Having Sex Talks with Your Daughter: 7 Things She Must Know

Many parents of teens today don’t find it easy to talk about sex with their children.

As a result, many youngsters enter the world of sex and sexuality without the needed information for safe and positive sexual experiences.

Instead of hearing the most important things about sex from their parents, a lot of teenagers learn about it from their friends and peers, the internet or movies.

Failing to break through the discomfort barrier and talk to our children about sex leaves them vulnerable to outcomes such as unwanted pregnancies, STIs and bad sexual experiences.

There are also the emotional aspects of sex such as deciding when the right moment is, whom to trust, and how to expect to be treated.

The stigma around sex and sexuality causes our teens to feel scared to ask for help and end up learning toxic information about sex from magazines or porn or remain completely in the dark.

And, daughters seem to have it really hard because it’s a common notion in society that we are not supposed to talk about sex with families, particularly girls.

The truth is that they are desperate to have conversations with people they trust.

Unfortunately, many fathers are terrified by the thought of their daughters being romantic or sexual beings.

Pretending that your daughter is an asexual being is only adding to the already present “shame” experienced by girls for having sexual feelings or urges.

This all serves to diminish a young woman’s knowledge and expectations in relation to healthy relationships and healthy sex.

Healthy attitudes towards sex begin with discussions at home

Suzannah Weiss, a writer, current editor for Complex  and a graduate from Brown University, firmly believes that the family environment is the ideal environment for discussions about sex.

She believes that families should talk about this important topic just as openly as friends do.

By changing our own perspective about sex and sexuality and talking about these topics with our kids from early on, we can really establish a close relationship where both sides don’t need to hide things.

Taking into account that we are sexual beings by nature, it can be rather draining to constantly feel constricted when the topic of sex or sexuality comes up.

If you agree that it is time to talk about sex with your daughter, check out our 7 tips to get you started!

7 Things Your Daughter Needs To Know

     1. Teach her that sex is not shameful

As Cory Silverberg, M.Ed. and sexuality educator, author, media contributor, and researcher collaborator with a BA in psychology from York University explains, shame is related to painful or negative feelings associated with who we are or who we think we are.

Sexual shame is related with feelings that who we are as sexual beings, including our sexual values, choices, and desires, is bad or broken. Knowing that we live in a society that looks negatively on sex, it’s easy to feel shame about sex.

The shame and stigma around sex and sexuality is further emphasized by family members who shame one another when sex talk comes up.

This teaches your daughter that sex is a topic that should be avoided and causes them to feel embarrassed about their own feelings and natural inquisitiveness.

How can we as parents improve the situation and our children’s well-being?

Begin by explaining to your children that sex is a normal topic for discussion and that sex and sexuality are normal parts of life.

By adopting this approach, you are not just helping your daughter or son feel less “ashamed” for wanting or having sex, but you are also helping fight off the stigma around sex and the tendency to judge women on the basis of their sex life.

 

    2.  Explain her that sex is not dangerous

Similar to violence, sex is often censored whether in conversations or movies and portrayed as something taboo.

Consequently, many parents get protective when it comes to striking up a sex-related conversation because they believe sex will cause trauma and take away their child’s innocence.

However, their innocence has nothing to do with their sexuality and a lot of children actually experience sex-related thoughts and emotions and begin to masturbate before they reach double digits.

If we put sex in the same category as violence, we are supporting the belief that intercourse is a violent act and confirming the wrong messages pornography sends.

But, is this what we want our youngsters to believe? Do you really believe that sex is always violent?

Young girls may easily start to think that sex will make them “less pure” and that sex is nothing more than a violation of women.

There’s no doubt that children do not yet posses the emotional maturity to understand what a sexual relationship encompasses, but they can and will learn and hearing about sex will not scar them.

On the contrary, it teaches them valuable lessons, for example, that there is nothing wrong in making each other feel good when you are in a loving relationship and connecting in the most intimate way with someone we trust and love.

     3. Start the sex talk before puberty

The longer we leave sex talks with our daughters the more uncomfortable the situation may become. If we are open about it and want to help our child, there is nothing to feel uneasy about.

The more you talk about sex, the less mystical and less “frightening” it becomes for both sides. Moreover, the sooner you do it, the better will both sides feel.

Your daughter needs to hear from you the most important things about sex such as birth control and how to practice safe sex, but also feel free to ask any questions she may have.

When should parents start talking about sex with their children? Does this need to be a one-time conversation or ongoing talks?

Many experts agree that starting at a young age and having regular conversations as the child grows up is usually the best approach.

And, ideally the conversations start before puberty because you will establish your openness about these topics and make your children more comfortable when sex-related questions and talks come up.

Talk to them about consent and what it means to be in a healthy relationship. Point out that sexual intercourse requires their consent. Explain them how to best protect themselves from sexual pressure and violence.

If your daughter is not really open to talk about sex, ease them into the conversation by sharing your own sexual experience.

Strive to teach your daughter to be a good risk evaluator and make good decisions by developing her inner voice. If something just doesn’t feel right, then it probably isn’t.

     4. “Offer” her more than biology

During their younger years, children may be satisfied with the physical and biological facts concerning sex; however, as they grow up, you need to explain other important things too.