I am firstly and most importantly a mother of two wonderful and beautiful boys. I’m also a sex blogger who believes in being sex positive. Being sex positive isn’t about enjoying sex. It is about being positive toward all things sexually related. All genders. All sexual orientations. Accepting that everyone is different and no one way is right or wrong, consent is a must, and exploration is nothing to be ashamed of are extremely important to me. Since these are important to me, I want to and do pass them down to my children.
Jamie was recently on the phone with his mother when my 5 yr old said the word “penis”. My mother in law responded with “why does [insert name] know the word penis?” Jamie proceeded to explain to her that I had been teaching him his body part names. We felt it was best to have him refer to his penis as what it is intended to be called rather than any other word. She proceeded to go on about stories from back in her time about sex education. (Rather lack there of.) Stating that she didn’t even know what sex was until well into high school. Note: my mother in law is 70.
Basically, what I am saying is that her time was completely different from the world we live in today. My mother in law would have been 11 when the controversy over Elvis shaking his hips and is sultry looks happened. Again, completely different time era as we have tennis shoe commercials with POV focus on girl butts in order to sell shoes; shampoo commercials with girls washing their hair having fake orgasms in order to sell shampoo; cologne commercials of “ordinary” men attracting flocks of horny women just to sell cologne.
Whether we like it or not as parents – things like this have an effect on our children. In my mother in laws day, you could shelter your children much easier than today. But what good did sheltering do them? From where I stand, I’m listening to a grown women have a fit over an anatomy word. To me this feels like I am teaching my son he should be ashamed to talk about his body and that isn’t okay with me.
The Do Not’s
**Possible Trigger Warning**
I’m gonna share something I don’t believe I’ve ever shared on my blog. Mostly because it wasn’t really relevant until now. As a small child, I was sexually abused repeatedly for years. I don’t want this entire section to be about me and my abuse. I refuse to give my abuser that much power over my life. But what happened to me has left me with scars. I have my issues with it, but for the most part – I am stronger because of how I have learned to deal with the situation.
The one thing that haunts me is the possibility of this happening to my children. I am terrified in fact. I won’t lie. Part of me being so afraid is why I’ve taught my children their basic anatomy and sex education so early. But also, I need them to be able to tell me if something happened to them. I need them to feel that I am a person to come to with their questions or if something happens to them.
My conversations with them doesn’t go into graphic detail. Their little minds can’t handle that. I do tell them about consent. I keep it simple:
Don’t let anyone touch your penis. Don’t let anyone do anything to you that you aren’t comfortable with. Tell mommy or another grown up like Papa, Grandma, Daddy, etc. if someone does touch you.
How can I expect my children to come to me and tell me things like this if I teach them to feel shameful by merely saying their body part names? I can’t.
No does mean no unless it has otherwise agreed upon that [insert safe word] means no. However, this isn’t the extent of consent I want to teach my boys. I want my boys to know that yes means yes and everything else is no. This doesn’t just go for them obtaining consent from possible partners. It also applies to them giving consent to their potential partners. Everyone: male, female, transgender, sex workers, frat boys, cheerleaders, that girl who dresses in mini skirts, etc – everyone is entitled to a choice as to whether or not to consent to the activity.
For now, the do not’s I discussed above cover most of consent that a 3 and 5-year-old can handle, but what needs to be included is…
Don’t do these things to others.
Right And Wrong
When I talk about “couples” I never say couples are mommies and daddies or male and female. Never. I get angry when others do this. I actually add that couples can be a wide variety of people sometimes couples are two women, two men, two transgender people, or a mixture of everything in between and more people added. I am not okay with couples being referred to as strictly male and female because it feels like teaching my children there is a right and wrong way to sexual orientation and I flat-out refuse to do that.
Everything that I chose to teach them and everything that I don’t teach them I do because I don’t want them to feel like sex is something to be ashamed of. This goes for anything that is sex related.
As a sex toy reviewer, I get so many boxes per week. I store my stuff in my own room and the boys know they are only allowed in my room while I am in my room. However, this didn’t stop them from finding my hiding spot. Naturally they were curious what they were. I could have quickly hid them and told them “Nothing. Stay out of my room.” That’s just not me. Instead I told them that mommy has toys too. Subtle answer. Nothing graphic. They responded with an “Ohhh…” and went on about their merry way. I have had to tell them my stuff isn’t meant to be played with and it is expensive so don’t touch it since occasionally I fall asleep and leave one on the dresser or somewhere out in the open. Plus the endless boxes of stuff that come into the house makes them wonder if they are getting new toys. I chose to tell them they were my toys rather than to tell them they are nothing they need to be concerned with because I felt that doing just that would have been sending them a message that sex toys are something to be ashamed of. Naturally they wouldn’t know that now, but later in life they would remember that incident. By saying toys, I showed my children they are nothing to be ashamed of and rather something to be enjoyed. Soon I will have to explain they are for use in privacy. Again, no graphic details just honesty at a maturity level they can handle.
When my sister was pregnant with my nephew, my oldest asked questions. He was very curious about where babies come from. He wasn’t asking me how babies were made. He asked where they come from. I’ve heard people say the stork or out their belly button, but to me this always felt like useless lies and shaming the female body, which shouldn’t be done especially with something as beautiful as child-birth. Instead I told him the truth. “Babies grow in mommies belly and come out of mommies vagina, but occasionally a doctor might have to cut mommies belly to remove the baby.” He didn’t believe me. So I pulled up diagrams of pregnancy on the computer. Nothing graphic and no POV videos of the birthing process. Just basic medical diagrams of pregnancy and labor.
I refuse to tell my children “sex is something you do when you are married and in love.” I’m not against saving yourself for marriage. I’m just against this idea that sex is something that only should be experienced within marriage. This goes hand in hand with teaching them there is no right or wrong way when it comes to sexual choices. I believe that sex is a beautiful thing that I should be teaching my children to be responsible about not telling them what is right. I believe that any sex had can be special for each person in a different way or not at all. I want my children to know that making decisions for themselves about sex is important. I feel like telling them to save themselves for marriage tells them that what they want or feel is shameful and/or not relevant.
Everything I teach my children, I do because I feel like it is the best decision for me. I’m by no means mommy of the year nor am I trying to give anyone parenting advice. I’m merely writing about my experiences as a young mother who lives the life style I do. I know I make mistakes and hopefully my children will learn from them and become better parents than Jamie and I are to them. All I want is my children to be happy. Free from shame and with an accepting mind.