7 Things I Want My Daughters To Know About Sex

‘Blue balls’ is not a real thing.

My beautiful daughters, as much as I don’t want to think of you having sex, I also know someday you will. Someday you will meet a person who makes you feel beautiful and special and loved. And someday you will want to share your body with this person, and let that person share their body with you.

I know it is coming, and the realist in me—as well as the honest, open, sexual being that I am—wants you to have healthy sexual relationships. I want you to have good experiences—as many, or as few, as you choose—with people who will cherish you and appreciate who you are as the precious, amazing, fascinating women I see you becoming.

With that in mind, here are the things I want you to know about sex and sexuality:

1. Your body is your own gift

You have been created to experience the world in your own unique way, in your own unique time, and at your own unique pace. Your body is the perfect vessel to serve you throughout your life as you discover who you are and what you want for your life. Your body is a beautiful outward expression of who you are, but it isn’t all you are. You are infinitely more than your body—it is only the vessel for your soul—but I hope you honor your body for the vessel that it is. Your body is your gift to experience the world in, to see and smell and feel, to travel and meet and love. And make love.

Honor it and love it. Treat it well, you deserve a healthy, well-loved, honored vessel in which to explore the world.

2. Your body is your gift to share

Others will be attracted to your body. Some of them only to your body, others to the soul that lives inside it. Your body is for you to share, and I hope you share it with those who see the value in not only its shape, but also in the person inside it.

Sometimes you won’t, and that’s OK. Sometimes you may share your body with someone who only cares about your body, and only briefly, but that is your choice. Don’t allow anyone else to make that decision for you.

3. Your body never owes anyone for anything

Never allow another person to make you feel guilty for not sharing your body with them. If they buy you a $15 dinner, or a $1,500 trip to the Caribbean, you don’t owe them a thing for it. Except your gratitude. Sex is not payment for a plate of pasta or an afternoon on the beach. Sex is not payment for anything. If anyone tries to tell you differently, they are wrong.

4. Sex is meant to be fun

When you do decide to share your body, have fun with it. Sex is a discovery, an exploration, a joy, and an adventure. I hope you approach it with a sense of excitement, because that’s what it’s meant to be—exciting. It is also a give and take, a yours and mine, and a sharing of sensations. You have a right to expect—and even demand—your own satisfaction in every sexual encounter. That doesn’t mean you’ll get it every time. You may not have an orgasm every time, and that is normal, but have fun and know that you have as much right to one as the other person does. If they don’t understand that—or they don’t care—find another person to explore with.

5. It is your responsibility to have safe sex, too

You don’t need someone else to take on the responsibility of keeping your body safe. It’s your body. If that means you buy the condoms, buy them with your head held high that you are protecting yourself. And demand he wear one. Every time. (This, of course, assumes you’re wanting to have sex with a man. If it’s women you prefer, more power to you.)

Safe sex doesn’t just mean protecting yourself from disease or pregnancy, though. It also means approaching each encounter with a clear understanding of why you are doing it. Is it because you think you are supposed to? To get the other person to like you? Because you are curious? Because you feel pressured?

Or is it because you genuinely wish to share this experience with your partner? The only way to know if it’s time to have safe emotional sex with your partner is to discuss it, and if you can’t talk about it openly and honestly, you shouldn’t be doing it. (And by the way, “Oh, baby, please” doesn’t count.)

6. Blue balls is not a thing

I don’t care what a guy tells you, he will live if you don’t have sex. He’s not going to die, and he does know how to handle it himself if he has to. Don’t get guilted into doing anything you don’t want to. Ever. And if you decide you don’t want to have sex with someone, don’t. You have the right to say no. At any time. Even if you are having sex when you decide you don’t want to.

A good guy will understand. A guy who doesn’t isn’t worthy of you.

7. Being interested in sex (or not) is totally normal

There is nothing wrong with you if you like sex. There’s nothing wrong with you if you don’t. Don’t worry about what other people think—they got their own stuff. You are not a freak, a slut, frigid, whatever. You are who you are, you like what you like, and you are perfect just as you are.

Someday you will find someone—or many someones—to share your body with, and I hope whoever they are, they are worthy of you. Choose wisely and follow your heart at least as often as you follow your libido.

A native Texan, Leesa Freeman enjoys escaping the chill of New England, if only in her imagination, often setting her novels in the places she loved growing up. Visit her website to find out more about her debut novel, The Wisdom to Know the Difference, available on Amazon, or her upcoming novel, Into the Deep End.

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