Dad, Six Things to Say During “The Talk”

I read this article, “Six Things to Say During “The Talk” recently in Men’s Health and I was pleasantly surprised with it’s content so I decided to add it to my blog.  The article is in the May 2015 edition, pg 84 by Nick Keppler.  The article is presented here in an edited version.  I encourage you to check it out. I am aware the suggestions in this article may not match your/your family’s values but from my prespective, it may give you some ideas of things you have not (and need to) mention the next time you have “the talk”.*  Further, it may give you ideas of how to expound on topics you have already covered.

“1. “99.9 percent of the time, sex is not about babies.” When Dan Savage’s son D.J. was 9 years old, he confronted his two dads.   “You and Daddy have sex for no reason.  Two men can’t make a baby!” That’s when Savage, the author of several sex advice books and arguably America’s most prominent syndicated sex columnist, realized he may have botched the talk.  “I left out the most important part: pleasure,” he says.  But those communication fumbles are fine, he learned as long as you correct them.

2. “Don’t rush it – but when it happens use a condom.”  Young people often thing good sex is “just something that breaks out, that impulsiveness is evidence of authentic feelings.” says Savage.  They may even feel that actively planning to be intimate is dirty.  “We need to flip that,” he says.  If your kids do want their first time to “find them,” warn that it could happen when they’re drunk or lack protection.  Stress the importance of having a condom handy and knowing how to put it on.

3. “If talking to me is too weird, talk to Aunt Claire.”  Don’t be afraid to delegate in a pinch.  When Savage and three siblings were teenagers, their mother appointed aunts to be their confidantes on all matters sexual.  Those relative were told not to report what they heard back to Savage’s parents.  “They weren’t in our lives every day so we didn’t have to see them constantly, he says.  It wasn’t like we had to go to an adult who we would have to look in the eye every morning.

4. “Whatever you want to watch is your business.”  Yeah, this part of the discussion may feel especially awkward but your teen is online so he has probably seen hours of porn….Tell your kids that porn doesn’t represent real-life sex.  “Teach them to have a critical eye-to be thoughtful porn consumers, ” Savage says.

5. “Everyone is into different things.  I’ll leave it at that.” “People who are kinky need to know that their life isn’t over because they’re into diapers or whatever,” Savage says.  If you’re uncomfortable talking about, say, bondage, to your 13 year old, just mention atypical sexual interest when bring up another must-discuss topic: consent.  Savage’s script: “The craziest thing two people want to do together – if it’s consensual and they take steps to assure their mutually safe – is fine.

6. “Whichever way you lean, I’ll always love you.”  Teenagers are riddled with insecurities and sexuality ranks high among them.  “Kids have attempted suicide because they assumed their parents would have a problem with their being gay and the parents actually didn’t,” says Savage.  “But the parents never said anything about how they would accept them.” So make some acknowledgment of homosexuality to show you’re okay with it and that they should feel the same way.”


* I indirectly suggested one talk was not enough.  My belief is that it is not.  How could a parent possibly cover ALL the topics in one’s sexuality in one talk.  Experts (that I have read) suggest parents look at “The Talk” as a series of conversations you have with your son/daughter over a period of time, starting  early (7-8 for girls, 9-10 for boys). As they age and their life experiences change, so to you change the topics you talk about, becoming increasing focused on sexuality and intimacy in/out of relationships.


More later.