Ghostwood Farm


A letter to my kids.
April 10, 2017, 1:17 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

My friend Diana is leading a project in which people are submitting reflections on a given topic (The Bridge Project). Many of these reflections will be published in a book and on an associated website (not yet developed–I will post a link when it is). I wrote the following open letter to my kids about sex as my contribution in the “Family and Relationships” section.

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This is a difficult (but important) letter to write. Sex is fun. It feels good. That’s why you seek it. There are things you should know, though. Some of those things I can tell you and some of them are things you have to find out for yourself. Sex is one of the most important parts of any long-term relationship and is a basic human need. I will tell you what I can.

#1. Sex requires consent. Everything you do with a partner needs the consent of both of you. Nonconsensual sexual contact isn’t sex, it is assault. Only “yes” means “yes.” Ask. Over and over. Always. If you mean “No,” say “no”. Be assertive, be respected, and be respectful. Have fun, and be safe.

#2. Sex is normal. It is not dirty (sweaty and messy, maybe). It is nothing to be ashamed of. Everyone’s idea of sex is different. Have fun, and be safe.

#3. Communication is very important. “That feels good.” “That hurts.” “I want to try something.” Everyone’s idea of sex is different. Have fun, and be safe.

#4. There are things that can hurt you in sex. There are diseases you can get from unprotected sex, and of course, pregnancy can be a life-altering result. You can get these diseases from oral sex, too. Have fun, but be safe. Condoms are not negotiable and are your responsibility. You may find that the emotions involved in sex can be intense and confusing and, sometimes, hurtful. Have fun, and be safe.

#5. Sex is a collaboration. If one of you is not having fun and receiving pleasure, fix it. Communication is very important. Respect your partner and their needs, but don’t give up your own opportunity for pleasure. Have fun, and be safe.

#6. Alcohol and sex can be a difficult combination. Alcohol removes inhibitions and clouds judgment. Be careful, be assertive, have fun, and be safe.

#7. The best sex grows out of the intimacy of a long-term relationship. The better you know your partner, the more trust and respect there tends to be. But sex doesn’t have to come out of a long-term relationship. Sex doesn’t have to mean anything. But the best sex strengthens a relationship. Have fun, and be safe.

#8. Self-awareness is important. You can’t tell a partner what you like if you don’t know what you like. It can take a long time to discover these things with a partner, especially with a partner who is also new to sex. So, experiment by yourself. There is nothing wrong with masturbation. Most people do it. It’s a great way to find out what you enjoy. It should be private, but not shameful. Have fun, and be safe.

Your decisions are your own. There are a lot of people who will tell you that teens should never have sex, that they can’t be trusted with new hormones running through their bodies. Nonsense. You are going to have physical contact with other people, hopefully people you care about. You need to be aware of important aspects of sex before you start. Other aspects you will figure out. You can always ask me or your mom any questions. About anything. Just remember:

Sex requires consent. Sex is normal. Communication is very important. There are things that can hurt you in sex. Sex is a collaboration. Alcohol and sex can be a difficult combination. The best sex grows out of the intimacy of a long-term relationship. Self-awareness is important.

I love you.

Have fun, and be safe. Be safe. Keep yourself and your partner safe. And make sure you both have fun.

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