What I Want My Teenage Daughters to Know about Sex

I disagree with many other Christians about sex.

Firstly, I think God wants us to be happy and prosperous. He created us to enjoy the world and our existence in it. And sex is part of that existence. To turn a phrase, sex was made for man, not man for sex.

Sex should be fun, and it should always be fun. If sex isn’t fun, you’re not doing it right. Sex should never be dangerous, shameful, painful, scary, dramatic— unless of course you add a little drama just for fun.

I want you to find all the excitement and joy in sex that I have, and much more.

But you may find it hard to sort out sexual issues, because we now live in a complex, diverse society, with ever more options. I believe this is a good thing, because ever more options means you have ever more power to control your own destiny, and find a life that makes you happy. But it also makes sex more difficult, because you have to understand more different techniques and technologies, and wrestle with more sexual issues.

On top of that, I know, this is an emotionally turbulent time for you. I know this, because I was a teenager myself once, and the feelings are some of the few pieces of being a teenager that I still remember. This is normal; it’s part of growing up; it’s hormones (literally). And this must be one of God’s cruel jokes, that he designed us to wake up to our sexuality at exactly the same moment that our feelings are being whipped up into a frenzy within us.

However, in some ways, you have things better than I did. When I was your age, sex wasn’t really that much simpler than it is now; we just believed it was. We didn’t have the Internet, and we didn’t have Google. But we did have taboos and myths. I had to struggle through my first sexual experiences a complete ignoramus. And ignorance is sabotage. But you don’t have to. You now have such a wealth of information at your fingertips. Use it. No one can stop you from discovering the truth, if you seek it. Don’t go into sex without knowing what you’re doing or what to expect.

The most important sexual skill you will ever develop

It may not seem slick or sexy. It may not feel exciting. You may not even be thinking about it right now. But if you want to have fun sex, there’s one skill you should be working on as a top priority, and that’s the skill of talking to your partner.

Talking to him about what you expect from your relationship. Talking to him about what you feel. Talking to him about what you want. Talking to him about STI’s and about birth control. Talking to him about your views on emergency contraception. Even talking to him about how you feel about abortion. Talking to him about what turns you on, and what turns you off. About how to touch you and how you should touch him. And about what you might want to try, and what you will probably never be willing to try.

Communicate, because people have different personalities, different preferences, different values, and different ideas about sex. Only by talking about these issues can you have a meeting of the minds with your partner.

That’s why I want you to feel it’s normal to talk about sex with your partner. Sex should not be a verboten subject.

When I was growing up, my parents kissed, but they never talked to me about sex, and I never heard them talk to each other about sex. Clearly, they did have sex, because my youngest brother was born when I was 14. But I grew up feeling it was strange to talk about sex. Not until much later in life did I learn how to negotiate sex.

I talk to you about sex, and talk about sex in front of you, not to embarrass you, but only because I want you to see this as normal.

(Click here to continue with part 2, “It’s Not Just about Teen Pregnancy.”)