Fear of Having the ‘Sex Talk’ With Your Kids by Raqiyah Mays

Sex picture

I remember “the sex talk.” Seated at the kitchen table, my mother awkwardly attempted to discuss sex: What it was. Why we should wait. I honestly don’t remember what she said, because I was too busy trying to withhold my laughter. Her nervousness was funny, fidgeting and blushing through shiny chocolate cheeks.

“I already know about that,” blurted out my brother, a silly middle school kid at the time.  He and I giggled, mom smiled, and that is all I remember about that moment.

The truth was that I was a teenager that had already been doing “it.” That’s what we called it in high school back then. “It.”

“Did you do ‘it’”?


“I heard such and such did ‘it’ with such and such.”

It was the 90s. Generation X teen pregnancy rates were statistically high.  And we all thought we were so cool and grown with our Halle Berry bob cuts and high top fades. But in reality, we didn’t know what we were doing. Mimicking moves seen on late night cable TV. Memorizing sexual lyrics that subconsciously made our hormones vibrate horny. Most of us had never heard a real sex talk outside of health class. And in those days, it was more about the functions of reproductive organs and not the responsibility or control of the emotions that come with sexual intentions behind them. They talked at us. Not to us. And in some places, this is still the case today.

But why? According to the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, in 2013 there were 273,105 teen births. This was a huge drop from 614,000 in 2010.  But the brightest red flag numbers to me come in the demographic based rates of unplanned babies. In 2008, females 15-44 contributed to 69% of accidental pregnancies. Among women 20-29, the rate was 51% that same year. It’s not just teenagers having unprotected sex that leads to surprise pregnancies. Many of us adults are guilty of doing the same.

Perhaps this is why some parents find it so hard to talk to kids about sex in a way that resonates. Perhaps it’s that anxiety driven whisper saying, “You’re a hypocrite,” that rattles through the brain as we subconsciously shiver when sitting and conveying, “Do as I say and not as I do.”

But it’s this silence that can wreak difficult repercussions on our kids, where babies raise babies and grandparents raise them all. Imagine if we were completely honest with ourselves. Imagine if having “the talk” wasn’t simply about discussing “it.” But instead talking about ourselves, our lives, and our irresponsible choices when it comes to sex. What if some parents dared to be 100% authentic for our children making them see and feel our own sexual worries, doubts, fears, conflicts, and mistakes as a teenager and adult? Imagine if we visualized being in high school again, and then shared the truth of that experience by putting it all on the table in youth accessible terms leaving room for difficult questions and brave answers.

As parents, we need to be honest with ourselves about sexual mistakes made, the repercussions, pain, unplanned pregnancies, abortions, and STDs we or some in our circle may have faced. Maybe if we set aside the selfish embarrassment and be courageously transparent to our kids, then they might see through the false sex selling messages sent through media, entertainment, and the peer pressure of friends. Maybe our raw truth will awaken within our kids a never-ending consciousness and responsibility that makes one pause in the sweaty moment when their big head reminds them to stop and strap up the small head. Maybe we can knock down the teen pregnancy rates and save our children from hardships by being brave enough to share the times when we didn’t and should have saved ourselves.

See more at MommyNoire.com: http://mommynoire.com/303533/having-the-sex-talk-with-your-teens/#sthash.5Gd7iezv.dpuf

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