Oh No, the Sex Talk
I was ten years old, and I was scared.
My older brother had just informed me that my
dad would be giving me the sex talk.
Apparently, he had just gotten his talk earlier in
the evening, and my dad was making the
I sat and tried to digest this. Our family had
never talked about sex. It wasnt on our
radar, along with a number of other topics. In
fact, my father didnt talk to us much about
anything those days, let alone about sex. And now
he was going to talk to me one-on-one about
I thought of my options, including feigning
illness. It all seemed surreal to me.
Later that night, just when I thought I was home
free, I heard his footsteps on the stairs. My body
tensed. My thoughts were at warp speed, but I felt
sluggish and dull. As he approached the door of my
room, I struck a submissive pose.
He sat down across from me, and he seemed almost
as tense as I felt. I thought I might explode at
any second. I thought Id just talk to
you about some things, he said. He paused,
and then he said, Did you know, for instance,
that you dont really have a bone in your
penis when it gets hard? Its really just
What I had just heard was too much to digest. I
thought I was moving my head up and down for
yes, but I was so uncomfortable, I
wasnt sure. I hoped he wouldnt ask me a
question, because I didnt think Id be
able to talk. Had I been given the choice between
prolonging this talk for an hour, or being ripped
apart by wild dogs, I may have chosen the
At least I would have been aware of my fate.
My father noticed my struggling, and he became
even more uncomfortable. After some hesitation, he
said, If you have any other questions about
anything like this, just ask me. I nodded,
and he left the room.
I sat there on my bed, motionless. I didnt
quite know what to do. Who should I tell? At the
very least, my brothers needed to hear about it. Or
perhaps I could just treat this episode like a bad
dream, knowing it would soon go away.
My father was a man of science. He was a
renowned cardiologist, at one of the most
prestigious hospitals in the world. But when it
came to talking with his son about sex and the
human body, he could muster only two sentences.
But, then again, I did learn it wasnt a
If youd like to do your job as a father,
youll need to step up and have the
talk with your kids about sex. Better yet,
youll have many talks over the years. Too
many parents put off talking about sexuality until
the teen years begin, and then feel as though they
need to have the talk. But sexuality is
a big part of your kids lives every day, so
start the conversation early on in their life.
Here are some ideas to consider when talking to
your kids about sexuality:
Make sure youre calm and matter-of-
fact when you relay the information. Any discomfort
you show will immediately have your child feeling
uncomfortable too. The calmer you are, the more
theyll remember. When youre sure of
yourself when you talk about sex, it allows them to
feel more secure about it, too.
Educate yourself about sex. Adults
dont like to admit they dont know much
about sex, but this is often the case. And if
youre not confident with your knowledge about
any topic, youre less likely to share that
knowledge with others. Sexuality is no different.
So get yourself a good book on the topic, and
Distinguish between facts and what your
beliefs are. There will be times when facts might
clash with what your beliefs are, or what your
faith believes. Be clear with your kids on this.
Define exactly how these differ, and tell them that
different people will believe different things
about sexuality and faith. Let them know this
disagreement is fine, especially if the beliefs are
based on nonviolence, justice, and equality.
Walk the talk with your kids. Live the
values youve talked to your kids about.
Its confusing for kids to hear one thing, and
to see something else in your behavior. Sexuality
is all around us today, so be clear with your
values, and stick to them. The best way for your
kids to be interested in a loving, long-term
relationship is to show them.
Encourage them to talk to you about
difficult topics. Establish an environment of
openness and non-judgment when you talk about any
difficult subject. Let your kids know theyre
doing a wonderful thing by asking questions, and
wanting more information. If your kids havent
felt comfortable talking with you about difficult
things before, they wont start by asking you
Keep it light, and keep your sense of
humor. The lighter you can keep this topic, the
easier it will be for everyone. Sexuality is a
gift, and it can be a source of great joy. Let your
kids know that while there are some very serious
issues around sexuality, theres also room for
joy and humor.
Sex is the force that drives our existence on
earth. It is filled with mystery, joy and danger.
And once youve experienced the wonder of sex
with someone you love, you will be changed forever.
But while sex holds the promise of great beauty, it
also holds very adult-like consequences, which are
difficult for our kids to comprehend.
Fathers can help their kids avoid these
consequences by being there to inform and educate
their kids, and to begin early in their life. They
can help by staying emotionally attached to their
kids, even when their kids pull away
during the teenage years. And they can help by
preparing to help their kids navigate through the
teen years, which will offer countless challenges,
And if you do your job well, your children may
one day be able to enjoy this gift as well.
© 2008 Mark
Other Father Issues,
* * *
To this day I can remember my father's
voice, singing over me in the stillness of the
night. - Carl G. Jung
a Masters degree in counseling psychology and has
been a counselor, business consultant, sports
counselor, and a certified life and business coach.
He has worked with individuals, teams, and
businesses to improve their performance for over 20
years. Prior to life and business coaching Mark was
a world-ranked professional tennis player and has
coached other world-ranked athletes. He has helped
hundreds of individuals to implement his coaching
techniques. Mark specializes in coaching men to
balance their lives and to improve the important
relationships in their lives. He is the author of
the popular e-books, 25
Secrets of Emotionally Intelligent
Your Wife in 30 Days or Less (And Improve Yourself
at the Same Time
Mark is also the publisher of the Dads
Dont Fix your Kids ezine for fathers.
To sign up, go to www.markbrandenburg.com
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