Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Talking to Kids About S-E-X

Most of us probably have some memory of "the talk." The conversation that finally moved past the garden/hose and slot A/tab B metaphors to talk frankly about sex. The names, the actions, the protection and, if you were lucky, the pleasure.

To help navigate the sometimes awkward and unsteady waters of male and female wobbily bits, Dr. Laura Berman has created a sex ed handbook for parents. The handbook, complete with diagrams, is a good read for even the non-parents of the world by explaining what and how to talk about sexual behavior and development at all ages -- including birth. Who knew that my Mom should have been celebrating my healthy bowel movements when changing my diaper instead of commenting on the smell?

I particularly like that Dr. Berman doesn't shy from talking about female masturbation, the role of the media, peer pressure and self-esteem.
"While self-stimulation is simple and straightforward for a young boy, girls don't have it so easy. You might want to have a candid talk with her about exploring or learning about her body or even offer her a simple clitoral vibrator. (Don't worry, it doesn't have to be a large toy or a toy that is actually inserted into the vagina.) Tell her that a lot of girls enjoy touching their vulvas and bringing themselves to orgasm, as this can help to remove the stigma or shame she might be feeling regarding it."
And if you have any further questions, just ask Jordan - the absolutely adorable girl who had her "talk" with her Mom and is probably more knowledgable than most of us.

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