This post is part of the Beauty of a Woman BlogFest VI! To read more entries, and potentially win a fun prize, visit the fest page HERE between today and 11pm PST March 11th.
In seven months my fourteen year old daughter will reach the age I was when I lost my virginity. Rather than be too afraid to talk to her about it, I’ve decided to be brave and tell her all the things I wish I’d known beforehand.
Growing up with a self-esteem issue created a connection between sex and worth. I remember using sex to feel good about myself, rather than working on feeling good about myself first and connecting with my partners from this more empowered place. This became a life-long healing issue. I’m older, more experienced and comfortable in my own skin and I’ve had a chance to reflect on the things I healed so sexuality and sensuality became something I felt empowered about, rather than ashamed about.
Asking big questions and having difficult conversations is one of the keys to healing. Full expression in all its forms is the goal. If I can teach my kids this kind of badass skill I truly can’t fail as a parent. Starting with one of the most important topics of life feels good.
Here are thirty five things I want my daughter to know before she has sex. And they aren’t bad things for my son to know either.
- You’re beautiful, smart, and enough, period. Your worth will never be reliant upon sex or what you do sexually with a partner. The most important thing I could help you understand is you matter because you were born, not because you’re attractive to or wanted by someone else.
- It’s okay to talk about sex. You don’t ever have to be afraid to talk about sex or sexuality. There’s nothing to be ashamed, afraid or embarrassed about.
- Sex isn’t gross or dirty; it’s natural, beautiful and amazing.
- Love is more complicated than sex. Having sex with someone doesn’t mean you love them. You can love someone without having sex. You can have sex without loving someone. When you share sex with someone you love it can be amazing. There are many other ways to show someone you love them besides having sex.
- Sex is always your choice. What happens to and with your body is always a choice. Don’t be afraid to say no if it doesn’t feel right. Never compromise what your gut is telling you about sex. If it feels wrong, it is. Same goes for everything in life.
- Feeling sensual or sexy is the way you were made; it’s never wrong to feel that way. In fact, being in touch with that part of you is powerful.
- Having an orgasm isn’t the only good thing about sex, and it doesn’t always have to be the end goal. There’s a lot more about sex to enjoy besides having an orgasm.
- You don’t need to have sex with someone to experience an orgasm. You can make that happen by yourself.
- Masturbation isn’t bad, dirty or wrong. Knowing how to experience pleasure and learning how to make that happen by yourself will help you connect with your sensuality and have better experiences with your partner.
- Great sex is about awareness and communication. Feeling sexy is as much about your mind as your body. Learn how to feel and how to communicate about how you feel. Find someone who can do the same thing.
- Sex can make you pregnant and be the reason you get an STD, so if you don’t want to have a baby or an STD right now you have to practice safe sex, no matter what your partner says to you. If guilt is ever involved in sex, you should think twice about it.
- Confidence is sexy. Your self-esteem is one of the most important things you can possess when it comes to sex. Having sex to make yourself feel better is like taking drugs; a temporary fix that’ll leave you feeling the same way after it’s worn off.
- There’s nothing about your body that isn’t perfect or beautiful. What other people say about your body is none of your business. Loving yourself is the most important thing about feeling sexy. What other people think should have no bearing on how you feel in your own skin.
- There’re a lot of places on your body that feel great when someone touches them, not just “down there.”
- It’s okay to have sex when you have your period. That’s a personal choice. You can still get pregnant during that time of the month.
- The person you share sex with should make you feel like a goddess. If you’re feeling bad in any way, think twice about it.
- Sometimes kissing is better and/or more intimate than sex.
- Being connected to your sensuality is a way of being in the world and should help you feel powerful and good, never bad.
- Trust in and respect for someone is always going to make sex better. If distrust or disrespect are present, think twice.
- It’s always better to go slower when you’re feeling nervous or uneasy about things. That goes for everything in life. Go slow enough to remember to breathe and feel. Let your body guide you.
- Being drunk or high before or during sex won’t make it better. In fact most times it will make it worse because you’ll be numb, and/or won’t be able to make decisions like you normally do. If you’re with people who’re drunk or high or wanting you to be, think twice.
- You’re responsible for your own pleasure. Leaving it to a partner to make you feel good won’t always leave you satisfied. Don’t be afraid to speak up during sex about what you need.
- It’s okay for women to buy condoms and ask their partner use them. If someone tries to make you feel guilty about this, think twice. If you’re mature enough to have sex, you’re mature enough to buy condoms.
- There’re several forms of birth control. It’s great to know about all your choices. It’s your responsibility to know this stuff. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and get informed. More knowledge is power.
- I’m not the only person you can talk to about sex. If you’re too embarrassed to talk to me, find someone you trust to talk to.
- Whatever you decide about sex is okay. Having it. Not having it. How, when, and where you have it. Who you have it with. Whether you’re married or not. It doesn’t matter what anyone else says, there’s no wrong thing about it. Nothing about it makes you a good or bad person.
- Pornography might not be the best way to learn about sex. The sex in movies, including porn, isn’t reality. Try not to have expectations about sex based on something you’ve seen on TV. If someone you’re having sex with is used to watching it, they may have unrealistic expectations and it’s okay to say so.
- Sexuality and sensuality is tied to your creativity. They both come from the same place inside you. When you’re connected to the power of your sensuality you’ll be able to enjoy the power of creativity.
- Who you are has nothing to do with whether or not you have sex. You’re much more than that. Try not to label yourself (or other people) based on whether or not someone wants you in that way, whether they think it’s good or not, or whether or not you decide to have it in the first place.
- Always trust your intuition and honor what feels good to you. If you do that, you’ll never go wrong as far as sex (or anything else in life) goes. What you feel should be the GPS system you use to navigate sexuality and sensuality.
- Having sex doesn’t make you a woman (or a man). Don’t ever feel forced into it. Peer pressure is one of the worst reasons to have sex and you’ll most likely regret it.
- Being able to feel makes you strong not weak. Being able to feel makes you an amazing partner and makes sex a lot better.
- You’re not any better, smarter or more attractive because someone wants to have sex with you. You’re all those things to begin with. Knowing that will make you sexy.
- Sex is a responsibility both people share. The most important thing about sex is your ability to talk about it openly with your partner. Never assume anything. Make sure you ask questions and be honest about how you feel, all the time.
- Great sex is more about sharing an experience with your partner, not about whether or not one of you had an orgasm. The only way you know what feels good is to ask, so don’t be afraid to. You’ll become an amazing partner by learning what they want and need and you’re much more likely to enjoy sex if you can speak openly about what you need.
And bonus #36. You are always going to be the most important thing in my world no matter what you do or what you say. You can always talk to me about anything, even the hard stuff. Being upset or concerned never means I don’t love you. Ever.
There’s a whole conversation to be had in each of these things. The most important thing about talking to my daughter and son about sex is actually doing the talking. I know keeping communication honest, open and real is going to be the one thing I’m most proud of in the end of all this parenting stuff. All I have to do when I’m afraid to broach the topic is remember how I felt when I navigated this world as a teenager; alone, ashamed and afraid, and be brave about my desire to change that for my kids.
Our courage and honesty as parents will create the environment we most wish for with our kids; one of awareness and love. Our ability to have the more difficult conversations will be the very thing that gives them the ability to bravely do the same thing when it matters the most.