This is a term that is new to me. I heard of it last year. However, I was already practicing this with Abigail but just didn’t know what it was called.
My parents never talked about sex with me. I grew up really curious about the body and sex and sex education and health and life science. All of this was really interesting to me, but I don’t remember asking my parents about any of it.
Well, yes, I do remember one time I asked my mom why my sister was getting these things in the mail and I wasn’t. I think I was 8 or 9 years old and my sister kept getting these really cool samples in the mail. I didn’t know what they were, I just knew that I didn’t want to be left out! My mom told me that I will find out when I am older. I don’t think they even send samples of pads and tampons in the mail anymore.
I don’t remember when I found out, but it was probably 5th grade sex-ed class. I finally learned some cool stuff, and gross stuff like periods. I remember in 6th grade I was hanging out with my friends after school and my friend from softball, Amanda, told me “You know your parents have sex?” I had no clue what that word was. Never heard of it. So, naturally, she explained it to me.
“Your parents get naked together and your dad’s penis spins around and stuff shoots out of it.”
Ew. What the hell. I don’t even remember how I reacted to that. I knew what the parts looked like from 5th grade but didn’t know what they were used for…together. Ew.
I remember in 5th grade I spent the night at my friend Heather’s house and she pulled out this book that (I think) her parents gave her about human anatomy and puberty. I remember flipping through it with her and looking at the drawings of the human body and the various stages of growing up and puberty. I remember seeing hair in places I didn’t know hair grew. Once again…ew.
I do remember talking to my mom around 9 years old about pubic hair. This was when I first remember experiencing anxiety. I just didn’t know what it was called back then. My mom and dad called it “melancholy.” It only happened at night and especially Sunday night. I remember telling my mom that I was growing up because I have hairs on my vagina. I showed her and she said “Oh! That is just peach fuzz!” I said “I don’t want to grow up! If I grow up then you and daddy will be old and die.” She tried to calm me down and speak logic to me, but in my head, if I got pubic hair then I will be old and they will be old and die. End of story.
My mom would spend hours in my room at night calming me down until I would go to sleep. I remember one night she was lying at the end of my bed between my feet and the footboard. I fell asleep finally and had a dream I was falling and I landed on my feet and jerked my legs to absorb the impact and boom! kicked my mom in her stomach. My poor mom.
I remember spending time at the bookstore looking up books about human anatomy and things like that. I wanted to find out as much as I could about it because then it would not be so awkward to me. I did eventually talk with my older sister about things, but this was when I was about 15 or 16 and already sexually active.
When my parents got divorced when I was 14, my dad started talking openly about sex, but not the way you think a dad would. It was more of a “shock jock” style of discussion. He would make funny remarks about sex and his relationships with his girlfriends. This was also the first time I heard someone having sex and I didn’t even know what it was. My sister had to tell me.
I was hanging out in my sister’s room because she had a friend over to stay the night and I was being that annoying, nosy little sister. Then, I heard a noise. It was a repetitive, squeaky noise and I looked at my sister and said “What is that?!” I had no clue, honestly. She said “You’ve never heard that before?!” Her friend started laughing to herself. She told me that dad was having sex with his girlfriend. Ew.
I remember the first time I SAW someone having sex. I was 15 or so and my dad’s girlfriends son was home and I didn’t know it…I went walking into the spare bedroom where we would all play video games and there it was. I remember seeing him on top of his girlfriend and they were totally naked and he had black socks on. I immediately closed the door and left the area quickly. I remember thinking it was so funny that he left his socks on. I still think that is funny when guys leave their socks on. Kind of disrespectful in a way, I don’t know. It bothers me, but its weird and funny to me.
My friends were all having sex at very young ages. I actually found out after high school that a lot of my close friends were having ORGIES! Oh my gosh. Crazy. I guess I was pretty sheltered and what they called “straight” back then. It doesn’t have the same meaning now as it did back then. Basically, I was the girl that wasn’t easy.
So I guess the point of all this is to talk about how I am raising Abigail to be more open talking about sex. It is natural. Why not talk about it naturally? I started talking to her about body parts when she was little. Yes, we use words like hoo-ha and booty butt, but she knows the medical terms as well, which is very important. She knows about how her body is hers and it is special. She knows that no one should touch her body unless she is okay with it. She also knows where babies come from. She knows babies can actually come in different ways. She knows about adoption, surrogacy, c-sections, water births, vaginal birth, IVF, and foster children. She experienced me going through a surrogacy. She learned a lot from that experience.
We are open with talking about sex and bodies now so later she will feel comfortable talking to me about anything she needs to. If she has questions, it won’t be awkward (as awkward) or difficult to bring up a topic to me.
The other day she wanted to know what her private parts look like. I put a mirror on the ground and told her to go ahead and look. I proceeded to clean the house and do my own chores and she spent a good 20 minutes admiring her body parts. She did have some questions and I answered them appropriately to her age.
I think it is extremely important and empowering, especially to a young girl, to know these things. We will never have “the talk” because I started the conversation a long time ago and she continues the conversation because she knows I am approachable on the topic and always answer truthfully.