Why I Wish My Parents Had Been More Open About Sex

woman lying on bed
Jan Zhukov / Unsplash

I feel like it is kind of ridiculous that at 23 I really need to be having this discussion right now, but as it is, this is my current reality.

I went to the hairdresser today and spoke with her like I do very often because she truly is like an auntie figure to me. She looked at me and said after a while, “So are you having oral sex?” I blushed a little like I was still in 5th grade and I guess my face said it all and she said, “Just make sure you are careful.”

As a 20-something virgin, many of my peers who are still virgins would never want to air something like this out there for everyone to know.

It’s just too intimate, too personal, and of course, so many people are judgmental nowadays.

But as a writer and one who likes to share my experiences with others, maybe someone out there can relate.

My parents never sat down with me and talked about sex. Ever. Like we had a little one-two chat here and there but for my mom to actually sit down and be like, “Ok, let’s talk about birth control, do you know this or that?” I never got it. And at 23 years old I can confidently say that this hurts me.

It hurts me because I didn’t feel comfortable, as a grown woman, to ask my own mother about certain things when it comes to sex. Someone else had to tell me, and that hurts.

So, my hairdresser and I chatted and she just gave me some warnings regarding certain things and how naivety, no matter what age you are, can lead to unwanted pregnancies.

I even thought about this the other day and sat down, really taking everything in and said to myself, “For fuck sakes, I never really had a sex talk with my mom and that’s not okay.” Speaking to my hairdresser, she was so nonjudgmental and I felt very open about just telling her anything. If I ever were to speak to my mom, however, she would probably dance around the question or just give me a very militant and short discussion. When I asked her why we really never had a discussion about sex in depth, she simply stated, “Well, my mother never spoke to me about these things, so I never saw the need to either.”

Enraged and confused at this response, unfortunately, I get it. A lot of our parents just have this generational wall that has been put up for decades when it comes to certain discussions. And this is not just limited to sex. It could be homosexuality, mental illness, or issues with self-esteem and identity. There is this sort of parenting that is built on the notion of, “Well you live and you learn so no explanations needed.”

As an adult who is clearly not fully in the know when it comes to sex now, clearly her opinion on me not needing to know is absolutely false. To be clear, this isn’t about me being a virgin at 23, or not knowing certain things because of my age. Age has nothing to do with it because everyone is different and to me, that is irrelevant.

What matters here is that we really need to be more open about certain things when it comes to our kids because hiding things, whether we think it is for protection or whatever it may be, is only hurting them in the end.

Although this is an awkward and clearly appalling realization that I have made in these past few weeks regarding sex, my parents, and how open we are willing to be with our kids, it has definitely reinforced the notion in me that if God blesses it on my heart to have kids I will talk to them about anything.

I never want my kids to ever feel like they have to hide anything thing from me or feel uncomfortable when it comes to sex and their sexual health.

Your kids should always feel like they can tell you what is on their mind and in this world of crazy, they should never have to navigate any of this shit alone.

Sorry to say it, but I just wish my parents were more open with me about sex. TC mark

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