What Teens Really Need to Know About Sex


What Teens Really Need to Know About Sex
Educating your kids about sex

Real sex is personal. You can’t have sex without relating to the other person. You can’t have sex without making a connection to another person. (Even solitary sex requires a relationship with yourself and your fantasies). Your teen will be cheating herself if she settles for impersonal sex.    

Real sex is not like in the movies. Sex isn’t all glowing and hazy and perfectly coordinated. Sex is definitely not like porn. Sex in the movies, in fiction and in porn bears little resemblance to what it is really like (unless you hire a director). Real body parts are softer and harder, larger and smaller than what is shown in the media; all in the less idealized direction. Real sex is awkward, bumbling and, frankly, funny looking. Orgasms are mostly quiet, personal reactions rather than the screaming, thrashing, begging performances depicted in movies (though that does happen now and then). Sex is incredible only occasionally. There are times when it is just barely satisfying.  Then there are the times you just quit in the middle. It is important for your teen to know that real sex is all of these.


Real sex is worth talking about. You should talk to your partner about what you want. You should talk to your partner about what they want (and don’t want). You should say when you are uncomfortable. You should be able to say when you are frustrated. You must discuss protection and responsibility. If your teen can’t talk about sex, they aren’t ready for it.

Real sex is not enough. Sex anchors you to the moment (which is why you can lose yourself in it for a time). Any positive feelings or benefits are fleeting. Sex will not make you feel better about yourself. Sex will not make someone like you more (though they may be perfectly happy to hang out with you for a while). And, ironically, the more you focus on sex for the sake of sex the less good you feel about it (and the more it can take over your life). Help your teen avoid being fooled into thinking that sex is the answer.

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Real sex is a test. How well do you balance pleasure and responsibility? How well do you set limits on your desires? How well do you focus on the needs and wants of someone else? How well do you allow yourself to just enjoy the moment? How well do you know what makes you feel good? How well do you pay attention to what your partner enjoys? How well to you let yourself be truly vulnerable and intimate with someone else? Your teen will need help learning how to deepen and enrich their life with real sex.


Real sex is not something you take (or buy or earn). No one owes you real sex. Real sex is something you receive. Real sex is something you give. Someone looking sexy does not tell you anything about what they want or don’t want. Everyone has the right to say stop; at any time. Your teen needs to know that real sex requires permission.

This article was originally published at . Reprinted with permission.
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