Sometimes, you need more than the internet to give you valuable information regarding sexual health. And it’s quite ironic that you’re on the internet right now reading this. But, for a lot of young people, there are questions that only talking with parents can help answer and give personal clarity to sexual experiences.

For many people, however, talking with parents about such sexual matters can be extremely awkward, uncomfortable, and pure nightmare fuel. If you do want to gain a better understanding of the parental perspective, and maybe even build a better relationship with your parents, the proper planning and practise can make the sex talk go a lot smoother. Nothing feels better than smooth communication.

To go about a safe sexual conversation and lessen the anxieties that can naturally happen, let’s explore some preparation tips and conversation starters. Afterall, open and honest communication is the key to every relationship (even those with our parents).

Your Sexual Health Conversation Checklist

Sex Talk Preparation Techniques

How To Ease Into The Sexual Conversation

Extra Tips To Make It Go Smoother

Seeking Answers From Other People

Wrapping Up The Talk

 

Your Sexual Health Conversation Checklist

Oftentimes, all productive planning begins with a list. Especially when outlining what you aim to discuss with your parents, make sure you have a natural checklist in your back pocket. You can use the same pocket you carry Durex condoms* in, if you wish. Once you have the checklist, talking with parents about sex can be a breeze, help clear the air, and lead to more open communication in your household. Let’s check it off together.

Girl reading her notes in bed before talking with parents about sexual health.

Sex Talk Preparation Techniques

Everyone has their own unique way of approaching the first-time sexual health convo with the most important adults in their life, but here are some common steps:

  1. Create a list of questions ahead of time
  2. Organize what you want to say before you say it so you don’t leave any questions out
  3. Set a time and date for the discussion
  4. Engage in a private place if you’re more comfortable without a public audience
  5. Start with humour (it doesn’t need to be so serious)
  6. Always remember, your parents have both been there AND done that

 

Father and son laughing together after having a sexual health conversation.

How To Ease Into The Sexual Conversation

So now you’re prepared, and today’s the day, but how do you say what you want to get off your chest? How do you stop from biting your nails at the thought of engaging with your parents about the birds and the bees? Well, you can start the conversation from a few possible directions:

  1. Explain the purpose of why you’re asking them (some parents can be overprotective or defensive, so be open about why you’re doing this in the first place) – use logic over emotion if that works for you.
  2. Bring up a media example (reference a TV show, movie, article, or podcast that covers sexual health and start there) – this can help your parents see that you’re exploring safe sex responsibly and not just blindly following pop culture sex ed tips.
  3. Name your feelings (it’s perfectly okay to say you’re feeling nervous or uncomfortable) – this sets a precedent that the tone of the conversation is a personal challenge, and can lead to more empathy.

At a place where you feel intimate with someone, but unsure if you’re ready to have sex? Listen to sexpert Karine St-Michel’s tips for more clarity in Are You Ready For Your First Time?

Extra Tips To Make It Go Smoother

For a little extra protection during these discussions, hear these out:

  1. If you’re too shaky to chat in person, try sending them a text or email to detail what’s on your mind
  2. Be willing to hear your parent’s point of view too (even if you don’t agree with them, their feelings are valid)
  3. Allude to the conversation more than once (sometimes, it takes more than one sitting to get everything off your chest) – breaking it down during different times can help you be more comfortable talking about it
  4. Resist the urge to fight back (if your parents are genuinely against speaking about sexual health with you, then you can move forward with getting your questions answered by an older sibling or another family member)

For more questions answered, and more advice on speaking with your parents about sex, check out How Do I Talk To My Parents About Sex? by our sexpert Natalya Mason.

 

Girl practising the sex talk with her friend.

Seeking Answers From Other People

To speak to the last point, if you know your parent(s) wouldn’t be too keen on having the sex talk with you, there are other options for people to turn to. These can include other family members (such as an older sibling, cousin, aunt or uncle), people at school (guidance counsellors, sex ed teachers), or people working at a sexual health community clinic.

You can also approach your family doctor. And if you’re wondering, “Can doctors tell your parents if you are sexually active?”, the short of it is NO, unless they have your permission to do so. Sensitive questions discussed with a healthcare provider stay between you and them. That’s why, if you’re not comfortable going to a parent, medical professionals are a great resource.

Want extra ‘first time’ tips? Listen to The Sex And Self Podcast “Let’s Talk About Firsts” for an experienced breakdown of commonly asked questions.

 

Father and son having a sexual health conversation outdoors.

Wrapping Up The Talk

Of course, sex talks with your parents may seem like the scariest situation imaginable. But it’s a lot better than having them walk in on you in the act! Remember our checklist for first-time considerations and we hope all goes well when you sex talk it out.

Going out with someone for the first time and wanting to show them a good time? Look at Cool And Original Ideas For A First Date for some intimate and fun inspiration.

*Ensure this product is right for you. Always read and follow the label before use.

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