Yes, I know. You'd rather go to the dentist.
Okay, maybe it's not quite so bad, but most parents are just not comfortable talking to their kids about sex. The sad truth is that many of us don't even admit that to ourselves. We end up saying, "Well, he never asked." Or "She's only 12. I really don't feel that she is ready." Or, "there's always tomorrow."
Well, the truth is, there isn't always tomorrow. Your kids grow up, they get all kinds of information (some of it accurate and much of it inaccurate) from a whole host of sources. They develop attitudes and impressions about sex and sexuality almost from the day they are born. Study after study suggests that the more we talk to our kids about sex the more correct information they have, the more responsible they are and the later they become sexually active.
Your job, like it or not, is to make sure that:
So here is some practical advice. It may be that your kids will never ask you anything about sex. This could be because they don't have any questions (unlikely), they have somehow picked up that you're not too comfortable talking about it (more likely) or they just don't have the vocabulary to ask what they want to know (most likely). So it will probably be up to you to open the conversation.
Giving them a book to read or reading to them if they are younger is a great way to start talking. Asking about things at school works well, too. "Do your friends ever talk about sex?" But by far the best is to look for openings: "Joanne called Mary a tramp today, isn't that funny?" It may not feel natural, but it's better than not talking to her at all.
And for those of you who are concerned that your children aren't ready, it may be time to rethink that. Obviously finding age-appropriate information is crucial, but most kids are more ready than we give them credit for. We really like to believe that our children are innocent and can't handle information on sex. But in case you still have any doubts here's a fun statistic quoted in my favorite parenting/sex book Everything you Never Wanted Your Kids To Know about Sex but Were Afraid They'd Ask. The average age in America when a child can correctly articulate how a child is conceived and born is 11 years old. The average age in Britain is 9. And the average age in the Netherlands is 7!! See book review below)So unless you think that the kids in the Netherlands are somehow inherently smarter, you'll have to admit it's cultural.
So cancel your dentist appointment and start talking!
When women come to our Center with low desire (often referred to as low libido) we conduct an extensive psychosexual intake and review their sexual history in addition to their current thoughts and feelings on the matter.
This is often revealing, not just to us, but to the patient herself. Before we even get around to testing hormone levels or performing a physical exam, the patient has new insights into her situation, and some of the issues related to low desire.
We thought it might be a nice idea to share part of this tool with our readers for the purposes of encouraging reflection on the status of your desire, and how it may play a role in your life.
If you click on the link and answer the questionnaire, we promise we won't show up at your house tomorrow with a TV crew. We won't even send you a email expounding upon your results.
In fact, we won't even see your results.
This is for you. If you have any thoughts on the questionnaire, feel free to let us know.
Fill out the sexual desire questionnaire
Everything You Never Wanted Your Kids to Know About Sex (But Were Afraid They'd Ask): The Secrets to Surviving Your Child's Sexual Development from Birth to the Teens, Justin Richardson, Mark A. Schuster, Crown Publishing Group, March 2004 Books
So, here's the book. To say that it's changed the way some of us are navigating our teenagers' newly developed sexuality is an understatement.
The book travels across the years, from infancy (yes, infancy) through you-know-what. Some of the most moving chapters are truly eye-opening to parents of growing children.
How about Chapter 7, "Then comes love..." - get ready for the hankies, you're being replaced. Or Chapter 10, "Parenting your sexually active child." It may be more than a parent should have to take...
One comment: this newsletter is primarily read by women, but this book is an imperative for dads too. They may even have a harder time than moms, but they may drown without it.
The Medical Center for Female Sexuality (MCFS) is one of the only treatment centers of its kind in the country. Using unique treatment programs, the MCFS has helped hundreds of women attain the wonderful feeling about themselves and their partners that comes with having a great sex life.
If you'd like to write an anonymous testimonial reflecting your experience at the Center, please feel free to send it to email@example.com
Help women like you have the courage to help themselves!
|Quote of the Month|
|"Love is the answer,
but while you are waiting for the answer, sex raises some pretty good
|Why Women See Us|
|"When I look back at my sex
life 5 months ago, it makes my head spin. Frankly, I really didn't care
about having sex... at all or ever again. ....
Now it's five months later... and I learned not only that there was an explanation for my lack of desire, but that there were things we could do about it! "
"Going to the MCFS was one of the most important "gifts" I ever gave myself."
|"I hated the way I was acting and I missed enjoying my sex life, but I just didn't know what to do. When my OB suggested I go to the Medical Center I was a little bit intimidated. Talking about my sex life was not my favorite thing. "
"Until I came to the Center I never would have believed that there was a medical solution to my problems. Throughout the entire process I felt like Melissa and Bat Sheva were my friends as well as my doctors. They have saved me and saved my marriage."
~ K, 45
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