It’s easy to think about all the ways your parents didn’t do a great job teaching you about sexuality: the facts they avoided telling you, the times they freaked out or got judgy, the conversations they shut down, the things you wish you’d known.
But they probably didn’t get it all wrong. Likely they told you something useful about bodies, procreation, and romantic relationships. Or their nonverbal messages were somehow helpful to you.
Open a convo: You can learn more about yourself, your partner, and your close friends by discussing this. What was the most helpful thing your and their parents said about any aspect of sex?
What did you learn from that? How will that experience inform how you handle the birds and the bees if you become a parent (or, now that you are a parent)?
How did your experience differ from your friends’ and partner’s? Do those differences help you understand them better? Do they make you think differently about your own birds-and-bees experiences? These can be intimate, emotionally important conversations. The early messages we get from our parents about bodies and sexuality have a deep impact. The more we talk and think about our sexual learning, the better we know those close to us—and the better we’ll do when it’s our turn to talk with kids.