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  • Writer's pictureTammy Knorr

A little win for positive sex ed

For the first time in my parenting career, I actually got some on-target, interesting, sex-positive info into my kid's hands (the youngest) while it was relevant! And he read it. Or some of it. OK, I need to check in again. Still, thank you @sexpositive_families for putting me onto Heather Corinna and Isabella Rotman’s Wait, What?: A Comic Book Guide to Relationships, Bodies, and Growing Up, which covers sooooo much more than “mechanics" (like the p-word - pleasure!) That didn’t happen with my older kids until they were late teens or even into adulthood, mainly because I was barely aware of “sex positivity” until I was into my 40’s. I’ve been trying to be more intentional with my youngest as I’ve worked through unwinding purity culture in myself, but seemed to always find the perfect resource, or get my courage up, just after he was past that point. Other attempts were age-appropriate (like leaving It’s So Amazing out on the coffee table, which I think he did look at once) but I had no idea of the impact because I was still getting my sea legs talking about it and he was still firmly in “Ick!” land. But we’re both becoming more comfortable over the last few years (yes, years). I occasionally stick my toe in and ask what they’re learning in Health or how he and X are getting along, or who likes whom in his friend group. He occasionally asks me a friendship/relationship question, and I’m learning to dial back the fire hose of info to more like a bathroom faucet. We’re getting there.

One upside of coming late to the game was that two of my older kids were just beginning to explore relationships that included sex and romance at the same time I was getting back into the “dating” scene (I’m still asking “What does that even mean?”!). It was so much easier to have conversations with them when I could bring up what I was learning on that front in real time - not 20 years ago - rather than just questioning them about their experiences. We’re still learning from and with each other, and it’s awesome. So maybe I wasn’t “late” after all. Maybe there’s no timetable.

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