child divide that I’ve been missing, then good sex education in schools seems as important as ever.

What do you think? Do you talk to your folks about sex? If not, why? If so, what makes you comfortable doing so?

Posted in: Confessions, Health, Sex & Relationships, The State of Sex Ed
Tags: , , ,
  • Annoyed Gurl

    My moms not even involved she still thinks i’m some 10 year old and I’m 14 and in high school she thinks that i shouldn’t even be interested in boys and its so effin annoyingg I’ve been dating since the 6th grade and she doesn’t even know my brother knows more about then my own mother like wtf??

  • cookiemonsterr

    god no…. my parents only know i have sex because they offered to pay for me to go on birth control when i started college and i took them up on it. but otherwise they are soooo kept out of it.

  • Yes, we're open family, no secrets allowed 🙂 and they're cool anyway, they listen on my sides.

  • hypocrite

    Oddly ever since I can remember I knew just as much about sexuality as a girl of any given age should/wants to know. I can't remember ever not knowing where babies came from, for example… But I knew nothing about the details and endless variety untill I was actually interested on a personal level, too. (as in, I actually had a boyfriend and we, well… engaged in sexual activity.:)
    So I guess my parents talked to me about these things, even though I can't remember having the stereotypical sex talk with either of them. I'm thankful they managed it this way… Sexual Education definitely wasn't a great help, maybe to understand the biological background, but it held nothing new for me otherwise.
    I'm seventeen now and I don't really talk about sexuality with my parents, even though it's no taboo at home. C'mon, my folks were in their early twenties during the sixties, I don't feel like I can really shock them… My reason for not talking about my own sex life with them is that it's …somewhat… intimate, and I don't consider it their business. I would feel too exposed, it's not like I tell them about my sorrows or great fears either. That's what friends are for…
    Maybe some kids have a relationship with their parents that allows them to talk about these stuff, if so, I think that's awesome. It's hypocritical of me, but I hope my kids will be more open with me…

  • Hollywood*

    I talk to my mom about everything… SEX is a very common easy topic…. she didnt know that i hadm had sex till a few years after but now she does. She even make jokes about me needing to get laid or asks if one friend of mine is friends with benifits. I think that teens should talk to there parents about sex, you dont have to tell them your having sex but its still good to talk about it.

  • Sarah

    I am 15 years old and I think i'm pregnant i missed my period and everything. the last time i brought up sex with my mom she said she would have my bf murdered by a hitman from the cuban mafia(which she has connections to) kick me out of the house, disown me and never speak to me again if I got pregnant before 18. I am so scared, i dont even want to think wat my dad would do! if anyone has advice email me at sarah.crumlin@yahoo.com

  • Nitisha

    Actually i dont talk to my parents about my sex life although i wish i could. It would be so much better if my mother thought i was waiting until i was married to have sex in reality i already started and don't plan on stoping

  • claire

    I am not a virgin but my boyfriend was.
    We had been going out for a while and even though we thought it was best to wait before we had sex I decided that I would get the implanon. (a small rod that gets inserted into your arm that stops you from getting pregnant for 3 years.)
    A few days after I had decided to do this my dad randomly started talking to me about sex and how it was natrual and how if I was going to do it with my boyfriend I should go on the pill.
    Although it was slightly embarassing it was good to know that my dad was being realistic and aware that I may be sexually active.
    I told him that I wouldn't go on the pill because I would probably forget to take it and I told him that I was getting the implanon and he went and got the script filled and was happy to pay for it.
    About a year ago my step mum found a condom in my room while doing the washing. She told me she thought I was a bit young to be having sex but if I was to make sure I was using condoms.But she also told me not to let dad know because she thought he would be very angry.
    It is nice to know that my dad actually wouldnt be and that I can talk to him about things like that.

  • mary<3

    I am 12 and I talk about all this stuff to my brother's gf (she's 14) and we talk about everything. she is like my sister; we actually call eachother our sisters but girls! if you have like a close cousin or brothers gf or someone like that, TALK TO THEM! trust me its waaaay easier than talking to ur parents. <3

  • lORYN

    I am sexually active, and i thought it would be absolutly impossible to talk to my mom about it. Then i started having very irregular periods, like bleeding for 8 weeks at a time. This meant it was time to go to the gyno. My mom called them to make an appointment and they asked my mom if i was sexually active. She said no, so they told her to just take me to the pediatrician. I was then concerned that this was a problem too big for the pediatrician to handle so i decided it was time to come clean to my mom. Even though me and my mom are REALLY close, i found it hard to bring up the subject of sex. I called my sister who is 21, and she helped me plan what to say. I went to my mom and just told her that we needed to talk. She agreed, and i told her EVERYTHING! She wasnt mad; she just asked questions. It really wasnt that bad, and i felt a million times better after i did! It all worked out in the end. 🙂

  • where do babies come from?

  • liza

    honestlly noo i didnt have talk about it cous its so embaressed if im going to my mom she will be like :ur too young to know that stuf soo what should i do ?

  • Jazzy

    I tried to talk about it with my mom.
    One time I asked her what a blow job was,and she ran around thr room screaming and said"Your going to be a virgin forever!" 3 days later she gave me a promise ring. lmao

  • Emma

    I never talk to my parents about sex, it just never comes up. When I first started my periods, I talked to my mum about them because I was quite young. I wish I could talk to my mum about it, DEFINATELY not my dad, it was embaressing enough when I got my first bra!

  • Annabell

    HELL NAW!!!!!

    ya gurl

  • xxxx

    Before I had Sex Ed. my mom thought I didn't know about sex or periods or anything, but I did… then after Sex Ed. she let me watch things that had sex or whatever… I was watching the Secret Life of the American Teenager and my dad (talking to my mom) says "They're talking about C-E-K on TV" (my 7 year old sister was there, otherwise he probably would of said 'sex') and my mom just nodded… so now she's like cool with it or somethin…idk… i dont think it would be weird just a little embarrasing and id be shy about it @ first lol

  • melanie

    i have never talked to my mom about sex idk its just not something i wud say it is weird and akward my mom is a really up front person but i wudnt ask her or talk about that with her its weird she always tells me it normal but hell i dont say not a word about it to her.

  • Allysa

    i dont bring it up at all and i feel so uncomfortable talking about it we never get in detail never has talk to dad about it big no no

  • alexis:)

    Well how i see it my mom told
    meh if im having sex i
    should tell her
    so she can get me on
    birth pills so i wont have babies:P
    well im scared cause if i tell
    my mom i am she will lose
    trust in me&&wont let me
    go anywhere&& she will
    get mad&&blow up about it
    that why i feel so
    un-comfortable about that
    i will tell my best friend
    because they wont blow
    up or anything
    i feel comfortable
    telling them other than
    that i wont tell anyone else:P
    so u guys kinda agree with meh here?

  • Claire :]

    Me And My Mum Always Get Round Onto The Confo Of Sex. We Talk So Open About it. BUT We Dont Go Into Detail.