Posted by: minnow | May 19, 2008

The Sex Talk

I do not think I ever had it. I am not sure I even know what it is. My entire “coming of age” preparation consisted of seeing a movie in the seventh grade while sitting next to my mother. Thankfully the girls were in one room and the boys were in another (unlike sex ed. classes today). After the movie  I left school, with my mother, and we went to the drug store where she picked out a maxi-pad belt for me to keep in my draw until I needed it. We then went home where she showed me where she kept the maxi pads and instructed me on how to wrap the used pads in toilet paper and washout my soiled underwear with warm water and soap.

The Movie  discussed body parts, a woman’s cycle and how the egg and sperm united to make a baby. In high school our gym teacher added to our education by demonstrating how to put a condom on a banana. She also mentioned STDs. Thus ends all memory I have of my formal sex education.

My mother and I never discussed boys, men, dating, sex, STDs, birth control, PMS, cramps, masturbation, marriage, pregnancy, orgasms, or tampons. Nor have I ever talked about these things with my sister who is three years older than I am. The truth is the most intimate conversations I have had about sex or sex related topics were with a mid-wife in a birth education class that included at least five other couples.

If the midwife had told me that twenty years later I would be sitting at my diningroom table with my three sons (20, 18, and almost 16) at two in the morning on Mother’s Day answering questions about pregnancy and a woman’s menstrual cycle I would have told her she was crazy.  I do not know when or how I came to this decision but at some point in the whole child rearing experience I told myself I would be honest with my children and available for all their questions.  I have only one time told any of them that something they asked was too personal and a couple of times I have generalized their questions because a personal answer would not have actually address the issue.  So, what is the point?

If what I am hearing from friends, educators, the blogs I frequent, and official reports is true my dining room experience is the exception to the rule.  In the twenty-first century we still find it difficult, uncomfortable, and therefore rare, to talk about sex or sex related topics with our children.  And, while not surprising a very sad reality is that Christian parents and the Church in general are the most silent of all.

In the last couple days I found a few Christian blogs with a couple interesting discussions.  Ann Jackson talks about modesty here.  And, Pete Willson picked up the discussion from a guy’s perspective here.  Julie Clawson began a dialogue about sex with a review of the book, PORN NATION, on her blog at OneHandClapping.  Justin at a Noggin’ Full of Noodles comments on sex ed. in the public schools. And finally, Rod Dreher has opened up the homosexual marriage debate again over at Crunch Con on Beliefnet.  Still while the debates and hormones are raging little is actually said to our children to A). answer all their questions, and B). help them navigate in the image rich but substance poor sexual culture of the twenty-first century.  My question is why?

I do not want my children to make my same mistakes.  I do not want them to have my hang-ups, experience my disappointment, believe the lies I believed, or miss out on what sexual intimacy can bring to a marriage.  At the same time, I believe the best guarantee my children have that they won’t “miss out” is that they have learned to ask questions, speak freely, explore their own feelings, listen to their bodies, and understand they can always learn more.

Our children are asking questions.  If we are not the ones listening then what are the answers going to be?




  1. also…sex week on 🙂

  2. Somehow i missed the point. Probably lost in translation 🙂 Anyway … nice blog to visit.

    cheers, Devon.

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