#127 – Talking to kids about sex – Amy Lang

#127 – Talking to kids about sex – Amy Lang

Talking to Kids about Sex 

Amy noticed that even she was having trouble talking to her own child about sex, and she imagined it would be even more difficult for people without her work background. She discusses the difficulty of discerning the right amount of information to share with kids, especially with the poor cultural examples in the US but reiterates that it’s crucial for parents to push through their discomfort. 

Amy advises us to look at our own lives, our own sexual decisions and early relationships, and our current relationships to get a good idea of what can happen without quality education about sexuality and relationships. She emphasizes that sex and relationships constitute a lifelong social-psychological health issue and that parents can’t rely on schools to teach these things to their kids.  

Listen to “127: Talking to Kids About Sex – Amy Lang” on Spreaker.

Sexual Health Requires Healthy Relationships 

A lot of sexual health is about relationships, Amy asserts. She explains that many things can go wrong in relationships that will negatively affect the lives and health of people if they don’t know enough about what healthy relationships look like and what isn’t okay. Amy suggests that parents should want their children to grow up with a lot of information so that they can feel good about their decision-making skills and so that they can build safe, healthy relationships and quickly, correctly notice when relationships become unhealthy. 

What Kids are Learning Now 

Amy points out that most people are only getting educated about sex in the 5th and 9th grades, and neither of those sessions is comprehensive in any way. She explains that most young people learn the most about sex through pornography, sexualized entertainment media, and their friends. She points out that this gives kids a lot of very adult information about sexuality without providing them any context for that information.  

Amy advises that parents contextualize pornography for children. She believes it’s important for kids to know that the models are acting, and they aren’t having real, normal sex. 

The Limits of Sex Ed in Schools 

Ms. Lang supports kids getting sex ed, even abstinence-only sex ed because that gives parents an opening to discuss the fact that abstinence-only education doesn’t work. She adds that it even lets parents talk about waiting to have sex until they’re prepared and able to make a mature decision with their partner. But she explains that schools can’t provide a values-based sexual education that aligns with the values of all their students’ families, schools can’t provide enough details about sex, and schools really can’t talk about how sex is pleasurable and not just about making babies. 

How to Answer Questions 

Amy tells us that a lot of questions kids ask can be answered simply and directly, but sometimes they’ll ask questions that are more sensitive. In those cases, she suggests admitting to your child that you’re not sure how to answer, and you need time to think about what to say. She explains that hot topics and questions about your own history can be dicey; she advises parents not to air their traumas to their children because she believes it’s important to talk about sex in a way that encourages them to have consensual, safe sex in a safe place.  

Talking About Rape 

She says that it’s easier to answer questions about difficult issues like rape and abortion if you already have created an early, strong base with your child about the fact that sex is healthy and fun when it’s consensual. When you have that background and talk about rape with your child, you can emphasize that sex is usually a happy thing adults do, but that sometimes people are bad and force others to have sex. She demonstrates that you can reassure children by saying that even though it’s a sad and scary part of life, it’s something they need to know about, and you’re glad they asked you. 

Age Appropriate Conversations 

She says that sex talk starts from birth in the form of discussing anatomy and sex differences directly and with correct terminology. Amy believes children should know how babies are made, how consent works, how families are structured, and what safe touch is by kindergarten, because when they’re that small, they are very curious and absorb the information naturally, and they haven’t yet learned enough of the negative aspects of sex to darken or pervert the facts of life. She highlights that early education about sex does a lot to protect kids from sexual abuse, which should motivate most parents to discuss the topic with their kids. 

She mentions using the opportunities available to talk about sex in everyday life, from family members becoming pregnant or being gay to people displaying the signs of puberty. Amy discusses that it’s important to address puberty before they’ve completed the process, with 8 and 9 being her specific age suggestion. Parents can look for breast buds in girls to spot puberty, and she says in boys, parents with notice them becoming stinky. 

By middle school, she believes kids should know the basics of everything about sex, the good and the bad. She suggests teaching them about oral and anal sex, about birth control, STIs, slang, and all about consent and healthy relationships. At this age, she explains that you want your child to be the smartest kid on the school bus so that they don’t internalize false information from their peers. 

How to Start Sex Talks 

Amy advises parents to talk about sex on car rides, where the kids can’t run away, but she also says that telling your kids you need to talk with them about a sex thing, and asking them if they want to do it now or later is a good tactic to ensure you have the conversation. She says that it’s often easy to observe the mood of adolescents to see when they’re most receptive and chatty, and those times are good opportunities to talk about sex. As eye contact is concerned, she admits that kids often don’t like it (especially boys), and it’s usually better to discuss sex with kids when you’re side to side. She tells us talking about song lyrics or news items with your kids can create good segues into sex conversations. However you do it, she reinforces the idea that you want them to be well-educated before their peers start talking to them about sex, love, and relationships. 

Gender and Sexual Orientation Talks 

Being careful with the language you use about LGBTQ+ issues is important to make certain your child feels welcomed no matter what their sexual orientation or gender identity turns out to be. She recalls that with her own child, she and her husband always said things like, “when you have a girlfriend or boyfriend…” until the boy revealed his orientation and settled the matter. It’s important not to transmit prejudice for gay or trans people to your child, because doing so will make them feel alienated, and can even cause suicide attempts if they are LGBTQ+. 

Young Girls Coming Out 

In her professional life, Amy encounters a lot of stories about middle school-aged girls coming out as asexual or bisexual, and many parents ask her what that means. Amy suggests that it may be a result of our culture being more open. Sexual experimentation can be a normal, healthy developmental stage in kids that age, she explains, and some children will feel that doing those things makes them gay or bisexual, while others may be experimenting and exploring their sexuality. She suggests just waiting, always demonstrate your acceptance of whatever they may wind up being, and making sure your kid feels safe being themselves around you. 

How Can Parents Learn to Support Their Kids? 

Amy refers to her first book, Birds and Bees and Your Kids was written to help parents figure out their values surrounding sex and gender identity and how they want to talk about the issues. She also has a Solution Center on her website that provides lots of resources. It’s important to think about and prepare your responses in advance, she suggests, to communicate your values more clearly and concisely. She also says that the more parents practice by talking about sex with their kids, the easier it will become. 

Background: 

Amy Lang, MA has been a sexual health educator for more than 20 years. With a master’s degree in Adult Education and years of experience as a sexual educator, Amy decided to combine those two fields to help herself and other parents have those conversations. 

As the host of Just Say This Amy helps parents learn to talk to their children about sex and values. She also authored two books to help parents and their kids navigate romantic and sexual relationships titled Birds + Bees + YOUR Kids – A Guide to Sharing Your Beliefs About Sexuality, Love, Relationships and Dating Smarts: What Every Teen Needs to Date, Relate or Wait. Amy lives with her husband and teenage son in Seattle, WA, and can be found online at BirdsAndBeesAndKids.com 

Resources for Amy Lang: 

https://birdsandbeesandkids.com/category/podcast/ 

https://birdsandbeesandkids.com/ 

#119 – Guide to Wicked Sex – Jessica Drake

#119 – Guide to Wicked Sex – Jessica Drake

Guide To Wicked Sex

Jessica Drake is an adult film performer, writer, and director. She’s also a sexual health advocate and sex educator. Her onscreen work earned her numerous awards, including three AVN Best Actress Awards. Jessica is a graduate of San Francisco Sex Information (SFSI) and a member of the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT). To encourage sexual health and wellness, Ms. Drake conceived and produced the award-winning “Guide to Wicked Sex” videos exploring and demonstrating different aspects of human sexuality with knowledge, experience, and good humor. Her advocacy for improved sexual education, broader awareness of sexual health, and her positive portrayal of the adult industry has led to multiple international speaking engagements and being featured in Cosmopolitan, The Daily Beast, CNBC, Playboy, Forbes, the Huffington Post, and more. She is a powerful advocate for sexual health and sexual education, improving the wellbeing and lives of her audiences. 

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#115 – Creating Relationship Satisfaction – Dr. Sara Nasserzadeh

#115 – Creating Relationship Satisfaction – Dr. Sara Nasserzadeh

Creating Relationship Satisfaction

Dr. Sara Nasserzadeh is a global thought leader in psychosexual therapy, couple counseling, and social psychology. A former member of the International Federation of Journalists, Dr. Sara combined her journalism experience with her expertise in sexuality and relationships, to host a program called Whispers for the BBC World Service. The show received the BBC’s Innovation of the Year Award in 2007 and continues to gather Farsi-speaking viewers around the world. In 2007, she earned the World Association for Sexual Health runner-up award for Excellence and Innovation for her human development work. Harper’s Bazaar named her as one of the Best Love Doctors, and DatingAdvice.com named her one of the 10 Best Sex and Dating Experts in 2015.  

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#113 – Premature Ejaculation and Treatment – Jeff Abraham

#113 – Premature Ejaculation and Treatment – Jeff Abraham

Jeff Abraham is a man dedicated to doing the right thing. After winning a court case against Hyundai who asked him to actively discriminate against female and African American candidates in 1999, he moved to Promescent as CEO, a company founded by his late friend, Dr. Ronald Gilbert.  Jeff has continued his legacy by fulfilling his companies dreams in his honor.  In addition to this Jeff has spent the last decade advocating sexual health and wellness by educating the public on the importance of intimacy and how to resolve common sexual dysfunctions. 
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#90 – Susan Bratton – Sexual Vitality

#90 – Susan Bratton – Sexual Vitality

Background 

My guest Susan Bratton has been called a ‘trusted hot sex advisor for millions’. She is a sex technique publisher, a celebrated speaker, educator, CEO and Co-Founder of Personal Life Media, and the list goes on and on about her qualifications and amazing qualities. 

In this episode, in particular, she shares her experience with sexual vitality and the summit she is spearheading in September (September 23-29, 2019). Within this talk, she also shares some insights into intimacy issues and basic remedies for those disconnects between couples of all dynamics. 

Really useful, informative stuff. And I’d recommend that you check out the many resources that Susan has put out there! 
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#89 – Dr. Justin Lehmiller – Sexual Fantasies

#89 – Dr. Justin Lehmiller – Sexual Fantasies

Sexual Fantasies and Eroticism 

I know I say it often, but this topic is one of my favorites. In this episode, I talk with Dr. Justin Lehmiller about the all-important topic of sexual fantasies.  

Justin is a celebrated speaker, researcher, author, and a very effective educator on the psychology of sexuality. His blog Sex and Psychology gets millions of visitors every year, and he regularly contributes his writing to major publications. This talk about his research is guided by his expertise and experience in the field. 

Listen to “89: Dr. Justin Lehmiller – Sexual Fantasies” on Spreaker.

The Most Common Sexual Fantasies  

Justin says that when he surveyed almost 4,200 Americans from 2014 to 2016, the most common fantasies encompassed 7 different themes. 

  1. Multi-partner sex 
  2. BDSM 
  3. Novelty, Adventure & Variety
  4. Taboo activities 
  5. Emotional connection and fulfillment 
  6. Homoeroticism and gender-bending 
  7. Non-monogamy

Justin describes these as the building blocks of fantasies, meaning that they are not mutually exclusive and many overlap. For example, you can very well dip your toes into multiple categories in your own personal fantasy life. 

Are people ashamed of their fantasies? 

As Justin states, he found that men reported more shame about their fantasies than women. Overall, the majority of study participants reported that they held a positive relationship with their fantasies, but there were still some who felt negative emotions towards their fantasy. 

Another important thing he found during his research is that just sharing sexual fantasies can open up eroticism and alleviate feelings of embarrassment or shame for having certain fantasies. 

The Differences between Men and Women regarding fantasy

Although the data showed that both sexes share a lot of commonalities, there were still some marked differences. 

Men had more multi-partner fantasies than women did. And women had more fantasies about emotional connection with a partner. Women also had way more BDSM fantasies than men by a large margin. In addition, men usually had a specific person in mind during their fantasies, and the women-focused more on the setting and environment overall. Justin also found that the LGBTQ community had more sexually adventurous fantasies, as well as taboo fantasies. 

Justin provides some insight on why women might like BDSM more than men, as well as the LGBTQ community and their sexual fantasy preferences. Listen in for that. 

Sexual Fantasy by Personality Type 

Justin shares some interesting insight on the correlation between personality type and sexual fantasy. For example, those who are more extroverted by nature will be more outgoing the bedroom. And for those who are ‘agreeable’ personality types, there will be a higher incidence of focusing on their partner’s sexual satisfaction in the bedroom. 

He also talks about what conscientiousness has to do with fantasies, as well as self-esteem. 

“Sometimes a Cigar is Just a Cigar” 

Justin says that sexual fantasies don’t really have to mean all that much. They can offer a glimpse into something deeper, but for the most part they are just a product of your environment and genetic makeup and can be left out of the examination room. Fantasies can be a good evaluative road map to follow for your own unique sexual satisfaction, though.  

But when talking about sexual traumas, there were small connections between sexual victimization and types of fantasies. But there was a lot of inconsistency in the data 

Hear Justin explain the data on this subject. 

How to Share Your Fantasies with Your Partner 

Justin says that before you share with your partner, you first have to feel good about yourself. You aren’t alone in your fantasies, so there’s a normalization that needs to first occur.  

He says to lay low and start slow. A gradual buildup for disclosing your fantasies to your partner is much more powerful than an overwhelming information dump!  

He also goes into detail on how important sharing is for increasing overall sexual desire and satisfaction within the relationship.  

Key Links for Justin:  

Affiliate link for Justin’s book: Tell Me What You Want : https://amzn.to/2ZPPezs 

His website: https://www.lehmiller.com/  

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/  

Justin Lehmiller Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/psychologyofsex/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/justinjlehmiller/ 

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