Talking To Our Teen Daughters About Sex: A Brainstorm

CIRCLE5We come from a centuries-old cultural legacy that has made talking about sex taboo.  Many of us never received conscious, female-based sexual education until we sought it out for ourselves as adult women.  Imagine having instead journeyed into womanhood with a firm foundation of knowledge and values- articulated from mother to daughter- guiding you along the way, informing your decisions and experiences.  How might things have been different for you? Now, we have a powerful opportunity to offer this kind of experience to our daughters.

Studies show that teens who talk to their parents about sex are more likely to delay their first sexual encounter and to practice safe sex when they do become sexually active. We do our daughters a tremendous disservice to be silent around this powerful part of life, and just “hope it’s not an issue.” They need our guidance, and ironically, despite their apparent dread, kids really want to learn about sex from their parents according to study after study on the topic.

Experts recommend thinking of it as an ongoing dialogue, rather than one uncomfortable “the birds and the bees” monologue.  Making it a relatively frequent topic also makes it much more likely that our daughters will seize the opportunity to bring their questions to us.  We can take advantage of everyday moments to broach the subject; a mention of sex or sexuality on a TV show, movie, or song, a pregnancy in the family, sex-education classes in school, a visit to the doctor around the time of puberty, or an article in the news can offer you an opportunity to open the discussion.

But before we can effectively communicate our views, we must first get really clear on what exactly those views are.  Spend some time contemplating what it is you want your daughter to know about sex.  A helpful question to ask yourself may be, “What is the ideal circumstance under which I want my daughter to have her first sexual experience?”  From this, journaling a brainstorm list that you can refer to periodically to help frame your conversations may be helpful.

After contemplating that question myself, here is my brainstorm list of some things I want my daughter to know about sex:

  1.  Sex is not bad and you are not bad for wanting it.  Women enjoy sex just as much as men.  Our bodies, our anatomy, are very sexual.  Let’s read the gold standard on women’s sexuality together and talk about it.

  2. Sex is an expression of the Great Love.

  3. Masturbation is healthy and okay.

  4. Sex is for adults.  The longer you wait the better.

  5. STDs and AIDS and teen pregnancy are real and can happen to anyone- even you.

  6. Ultimately, it is your body and you are responsible for protecting yourself.   I will help you purchase condoms and show you how to use them correctly.   I will take you to our gynecologist/midwife to discuss birth control and STD protection.

  7. Anyone who doesn’t respect you enough to put on a condom is not someone you want to be having sex with.

  8. Your body is yours.  You decide who, when, where, and how.

  9. Having sex will not make someone love you or stay with you.

  10. It’s never okay for someone to pressure you into having sex, nor is it okay for you to pressure someone.

  11. How to resist pressure to have sex.

  12. Above all, make sure you respect and trust anyone you choose to have sex with.  This takes time.

  13. I will love, like, and respect you regardless of your sexual orientation.

  14. I will always be available to answer questions factually and honestly, to listen, to support, and to believe.  There is nothing you can do that will shock me, disappoint me, or make me stop loving you as much as I did that first moment I looked into your newly born eyes.  No matter what,  you can come to me if you are ever curious, confused, or in trouble.

By talking to our teen daughters about sex openly and honestly and frequently, we are supporting them in making wise and wholesome decisions for their highest good.  And that is one of our ultimate wishes, is it not?

We can do this, mamas! 

What are your thoughts on talking to your daughter about sex?   What is on your brainstorm list?


  1. […] to our conversations with our daughter’s about sex, it is best to start early and speak often.  Daughter’s as young as 3 or 4 years old can begin to […]

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