When you talk to us about values, beliefs, and sexual health decision-making in an on-going dialogue it can really impact three significant behaviors that keep us healthy:
- A commitment, or return, to abstinence
- Reducing the frequency of sex
- Increasing the correct and consistent use of effective methods of contraception.
To help make talking about sex a little easier for families, we have compiled the following tips:
1. Be Available
Create a safe space for us where our comments, questions, or concerns about sex and sexuality won’t be judged. Make us feel like we can come to you to just talk, we don’t want to feel like we might be lectured or get into trouble.
2. Self-Reflect, Don’t Project
Check in with yourself about how you feel. Your feelings and concerns are important, but how you convey them can determine if we feel safe and comfortable talking to you.
3. Choose Your Words
People use a wide range of language to talk about genitalia and sexual activity. Try to use words that we will relate to while still using medically accurate and anatomically correct terminology. Like, when we say “hooking up,” ask us what that means. It’s important for us to be on the same page.
4. It’s a Continuous Conversation
Having “THE TALK” only once can make it awkward for both of us. Talking about sex over many small conversations lets us feel safer coming to you with our questions.
5. Look Outside the Box
Talking about sex does not have to happen at a designated time. Don’t ignore examples from movies, books, or songs. Use them as a prompt for thoughtful discussion.
For more on “the Talk,” check out SIECUS.