Wednesday, October 12, 2016

The Unchained Sex Talk

I often joke that, if my 16-year-old self knew what I know now, I would have been a total slut in high school. Today I know more about sex and my body than I did at 16, partially because I was just a kid, but mainly because my mom scared the shit out of me about sex.

This was my mom's sex talk to me in middle school: "Boys are out for one thing and you're not going to give it to them -- ever." 

I quickly figured out what that "one thing" was. I wanted it just as badly, but I had no idea how to get it. I was blindly doing anything that felt good with anyone who expressed interest in me. Fear and embarrassment inhibited me from talking to my mom about it. I rebuffed all of her attempts to talk to me because I didn't want to disappoint her.

In retrospect, it isn't surprising that I became pregnant at 18 years old. Karma gave me a daughter to raise and when she reached the pivotal pre-teen years, I had no idea where to begin with the "talk." I did know, however, that I was a teen mom born of a teen mom, and I didn't want the trend to continue. I sat with my 11-year-old daughter and asked one question:

"Do you know what a blow job is?" 

It was shocking enough to make her pay attention. I didn't sugar coat it. "Sex is amazing," I told her. "It feels fantastic and when you're with the right person for the right reasons, it is even better. Because it is so amazing it should be considered a gift, like giving a boy a Playstation gaming system." Her eyes widened, and she laughed. "That's expensive," she told me. "I know," I replied. "That's how you should value your body. You wouldn't buy just anyone a Playstation, would you?" 

Over the course of her young adulthood, I explained all the different versions of sex - foreplay, oral, vaginal, and anal sex. If she was going to do anything sexual with anyone, she needed to understand what it was and how to protect herself physically and emotionally. I taught her about UTIs, STIs, and the tricks boys use to try to get what they want from her. Her teen years passed by and one day she told me that a naive conversation she overheard in the girls' locker room made her grateful I taught her the lessons I didn't learn until I was an adult. 

Some parents might say that I was too frank and open with such a young girl, but that young girl is now married and enjoying newlywed life without the constraints of a baby on her hip. She has always known that she could talk to me about anything without judgment and that I would answer her questions honestly. 

At Unchained Jane, we encourage each other to be our authentic selves. Why shouldn't that begin with our daughters? I've raised informed daughters who value their bodies. I've taught them that it's okay to enjoy sex as much as any boy and it is nothing to be ashamed of.

Being "Unchained" begins at any age, young or old. We can teach our daughters how to be independent and self-aware, but we must instill in them the confidence to put those lessons into practice. Confidence comes from knowledge and we have that in spades. Share that knowledge with your daughters, and we will raise a new generation of Unchained young women.

Stay Unchained, my lovelies.  

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