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Teachable Moments: Talking About Intimacy

Finding everyday moments to discuss intimacy with your child can make these very personal conversations feel more natural, and will also encourage your child to feel more comfortable coming to you with questions or concerns.

  • In the supermarket: After reading the headlines about a teenage celebrity couple breaking up, talk with your teen about how much more difficult break-ups can be if sexual intimacy is involved. For example, "Did you hear about [insert star couple's name] breaking up? [Celebrity name] seemed pretty upset about it in the story I read. After you have sex with someone, that level of intimacy can make breaking up even more difficult, especially if the breakup is shortly after you have sex."
  • During a breakup: Use this time to talk to your teen about how he is feeling, and about how much more complicated those feelings can be after sexual intimacy. For example, "I was sorry to hear that you decided to break up with Tori, she was a nice girl. Was she very upset, or did she understand that you didn't want to get too serious with anyone right now? You know, once you have sex, breaking up becomes even harder, especially for girls. That's why it's really not a good idea to have casual sex with someone, or to have sex with them before you are ready to take things to the next level."
  • While talking about safer sex: Safer sex isn't just about being safe physically, so take this opportunity to branch into a conversation about how to be safe emotionally as well. For example, say, "I know that you know how to protect yourself from STDs and pregnancy, but sex can also be risky because it involves your emotions. When you have sex with someone, you let them into your body and your soul. This intimacy can be very intense, and should only be shared between two people who love each other and trust each other 100%."

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