I explained that this should only occur when she was older, more mature and in a committed relationship, and that it should be reciprocal, if she so desired.And, of course, I told her that you could get a sexually transmitted disease from oral sex.
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The other day I was at the gym finishing my workout when a mom I know asked for my advice about “the sex talk.” She was struggling, she confided, to bring up the subject with her teenage daughter—afraid that discussing sex was somehow tantamount to giving her the green light to have it.
You would think that for a generation of parents who grew up during an era of “free love” and whose own kids are being raised at a time when the culture is awash in sexual imagery that this would be an easy conversation to have.
I told her plainly that I wanted to talk to her about sex.
Her immediate reaction was to say, “Oh, no you’re not.” She pulled the covers over her head.
I imagined her caught unaware, uninformed and unprepared.
And as much as I dreaded it, I was convinced that it was my maternal duty to clue her in.
“My aborted attempts so far have not been promising.” Though I am not unfamiliar with the trepidation associated with said talk, I approached my own first attempt with what turned out to be unwarranted confidence.
When my daughter, Emma, now 21, was 13 years old and about to enter the yearlong Bar and Bat Mitzvah circuit, rumors abounded about the “Bar Mitzvah blowjob.” It turned out to be urban myth, but I lived in fear that some acned, brace-faced boy would approach my innocent daughter at a Bar Mitzvah party and demand that she service him.
But it is, in fact, the sex talk—the anticipation of exploring with their daughters issues of love, intimacy, relationships and the mechanics of sex—that seems to flummox otherwise smart, accomplished, open-minded, articulate women.
I was reminded of this again last week when a writer I admire, Hanna Rosin, penned a piece at Slate under the headline “Sex Talk Fail.” Rosin is a writer at The Atlantic; founder of Double X, Slate’s women’s section; and the author of The End of Men.
And even she has been at a loss for words when trying to talk to her teen daughter about sex.