There’s been a lot in the news about sexual predators like Jeffrey Epstein taking advantage of many, many girls. You may also have heard that a fairly small percentage of college men are responsible for a disproportionate percentage of campus sexual assaults. It’s relatively few people (almost all of them male) make a habit, even […]
Birds & Bees TalkStarter: The Kavanaugh Accusations
Whatever your views on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court and the recent accusations against him, one thing is certain: It’s an excellent opportunity for a conversation with your teen about sex and consent. Some teens may be aware of the headlines; others may be oblivious. If your teen hasn’t mentioned anything […]
If Your Body Is Aroused, Does that Mean You Consent?
Consent is a complex topic. In theory, it’s easy: No means No and Yes means Yes. In reality, things can be murkier. Minds can change; someone can think a partner’s mind has changed when it hasn’t; there may be mixed signals. One way signals can be mixed is when a person’s body is aroused but […]
When Your Body Language Says “No”
In the recent case involving Aziz Ansari, his date said she used “clear non-verbal clues” to indicate that she wasn’t comfortable with the sexual activities they engaged in. But those clues may not have been clear to Ansari. No one who wasn’t in the room that night can know what really happened. Maybe she was […]
What Guys Mean by “Hilarious”–and Why Parents Should Care
How do young men feel about date rape and consent? While young women have become increasingly vocal about the need for clear consent to sex, guys may have mixed feelings. Some are fully on board with wanting to treat women with respect and making sure a potential partner is ready for sexual activity. Yet guys […]
Feeling “Meh” About Sex Tonight? Your Relationship Status Matters
If the person next to you wants to have sex tonight and you’re not sure whether you’re in the mood, should you do it? It depends on who the person next to you is. Suppose the person who’s looking for action is someone you don’t know well or who just wants casual sex. If you […]
TalkStarter for Teens: The NH Prep School Sexual Assault Case
The recent sexual assault case at a New Hampshire prep school is a tragedy for both teens involved (and their families). But it does give other parents an opportunity to talk with their kids about situations and choices that can cause legal and emotional trouble—and about how to avoid decisions that have long-term repercussions. In […]
What Is “Good Sex,” Anyway?
We sometimes talk about “good sex”—wanting it for ourselves and for those we love. But what exactly do we mean by that? Experts consider sex “good” when four things are true: It’s consensual: Both parties agree to whatever activities happen. It’s safe: There is no transmission of an STI, no unwanted pregnancy, no physical or […]
Are “Blue Balls” for Real?
Back when I was a teen, a guy would sometimes try to pressure a girl into having sex by saying that if they didn’t, he’d end up with “blue balls”—horrible pain in his testicles caused by sexual arousal without release. I was surprised to learn (from my survey of young adults) that the “blue balls” […]
Why Young Women Need a “No”
There’s a lot in the news about sexual assaults on college campuses. Outright assaults do happen (far too often). But a more common problem, I think, is young women (and sometimes guys) not wanting to say Yes but not knowing how to say No. Sometimes they’re not even sure it’s acceptable for them to […]