Empowering Girls: Anti-Climactic Birds & Bees
by Tracee Sioux
“Olivia said she had sex with a boy,” my six-year-old daughter Ainsley reported. Sex has been coming up a lot lately. Her friends are a year older and all have older siblings.
“What do you know about sex?” I asked.
“It’s about boys and girls and taking off their clothes and kissing and stuff,” she said.
“That’s very good. They do take off their clothes and kiss and stuff. But, that’s not all,” I told her. “Sex is how mommies and daddies make babies,” I said as nonchalantly as possible while pouring cereal.
“You can see Zack has a penis and you have a vagina right? Well grown ups do too. Daddies put the penis in the Mommy’s vagina and some stuff called sperm comes out and Mommies’ have an egg in their uterus. When the sperm and the egg meet in the Mommies’ uterus the woman gets a baby in there. And you already know how Zack came out,” I finished.
“Oh, and there’s kissing and stuff,” she said.
“That’s right, but the kissing and stuff is called ‘making out’ and it’s part of sex but it’s not sex. Children should never have sex. I don’t think Olivia had sex and I don’t think that’s a nice thing for she or you to say. She may not understand what sex is,” I said.
“Sex is sacred and you should talk about it with respect. It’s not really for joking. It’s special and it’s for Mommies and Daddies who love each other,” I went on.
“I want you to remember the safety rules.”
“Nobody can touch my body except for me. Just like hugs and stuff but no touching my bottom or vagina and stuff,” Ainsley recited.
“Right. When anyone talks about sex I want you to come and get me so we can talk about it together,” I added a rule.
Flash forward to afternoon when Olivia has come back to play.
“Girls were you talking about sex last night?” I asked with a neutral blank tone.
“No, but the boys were,” says Olivia.
Ainsley blushes. I think back to the night before when we had families from church over for dinner. We had left the children playing outside alone, the boys were a few years older than the girls. Maybe 10.
“What did the boys say?”
“They said, ‘have you ever had sex?’ And we said ‘no.’ And they said ‘you probably don’t know what it is.’ And we said, ‘it’s like kissing and taking off our clothes and stuff,'” informed Olivia.
“It’s when mommies and daddies,” Ainsley started. . .
“Ains we have to let Olivia’s mom tell her that,” I said.
“Sex is nasty!” Olivia said.
“When mommies and daddies do it it’s not nasty, it’s special. But remember it’s not something children or teenagers do,” I replied.
“Listen girls, when anyone like those boys start talking about sex I want you to come and get me so we can all talk about it together,” I said again.
“Yes Mam. Yes Mam.”
“Those boys are lots older than you and we only kinda know them,” I reminded. “I want you to remember the safety rules. There’s no touching, kissing, holding hands or showing each other your bodies, right?”
Overall, I felt the sex talk was a little anti-climactic considering the anxiety my husband and I had leading up to it. We consulted the experts, read informative books, even spoke to a sex educator/marriage counselor and realized that we didn’t want to be the only two people in her life not talking about it.
We wanted to make sure she understood the facts, rather than the misinformation from friends, television, advertisements, etc. We wanted to apply our morality to it and make sure she understood that it was special, not something to be shared with everyone, nothing to be taken lightly and nothing she should be concerning herself with now. We also wanted to prevent and avoid any psychological shaming damage.
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