flying through clouds of uncertainty on wings of existential dread
Which is a kind of abstinence, but not so much on purpose. If everyone could teach their children to be super awkward and nervous and leery of the gender they are oriented to, parents would never have to worry again. Or you could be a reasonable human and teach them about sex, explain why they should really wait until they’re mature enough to deal with it and care about the person at least a fair bit, and make sure they have access to condoms/birth control/other safety measures as needed. Or you could be a giant dick and teach your kids that sex is evil and condoms are evil and watch them get pregnant/STDs/fucked up emotionally. Your call, really.
I can’t claim my mom was always perfect, (see? Mothers!) but she did a good job with the sex talks. Talks, plural, because one is not sufficient for such a big topic. The one I remember best because of its relative uniqueness happened when I was about twelve and announced to my mother that I was going to be a virgin until I got married. That’s when she sat me down and explained that, while she would very much like me to wait till I was at least in college, and hopefully in love, I should absolutely NOT wait for marriage. She talked about how easy it could be to fool yourself into thinking you love someone when you just have the hot pants for them and make a terrible decision. At the time, I thought she was nuts, but by the time I was 14 my high school boyfriend was pressuring me about sex and I’d thought it over enough to know that I was definitely not ready. Giving me the power to make that choice was what that talk with her had really meant — instead of laying down the law about my body, she expressed her wishes for me but left it in my power to decide with no recriminations or shame. She decentralised the idea of ‘virginity’ as the be-all, end-all and made it about what I wanted and would be ready for when I damn well chose.
Sadly, the friend of mine he dated next was raised by an ultra-conservative mother who had never taught her anything about sex. Under pressure, she didn’t have any preparation or time to make a decision, nor was she used to her body being something she had the right to decide about. And once she had sex, she ‘knew’ herself to be dirty and worthless because she was no longer a virgin.
Tell me again how teaching kids about sex and giving them access to birth control will cause them to have sex?
Wow, this post got long. Anyway, thanks, Mom. Good talk.
Happy Mother’s Day!