The 5 Most *Critical* Things You Should Teach Your Kids About Sex

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Teach Your Kids About Sex

Having the "sex talk" with your kids doesn't need to be awkward, as long as you make it comfortable.

You have kids so clearly you managed to maneuver your way through a few nights of lovemaking with your husband. But is that as far as your experience between the sheets goes?

Recent conversations with a friend of mine and mother of four made me realize that just because we moms know the basics (enough to conceive, anyway) doesn’t mean we know enough about sex.

Is your husband the only partner you've ever been with? Were you raised to believe that sex was for procreation only? Or that it doesn't matter if you have an orgasm?

And what happens when your kids start asking questions? How can you talk to your kids about sex if you're kind of a rookie yourself? 

With my own four children, I noticed that the fascination around this mysterious topic began much earlier than I expected. My eldest daughter loved to watch A Baby Story on TLC with me when I was pregnant, and immediately wanted to know how those babies got in the Mommy's belly.

The PG-version of how babies are made was totally acceptable for her and she didn't ask too many more questions until the day she walked in on us and started putting two and two together. After that, she would look at us accusingly over breakfast and state, "I know what you were doing last night," as if we had robbed a bank.

Recently, in a raucous drive home from elementary school, my 10-year-old daughter, in a fit of giggles and for no apparent reason, exclaimed, "I heard you last night! You were having SEX!" With the use of the "S" word, her 9-year-old brother chimed in, "Yeah, yeah, you know it. Sex, sex, sex!" He chanted it like it was a bad word he heard on the playground, but knew he wouldn't be punished.

"Okay," I said, "If you insist on talking about it, why don't you tell us all about it? What does that mean, 'having sex'?"

And the car went silent. Apparently, knowing that we were having sex and actually knowing what sex is are two different things.

"I guess I don't really know," she admitted. I offered to explain it to her — in private — at home. She politely declined. At 10 years old, her hormones haven't quite kicked in yet, and sex is just another mysterious thing that causes fits of giggles and whispering on the playground.   

My oldest daughter, still obsessed with all things medical, has started going through puberty. She has a hopeless crush on a boy in her class, which she openly discusses with him and her closest friends. She posts about love and heartache on her Facebook wall and her computer password is his name.

Maybe this crush will stay just that: middle school puppy love. But eventually, she's going to find someone who likes her, too. And then the real questions about sex will come out, maybe in a fit of nervous giggles. And believe me, they will come.

Because all of our kids, whether we like it or not, are exposed to "sex" all the time in commercials, print ads, or songs. It's there because people like sex.

Our brains are hard-wired for it to keep our species going and it's time to accept that S-E-X is not going away.

But back to you and your experience — or lack of — in the sack. How did you get that way? Do you want to change? Do you want your children to have the same kind of sex life you do, or better?

It may not be time to discuss those things with your kids (and just thinking about it might make your left eye start twitching from anxiety) but how you think about sex affects how your children will think about it when the time comes for them to actually do it.

No matter what values you want to instill in your children about when, where, and why sex might be appropriate, it's important that you help them understand a few things:

1. Sex is a normal part of life.

Humans are programmed to want to have sex. They're not weird for being interested or curious. If people don't have sex, they can't have babies and then the human race will die out. It's genetic.

2. Sex is physiological.

There are specific body parts involved, which are created to do specific things. These functions are important because when you understand them, you understand how sex can be good ... or bad.

3. Sex can become an emotional rollercoaster without proper mental preparation.

How many of us were taught that sex is about love? It can be about love, and sometimes it is about love ... but most of the time it's about our inherent need to have it.

4. You are in control of your own body.

This is tricky, because the brain sometimes takes a backseat when those physiological urges kick in. Every girl and boy should know that when it comes to their body, they are in control! Maybe they're not ready, but maybe they are.

5. Never feel uncomfortable talking about it.

Sex should not be a taboo topic, as long as it's discussed with someone your kids respect and feel comfortable with. Talking about sex can help them understand if they're ready or not. 

Back to you for a minute ... yes, you, the rookie. It's time you started doing your homework and took control of your own sex life. Life is short, and it's time to take advantage of one of the best, basic (and free!) forms of enjoyment we have at our disposal.

So, start talking to girlfriends, pick up a book, or watch some "inappropriate" movies ... and start having amazing sex. You don't need to become an expert on sex, but only you can change what happens between the sheets — or in the laundry room or on the kitchen table. 

Don't worry about your kids. If you give them the basics, they will figure it out. Besides, who wants to talk to their Mom about Astroglide and Brazilians? That's what friends are for.

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