I was recently asked this question: “So would you allow your child’s boyfriend/girlfriend to sleep over? I mean, what’s next?”
…Well, they probably have a wonderful sexual experience and want more!
What else do you expect to happen? Sex can be beautiful, loving and fulfilling, no, let me restate that: sex IS beautiful, loving and fulfilling, if approached with an open mind and heart, regardless of sexual orientation. Sex is an amazing experience that two people can share with one another. Unlike any other act two people can share, sex involves an intimacy few interactions can imitate. In my experience, the shared birth of a child is the only moment that brings about a closeness that rivals a shared orgasm; and that experience started with the shared orgasm!
It is because of this capacity for true intimacy that sex and its value should be one of the first things we teach our young adolescents. Sex is powerful, sex is beautiful and should ALWAYS be approached with kindness, gentility and a sense of awe. It is not something to hide away in the dark and shun any thought of; it’s fun! When sex is approached with an attitude of understanding, our children are infused with a feeling of self-worth that no team sport could ever provide. No amount of counseling, excellent peer interactions or parental praise can equal the pride in one’s self obtained by accepting the fact that your ‘secret’ desires are not only perfectly ok, but valid, useful inclinations.
What a concept — approaching self-esteem by telling a child their darker selves are loved. Only in our culture is the primitive drive to propagate a species seen as dark and dirty. We MUST change that. Sex is not dirty or disgusting, it’s amazing and should not be relegated to something we do in the dead of night when the house is asleep and the lights are off. Turn on the lights and make love at noon. Sex and pleasure are not desires that should be hidden, but valid feelings that when expressed appropriately, bring immense joy into your life. I believe this to be even more important to stress to children who identify themselves as genderqueer or gay. No sexual desire should ever be discounted or thought of as dirty. If it doesn’t hurt anyone else, it’s ok.
What happens now that you have been open and honest with your child about sex, and they are doing it not only with your blessing, but possibly under your roof? Well, I’ll let my daughter handle that part:
You know what I hate? I hate the way most parents think [their] kids don’t know anything. I hate how little credit they give [their] teenagers. How close-minded and judgmental they are of [their] children. And then they wonder why they don’t tell them anything, why [their] kids put them at arm’s length. How can you expect your kid to be open with you when you can’t open your mind to them? Why do you want them to talk to you, when you wont listen to them?
Your teenagers are going to fall in love, they are going to break sometimes, and they aren’t always going to do the best in everything. Who are you to expect otherwise? You know EXACTLY what it was like! You know how misunderstood you felt, you know how much you wished you could be open with your parents. And yet, now you are given the chance, and you throw it away.
I’m so thankful for my parents.
I can tell my amazing mother and father anything, and they will swallow [their] fear, and open [their] ears to what I have to say. THAT is love. That is good parents. They still discipline me, and still give me rules to follow, but they freaking listen to me. They hear what I have to say, take into account my feelings, and validate me.
And that’s more than I can say for most other parents out there.
I think she said it perfectly and will leave it at that. Allowing your child to make adult decisions in the safety of your home is the most powerful gift you can give before they set out to live their life without your constant guidance. Give them the gift that will carry them through the rest of their lives. Give them the gift of trust.