I know, I know! You don’t want to think about your child having sex, but it’s going to happen someday, and wouldn’t it be great if it happened well?
You can help your child avoid mistakes, heartache, and possibly disaster by having this conversation together.
Losing one’s virginity is a big deal, so it shouldn’t “just happen.” Instead, make a plan! Here are the pieces to think about:
Your teen will have sex for the first time with someone; what should that person be like? Someone your child loves, and who loves them back. Someone they’re in a committed relationship with. Someone who isn’t older or much more experienced, since that creates a funky power imbalance. Someone your child has good communication with, because they need to talk about birth control, sexually transmitted infections, and boundaries. It might not be the Someone they’ll marry, but it should be someone they’d be proud to bring home to meet you.
What’s on the shopping list? Condoms, of course. Lube is a good idea too (hey, I was nervous, weren’t you? And that nervousness doesn’t help things along). Some emergency contraception, like the morning after pill, isn’t a bad idea either.
Beyond those very practical items, remind your child to set the mood. Add some candles onto that list – we all look better by fire light! Buy some chocolate – it mimics the pleasure and arousal signals in our brains. Flowers or scents can be lovely; massage oil can be divine. Leave the alcohol off the list, but hydration of some kind is a good idea. Absolutely no porn, and sex toys probably aren’t a good idea for your first time, but maybe a romantic movie or a playlist of romantic music.
Somewhere comfortable and private. That means, not in a car, not in water, not on the beach or in the woods, not in a tent, and not in public. Are you laughing? No, really, your kid needs to hear this! They’ve seen way too many movies romanticizing all those terrible places to have sex! Honestly, most people have sex in a bed. It’s warm; it’s soft; it’s behind a door you can close and lock.
After the couple have been together for a while. After both partners have been tested for sexually transmitted infections and shared the results with each other. After they’ve talked about what they each want the experience to be like. After they’ve planned and obtained the contraception they’re going to use.
Can you see how valuable it is to talk this through? Don’t you wish someone had helped you make a plan like this when you were young? I’m not saying it will be an easy conversation to have, but it’s worth your time and effort, and it’s even worth your discomfort. If you’re not sure you can do this, email me and tell me about it – I’ll be glad to help.
In support of you,
hi, great info….just what i was looking for. tanya
Thank you so much! This is all such great info and it will totally help me help my kiddos!
Thank you for this! Is it odd for me to cringe at the thought of providing my child with (or suggesting to use) candles and chocolates to “set the mood” for her first sexual encounter? I mean, if one is old enough to have consensual sex, doesn’t live under a rock, and has had sex-related talks with a parent, shouldn’t s/he be able to come up with ideas of what might make the scene more comfortable? Shouldn’t it just be a conversation about intention and visualization before action, only making more specific suggestions if s/he is stumped & asks? It just feels TOO involved for me. It’s also a bit strange for me to hear “child and sex” in such a supportive way. My 15yo hasn’t had any very longer-term relationships so maybe it’s too hard for me to imagine? Maybe I still have issues?? I can indeed have the conversation. I just don’t know if I agree that all of what is being advised is right even though I want to since it comes from a sex educator, in all due respect (self-proclaimed) and I have a traumatic history. Know what I mean? Thanks again….I really appreciate your important work.
Hi Michelle, no, I don’t think it’s odd at all. We have a hard time talking with kids about sexual pleasure! I was 17 when I had sex for the first time, and it didn’t occur to me to do anything more than make sure we had condoms, so I’m describing what I *wish* someone had shared with me. If you don’t think it should come from Mom, that’s fine, just Someone…YES to intention and visualization – that will make it so much easier to insist that sex doesn’t “just happen”, that there is a relationship, a conversation, and no substances involved. And, of course you don’t have to do what I suggest! Mostly, my goal is to keep it top of mind, so that parents are thinking about all this stuff more…
Thank you, Anya!
Sex traning and education must to be compulsory in all school. Then childrens vill be safe