An Open Letter To My Future Kids About Sex

Now, kids, I know you don’t exist yet. And yep, I’m still single and haven’t met your father yet (at least, I don’t think). And OK, maybe I pray (and cross my fingers and toes and arms and legs) that I don't get pregnant at this time in my life. But one day, I do look forward to having you. And as sweet as it will be to watch you grow from newborns to toddlers to kids to preteens, I’m also excited to see what you'll be like as an adult. I’ve always had a close relationship with your grandparents, and they’ve always treated me as a pseudo-adult, even from the age of two, so I’ll try my best to not mother ya too hard.

But, here’s something to know about your mom (which I’m sure you’ll find out long before you read this article): I’m really open and honest about how I feel about things. Your future dad will (hopefully) tell you it’s one of the things he loves about me, and I’d say, it’ll make me a good mom to ya one day.

Why? Because not even the convo of the "birds and the bees" fazes me. In fact, I already have a few things I’d like you to know about sex. Even though — let’s hope — you won’t start having it until you’re at least in high school:

It Is Your Body

You’ll grow taller and leaner. You might get acne. You might need braces. You’ll have to wear a training bra, and your voice could get squeaky before it gets deeper. There’s a lot that goes on, and your hormones will be scattered throughout most of your teen years (and frankly, a lot of your 20s). It’ll be strange and awesome to fill into your body, and if I’m being honest, you’ll spend a long time learning to accept, love, value and respect that awesome shell that’ll get you through life.

But regardless of what body image issues you might face, remember these four words: It is your body.

Though I may encourage you to dress in certain clothes, once you’re out of the house, you can dress however you’d like. Though I’ll encourage you to take the best care of your health that you can, when you’re an adult, you’ll have to make those lifestyle choices for yourself. And though I hope you’ll sleep with people who care about you deeply, in reality, you’ll probably have a few random encounters, and that’s totally fine.

But through it all, the decisions you make with your body, for your body, and in your body are yours.

Don’t Marry It Before You Test It

When your grandmother told me about sex, she handed me a book to read cover-to-cover. I read it in about an hour, and went inside to ask my questions. They were: "Does it really go in there?" and "Should I wait until I get married?" She took a big ol' breath and then told me that I should wait until I was in love, but that holding off until marriage was an older tradition from when people got married much younger — like at 15 — so I didn’t need to necessarily wait until I walked down the aisle to do the deed.

When I was 25, we went drinking in Paris together and she said, “Honey, you surely don’t marry it without test driving it.”

Kids, I’m with your grandma on this one.

Safe Sex Is Incredibly Sexy. Promise.

Yes, you have to wrap it before you tap it. Birth control is available, important and an awesome option, and hopefully, it’ll still be pretty much free when you start taking it. You can get an STD or pregnant from one time. And the pull-out method is dumb — you’re smarter than that.

Consent Is Absolutely Everything

Great sex is between two people who both consent to having sex. Sometimes it’s with love, sometimes it’s with pure animalistic passion, and sometimes, it’s just fun. But listen up: Without consent, it’s rape, no questions asked. It doesn’t matter what you’re wearing or what your partner is wearing, what you’re drinking or what they’re drinking. No excuses, no exceptions.

I hope that you never, ever experience anything traumatic like rape. But please know that if you do, you can always talk to me. You are never alone. I will never judge you.

You Can Sleep With Whomever You Want To

For a while, I was convinced that to make a good wife, I’d need to be as virginal as possible. Up until I was nearly 23, I never had a one-night stand, and I didn’t sleep with a dude until we were officially in a relationship. But then I had a lot of bad experiences, and one day, when you’re older, I’ll tell you about those. What I learned was that sometimes, you might just feel the urge. And if you’re safe, feel comfortable, and want to, then don’t judge yourself if you have casual sex.

And son(s), if you decide you’re more attracted to men, or daughter(s), you want to be with women, that’s cool too. Whatever makes you happy will make me and your dad happy, too.

The Word "Slut" Should Not Be In Your Vocabulary

Female sexuality is no different from male sexuality. The number of people you sleep with is your own decision. You don’t need anyone’s approval, and you surely shouldn’t be judged — or judge others — for who they decide to share a bed with. There’s still a pretty big double standard between men and women, and I hope that your generation breaks it — if mine doesn’t first.

One Day, You’ll Know When It's Different

There will be many times when you have bad sex. And you’ll probably have some pretty awful, hurtful breakups. You might have some next-day hangovers, and there will be moments when you realize that, sadly, the passion is gone. I wish I could rescue you from any of that pain, but my hope for you is that you’ll believe me when I say that one day, it’ll be different. Your heart will feel something stronger. One day, you’ll fall in love and it’ll be pretty powerful.

And though as your mom, I don’t really need to hear about it, when you experience sex with that special person, you’ll understand what it’s all really about. You might even feel that way with a few people, if you’re lucky. But regardless of what you do or don’t do leading up to that point, know that you’re worthy of that great love.

And yes, of course, that great sex.

Image: Lindsay Tigar

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