Birds, Bees, Burritos

March 10, 2006

Youth, especially girls, are influenced by their parents’ attitudes about teen sex. A study published in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine suggests that if Dad is vociferous in his disapproval of teen-on-teen action, Princess is less likely to have the clap six years down the road. This stood out:

(Teenagers) are considering the emotional pros and cons, not the risk of STDs or pregnancy. Because of that, it makes sense that their perception of how their own parents view sex is an influencing factor.

I am reminded of an incredibly uncomfortable mission I undertook over ten years ago. My boyfriend at the time had a daughter in middle school. He was convinced that his ex had not and would not broach the topic of sex with his daughter. He figured it was a job best left to a woman. So I took her out for giant burritos, which was a bad choice of food as a backdrop for the sex talk.

I embarked on a bizarre, stream-of-consciousness monologue that ranged far and wide. She was reluctant to ask any questions at first. “You can ask me anything, and I’ll tell you the truth!” I chirped, and was soon very, very sorry, as I found myself describing what cum tastes like. She asked me about “snowballing,” a term and activity that I had never heard of, and whether it was common. Oy.

How that bizarro conversation affected her is anybody’s guess. But I guess I did do something right, if these studies are to be believed. I talked primarily about the emotional vulnerability that comes with sexual intimacy, and how important it is to have a strong bond of trust with whomever you ultimately choose to let in. My first experience was so rotten. I wanted hers to be better, and waiting would necessarily be a part of that equation.