There are so many things people just can't tell you about parenthood. Whether it's the incredible, overwhelming, terrifying feeling you'll experience the moment you hold your kid for the first time, or the pitfalls that will befall even the most patient of parents when they try their hand at potty training; parenthood comes with a relentless set of unforeseeable challenges that nothing, or no one, can prepare you for. Teaching your kid to be sex positive is no different, and there are so many things no one tells you about teaching your kid to be sex positive.
Even if you feel completely confident in your decision and totally prepared and completely well equipped with all the necessary information and you're beautifully steadfast in your choices; there are some negative (and some wonderfully positive) aspects of teaching sex positivity that are just impossible to prepare for. Whether it's the endless judgement you'll be forced to endure, thanks to a society that still considers sex to be somewhat taboo, or the self-doubt you'll experience because, hey, we're all just trying to do our best and that endeavor can be overwhelming; attempting to change a predominantly patriarchal society that promotes shame and judgement when it comes to safe, consensual sexual activity one sex-positive lesson at a time can, well, be a big pain in the ass.
So, with that in mind, here are eight things no one tells you about teaching your kid to be sex-positive. Sure, it can be difficult at times and, sure, your devotion to sex positivity may even falter occasionally (we're all human, it's okay). However, I guarantee you, the hard work is more than worth it.
You'll Doubt Yourself
Even if you're feeling confident in your decision to teach your kid sex positivity, you'll have your fair share of doubts. I mean, self-doubt and parenthood seem to go hand in hand but when a predominantly patriarchal society is hell-bent on convincing you that sex positivity is wrong and dangerous and why the next generation is doomed, it's difficult to not let even the most ridiculous accusation make the smallest of dents. We all want to do right by our children and give them the best chance to live healthy, happy, productive and self-loving lives; and that pressure can turn us into our harshest critics.
You'll Be Judged
Oh, judgement; the "fun" bi-product of parenting that you just can't seem to shake. Whether you're being judged for how you choose to give birth, judged for how you decide to feed your kid, or, yes, judged for how you teach your child about sex, every parenting decision you make is sure to upset someone who is convinced their way is the only way. However, it seems that the choice to teach your kids about sex positivity brings on an entirely new level of judgement, steeped in "morality" and (usually, though definitely not always) religion, that can make even the most level-headed individual passionately defiant towards your personal parenting preferences. It can be surprising, but I can also promise you: it won't be the last time someone adamantly disagrees with you or your choices.
People Will Feel Entitled To Information About Your Sex Life
Sadly, there are far too many people who confuse sex positivity with "oh, now I am able to ask this person completely personal questions about their sex-life because hey, they're sex positive and that's how this works, right?" Yeah, wrong. That's not how it works. Just because someone believes safe, consensual sex to be a positive, healthy and natural thing, doesn't mean people are entitled to know every single detail (or anything at all) about that person's intimate sex life. Whether or not someone wants to share something about themselves is entirely up to them and unless they broach the subject, honestly, don't ask. It's not your place.
Your Parenting Skills Will Be Questioned
Thanks to a patriarchal society that works tirelessly stifling sexuality (predominantly women's) while simultaneously exploiting it ad nauseam, teaching your kid to be sex positive (to some) is seen as teaching your kid to have unsafe sex at a young age with multiple people until someone becomes pregnant. (For the record, that's not what sex positivity means.) Like almost any other parenting decision you make, if someone disagrees with one choice you've carefully considered and ultimately decided on, they can (sometimes, depending on the person) feel entitled to assume that every other parenting choice you've made is fundamentally flawed to the point that CPS just might need to get involved and ugh, it's exhausting.
You Won't Have All The Answers
You just won't know it all. You can't, really, and when your kid starts asking questions that they feel completely comfortable asking you because sex isn't scary to them, you might get stumped. Thankfully, you'll probably have prepared for this moment and will know where to find the answers you can't scrape off the top of your head.
How Early Sex-Shaming Starts
It's pretty impossible to realize how early sex-shaming starts until you see your kid internalizing their sexual feelings, questions about sex, or sexuality at a very young age. Even if you've done your damnedest and tried to explain just how normal and healthy sex is, our culture is powerful and the messages that surround our kids on the regular, are nothing short of influential.
You Have To Be Sex Positive To Teach Sex Positivity
Nothing makes you realize (or appreciate) your own sex positivity (or points out ways in which you were continuing to shame yourself and others for their sexuality) like teaching sex positivity. When you're trying to instill a set of values and explain a specific set of factual information to your kid, self-reflection is often necessary and you'll learn so much about yourself, your views on sex and how you've been taught to think about sex, when you're doing the teaching.
You'll Realize How Much You Don't Know
As a parent, we would like to think we know all the things. I mean, we're the parent. But there's nothing like an ongoing lesson on sex positivity to remind you that you don't. I mean, you don't really know anything at all. You're learning and evolving yourself, which is honestly not the worst thing to explain to your kid. Yes, you should provide them with a source of security and remain a person in their life that they can turn to for guidance, but admitting that you're not the end-all-be-all of every piece of conceivable knowledge is not only true, but a wonderful lesson for your kid to learn, too.