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As a Sexologist, sex-enthusiast and mother, I offer you the following advice: talk to your kids about sex, masturbation, intimacy & sexual energy from a very young age.
And another piece of advice … if you’re reading this and cringing, I suggest you get to a a good sex therapist/coach and dive deep into sorting out the ‘stuff’ that holds you back from having these conversations … because trust me, if you’re not comfortable talking about sex, then your kids won’t be either … and so the cycle will continue through the generations.
Reality is, whether you like it or not, your child is a sexual being and will one day be a sexual adult who has desires, wants and needs. So, makes sense to educate them about sex from day dot, right? Here’s a few suggestions to get you started.
TEACH YOUR CHILDREN ABOUT CONSENT, AND HEALTHY, CLEAR BOUNDARIES
Talk to your children about consent: no one is to touch them or engage with them sexually unless they have said a big YES. And just as importantly, teach your child that it’s okay to say NO. Also, if it’s a ‘maybe’, then that’s a no. So consent is a big one to teach, and often something we need to learn as adults too.
Then there’s boundaries. Boundaries are stating what you are okay with and not okay with. So, if your child is engaging sexually for the first time, talk to them about open communication and stating how far they would like to go and where they do and don’t want to be touched. Many adults don’t have clear boundaries, so this is a big one for us all to practice.
TALK ABOUT SELF PLEASURE, AND ENCOURAGE IT
Masturbation begins in utero! Self pleasure is normal, natural and beautiful. Talk to your children openly about how amazing self-pleasure is. Never shame them for touching their genitals and feeling aroused. Tell them how amazing they are for exploring that part of their body and be open and honest about the fact that you also self-pleasure.
TEACH YOUR CHILD ABOUT SEXUAL ENERGY
Sexual energy is life-force energy. It’s in us all and alive in us all. Simply talking about sexual energy and how it’s a part of who we are is enough. If you want to take it further, explain that sexual energy begins near our penis/vagina, but can be cycled around our whole body and used as creative energy.
TEACH YOUR CHILD THAT TO HAVE SEX THEY MUST CHOOSE PEOPLE WHO CREATE SAFETY AND LOVE MUST BE PRESENT (NOT NECESSARILY ‘IN LOVE’ BUT LOVE MUST BE PRESENT)
Teach your children that in order for them to be sexual with another human, it’s important that they feel safe, and that the person they are with is loving and respectful, and visa versa. ie. Teach them it’s ok to kiss a good friend because this is a safe way to explore with someone who you feel safe with. Talk to them honestly about your own experiences and why you choose to share yourself with people who you love.
TEACH THEM ABOUT INTIMACY, CONNECTING AND LOVE-MAKING
Sex is so much more than just sex. Sex is about exchanging sexual energy, about making love with other humans, about connecting deeply, about true life-changing intimacy – and this can be experienced with anyone, you don’t have to necessarily be in a relationship to experience beautiful sex like this. Teach your children that sex is kissing, touching, moving, exploring each other’s bodies, making love, exchanging energy. Talk about the full spectrum, not just the mechanics. Also remember to be inclusive – sex is between two people, two women, two men, or a man and woman. Or many people. The possibilities are endless.
DON’T HIDE SEX FROM YOUR CHILD – ALLOW THEM TO HEAR THE SOUNDS OF LOVE-MAKING AND TALK OPENLY ABOUT IT
As parents we tend to pretend that we don’t actually have sex. This is a load of shit! We do have sex, and we enjoy it! So why not tell our children that and make it a normal, natural and beautiful part of life. And don’t hide the sounds of love-making … these sounds are beautiful and it’s ok if children hear them.
BE OPEN, HONEST & AUTHENTIC
Stop pretending to be something that you’re not. Be open, honest and authentic with your children. If you don’t have the answer to a sex question, tell them that. If you’re single and exploring, explain to your children that it’s ok to be single and that you are exploring in a safe and loving way. Teach your children about sex by being the best example possible. Plus if you’re honest about your own sex life, then hopefully they will be honest about theirs when they begin exploring and becoming sexually active.
Juliet Allen is a Sexologist, Sexuality Coach, Tantra Practitioner and author. With a reputation for her bold and straight-to-the-point manner, Juliet facilitates 1:1 coaching sessions, educative workshops, and transformative retreats. Juliet’s purpose is to empower men and women to embrace their sexuality & transform their sex and relationships.