I wanted to add something to the Core Erotic Theme (CET)/our children developing ideas around sex and sexuality while they are young topic.
A male friend of mine and I were having a discussion about porn and erotic literature. We just recently uncovered that something he used to do as a tween has had a profound impact on his adult sex life! WOW. Imagine that. (said sarcastically. For those of you who are new to reading my blog and haven’t heard me rant about “talking to your kids early and often”, this is my mantra).
The back-story here is when he was 12 he began to read Penthouse Forum magazines (he won’t reveal his source or exactly how he came in possession of the “literature”). He would scan the articles and select one based on topic and length. (Size queen? Jk). He said articles that were too short weren’t worth unzipping his fly. When he found one that was appealing, he would commence… do I really need to spell it out here?? 😉
This friend was particularly aroused by the stories in Forum that contained what we are lovingly referring to as “the change up” – a typical non-sexual situation turning into something sexual. You know, those instances where the housewife greets the pizza delivery boy and seduces him, or the handy man replacing a light bulb has his pants pulled down around his ankles while he is on the ladder. Those fantasies from his youth were arousing to him then and, until recently, he didn’t realize the lasting impact this had on his sex life. Yet he packed it away into the recesses of his mind and started unpacking because of our open discussions about turn-ons and our basic Core Erotic Themes. So now he understands why, as an adult, he still enjoys fantasizing about the neighbor’s wife, being fondled while doing household chores, and for some inexplicable reason gets aroused whenever someone delivers a pizza.
For parents of tweens: Make sure you are communicating with your children about what they know or are experiencing. Do not assume your children are not exploring their own bodies. Here’s some news for you… the National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine 2010 reports by age 14-15, 67.5% of boys had already masturbated in their lifetime, not to mention that 13% of them had already received oral sex from a female in their 14-15 year “lifetime”. Correspondingly, for 14-15 year old girls, 43.3% had masturbated and 10.1% had received oral sex from a male in their lifetime. What is not clear to me from the data is if the girls had masturbated to orgasm, or if they know what female orgasm is?
The stuff your kids are doing and seeing NOW is having a lasting impact on their budding sexuality. If you suppress it, repress it, or otherwise make sex shameful, it may have an adverse effect on how they express themselves sexually as adults. If you talk about fantasy etc. now, they are more likely to have a healthier, sex-positive attitude when they are adults.
I understand: this is tough stuff! As a mother, I get nervous thinking of my own daughters engaging in sexual behavior at what seems to be a young age. I want to make sure I keep their little life rafts moored to the mother ship so they always know they can come to me with questions and that I’ll do my best to answer them. It’s ok to acknowledge your discomfort. It’s ok to say you don’t know the answer but offer to research it together. But please do NOT lie or make shit up. It only pushes your children away from you. If you lie to them and they find out the “real” answer, you will have proven to them that you don’t know what you are talking about. Our kids already think they know-it-all, let them at least know the truth.
For you parents, I want you to remember your own youth. Remember how awkward and uncomfortable it was with all of those hormones and breast buds and first periods or cracking voices and facial hair and growing pains. Did you go through all that alone? Wouldn’t it have been better if a loving, caring adult in your life talked to you about it? Ok, of course lots of you are going to cringe at the thought of your own uncool parent discussing sex but are you so uncool yourself? I know plenty of adults who would rather have someone else have these conversations with their children for them but, really?? Don’t YOU want to stay informed and involved?