My Mother never told me about my period and she certainly never gave me the birds and bees talk. When I started my period and she finally found out, she bought me some pads and nothing else was said. I asked friends and looked up things in the medical books at the public library. I thought I was internally bleeding at first! Boy, that was a stressful time.
The sex talk with my mother was mostly her yelling whenever she felt like it – “Nevah Nevah Nevah pokey pokey – you get preganick!” Yeah, classy chick my Mama – LOL She would remind me very often that men were only nice to women to get them to have sex with them and then wham, they turn into snakes. If you get pregnant, they leave you with the baby. Men are horrible – do not go near them. Then, when I turned 17 she asked me if I liked girls because I wasn’t dating. WTF? LOL
I wanted to make sure that my children got a little better understanding of the reproductive cycle and how to control what happened to their bodies. I thought I wanted sons but got two daughters which made me really nervous. I was never good with females and I was sure I would muck it up. They are 15 and 11 and so far so good (I think? Maybe?)
Both daughters have met homosexuals, heterosexuals and transgendered individuals. We have talked openly about asexuality, bisexuality, homosexuality and sexuality in general. They now know their parents have had sex and are as you can expect, horrified. My eldest wanted to know why the school did not talk about the subjects we talk about at home. That was a hard thing to explain. I told them that the school could only talk about limited subjects without making parents angry and that talking about sex was very personal and uncomfortable for many families.
They both knew their periods were coming and handled it well. Both are nonplussed about it but kind of pissed knowing it is something specifically female. They think it is unfair. I have tried to explain men have their set of problems too, but they are not buying it. One’s cycle is regular like clockwork and the other is never on time.
I spoke with each of them separately as they came of age about sex, first talking about it strictly pertaining to biology and now more on a young adult level about choices and decisions. The eldest is much more comfortable about asking questions now. Last night she asked how someone could safely have sex without getting pregnant. Before I could even answer, the 11 year old blurted out, “None! duh!” I had to chuckle. So we had a healthy conversation about the risk of pregnancy with and without contraceptives.
I could tell it was a little too much for the younger one but that is one of the pitfalls of being a younger sibling – you are exposed to things a bit earlier than the firstborn. She hung in there though. I was relieved to see that the oldest has finally gotten over the squeamishness of the discussion and seemed truly interested in what I had to say. Huzzah!
I am not a perfect parent. Sometimes I do not even feel like an adequate parent. Being a Mom is hard, yo! NO ONE should have children without thinking about it and understanding what kind of commitment it is. I am glad my sister and my BFF decided to be child free. By the way they are childFREE not childLESS – please know the difference if you are talking to a woman who chose NOT to have children. I have several friends who wanted children desperately and were unable to make that happen and my heart goes out to them. At this point in my life, I’m ready to rent out my kids so if anyone is interested let me know. LOL (Just kidding, but not really if you are interested).
Sex is not dirty and it is not gross in my opinion. I was asexual all through high school and somewhat in college. Sex was not something that was a top priority in my mind so I was considered odd in my day. During my senior year of high school I did have a “boyfriend” and we did make out a little. I thought I was in love with him and I still have a fondness for him in my heart. He was kind and respectful and I am happy he was the first man I cared for. I hope he is out there somewhere extremely content and happy.
If you have children, be sure to teach them as much as you can about their own sexuality. Love them just the way they are and be there for them. When a child does not have a mother that can be an emotional anchor it is hard for them to develop normally. I’m okay now, but it was tougher than it had to be. If you do not have children but have good friends with them, please be that Auntie who answers questions they are too uncomfortable asking their parents. Love is love is love and all I want is for my daughters to be happy no matter who they choose to love.