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Teen Sex

Parenting Teens In A Hookup and Sex Culture: How to start a conversation

Posted by Sue Scheff on January 12, 2020  /   Posted in Featured Article, Mental Health, Parenting Teens, Sexting, Teen Help

How to Talk to Teenagers about Hookups and Sex

By Sari Cooper, LSCW

As a certified sex therapist, speaker and mom, I understand the anxieties around teen sexuality and the topic of hooking up. Most parents are worried. Does a teen have the maturity to walk through the emotional, psychological, and medical consequences of engaging in oral sex or intercourse?

The definition of “hooking up” is ambiguous and can change with each situation, from making out to having sexual intercourse. And whether it is bragging or shaming will also fluctuate.

Biology accounts for teen sexuality. Hormones during puberty are responsible for boys’ erections and the tingling feelings in girls’ genitals and breasts. The biological basis is set, but the peer community establishes the norms.

It is important to  talk to your teen about sex and hookups.

Tips for Talking about Sex and Hooking Up:

1. Define hookup.

Ask your teen what their friends mean when they use “hookup.” If your teen is willing to talk, ask them about what their peers have done sexually at which ages. It’s easier for teens to talk about other kids than to talk about themselves.

2. Describe normal.

Describe the actual physical feelings that are normal for this age. Clarify that it is normal to crave the pleasure associated with making out with someone you’re attracted to. Use the word masturbation when describing the natural way boys AND GIRLS can take care of those longings in private. Masturbation is the SAFEST SEX, yet most parents are too embarrassed to talk about it.

3. Understand STIs.

Educate yourself about the most common STIs (sexually transmitted infections): how they are transferred (some can be passed by rubbing without penetration or through oral sex) and the best ways to protect oneself from them. Oral Herpes can be passed through oral sex without a barrier, like a condom or dental dam.

4. Use correct terminology.

Girls should get to know their own genitalia. Use the term “clitoris” (not vagina, since the nerve endings and pleasure are primarily focused in the clitoris).

5. Acknowledge the DOUBLE STANDARD for girls.

This is not a bitter exclamation, rather an explanation of reality. A girl involved in oral sex or sexual intercourse may be labeled as easy, a slut or a whore.

6. Establish appropriate state of mind.

Use the words “conscious,” “responsible” and “authentic” to describe the state of mind that is necessary before making these decisions. “Sober” and “smart” also work. However, your teen might experiment without feeling emotionally crushed afterwards. This part may be hard for parents to accept.

7. Explain your family values.

Be very clear about your family values. Let your teen know what you feel is the healthiest situation to experiment with his or her feelings and with whom. Let them know that real life is different than movies. Real sexual hookups might not be physically or emotionally wonderful.

8. Set specific ages for sexual activity.

Most parents will say something vague like, “When you meet someone you love or when you get married, you will be glad you waited.” This is too vague for most teens. Like the age for a driver’s license, let your teen know when you think your teen would be emotionally prepared to have oral sex and intercourse. (Then add two more years. Adding two years anticipates their need to rebel and try it sooner.)

9. Stress trust.

Stress the importance of trusting their partner. Ask, “If you do choose to engage in some sexual behavior, will your partner keep the information private or spread it around online or at school?”

10. Articulate guidelines.

If you agree with certain behaviors at certain ages, let them know what they are, and ask them to do it with a person they trust and in a private place beyond the phones of others who can shoot a photo and upload it on social media sites without their permission.

11. Share information.

Sexual education books and videos can help teens understand their bodies and the many ways to feel pleasure and prevent STIs.

12. Buy condoms.

Show your teen how to put a condom on a cucumber. This ensures that they know how to use them safely to prevent the transfer of herpes or other STIs. Do the same with dental dams or saran wrap when oral sex is given to women.

Saying no is one type of empowerment, but having the tools to say yes safely is a more realistic type of empowerment. You wouldn’t let your teen drive the car without getting driving lessons first. Don’t let your teens out the door without a full sex education.

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Article republished with permission from  Your Teen for Parents. Visit them for more educational articles on parenting teens today.

Also read: Sex Hasn’t Changed It’s Our Culture Giving it a Bad Rap

Book recommendation, our featured book, Boys & Sex .

Also check-out Peggy Orenstein’s book, Girls & Sex.

 

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Boys & Sex: Young Men on Hookups, Love, Porn, Consent, and Navigating the New Masculinity

Posted by Sue Scheff on January 12, 2020  /   Posted in Featured Book, Mental Health, Parenting Teens, Struggling Teen Help, Teen Help, Uncategorized

Young Men on Hookups, Love, Porn, Consent, and Navigating the New Masculinity

Author Peggy Orenstein’s new book, Boys & Sex, is based on extensive interviews with more than 100 college and college-bound boys and young men across the U.S. between the ages of 16 and 22 on intimacy, consent and navigating masculinity. They spanned a broad range of races, religions, classes and sexual orientations.

In Boys & Sex, Peggy Orenstein dives back into the lives of young people to once again give voice to the unspoken, revealing how young men understand and negotiate the new rules of physical and emotional intimacy.

Drawing on comprehensive interviews with young men, psychologists, academics, and experts in the field, Boys & Sex dissects so-called locker room talk; how the word “hilarious” robs boys of empathy; pornography as the new sex education; boys’ understanding of hookup culture and consent; and their experience as both victims and perpetrators of sexual violence.

By surfacing young men’s experience in all its complexity, Orenstein is able to unravel the hidden truths, hard lessons, and important realities of young male sexuality in today’s world. The result is a provocative and paradigm-shifting work that offers a much-needed vision of how boys can truly move forward as better men.

Listen to Peggy Orensten on NPR talk about her recent book, Boys & Sex.

Order from Amazon.

Boys & Sex is available at your favorite book store including Amazon.

Also check-out Peggy Orenstein’s book, Girls & Sex.

Order from Amazon.

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How To Keep Your Teens Safe On Prom Night

Posted by Sue Scheff on April 08, 2016  /   Posted in Parenting Teens, Struggling Teen Help, Teen Help

PromHilary2016_2From picking a dress or tux to asking a date, prom night can be an exciting time in teens’ lives, however it can stressful for parents. Unfortunately, prom night is not only associated with fun music and dancing, but also with peer pressure, drinking and sex. To keep kids safe on prom night, follow these tips:

Have a written timeline.

If your teen plans on hopping from place to place on prom night to meet up with friends, go out to dinner and then to the dance, it’s best to have a written timeline of their activities. Go through the night step-by-step with them to make sure you know what time they’ll be at each location and what they’ll be doing. With all of the commotion going on during prom night, you may be unable to get in touch with your teen.  Parents can easily check teens’ locations with a cell phone tracker when they begin to worry about why they can’t get in touch. This tracker will put your fears at ease without disturbing your teen’s fun night!

Talk about underage drinking.

Many teens think that celebrating prom night isn’t complete without alcohol, so to keep your child safe, it’s important to have conversations about underage drinking early on. Make sure you expressly say you do not approve of underage drinking, since 80% of teens say their parents are the leading influence on their decision not to drink. Also, let teens know that you’ll be able to tell if they’ve been drinking. Some teens think they can sneak it by their parents without getting caught, so if you make them aware that this is not the case, they’ll be less likely to engage in this dangerous behavior.

PromHilary2016Have the talk.

Teens may find themselves feeling pressured to have sex on prom night, so it’s important for parents to prepare them for what may happen. Although this may be an awkward conversation for teens to have with their parents, it’s crucial for their safety since 63% of high school seniors have sex. Talk to teens about saying no and being assertive when they don’t feel comfortable, and warn them about different scenarios they may be in. You may want to give teens a secret code or phrase that they can text you or call you with if they want to be picked up, but don’t want others around them to know.

Be there for teens.

Remind your teens that no matter what happens, you’ll be there for them on prom night. Many teens may be nervous to call their parents for help if they find themselves in an uncomfortable situation on prom night. It’s important to let them know that you would rather they reach out to you for help than make bad decisions.

Arrange transportation.

Teens tend to travel in groups to prom, so it’s essential that parents find out who will be driving. Even if you trust your own teen not to drink, if they’re driving with someone else, you have to trust this person to make smart decisions as well. Some parents choose to carpool teens themselves or arrange for a limo service. Either way, make sure that transportation to and from prom is arranged ahead of time so teens don’t have to jump in the car with someone they don’t know at the last minute.

Don’t wait until the last minute to talk to your teens about staying safe on prom night. As they plan their memorable evening, have small conversations every step of the way to make sure you’re reinforcing your expectations, love and support.

Contributor: Hilary Smith

About Hilary Smith: Born and raised in Austin, TX, Hilary Smith is a free-lance journalist whose love of gadgets, technology and business has no bounds. After becoming a parent she now enjoys writing about family and parenting related topics.

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Why Teens Are Having Sex

Posted by Sue Scheff on July 30, 2015  /   Posted in Parenting Teens, Teen Help

TeenLoveTeens are having sex, however the the pregnancy rate has declined dramatically since the 1990’s.

After peaking in the early 1990s, the nation’s teen pregnancy and birth rates have declined dramatically—teen pregnancy is down 51%; teen births have plummeted by 61%. Since the federal, evidence-based Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program (TPPP) was established in 2010, the teen birth rate in the U.S. has declined 29%, a drop about twice as large as the decline in any other four-year period.

This is good news, but pregnancy is only one of the issues that teens need to be concerned about.  Having sex also leaves you at risk for contracting sexual transmitted diseases (STD).  Using the appropriate protection is imperative.

teen-relationshipsWhy do teens have sex?  Here are some common answers:

  • I’m curious – I want to experiment/ get experience.
  • I just want to get this first time out of the way.
  • Sex is no big deal. Everyone is doing it.
  • Every one of my friends has had sex – I’m the only hold out. I feel like a wierdo.
  • The popular kids in my school are the ones who have sex – I want to fit in with them.
  • My partner really wants me to do it – he/ she says that it’ll bring us closer together/ prove my love/ show my commitment.
  • There’s nothing to do in this town but have sex.
  • I won’t really know how compatible we are until we’ve had sex.
  • My parents are so controlling and strict – they’d freak out if they knew I was having sex.
  • We’ve already had sex once – I can’t very well say no now.
  • It’s just a “friends-with-benefits” thing – what’s the big deal?

We spend a lot of time today talking about technology and cyberspace.  It’s important to discuss digital citizenship with our teens, but we can’t neglect the basics.  Like before technology, the birds and the bees are still a very important topic that needs to be a priority with digital citizenship.

TeenSTDAccording to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance Survey of high school students from 34 states:

  • An estimated 48% had sexual intercourse before graduating from high school.
  • Approximately 15% had sexual intercourse with four or more partners before graduating from high school.
  • Nearly 62% of currently sexually active students used a condom during last sexual intercourse.
  • Approximately 90% of the students said they had been taught about AIDS and HIV infection in school.

In a Seventeen  magazine survey of boys and young men, almost half said they were virgins and one in four said he had lied to other kids about not being a virgin. According to the survey of 1,200 boys and young men, age 15 to 22, 60% said they lied about something sexual, 30%  lied about “how far they had gone,” and 78%  said that there was too much pressure from society to have sex.

Nearly two-thirds of teens that have had sexual intercourse say they regret it and wish they had waited, according to the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy. The campaign also found that when it comes to making a decision about sex, 30% said that friends influenced their decision the most.

Be an educated parent, you will have safer and healthier teens.

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Teen Sex: The Why and The Wisdom

Posted by Sue Scheff on July 07, 2015  /   Posted in Parenting Teens, Struggling Teen Help, Teen Help

Teens today don’t value sex the way generations earlier did.  To assume your teen will wait for marriage is a nice thought — and maybe they will, but statistically speaking, the odds are not with them.

Either way, they need to be educated for safe safe sex.  Years ago the biggest fear was getting pregnant.  Today the risks are more dangerous when we know about STD’s.

Every day, more than 2,000 teen girls in the United States get pregnant. In fact, 3 in 10 girls will become pregnant by age 20. Not having sex is the only sure way to avoid pregnancy, though there are a lot of other good reasons to wait, too. But if you’re having sex, you must use birth control carefully and correctly every single time you do.  – Acording to Stay Teen

One common question is why?  Why have sex at a young age or before you are ready?

Here are some of answers from Stay Teen:

  • I’m curious – I want to experiment/ get experience.
  • I just want to get this first time out of the way.
  • Sex is no big deal. Everyone is doing it.
  • Every one of my friends has had sex – I’m the only hold out. I feel like a wierdo.
  • The popular kids in my school are the ones who have sex – I want to fit in with them.
  • My partner really wants me to do it – he/ she says that it’ll bring us closer together/ prove my love/ show my commitment.
  • There’s nothing to do in this town but have sex.
  • I won’t really know how compatible we are until we’ve had sex.
  • My parents are so controlling and strict – they’d freak out if they knew I was having sex.
  • We’ve already had sex once – I can’t very well say no now.
  • It’s just a “friends-with-benefits” thing – what’s the big deal?

StayTeen2Teens and sex is an important subject that has more resources and information now more than ever before.  Educating parents, teachers and teenagers is a commitment everyone needs to have.  Stay Teen is one of several valuable websites that offers a vast amount of information about having sex and/or considering having sex.

If your teen is being promiscuous and not respecting their body, get help for them immediately.  If they refuse or it doesn’t seem to be helping, you may want to consider residential therapy to determine what is causing them to act out this way.  Contact us for more information.

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