It’s been a while since I wrote you a letter but while browsing Facebook today I came across a post about a dad that wrote an open and honest letter to his children about sex, and I thought it a good idea to pass along these words to you.
This is an embarrassing subject but I hope this letter helps you to understand that it doesn’t have to be that way. Our world is changing and we aren’t in the sheltered and sexually repressed world your parents and grandparents grew up in. Sex is everywhere and we should be able to confront it rationally and not stigmatize it.
Sex Ed in the school system is failing the United States. This is largely due to the fact that the main idea of their teaching is abstinence only. This is not only ridiculous to think that kids aren’t going to still do things but it is dangerous. The danger is in the vastly uneducated having sexual encounters that they aren’t ready for. Unwanted pregnancies and babies into a broken welfare system and not to mention the skyrocketing rates of sexually transmitted diseases/infections (STD/STI). I want to relate to you the importance of safe and informed actions. Sex and relationships play a crucial role in development, not to mention it’s fun and (if done right) pleasurable.
The dad in the post I read had four ‘rules’, I repeat them as best I can and adjust them by adding my own thoughts. I didn’t come up with the idea alone but the heart behind it is real.
1. Be mature enough to be open about sex. No sneaking around. If you aren’t mature enough to talk to me or your mom about it, you aren’t ready.
2. Be mature enough to wait until you develop full trust in your partner. Start slow. Work your way from holding hands and talking to kissing, touching, and further. Take time to really know your partner, develop trust, and cultivate true affection.
3. Be wary of lust. Infatuation and lust are powerful emotions and don’t always allow for the best decision making. Especially a decision of this magnitude.
4. Be mature enough to understand the need for and proper use of condoms. Safe sex is a must. Not only to avoid unwanted/unneeded pregnancy but to avoid STD/STIs.
5. Be mature enough to not sneak around. Don’t do anything in a creepy part of town in a car or in a public place. You have your room and a door that locks and the understanding and respect of your parents. If you come to me genuinely, we might be able to arrange a night out of the house, either you or us out of the way.
6. Don’t be ashamed of your feelings. Sexuality has historically been a hidden part of the culture and has made people repress or deny feelings, especially those of homosexuality. You have no need to forsake your nature due to the judgement of others. Be open, Be you.
Be honest and open with me and your mom and we will be with you. Questions are embarrassing but we have technology; email, text, websites, whatever I can use to help you understand, I will. I hope the world can change to make this message unnecessary for your children but I have my doubts.
From your loving father.