From the very beginning, both of my parents always encouraged an open, honest conversation about the seemingly icky things in life. My first conversation about sex happened when I got my first kinda-real boyfriend at 15. I knew it was coming by the nervous way they asked me to sit down on the couch, telling me there was something they wanted to talk about. At this age, I had zero interest in sleeping with with any guys. In all honesty, I hadn’t even had my first kiss yet, and in the 2 and 1/2 weeks my kinda-boyfriend and I dated, it never happened.
But what did happen was an honest conversation with my parents about sex, and how it affected relationships. We talked about how sex as a fine, natural part of life, and something they were fine with me doing- so long as I was careful with not just my body, but my heart. Beyond the usual ‘wear a condom, don’t get pregnant’ spiel, my mom sat me down to help me realize that sex was an incredibly emotional thing as well. I realized this, and that’s why I was in no way ready to start having sex at 15. I knew whoever I had sex with, I wanted to love them. I was definitely not ready to make my body and heart so vulnerable to anyone yet, especially not the guy I was dating at the time.
I made a rule for myself that I didn’t want to have sex unless I was in love. And at 18, it finally happened. And I’m so glad I waited. Sure, the first time is awkward, but the experience was made so much better having someone who loved and cared for me along for the ride. When the time comes, I’ll be sure to tell my kids the same thing that my parents did, “Just be sure that YOU are ready.” There is no rush, and there is most definitely no need for your partner to pressure you into something you’re not ready for. If there are any doubts in your mind, don’t do it.
What my parents stressed to me was that sex is in no way just a simple physical act. They told me of how it would change my relationship with that person, and that it was okay. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that sex is an incredibly powerful act that bonds two people. Beyond the physical pleasure is becoming vulnerable to someone, completely opening up to them and giving them your everything. Many, many of my peers growing up were devoutly Christian. It seemed that more than half of my school walked around with the “True Love Waits” rings proudly on their fingers; a symbol to everyone that their plan was to abstain from sex until marriage. And that’s fine and dandy, and I respect their choices. (What I don’t respect is teaching abstinence in schools, and completely disregarding the need to talk about how to have safe sex, but that’s for another post.)
My main point here is to let people know that I’m glad I was/am able to talk about sex openly with my parents, and that in doing so I gained a healthy respect for sex. Now, I see it as part of my relationship that keeps us intimate. I now have someone in my life that I am comfortable opening up to and trusting completely, and I do so easily because I know I’m both loved and in love. It’s good to know that my parents trust me in doing so, with reminders to stay safe, of course. I consider myself very blessed to have parents like mine!!