Family, Sex

Invaluable Parenting Advice For Dads On How To Have The Sex Talk With Your Son In A Way That Really Makes A Difference

Photo: unsplash / Joseph Gonzalez
Invaluable Parenting Advice For Dads On How To Have The Sex Talk With Your Son In A Way That Really Makes A Difference

As parents, one of the most difficult conversations to have with your children, especially your boys, is how to approach the topic of sex.

Parenting becomes a little trickier when the time has come to give your kids the sex talk.

RELATED: How To Talk To Your Kids About Sex — Without Shame, Guilt, Or Common Heteronormative Myths

You probably remember how you felt when your own father approached the topic, if at all. His parenting advice went a little something like this, "Don’t come home with no babies."

You probably also remember how it felt the first time you had sex. I’m sure it’s almost impossible trying to describe the feeling in words even now. You just know it felt good.

How can you expect to describe to your son what to expect?

So much has changed in the realm of sex and relationships. And the parenthood journey to raising young boys to adulthood is so much harder than it’s ever been.

Our conversations about gender and intimacy are long overdue and as parents, especially fathers, it’s our job to get it right. And surprising enough, our sons are starving to hear it from us.

But, fret not! There is plenty of parenting advice and tips that can help you approach the topic of sex with your sons.

For one, the book Boys and Sex by Peggy Orenstein can help you get into the mind of the current teenage boy so you can help your son understand what it means to grow into adulthood and to help navigate healthy relationships.

Even though it may be difficult to approach this discussion as a parent, here's some advice on how to have the sex talk with your son.

1. Make him feel safe to talk

If you can reiterate to your son that he is free to discuss the idea of sex and intimacy without being judged, they will talk.

Keep in mind that you will probably have to say it a few times and create the ideal space for it to sink in, but keep trying.

2. Ask him, "What is the ideal image of a man?"

Most boys are still stuck with the image that the ideal man still possesses those characteristics that were the norm in the '50s.

Qualities like stoicism, aggression, dominance, and sexual conqueror were prevalent back then. Showing any emotion except happiness and anger were absolutely off-limits.

You might have even displayed those qualities yourself when interacting with your son.

At present, you must discuss the need to display other sides of emotions like vulnerability, fear, collaboration, especially in dating and relationships, in order to make us feel human.

3. Ask him if he feels cut off from his heart

Not being able to express matters of the heart have dire consequences.

Some boys may feel that following their hearts somehow goes against the norms society has placed on them. They're afraid of the consequences that may result in doing the right thing.

You must show him why following the matters of the heart even though painful in the short term will benefit him in the long term.

RELATED: How To Talk To Your Teen Daughter About Sex (Without It Being Awkward And Weird)

4. Be open to talking about the social pressures of porn

Many of our teen boys and young adult males buckle under peer pressure and just go along with the program because they have seen firsthand the consequences when you do.

You should find out if your son had to choose between speaking out or staying silent.

How does pornography impact his views on intimate relationships? You may think this is a ridiculous thing to ask, but you need to be aware and understand that teens have access to free porn and they are watching it.

Boys are at least 3 times more than their fathers trying to spice up their relationship are engaging in pornography.

The difference is our teen boys are suffering because it affects their views on what young women should like with their clothes off and how they should act during intimate encounters.

5. Be vulnerable

Since teen boys still feel a young woman’s role is to be just available to him and submit to his demands, it’s very uncomfortable for them to be physically and emotionally vulnerable.

It will be important to hear your stories on how you are vulnerable to make your relationship work, even though they might not see it at home.

6. Discuss how he feels about the hook-up culture

Since the term is very vague, it's important to get a clear understanding from your son on his views.

In order for the hook-up culture to work, students must consume alcohol. The problem with that from the guy’s perspective is alcohol has been shown to diminish boys’ ability to read social cues or notice a partner’s hesitation.

It’s important for guys to understand this fact in order to minimize the damage of their reputation or avoid the awkward moments the next day.

7. Ask him, "How can I help you become a better man?"

This is probably one that you will have to answer for yourself, too.

You want to make sure you are a man that can show compassion, have boundaries and be respectful of boundaries, be vulnerable, a man that can sustain relationships and be happy and fulfilled.

As a man, if you possess those qualities, then it will make these seven topics you discuss with your sons about sex less painful and more fulfilling. And, if nothing else, it will hopefully bring you closer.

Even though your parenting styles and skills may vary, the sex talk is one of those most important conversations to have with your kids to prepare them for their future relationships and intimacies.

And you'll be glad about it.

RELATED: Why I Let My Teens Have Sex At Home

Keith Dent is an NYC-based Certified Life Coach, and author of In The Paint: How to Win the Game of Love who works exclusively with men, couples, and teens to help navigate where they want to go. Contact him via email to get results.