This is another post in our series of guest posts on learning about sex within different religious contexts. Here’s a link to our guest post invitation.
When I was about 11, my Dad explained sexuality to me during the car ride home from a camp out. He stressed that sex is sacred and beautiful. He also mentioned that others would talk about sex in a trivial and inappropriate way, and that I should not do that. That talk seemed to inoculate me, as my Dad’s view of sexuality made me immune to disparaging or degrading ideas about intimacy. This made a lifelong impression on me.
When my son was 11, I had a similar talk with him on the ride home from a camp out. I tried to stress the positive, but I was also thorough. We covered masturbation, wet dreams, pornography, and edible underwear. Okay, we didn’t quite get to edible underwear. By the end he was pretty much curled up in the fetal position, begging me to stop. Okay, it wasn’t that bad, but…it was thorough.
Of course, I was very proud of having had this talk with my son just like my Dad had done. So I called my Dad. After I related my sterling father moment, he said that he didn’t mean to talk with me about sex at that time. When I responded incredulously, he elaborated, “you just kept bugging me, so I told you.” My only hope now is that my son will also positively misremember my talk with him.
[Last post in the Teaching Sex guest post series: Reframing Negative Assumptions]