Growing up: Open, or Prudish?

(k)InkyIvy (k)InkyIvy
Growing up, my family was always very uptight and prudish about sex. Sexuality was taboo, enough so that my mother's "sex talk" for me essentially consisted of "If he can't give you an orgasm, he's not worth sleeping with." And when I asked how you make yourself have an orgasm, I was simply told "Rub until it feels good."
Needless to say, I grew up very confused and uninformed about all things sexual. It was only after I'd graduated from high school and began college that I began really learning about sex, from a friend who was much more open about it all.
Finally, at age 19, I learned what an orgasm felt like and how to give myself one.

So, here's my question:
While you were growing up, was your family open, willing/able to explain things to you so you understood sex and sexuality? Or were they prudish, barely telling you the basics?
Answers (private voting - your screen name will NOT appear in the results):
Open
43  (24%)
Prudish
96  (54%)
Other?
38  (21%)
Total votes: 177
Poll is closed
02/10/2012
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Eliyahu Eliyahu
I was raised in a fairly conservative Jewish household, so...there was no talking about sex. I had to figure it out along the way, and from sneaking views of my step-dad's porn when I could (not really all that helpful to a 15-16 year old for anything more than jerk-off material...).
02/10/2012
Chirple Chirple
I was free to ask any questions I wanted, I just didn't feel like doing so.

I knew the basic biology, but beyond that I didn't really care because I wasn't sexually active.

I did ask, "if having a baby hurts so much, why do people like sex" when I was reeealllly little. Haha. And I got a straight answer.
02/10/2012
Wildchild Wildchild
Quote:
Originally posted by (k)InkyIvy
Growing up, my family was always very uptight and prudish about sex. Sexuality was taboo, enough so that my mother's "sex talk" for me essentially consisted of "If he can't give you an orgasm, he's not worth sleeping ... More
I was brought up catholic, fell off the wagon a long time ago. There were no conversations around the dinner table like there are today. I grew up right for my parents. I'm not that same young man they raised.
02/10/2012
oneeyedoctopus oneeyedoctopus
Sex is something we never talked about ever. I never even got the "sex talk" from my parents. But I didn't ever feel that sex was bad or filthy or anything. It's just a private adult thing that we don't talk about. My sister gave me her copy of the "What's Happening to My Body Book for Girls" when I started asking her questions. Once I got old enough to be really curious the internet could tell me everything I wanted to know.
02/10/2012
Llewey Llewey
My whole sexual awakening and discovery was done mostly online, as my parents never talked about sex. The word wasn't used in the house and I never received a "sex talk". I knew what sex was since a childhood friend of mine had a "adolescence and you"-or-something book.

Luckily for me I never had a "What's wrong with me!?" phase regarding my sexuality or gender. I just kind of went with what felt right.
02/10/2012
AHubbyof2SexualMinds AHubbyof2SexualMinds
Living in the South in the middle of the Bible Belt, I wanted to be open about sex, but it wasn't something you talked about. After I got to college I was able to open up and explore a lot more.
02/10/2012
Ansley Ansley
I grew up in a home where I never saw my mother with a man. She didn't date, and if she did, she didn't bring them back to the house. I never saw her kiss, hug, or show affection to other human beings that weren't family or close friends so it really skewed not only my most basic of social skills but also my outlook on romance.

We didn't talk about sex, didn't watch tv shows or movies that had sexual content or romantic overtones...it was just the thing that didn't exist. So, it probably doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that once my body started to go haywire with puberty that I was all over that shit like nobody's business.

I wanted to learn it all! I wanted to do it all. Feel it all, experience it and cherish it. And boy did that land me in some serious trouble.
02/10/2012
P'Gell P'Gell
Quote:
Originally posted by (k)InkyIvy
Growing up, my family was always very uptight and prudish about sex. Sexuality was taboo, enough so that my mother's "sex talk" for me essentially consisted of "If he can't give you an orgasm, he's not worth sleeping ... More
Your family used the word "orgasm?" I didn't even know orgasm entered into sex until High School. I wasn't told it was pleasurable and that a man just "stuck it in" and "released his sperm." That was it. I was raised that it was basically for making babies and keeping your husband, so you had to figure out a way to have sex as little as possible, while still keeping your husband. Orgasm? It was never mentioned. Ever. I'd say a family who even broached that subject was far more open than most. "Rub until it feels good." ??? I was told "self abuse" would land me in hell. Even was told not to touch my own breasts, to use a wash cloth on my breasts and "binky" (yeah, even when I was a teenager) and "wash real fast." That's PRUDERY.

It's amazing I'm able to enjoy sex so much. But, I've pretty much dismissed everything I was taught as a child about "life" (most of it was how to manipulate men, clean and do as little as possible in terms of relationship work) when I learned to think for myself at around 13 or so.
02/10/2012
Ciao. Ciao.
My family wasn't really prudish about sex, but it just wasn't something that came up frequently...my parents just really didn't talk about sex much. But I'm glad it was never something that was really made to be shameful or anything and my parents had no trouble with me being exposed to sexuality in culture and things like that. So yeah, I consider myself pretty lucky in this area.
02/10/2012
BobbiJay BobbiJay
I was just told never to do "it".
02/10/2012
Chilipepper Chilipepper
Mother sexually tortured as a child - she grew up to be an RN and told me as clinically as possible the whole biology of it. I often wondered how pregnancy accidents could happen since it sounded so boring.

Father never came into the picture about any part of it.

Step-father committed emotional incest on me (you just don't say that sort of shit to children), so I never felt comfortable with my body.

Peers considered me too fat, ugly, and gross to want to do anything with.

Ended up having a super-high sex drive that scared the shit out of my low-drive ex-husband, and I thought there was something wrong with me all this time because I shouldn't have a drive like this due to the emotional incest, being fat/ugly, and sexually stupid.

Needless to say, it took me YEARS to finally educate myself ... most of it through here.
02/10/2012
wrecklesswords wrecklesswords
I never actually had a sex talk with my parents. At least not one that I can remember.
02/10/2012
Melissa Smith Melissa Smith
Our household was very open. Sex was never off limits to talk about or bring up.
02/10/2012
Silverdrop Silverdrop
Other. All of our questions about sex were answered, but it was made very clear that it was never ever ever to occur outside of marriage - not even masturbation.
02/10/2012
wdanas wdanas
Our questions were answered without hesitation growing up, and sex/sexuality wasn't discouraged past "wait until you're old enough." My mother also offered to help me get birth control when I was 14, and when I was a bit older hinted that if I wanted any sort of toys, she would be fine with getting them for me. I, of course, was mortified. Now I am grateful that she was so open and made things comfortable to discuss, because I felt no need to run out and try things before I really felt ready.

It does make me wonder why so many people think not talking about sex or anything relating to it will keep someone innocent and completely devoid of normal hormones such that they will not experiment with sex. Frank discussion seems to work a lot better for that, from what I've seen.
02/10/2012
godweensatan godweensatan
who knows.... i had a weird childhood. it was open, but i was very private so i never talked about it.
02/10/2012
Tagmstr Tagmstr
My family was pretty open about it
02/10/2012
Beck Beck
I was lucky to have an open family.
02/10/2012
PassionateLover2 PassionateLover2
Quote:
Originally posted by Ciao.
My family wasn't really prudish about sex, but it just wasn't something that came up frequently...my parents just really didn't talk about sex much. But I'm glad it was never something that was really made to be shameful or anything ... More
I think this comes close to my experience too. While my family was reserved, I was more interested to explore. I read a lot, search articles about the 'facts of life', and I took it from there. Today, with the internet and all, most young kids have a much easier forum to find anything that their heart desires! But under my circumstances, I was pretty lucky!
02/10/2012
Kitka Kitka
My family was pretty open with sex talks and whatnot so it wasn't too bad for me growing up but I sort of grasped the basics from sex ed class in school and from friends.
02/10/2012
El-Jaro El-Jaro
My family just never talked about it...ever. It wasn't until I was in my late teens/early twenties until anything like that popped up.
02/10/2012
js250 js250
It was rarely talked about and with negative tones when it was. Very prudish and full of hang ups.
02/10/2012
(k)InkyIvy (k)InkyIvy
Quote:
Originally posted by P'Gell
Your family used the word "orgasm?" I didn't even know orgasm entered into sex until High School. I wasn't told it was pleasurable and that a man just "stuck it in" and "released his sperm." That was it. I was ... More
Oh, wow! That's insane! I know some groups view masturbation and other self-pleasuring to be wrong, but they told you that touching yourself AT ALL in those areas was wrong? Jeez, that's really extreme!

Yeah, I was 16, and had my (then) boyfriend had convinced me we should start having sex. I was naive, and gave-in. When my mother found out I was having sex, she bought me a 3 pack of condoms (THAT lasted half a day) and gave me the "talk".
02/10/2012
Chilipepper Chilipepper
Quote:
Originally posted by (k)InkyIvy
Oh, wow! That's insane! I know some groups view masturbation and other self-pleasuring to be wrong, but they told you that touching yourself AT ALL in those areas was wrong? Jeez, that's really extreme!

Yeah, I was 16, and had my ... More
Isn't after sex a little late to be having The Talk?

"Honey, I know you're preggers, but we have to talk about where babies come from ... "

(That's about the same level of 'too-little-too-late' from where I'm sitting.)
02/10/2012
Illusional Illusional
My mom never talked to me about it.
I was chunky and an anime nerd who never left the house.
I did used to sneak and steal her grown up books and her Cosmo and try to piece things together, LOL.
02/10/2012
Jul!a Jul!a
We didn't really talk about it much, but not because my mom thought it was anything dirty or wrong. If I had questions, they got answered honestly. I paid attention in health class and didn't really have much in the way of questions. I figured a lot of it out on my own, and I was apparently in the minority when it came to using condoms because I never even thought about having sex without one, lol. It honestly never even occurred to me to do it any other way.
02/10/2012
Lizzy Lizzy
The subject was mostly avoided. Alot of good that did haha
02/10/2012
ladychristie ladychristie
My mom never discussed it, that's probably why I came home at 15 pregnant.
02/10/2012
Gracie Gracie
I never had a sex talk with either of my parents. My father did say one night before I went on a date that "an open handed slap would send the appropriate message if a boy got fresh." That's pretty much all I got information wise. The silent message was nice girls dont like sex.
02/10/2012
Total posts: 121
Unique posters: 114