When we talk about having sex, what, exactly, are we talking about? On one level, this may seem obvious. Most often we mean sexual intercourse: penis-in-vagina (PIV) sex. But if you stop to think about it, isn’t there a lot more to people’s sexual experiences? Is PIV the only thing that counts as sex? This […]
A lot of people I speak with say they’d like to feel more comfortable talking about sexuality with their partner or their kids, but don’t know how to start. So I’ll help! Part of what makes it hard is that we don’t do it very often. Sex is private and not a suitable topic in polite company. But there are plenty of things about sex and its meaning to us that are worth thinking about, and worth talking about.
Every couple of weeks, I’ll post a TalkStarter you can use to get conversations going with people important to you. Some are suitable for couples; some for you and any adults you’re close to; some for parents with kids of various ages. Hopefully the TalkStarters will give you food for thought and food for conversation.
TalkStarter for Kids: When a Pet Has a Litter
There’s a reason videos of puppies and kittens get so much traction on social media: We’re just drawn to them, to their cuteness and antics and smallness. In real life, kittens and puppies are even more appealing. Kids may like small animals even more than adults do, being small and active themselves. Kids, like adults, […]
TalkStarter for Adults: The Funny Side of the Birds & the Bees
If you’re feeling awkward about telling your kids about the birds and the bees, or even talking with your partner about sex, let a little humor help you through. Think about children you’ve known over the years: your own, or a friend’s children, or kids you knew growing up. What’s the funniest thing you’ve ever […]
TalkStarter for Adults: What Was the Most Helpful Thing Your Parents Said about Sex?
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 […]
TalkStarter for Teens: What Was Hard for You as a Teen
Maybe you’ve always meant to talk more with your kids about sex and dating, but kept putting it off. Now they’re teens or preteens and you know you need to open a conversation, but you don’t know where to start. How can you get beyond the wall of groans, eye-rolling, and “I know all that”? […]
TalkStarter for Couples: Taking Talks Deeper
Do you and your honey talk? Like, really talk, so you feel you know what’s going on in each other’s heads and hearts? For some couples, this comes naturally. Talking about the stuff that matters leads to wonderful, deep connection. Knowing what’s really going on with your partner makes it much less likely that you’ll […]
TalkStarter for Couples: What Does V-Day Mean, Anyway?
As Valentine’s Day approaches, some people are filled with romantic thoughts—and others with dread. If you and your honey are completely on the same page that Valentine’s Day is really special or not worth bothering with, you’re golden. In most couples, though, there are differences of opinion about how to celebrate the holiday. One may […]
TalkStarter for Kids: “How I Learned about Puberty”
Let’s face it: puberty and sex are awkward topics. And when you do gear yourself up to talk to your child about it, you probably get cringing and eye rolls. But you don’t want your kids to enter puberty and have no idea why their bodies are changing. Even if their school does a good […]
TalkStarter: Politics, “Locker-Room Language,” and Respect
Part of me hesitates to say anything that touches on this emotionally charged election season. But so much of what’s been going on lately relates to how people treat one another sexually that I can’t ignore it—and neither should parents. It truly is a talk-able moment. Whatever your political views, the recent uproar about Donald […]
TalkStarter: How Your Early Sex Life Affects Your Kid
Every one of us has our own sexual story. Whether we were virgins when we got married, promiscuous at a young age, or anything in between, our experiences shape our view of ourselves and sexuality. We may regret our past or celebrate it, but it’s part of who we are. It’s also part of how […]
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