In a couple recent episodes, Oprah offered some great advice on how parents can and should be talking to their daughters about sex. This included some controversial advice from Dr. Laura Berman that encouraged parents to buy vibrators for their daughters. Hmmmm. I'm not sure if that's really necessary. I'm damn near 40 and I don’t even have a vibrator. I'm an advocate of the happy-hand myself. A nice massaging shower head also comes in handy.
Part of developing sexually is exploring your body and discovering what all those little flaps and buttons down there do. Handing a 14-year-old a vibrator (which, by the way desensitizes many women to a more gentle touch that doesn’t have 9-volts of battery power behind it) sort of takes the mystery away. Plus, as one of the smart ladies over on the Girl Revolution pointed out...
[Vibrators for teens] would be a great theory if physical gratification was what they were looking for - but it’s not. They’re exploring, they’re trying new things - they’re looking for emotional gratification. As a teenage girl, I was looking for intimacy with a boy, I needed his love, his validation, his approval, his etc..etc.. Masturbation would NOT have been a substitute for that. They’re not having sex for an orgasm like teen boys are. --The Girl Revolution
Very true. Which is why it's so important to get a dialogue going with girls before they get so wrapped up in their search for love, validation and approval that they cast aside their own emotional and moral standards to get it. I was a teen like that. It may have seemed fun, rebellious and adventurous at the time, but it was bad road to go down. I don’t want my girl to go that route.
Not sure about how to begin the sex chat with your tween or teen? Check out this interview I did with Austin-based sex educator Karen Rayne recently.
And Lady O herself has provided some nice downloads for sex chats on her website. One of my favorite tools are these Questions for teens who may be considering having sex. They're right to the point, down-to-earth and perfectly sensible.
Screw all the asides and gentle talk. As mothers, of course we want them to remain virgins for as long as possible. Of course we want them to be one of the girls that rises above the sexual fray. But seriously... let's give them the information they need to make those good decisions, and the tools they need to keep themselves safe and protected if they decide to go another route.