Talking to your teen son about sex

When it comes to talking to your teen son about sex, it’s best to keep things short and to the point. In the past it seemed enough for fathers to ask their sons if they knew about girls and if the answer was yes, it was considered case closed. We now understand that safe and healthy sexual relations are a lifelong conversation and there should be no need for that ‘big’ talk anymore.

Ideally, experts believe that teaching teens about their changing emotions, bodies and sexuality is a conversation that should be an ongoing dialogue, beginning in childhood and continuing into adulthood.

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Keeping the information short and to the point will mean that teen boys are more likely to listen. If the message is direct and simple, they are more likely to pay attention. This is not to say that teen boys aren’t intelligent but that men are more ‘action’ orientated when it comes to verbal communication and prefer a kind of ‘cut to the chase’ conversation.

This doesn’t mean that you can’t approach the topics of emotions, love, respect and health but that you could start the conversation with ‘use a condom every time’ before moving on to the discussion of values.

It’s also important to encourage your son to wait for sex. Social attitudes are crucial, and the traditional view is that men are hunters and should go after something without any care or concern. Men ‘score’ or ‘pull’ and it’s tempting to revert to the old stereotype of a wink and a nod, a kind of ‘that’s my boy’ attitude. Meanwhile, these parents are telling their teen daughters to wait before becoming sexually active. It’s a double standard that needs challenging.

If you find out they are already sexually active, don’t be angry but have a grown-up conversation about health and staying safe. For London Home STI kits, visit Bexley Home STI kits.

Both boys and girls should be encouraged to hold fire and have a reality check. It’s important that they hear what their parents feel about intimacy and respect and have the opportunity to talk and express their own views and feelings.

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Parents must speak to their sons about how their activities might be seen differently by the person they are sexually involved in. Whether this is kissing, foreplay, oral sex or full intercourse, it’s important that teens realise the sex they might have viewed in pornography can greatly differ from reality.

It’s important not to lecture but do ask your son what he thinks and feels about sex and relationships. It’s perfectly ok to talk about your values, such as how you’d prefer it if he waited until he was in love etc. Ensure your son understands that exploring one’s sexuality is perfectly normal, everyone experiences it and you’re there for him.

Remember to tell him that the first time is something you’ll remember for the rest of your life, a part of your own personal story, so make sure it’s right, it’s worthy of feeling proud of and it’s a happy memory.

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