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“Mom, He Wants To Eat Your Groceries!”

5 Tips for the Sex Talk in 2022

Me and my girl Courtesy of me Shaunte Young

What’s the best age to discuss sex with your child? That question had me frantically Googling to consume all of the tips, tricks, and even half-truths that would get me through this important but difficult conversation with my 10-year-old daughter.

So let me tell you how it began. There I was plating dinner for my husband, 8-year-old son, and 10-year-old daughter. I make two meals every Sunday to help ease the culinary fatigue I get throughout the week. (I strongly suggest you incorporate meal planning into your lives.) I asked my husband which meal he wanted for dinner. He responded playfully, “I want what your Momma made.” My son immediately asked what that meant, and to our surprise, my daughter answered.

“It means he wants to eat her butt.”

Yea, we were shocked too. A couple of things took me by surprise. First, how does she know about oral sex, and second, why did she bypass vaginal pleasure and jump straight to him eating my groceries?

At that point, I knew what I had to do. It was time, time for the sex talk.

According to my bestie Google, I should have started this conversation a few years ago. Don’t get me wrong, we’ve discussed body parts, puberty, and bodily changes, but I never explained sex in real detail.

To be honest, I thought I had more time. I thought I could delay this conversation until at least another year when she turned 11. Maybe even push it off until middle school.

I had to move quickly. I needed to have the conversation with her asap. What all does she think she knows? Where did she learn it? Who has she discussed it with? After reading all the things, I could find on the internet, I began.

I started the conversation by explaining to her that although this may be an uncomfortable discussion, it wasn't meant to be. I asked her what she already knew about sex and its meaning, and to my surprise and relief, it wasn’t much.

“Sex for heterosexuals is when a man puts his penis in a woman’s vagina.”

That’s a lot! I managed to get it out, but my heart was racing. I then went on to factually explain the basics of homosexual intercourse. The conversation evolved from sex and reproduction to pregnancy and miscarriage, abortion and Roe V. Wade, molestation, and concluded with consent.

I was so nervous about having this conversation with her, only to feel foolish upon its conclusion. I was more hung up on the sex talk than she was. Perhaps it’s my own insecurity. Perhaps I need to get more comfortable talking about sex.

Sex is natural, and we should have an open dialogue with our children about it. Need some help to get the conversation started? Don’t worry, I’m not leaving you hanging. Check out a few tips I picked up that helped tremendously.

  1. Admit discomfort and stay calm — I started with, “This may be an uncomfortable conversation, but it’s important that we discuss this.”
  2. Ask them to share what they understand about sex — Their wealth of knowledge or lack thereof may surprise you. Regardless, it’s important to gauge their level of understanding.
  3. Start with the facts — Use anatomical names for private parts. Yes, rip off the bandaid. It will hurt deeply but stay strong, parents, you got this!
  4. Use headlines to guide your conversation — We ended up talking about Roe v. Wade because it’s all over the news. She had already heard the word abortion on television. I needed to get to her before the six o clock news did. Jhene Aiko and Omarion got a head start with her. I needed to do damage control.
  5. Take your time — It doesn’t have to be a marathon conversation as you pack it all in. Make sure your child understands that they can ask questions if they come up at a later date.

So, where do we go from here? I can imagine when she gets to middle school, her questions may be more complicated, with an expectation that I go into more detail. As I write this, I’m creating a few casual talking points to have a similar conversation with my son. I don’t anticipate going into as much detail with him, but hey, I’m ready now.

So what has the sex talk taught me? It’s taught me that our children are always listening and learning, with so many experiences beyond my control. What I have learned is that I need to encourage an open dialogue with my children about everything. Nothing can be off-limits. I always knew that, but it’s all so real now. As my children grow up, I’m growing up with them.

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