I see a boy, Alexander Cameron, and his little sister, Savannah, Aria, Chloe, or Fiona (her mother hasn’t decided her name yet). They are beautiful, inquisitive, smart, and good. They are my future son and daughter. I am not expecting them anytime soon, but for as long as I can remember, I’ve dreamed about them; prayed over them. I have also thought long and hard about what I will teach them.
While they are all incredibly important, I know that some of these lessons will involve conversations that will be painfully awkward, not only for my future children, but for me as well. This particular lesson may be one of the most uncomfortable…and one of the most important: it’s about sex. We seem to interact with the concept of it in such an abstract and detached way in today’s society. I think this is a huge problem. We’re losing the love, humanity, and magic of sex. Because of this, half of us won’t touch it with a 10-foot pole and the other half of us insist on magnifying even the tiniest salacious elements of it, and then attaching those to everything and everyone.
I don’t want my kids to live and grow in a world where their perception of sex is unhealthy, one way or the other. When they are ready, this is [just some of] what I will say to Alexander and Savannah (or Aria, Chloe, or Fiona):
Sex is awesome so enjoy it, but please do so responsibly and considerately. Educate yourself. It is never casual and should not be taken lightly. Don’t rush into it. Take your time because it is worth the wait. Use protection. It can help save your life and your partners’. Do it with someone you trust and care about and who has demonstrated that s/he feels the same way about you.
When it comes to sex -and its cornerstone, love- the words “understand” and “respect” are two paramount words. Understand and respect yourself; understand and respect your partner(s). Understand and respect that “no” always means “no”, and if at any point you are uncomfortable, you can say “no”. If you hear it, you stop, no questions asked, no arguments formed.
Do not engage if, for any reason, you feel threatened or unsure. You are NEVER, ever ”asking for it”, and you are never entitled to anyone else’s body. If you find yourself the victim of an unfortunate situation, know that you can tell me and I will not blame you or shame you. I will support you and do my best to help you because I love you.
My greatest desire, now and forever, is that this lesson, along with all of the others I will teach my future children, will show them how much I love and cherish them, even now, when they are just a dream.