Why I love cheerleaders

I coached the cheerleading squad at Dwight-Englewood School when I worked there as a science teacher.  The idea that I could be a science nerd and a cheerleader delighted me, and I was determined to demonstrate to my girls that geek and pep are not mutually exclusive terms!

The stereotypical cheerleader is an empty-headed bimbo, focused on her appearance, dating the highest ranking male, which, for a reason I’ll never understand, is always the captain of the football team.  That’s not the cheerleader I love.

What I love about cheerleading is the skill it takes to do the acrobatics, combined with the relentless cheeriness.  It’s not an easy sport, and at its best, cheerleading isn’t even focused on itself.  It’s about supporting the team playing ball and getting the audience involved.  Cheerleaders are catalysts.  They add energy to help the rest of us out of our tiredness and seriousness and distractedness, so that we can yell and fist pump and rally for our home team.  They help us show up differently.

Would you like to show up differently when talking to your kids about sex?

Maybe you need some cheerleaders.  Maybe you need a community rallying to support you.

For many of us (most of us?), we’ve lost our communities.  We moved away from home to go to college, to follow a sweetheart, or for that great job opportunity.  Our modern mobility gives us freedom to take advantage of those opportunities, but it also means our friends and family are scattered across the country.  Fewer people belong to community centers, spend time in houses of worship, or host a potluck, because we’re just so damn busy.  Community is the thing we long for when we’re lonely, the thing science has shown helps us feel happier and live longer, and yet, we’re too busy to invest the time.

Community is also the key to doing something difficult.  If it’s hard to do, you need support, and without that community rallying you on when the going gets tough, that New Year’s resolution just fades away.

I want to offer you some community.  We all need to have our wins celebrated, to be cheered on through the tough moments, so that it’s possible to do this challenging thing.  Talking about sex is not a one-time lecture; it’s a process of building open communication with your kid so that you can be the one they come to with their questions.  That long journey is composed of many small steps, many small talks.  Tell us your success story so we can love you up!  Witness someone else’s blooper and encourage them to try again.  That one-degree shift can help you aim for a slightly different star and eventually find your boat at a very different shore.  With the support of a community you can show up differently; you can be a more tenacious, more inspired, more powerful you.

If you’re local to the San Francisco Bay Area, join the Meetup group.  Whether you’re local or not, join the Facebook group and introduce yourself.  Let us support you, and please lend your support to others, as we figure out how to discuss sexting and porn and the other big n’ scarys.  You don’t have to do this alone. 

In support of you,


P.S.  May will be a big month for workshops!  Come join one!

  • May 5th 7-8:30pm, I’ll be at the West Portal Library in San Francisco presenting “How to talk to your kids about sex without freaking out.”  No registration required.
  • May 12th I’ll be doing a workshop for the Golden Gate Mother’s Group: “Birds & Bees & Beyond: three essential conversations to have with your young child about sex & relationships”
  • May 15th workshop in Mountain View: “Birds & Bees & Beyond: three essential conversations to have with your young child about sex & relationships”
  • May 18th I’ll be doing a webinar for the Golden Gate Mother’s Group: “Birds & Bees & Beyond: three essential conversations to have with your young child about sex & relationships”

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