Some friends and I were discussing this article about whether parents should feel comfortable with their teenagers having sex in their homes. I personally would not.
But certainly what I do support is making sure that as my daughter grows up, she knows what I think about the issue – not about sex in my house, specifically, but more importantly my thoughts on sex in a woman’s life in general.
Here are some things I’d like her to know:
1. That there are endless ways more imaginative and often more intimate to get to know a person, enjoy a Saturday afternoon, fall asleep and certainly – certainly – to feel loved than by having casual sex. And that we owe it to our spirits, minds and bodies to explore all those things, too.
2. But that even if it’s casual, sex is special. It’s special because it’s our decision whether to have it or not. We get to decide whether it will be with this person or that one or both of them or neither, just like we get to choose with whom to be the closest of friends. There is power and responsibility in this kind of choice, and we shouldn’t take it lightly. Other relationships – professional, familial, civic – often lack this kind of genuine personal choice.
3. That our choices about whom and how – assuming everyone is willing – should not be the concern of any government, church leader, neighbor or Internet troll.
4. That we make mistakes with sex just like we do with every other aspect of life, and that those mistakes ought be forgiven and learned from. (This does not include abuse. That isn’t a mistake to be learned from; it’s an aggression to be punished.)
5. That being sexy and having sex are not synonymous.
6. That most often, a partner’s sexual history is not an indication of how we will experience sex with them. OURS is.
7. Related: We should not ask how many partners someone has had unless, ironically, we sincerely do not care.
8. We deserve someone who is patient, kind, asks good questions, has a sense of humor and is trustworthy.
9. If it suits us, we deserve someone with an adventurous soul. Or, if we prefer, someone with a calm, steady nature. We deserve opportunities, time, experiments and mistakes to ascertain our preferences.
10. Our moms and grandmothers, and most likely all our aunts, sisters and cousins, have all “been there, done that”, so to speak. And if we’d rather not think about that, then we know the same applies to our teachers, ministers, friends and friends’ parents. Bottom line: Someone with experience and wisdom is a phone call away if we are ever confused, in trouble, or curious.