Recently I was in the car with Little One and her Best Friend. We were driving to the store, and somehow the conversation got around to sex, STD’s, and wearing condoms. It started because the girls, who are in 8th grade, told me a new classmate’s mom was pregnant. The only person I had seen this child with was a much older woman who was in a scooter, and it didn’t seem she was pregnant. It turns out I had met Grandma, who was not pregnant, and I hadn’t met Mom yet, who was indeed pregnant.
I try to take the conversations about sex where I can find them. That day, once the pregnancy discussion ended, it somehow went to STD’s and condoms. And I told them they always needed to use condoms, even if they were on another form of birth control, because of STD’s. And I told them that it was important for both them and a new partner to be tested for STD’s before they had sex. Then I let them know that Husband and I respected each other enough back in the early 1990’s that we both were tested before we had sex. Apparently that went into the TMI category, and caused major grossness.
It isn’t easy, no matter how open-minded you think you are or try to be, to have talks about sex. I know, I’ve had the talks with both girls and my Mom when my widowed Mom began to date again in her 80’s. She came to me. The girls were so much easier. I bought my girls books about periods and sex, and I read the books before I gave them to the girls. We talked about it too, and then I told them to read the books and come to me with questions.
I did this because I didn’t want them to be the uninformed ones in the dorm discussions at college. My freshman year several of us girls were sitting around one night talking about sex. One of the girls finally got her courage up to ask where the bone went when guys weren’t having sex. Once I understood what she was talking about (what a literal interpretation of a boner) I explained how it really worked. And I felt bad that at almost 19 she was pretty much clueless about sex. And she had just gotten a serious boyfriend.
So I’ve tried to be open and have talks, and to let the girls know both the Husband and I would answer any questions they have. I have older brothers, much older, so I was hearing about things way before I should have, and since no one explained it I often didn’t really understand it. I wanted to stay age appropriate, but let them know it wasn’t a taboo subject, and that sex is natural, and everyone does it. Even if they say they don’t, and especially if they say their kids aren’t. Because the kids probably are, they just aren’t telling their parents.
I’ve let the girls watch R rated movies well before they should have. They were going to watch them at some point, and at least if they were with me and Husband, we could answer questions. And we have. Often it went over their heads. Little One loves SNL, especially the Weekend Report, but a lot of it is over her head. I’m glad about that, but I’m also glad she is watching it with us so we can answer questions. Katie Perry was kind enough to help us need to explain what a ménage a trios’ was. I actually am a fan of many of her songs. Including that one.
However it happens, we’ve talked about it. And they’ve asked questions. And I know they’ve had discussions with friends. And sometimes Older One is nice enough to define words I haven’t yet heard. Urban Dictionary helps too. It isn’t easy, but it is important. Much as we’d like our kids to not do it until they are 30, they are going to. So it is our job to talk about it, and emphasize the safe part, and let them know it’s okay to talk about, and ultimately to do. I wasn’t a virgin when I got married (gasp!) and I don’t expect the girls will be either. I do expect them to be smart, and not get an STD. And not get pregnant before they are married and in their 30’s. I do want to be a Grandma one day, but that day is hopefully about 13 plus years away.