I never had the sex talk with my parents.
And you know what? I’m okay with that. I definitely don’t feel like I missed out on any necessary coming of age rite of passage, or that I am worse off now. I’m also sure that my parents aren’t losing any sleep over the hour of awkwardness that I robbed from their child rearing experience. Actually, if anything, I think that it was for the best.
See, part of the reason that my parents and I never had “the talk” is because I just never had any questions that I couldn’t find answers to for myself. I was fortunate to attend a public junior high and high school with a quality Sex Ed program. The teacher’s I had were always willing to answer any questions or stay after class to discuss anything with us that we didn’t feel comfortable speaking about in a room filled with our peers. (I also got to see Magic Johnson dressed up as a condom, but that was just a bonus). On top of that, I also had the luxury of growing up in an age when any information could be accessed via the internet and a few keystrokes.
I’ll be the first to admit that the internet is not always the best place to look up information about sex. For every true and reasonable statement about sex found through Google, there are two or three false statements to accompany it. It is definitely a bit overwhelming for a middle schooler who is just trying to satisfy a nagging curiosity. But the benefit to this wealth of information is that it teaches you to be a bit more skeptical about what you hear, and not just with things regarding sex either. With so much information available that insists on contradicting itself, it just feeds your curiosity and makes you search harder for reputable sources. This acquired skill has proven to be beneficial to my academic pursuits and I definitely feel better equipped to handle a world that is filled with scam artists waiting to rob you blind at every turn.
If anything, I feel better informed about sex since my parents never talked to me about it. I never had to deal with any unintentional biases or well-intended but misinformed testimonials. For example, I know for a fact that neither of my parents have a decent understanding of BDSM and that any attempt to maintain an informative and ultimately fulfilling discussion with them would have not ended well. And despite the best efforts of my parents, I would have just been confused.
My point is the big sex talk with your child is not really as important as people make it out to be. I’m not suffering from any negative repercussions from not having the experience. I am neither scared nor intimidated by sex nor am I a raging sexaholic. Now, I’m not saying that it isn’t important for you to discuss sex with your child, and if they come to you with questions, you should definitely do your best to answer them. But “the talk” just may not be as important as you think. And it’s definitely not something to get completely worked up over.