Sex Positive Parenting! Let’s Talk about Sex…Baby.
Sex and sexuality are more often than not stigmatized in our society, especially around our children and sex positive parenting.
Often, parents shame, objectify, or stigmatize most sexual behavior throughout child and adolescent development. In doing so, we set children up to have a lack of knowledge and understanding about their own sexuality, body, identity, and pleasure.
In our country, we do a disservice to all by not engaging in age-appropriate sexuality education throughout childrens’ lives and avoiding sex positive parenting into adulthood.
As parents, adults, educators, and therapists we are all responsible for helping break this pattern to build curiosity and appropriate understanding of their bodies, identity, and pleasure.
Sex Positive Education for All Ages
I am fortunate to be a mother of a one and a half year old.
You can bet I am starting her education around her body now.
So you literally start sex positive parenting with babies… how do you ask?
- Use accurate terms for different parts of their body (including genitals)
- ex. Vulva, penis, vagina, clitoris, anus, butt, etc.
- Allow exploration of their bodies.
- With age and understanding you can create boundaries as to when and how this is appropriate
- Support appropriate curiosity
- Include clitoris-centered pleasure
- Discuss body safety and informed consent
- Allow space to discuss and learn about the different stages of sexual development
- Self exploration, terminology, questions about their bodies, resources, etc.
- If you find your child or adolescent looking at porn or other sexually explicit material DO NOT SHAME them!
- Instead… collaborate and provide accurate information and explanations
- Find reputable sources to help you learn to provide accurate and inclusive information around sexuality
- Do not assume your child’s sexual identity
- Do not be heteronormative in your explainations (not just penis in vagina, etc)
It is normative for children and adolescents to be curious about sexuality and due to our lack of ability to discuss this as a society, families, and in education one of the most accessible ways to learn about their sexuality is through pornography or through peers.
Pornography depicts various experiences around sexuality and sometimes focusing on fantasy. Although pornography does not always depict sexuality accurately and can often fetishize different populations, it also can be a very normal part of people’s sexuality.
If you find you your child or adolescent looking at pornography DO NOT SHAME THEM.
Here are things to consider doing instead of SHAME and PUNISHMENT:
- Work on building curiosity, education, and providing accurate, realistic resources surrounding sexuality.
- Support your child in learning about sexuality and providing them accurate information about pornography, sex, and sexual exploration.
- Allow space for questions
- Reinforce they are not in trouble and allow space to talk about their emotions
- Discuss boundaries and consent
- Discuss difference between fantasy and reality
- Pleasure centered conversations
- Provide information that pornography has been historically catered towards cis gender, heterosexual, white men and may not accurately depict sexual behavior across various identities and experiences
If you and/or other partner(s) or adults in your life are uncomfortable practicing sex positive parenting or discussing sexuality, find a therapist or AASECT sex educator who can help facilitate these conversations so that you can work towards building a healthy relationship with sexuality and your child.
At LCAT, we are here to help!
YouTube page where she provides free information at The Sex Healer.
If you know someone that would benefit from this information, feel free to share it.
Life Coaching and Therapy (LCAT) is a relationship coaching and sex therapy practice that transforms our clients lives through our flexible, multi-technique approach and pleasure-skills training provided by systemically-trained and licensed therapists!
Our team of compassionate, licensed therapists and certified sex therapists help Millennials and Baby Boomers alike who visit us for a variety of relationship, intimacy and sex problems.
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