My teenage son came to me the other day and proudly declared that out of all his mates, he’s the only one who has made love.
Once I got over the initial shock of him being so open with me – even though all three of my children are really open about their sexuality, since I’ve brought them up that way, it still surprises me as I could never have been that open with my parents – I asked him if he meant that his friends haven’t had sex yet.
“No, Mum,” he clarified “they’re having sex, but it’s just that boring teenage sex. Me and Kate, we really make love.” He had a big satisfied smile on his face.
“So, what’s the difference between regular sex and love-making?” I asked.
Why am I sharing this (with his, slightly reluctant, permission)? A couple of reasons.
Firstly, to show that having an open dialogue with your kids is so beneficial in helping them have a quality, life-enhancing sex life. If you don’t, they’re going to get their sexual inspiration from porn, and they’re not going to learn about quality sex from that medium.
And secondly, we often think that young people, particularly young testosterone-fuelled men, have to have hard and fast sex and it’s only later that we can develop a softer, more loving sexual style – and that’s if you even believe that sex can evolve in this way, for a lot of people the belief is that it’s hard and fast when you’re young and then it dwindles to nothing. But as my son shows, and his older brother is the same, teenagers can ‘make love’ too.
Now to put those two points together, young people can have quality sex, they can ‘make love’, and it helps if their parents are open to guiding them in discovering that. But of course, to have that quality of communication with your children, you need to be comfortable with your own sexuality first. So it’s good you’re reading my blog! Because for most of us there’s a lot of growth in self-awareness and understanding to be done to be able to engage with sexuality in such a normal, natural way – no negative emotions of shame, guilt, fear, disgust, embarrassment, frustration, resentment, etc; instead, just feelings of goodness, pleasure, safety, trust, joy, freedom and, yes, love.