One year ago today at the Napkin Dad Daily: Great Tranquility of Heart
I don’t actually think this is true, but it brings up a good point, namely that we often teach our sons and daughters differently about sex. Even if we are ‘liberated’ in talking about it we still unconsciously address the two sexes differently.
For example, talking to a teenage boy going out to a party you might tell him ‘make sure you keep it zipped, don’t do something stupid, don’t be so horny that you can’t control yourself’. Talking to a teenage girl you might say ‘watch out tonight, don’t leave your drink out of your site, don’t let the guy be with you alone, don’t drive off in the middle of nowhere with him.’
The assumption underlying those warnings is that the man will be the horny one wanting the sex and the girl will be the one deciding to give it or not, like a clerk at a store, disengaged. But the truth is you have to talk to your daughter with the understanding that she is a sexual creature as well. She could be the aggressor, she could be the one ‘wanting it’ and forcing the issue with the guy.
I agree it’s not quite as likely, but that doesn’t mean you don’t recognize that, no matter what her libido level, she still needs to know that she will feel things too. It isn’t just about her responding to a guy, it’s about her figuring out her own feelings and desires as well. It does no good service to a daughter or son to assume they fit into a cookie cutter sexual mold. Explain to them the range of feelings they may come across, not just some pandering platitude that isn’t based in their reality.
If you want to be effective in helping your son or daughter understand what is happening to them in the sexual world, you have to address them as real people, not cliches of sexuality.
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Drawing and commentary by Marty Coleman of The Napkin Dad Daily
Quote by Mignon McLaughlin, 1913-1983, American journalist and author. Writer and editor for various magazines including Vogue, Redbook, Cosmopolitan and Glamour.
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