The only things teens need to know about sex is it will result in pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases or infections, problems making it to heaven, and a life of devastation and ruin as a sex-starved maniac --- that is, if you try to teach teens about sex the old-fashioned way. Unfortunately, this approach won’t get you very far with 21st century teens. There are some things your teen needs to know about real sex they are only likely to hear from you.
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Real sex is wonderful. It is fun and exciting and intense and amazing. It isn’t evil. It isn’t inherently wrong. It is deeply satisfying. It can open your mind in new and surprising ways. The depth of feeling it can generate toward another person is down right scary. Sharing this intense intimacy at the right time with the right person is a wonderful source of joy and pleasure and release. Your teenager needs to know that real sex is great.
Real sex is terrible. It is overpowering and distracting and blinds you to what really matters. It can take over your judgment and impulse control. It can make you violate your personal values. It can fool you into thinking it is something it’s not (like love or a meaningful life goal). It can be embarrassing and shameful and bizarre. It can limit, severely damage or eliminate future options. It can ruin deeply important relationships. Your teen needs to learn you can’t take real sex lightly.
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Real sex is complicated. There is no such thing as “simply sex.” Your own sexual feelings and desires are surprising and confusing. Your partner’s sexual feelings and desires are surprising and confusing. Sex will leave you conflicted and torn at times. It will fill you with contradictory thoughts and emotions. Make sure your teen understands that real sex is complicated.
Real sex is powerful. Sex is a biological drive. We are hard wired to orient to it, pursue it, want it and enjoy it. It can make you want someone so badly it actually hurts. Since the beginning of recorded history, humans have put limits on sex to keep it from messing up society. Your teen needs to pay attention to the wisdom of the ages and treat real sex with respect.
Real sex is more than equipment and technique. If you focus all your time on the mechanics of sex you will miss the real point, which is to have a meaningful, intimate and mutually satisfying physical connection to another person. The most inadequate equipment (e.g., breasts, penises, abs, butts) combined with the most inept skill can still end in satisfying sex (because real sex is that cool). Make sure your teen knows that it’s all in how he relates to his partner because . . .