How do you teach a child about sex?

// 27 June 2010

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As a parent, sex education for children is something that’s really important to me. I want my son to grow up with a healthy view of sex and relationships. I want him, if and when he becomes sexually active, to have a good understanding of how sex works, knowledge of contraception (and a feeling of personal responsibility for using it), informed consent and the issues surrounding domestic violence.

I am aware that most schools teach sex education from a fairly young age – I believe mine started in school around year 4, so I would have been about eight years old – but I believe that the sex education children receive in schools is greatly lacking and think that the greatest responsibility for sex education lies with parents.

For me, this means sex education starts early. From the moment our children start naming body parts, sex education begins. I hate it when children learn ‘cutesy’ terms for their genitalia. We don’t use euphemisms for any other body parts, and the use of them for genitalia, in my opinion, does nothing but teach them that their ‘private parts’ are taboo, dirty or shameful. Another important reason for teaching our children the proper terms for their body parts is so that in cases of abuse children can adequately describe what has happened to them. So from a young age, I have taught my son the proper words for genitals. He knows he, like most boys and men, has a penis and testicles and that Mummy, like most women, has a vulva and ovaries.

My method of teaching a child of such a young age is to answer every question he asks fully, but not to give any more information than he asks for. By not answering any more questions than he has actually asked, I reduce the risk of over-confusing him and allow him to learn about these things at his own pace.

For example, when he asked me what his penis was for, I told him it was for urinating and sex and he accepted that as an answer with no more detail. When he asked me what sex was, I told him it was something adults do for fun and sometimes to make babies. He hadn’t asked me about the mechanics of sex, so I didn’t go any further. When he asked me where my eggs came from, I told him “from my ovaries” and when he asked to see them, I found an excellent diagram. When he asked me how he got into my uterus, I told him that Daddy helped put him there, and when he asked how, I told him “with his penis”.

As he grows older, I’m fully expecting him to ask more questions, and that’s perfectly normal. Children are naturally curious people, and considering the reproductive system is a pretty impressive ‘piece of kit’ – humans growing whole other human beings within their bodies! – it’s only natural that they will ask questions about where they came from and how it all happens. I plan to continue my method of answering frankly, with no embarrassment or shame, every question he asks. I think that “with no embarrassment or shame” part is pretty important too, because as I said, the last thing I want to do is to make him think that any part or function of the human body is embarrassing or shameful.

I plan to introduce awareness of domestic violence, and have already started that by talking with him about violence in general, how it’s not nice to hurt someone’s feelings or their body, and encouraging him to express himself in positive and constructive ways.

Another thing I think is really important, especially when raising a boy, is to raise him with a good understanding of ‘enthusiastic consent’, though I’m not sure how or when I will raise that issue with him yet. Rape culture is so prevalent that I think it’s important that boys learn “no means no”, and that the lack of a no does not automatically mean consent, and equally that girls learn they can say “no” and that they have the right to have that “no” respected.

I’m really interested in other people’s methods – including people like me with young children, and perhaps especially parents/guardians of older children, so I can garner ideas for my son’s coming years. How are you teaching your children, male or female, about their bodies and their functions?

Comments From You

Ruth // Posted 27 June 2010 at 9:01 pm

I’m currently leaving it up to him to ask the questions, and I’ll provide answers, is what I’m doing. He’s three, so he asks a *lot* of questions!!

My child’s been asking a lot about genitals recently, who has what and do they wee with them (he’s finally abandoning nappies, so he goes around without pants on a lot).

I told him that most boys have penises/willies (sorry, I know, cutsie term, but having said that, it’s what most of his peers/peers’ parents call a child’s penis, and so he knows both words) and most girls have vulvas, but sometimes it’s the other way around, and sometimes in-between. I think his three year-old brain sort of got that.

As for what people wee with, I told him everyone has a urethra. (“You wee thra your urethra”, GCSE science, it’s stayed with me!) Again he seemed to grasp this.

He hasn’t asked me about where babies come from or anything like that yet, but when he does I’ll try to answer as honestly as I can.

He also asks a lot about breastfeeding and breasts, as in, “does X have milk?” where X is any one of my woman friends.

I also have some boundaries, both for me and for him; after our little sex ed talk he asked to see my vulva and I told him he could, but not to touch it please. Also, I inform/ask him whenever I’m going to wipe his bottom or genitals, and am starting to teach him to do it himself. I want him to know that others have body boundaries, and that he does, too. I think that’s really, really important.

Philippa Willitts // Posted 27 June 2010 at 9:18 pm

That all sounds really good, I especially like answering the questions he asks, and stopping when his curiousity is answered, until he asks the next question.

I think it’s also really important to teach kids about the possibilities of same sex relationships too. Had I grown up even knowing it was an option, never mind knowing that it was ok, I would have agonised a lot less.

Anji // Posted 27 June 2010 at 9:33 pm

Ruth – I want him to know that others have body boundaries, and that he does, too. I think that’s really, really important.

You make a good point there, and I don’t specifically tell Orion when I’m going to wipe him, but I think that’s mostly because he always asks me to do it for him. I could definitely be a little more pro-active in telling him when I’m going to touch him.

Philippa – I think it’s also really important to teach kids about the possibilities of same sex relationships too.

Oh yes, that’s something I should have included here. I strongly remember when I was about three, asking my Dad if boys could marry boys. They couldn’t of course, this was 1989 or so, so civil partnerships didn’t exist. My Dad however understood that what I was asking was whether two males could be in a relationship, and answered me in the affirmative. He didn’t make a big deal out of it, just talked about it like it was something perfectly normal and natural. I really appreciate that both of my parents were so thoughtful and accepting of same-sex relationships, considering the generation they come from. They also ended up with two children, both of whom are queer, so it’s probably good that they’re so progressive! ;o)

I think I am doing this to some degree by, for example, when talking to Orion about his future partners (if indeed he chooses to have partners) referencing both sexes – so “if you get married to a girl or a boy” rather than “when you have a wife” and things like that. It’s definitely something I want to instil in him as being normal, and I think my being queer and so many of the adults in his life being queer will help that enormously.

Lynne Miles // Posted 27 June 2010 at 9:48 pm

I don’t have kids but hope to at some point, and hope I will address it exactly as you & Ruth are! Wish more people did …

beth // Posted 27 June 2010 at 10:12 pm

Generally speaking I agree with all this and think it’s mostly common sense. I don’t have kids yet (my blog name notwithstanding) but did want to say that in my family at least, we did have cutesy names for other body parts – ‘tootsies’ for toes is the one that springs to mind, although I’m sure we had another. But I do take your point that mostly, genitals are the only body part that has cutesy names.

Melissa Moore // Posted 28 June 2010 at 2:26 am

I am also one of those parents who believes that there really shouldn’t be secrets when it comes to things like sexual education. I raised my daughter after my divorce and did so nude. Believe it or not, that answered tons of questions right there and helped her at the onset of puberty. I also never his my monthly cycles as she was 9 or 10 so when her cycle started one day, she knew exactly what to do for herself.

We have talked about body parts ever since she was 4, and naming the parts correctly, or as correctly as she could pronounce them!!

Like many other parents I know, as they got older and asked more specific questions, I would give specific answers when I knew she could understand them. Contraception, Abstinence, Same-Sex Relations, bisexuality and heterosexuality all have come up at one time or another. Out of all her peers here in the US, she seems the most well adjusted person in her generation. She suffers no ill effects about body image or self esteem. In fact, she actually bucks a trend or two because SHE feels comfortable doing what SHE wants. For instance, she doesn’t feel the urge to remove all excess body hair. Many of her friends have gone by the way of the razor blade but Sara refrains. She also doesn’t feel the need for a nose job or breast augmentation. With what goes on out here in the West, I am sorry I didn’t go to Med School and become a Plastic Surgeon!

All in all, I am very happy in the way Sara has gone through the first major change in her life. I am also happy that I kept her out of Sex Ed in school and chose, instead, to do that at home. I wish more and more families would choose this path instead of the generic “one mold fits all” type of education that is offered in schools these days. There would be more people who are able to handle life and be better adjusted to things as a result.


Melissa Moore,

Tucson, AZ

Ruth // Posted 28 June 2010 at 6:12 am

Phillipa, I’m lucky in that my child has seen me in a relationship with a man, and with a woman, and although I’m single at the moment I don’t see the point in hiding my sexuality from him at all.

But one of the things that irks me a little is when people “matchmake” children (you know, as a joke, “Jack, are you going to marry Lisa when you grow up?”) only with children at the other end of the gender spectrum. If it’s done at all, it should be with a variety of children!

Jack Neilson // Posted 28 June 2010 at 6:47 am

I am a straight male, 72 years of age and have raised a child. I was redirected to this site and I must say that the comments you have made are the most lucid and positive statements I have read in reference to raising children, explaining their bodies to give them a positive body image, and explaining the future role of sex in their lives. My wife and I always answered our son’s questions in a similar manner, when asked and without any hesitation. He grew up into a fine man of whom I am very proud and who has been capable of relating to and making friends of people without reference to age. sex or orientation. I commend the previous posters for their attitudes toward the sex education of their children, something I feel is lacking today and I feel sure that your children will grow up with a well balanced and positive outlook.

Rachel // Posted 28 June 2010 at 7:53 am

I don’t have kids and don’t plan on having any, but I just wanted to say I’m so happy to see these kinds of discussions going on. My parents didn’t give me anything like as well rounded a sex education as you all seem to be doing. I remember when I was 3 or 4 asking where babies came from and just being told that sex was a “special kind of hug”! And later I just got a quick talk about periods and a book to read about it. Everything else I found out at school or in books. I don’t wish to criticise my parents, but let’s just say that didn’t really prepare me for the intricacies of relationships and sexual identity! Oh, and I still don’t feel comfortable talking to them about my current relationships – it’s just not a topic of conversation that we ever had when I was growing up.

A J // Posted 28 June 2010 at 8:03 am

That mostly sounds good to me!

The only thing I really disagree on (or half-disagree on, anyway) is the body parts thing. I do think it’s important that kids are taught the ‘proper’ names of course (at least for the main parts), but on the other hand, I think it’s actually quite important that they know other common names as well. It’s all well and good him knowing what a ‘penis’ and ‘testicles’ are, but if he doesn’t also know what a ‘willy’ and ‘balls’ are, for instance, that could get quite confusing for him, given how common those terms are (even among adults). Are you teaching him what a ‘pinkie’ finger is? Technically, that’s not the proper name for that either, but again, it’s one that’s in common use.

I think in relation to rape and domestic violence etc, it’s much better to deal at this stage (and for quite a while yet) with issues of consent and violence on a general level, rather in these specific contexts. Partly because violence is important beyond domestic violence, and consent beyond rape; but also because the specific issues need to be based on a solid understanding of the basic concepts in any case.

Other than that, I would only suggest (which you’re probably doing already!) that you make as clear as possible that he should feel free to ask any question of you about these things (or anything!). Partly, that can be achieved by happily answering all the questions he does have, but I think it’s often useful to specifically say it too, to reassure him.

Charlie // Posted 28 June 2010 at 9:03 am

I’m not yet a parent, but I read a few parenting blogs, and I have to commend Arwyn on this post: which I saved to return to in future because I liked it so much. It says a lot of the same things y’all’ve been talking about in the main post and in the comments, in a simple and explicit way.

Maeve // Posted 28 June 2010 at 10:42 am

This is a bit of an aside, just something I thought was funny: the other day my cousin’s 3-year old son pounded up the stairs after her as she went to the loo. She heard him go into her bedroom and rummage about. When she came out of the loo he was standing there helpfully holding a tampon out to her. Another time he said, ‘Mummy, have you got boobies?’ When she said yes, he said, ‘Never mind!’

Don’t really know what to make of the latter example….

Troon // Posted 28 June 2010 at 12:59 pm

So many wonderful parents commentating, makes me feel very embarrassed about my own failings.

Only two things to add to all the wonderful advice. The first is about orientation, where I’m increasingly finding myself uncomfortable (like Ruth?) about what to do when people answer questions not asked because they don’t see the question (e.g. ‘he’s really lovely, bet he’ll charm the girls when he grows up’). After so many awkward moments I have steered clear of ‘or boys’, and so have resorted to ‘yes, he is lovely, I’m sure he will if he wants to’ but that seems cowardly and inadequate.

The other issue at the front of my mind because my eldest is potty training is how fluid categories are, and whether we should impose them at all. He is interested in other individuals and whether they have a penis (and how big it is). But he doesn’t yet seem to think in gendered terms-his categories for people remain ‘baby, toddler, boy’girl, man/woman’ and his definitions of man and woman are ‘big tummies and big chests’ (I assume because these details matter most if what you want is a cuddle) and for all his ‘help’ changing nappies has no interest in asking about his younger brother’s penis (although he does like it that they both sound the same when they fart). He is (rightly) certain that he is not a man. Given this I think even saying ‘most boys/men’ might confuse, and have stuck to individuals until he develops some sense of ‘maleness’ running form birth to death (however flawed that might be as an idea).

Anyway, thank you all for the inspiring post and comments.

Anji // Posted 28 June 2010 at 1:31 pm

Troon – I do in fact answer that statement with “Or boys!” and people generally laugh and say “Yes, or boys!” :o)

Troon // Posted 28 June 2010 at 2:44 pm


Maybe I will return to my old ways! Am worried, though, because what irks me most is trying to suggest to him that his physical beauty should be a tool for manipulation (with some fairly obvious sexual undertones), not simply that the object of that predatory usage should be of the opposite gender. Need a way of expressing that succinctly.

Glad people laugh at your correction, though. Everyone I did it in front of either clammed up or apologised for not realising I was gay (cue more explanations and much confusion). Which I suppose brings up the bigger point which is that, given most of the parents whose support we get and who we meet might not talk about sex as you do, at what point does it become worth highlighting that conflict to our otherwise oblivious children?

Georgia // Posted 28 June 2010 at 6:59 pm

I have a 6 year old daughter and as everyone here has already said, when questions arise I go with honesty being the best policy.

I have found a book I would recommend: ‘Lets talk about girls, boys, babies, bodies, families and friends’. (2006, Harris and Emberley). In a nutshell; lots of illustrations, it covers the differences between boys and girls, sex, pregnancy & birth, all kinds of families, ok touches and not ok touches.

Melissa Moore // Posted 28 June 2010 at 11:31 pm

The biggest hurdle, when it came to sexuality and education was covering masturbation. Being a nudist, I never thought something like this would bother me, however, that day did come. She came to me about it because she had heard me moaning one night and thought I was ill. Opps! Seeing that she was mature about it, the talk about the physical aspects of the topic weren’t so bad. Answering the more silly questions were still a bother but I refuse to lie about it. In the end, I told her that she is fine with exlploring herself and learning about the joy her body can bring her. I made sure that she knows she may do this whenever she pleases but that it is to happen in a bedroom or bathroom and away from people, esspecially my folks who would freak if they knew….LOL.

If this happens to anyone else, please….don’t feel this is something that needs to be put aside. You need to talk about it. If they are old enough to ask you, then they are old enough to know. You don’t have to talk about the box of toys in the closet or anything, but be honest. This is a major point of puberty and dealing with hormone overload. Both boys and girls need to know that this is a normal part of life and that YOU also enjoy it sometimes as well. It is something to enjoy but something to be done alone, not in a family setting or such.

Take care everyone.

GringaSalsera // Posted 29 June 2010 at 3:39 am

I love your attitude! I hope I am able to do just as much when I have my own children.

I am an early childhood educator and one way that I try to incorporate the understanding of “enthusiastic consent” and no means no, etc. for young children is through non-sexual but what are mostly physical situations. For example if a child is encroaching too much on another’s space, or touching them in a way that hurts, or that they merely dislike, I remind the child to respect the other’s space and body. Saying something like, “it looks like she doesn’t want to be hugged right now, please ask someone else if they want a hug.” or “she said ‘no’ (or ‘stop’) you need to respect that and keep your hands to yourself” etc.

Amy // Posted 29 June 2010 at 5:00 am

I just wanted to share a little personal story that illustrates the power of how parents react to their kids’ questions. For background, I’m white, late 20’s, straight, married, have a son and grew up with straight, married parents.

When I was small, my mother was fairly open with me about sex. I remember having baths with her and her being comfortable naked around me. I knew the correct terms for genitals and had a basic understanding of sex (“the man and woman lock their parts together like a puzzle” mom said). Being a kid, it never occurred to me that these conversations only took place with my mother, though.

One night, watching TV with my parents when I was 4, a commercial for Always pads came on. I’d seen a few of them and had been wondering what they were for so I innocently asked my parents. My dad reacted very badly. He got frustrated and said something like, “What do you wanna’ ask that for?” and then turned to my mom and angrily said, “Where does she get this shit?” He was obviously uncomfortable and frustrated and my mom didn’t answer me. I felt extremely bad for asking and somewhat embarrassed, too.

Later that night my mom told me about menstruation when she tucked me in and I asked why Dad had gotten so mad. She said “that stuff (made) men feel uncomfortable” before kissing me and saying good night.

When I got my first period I felt ashamed – almost like I’d done something wrong. I have also struggled for my whole life with feeling ashamed to talk about or address my body’s natural functions with my partners – even when I experimented with same sex relationships. I’ve always wondered how much of that stemmed from that situation when I was 4…

Anji // Posted 29 June 2010 at 8:45 am

Masturbation isn’t something that’s really come up yet, he hasn’t shown much interest. My plan is to tell him there’s nothing wrong with it but that it’s something you do in the privacy of the bathroom or your bedroom. :o)

Mrs Boggins // Posted 29 June 2010 at 10:11 am

I was taught about sex in exactly this way by my mom, and can’t remember a time when there was any big mystery surrounding my body or sex. Contrary to the anti-sex-teaching argument, I didn’t lose my virginity until I was 19. I’m not arguing the “rightness” or “wrongness” of this, but think it shows: just because you know about it as a little kid doesn’t mean you’re going to go out and try it with the first person you meet!

Troon // Posted 29 June 2010 at 11:14 am

Then, of course, they ask if God has a penis…..

Sheila // Posted 29 June 2010 at 12:50 pm


Ha Ha. God not a shining example to use for sex education – isn’t he the bloke who forced himself on an unmarried woman – leading to her social censure? He didn’t seem to quite understand how it was done either and sent some holy side-kick to do it for him.

arlette // Posted 29 June 2010 at 6:28 pm

Sheila i do not think you needed to make fun of Christianity. Please have some consideration for Christian women reading this. Not everyone reading this is an atheist.

Troon // Posted 29 June 2010 at 9:54 pm


Sorry for the derail, I wasn’t intending to open any atheist / Christian splits. Difficulty is, which is where the atheist in me does come through in delighting in the wisdom of young children, that there is no satisfactory answer to the question (nor to ‘what noise does God make’ or ‘what does God eat?’).The atheist asked this responded that Christians believe that Jesus was a man and so had a penis (didn’t mention early tales of him breastfeeding though!), but that they don’t know whether God has a penis because they can’t know what God in heaven is like. But, as I said, sorry for the derail, was just tickled by the question.

Ruth // Posted 30 June 2010 at 7:18 am

Troon, in answer to your earlier question, I wouldn’t say I’m uncomfortable, more annoyed when people do that matchmaking thing. I actually say, “ha, she’ll have to put her name on the list, he’s going to have lots of boys and girls after him!” or some such jokey comment. And, yeah, if they say “aw he’s going to break some girl’s heart” I say “not just girls!” and if I’m particularly cranky I’ll add “but hopefully he’ll have a very mature attitude to relationships and keep heart breaking down to a minimum”.

given most of the parents whose support we get and who we meet might not talk about sex as you do, at what point does it become worth highlighting that conflict to our otherwise oblivious children?

Now that is a good question. But I actually think, kids will talk amongst themselves on “the playground” (or wherever) about sex, isn’t it better the other kids get the right facts than myth and rumour? And lots of kids play “doctors and nurses” and the like, kids are very curious anyway!

My real worry is if “frank, honest discussions” get read by a teacher or someone as inappropriate. :/

Melissa, as for masturbation, well, my child is only three but he does regularly play with his penis if he’s not got trousers/undies on. At this stage, I’m not bothered but as he grows I think I’ll treat it a little like picking his nose (can’t think of better example) which is, that’s fine, everyone does it, but try to avoid it in public.

Troon: didn’t mention early tales of him breastfeeding though!

Why not? I realise you’re being a bit tongue in cheek, but actually, breastfeeding is an important part of sex education; if we taught more children that one of breasts’ main functions can be to nourish young humans, perhaps we’d be able to make them less of a purely sexual thing? And children growing up seeing breastfeeding as something not to be embarrassed about might be more likely to breastfeed or support breastfeeding when they’re older, too. (Plus, you’ll find lots of “Maria Lactans” pictures about, in fact, at least as many as you’ll find pictures of Jesus’ penis I’d have thought.)

earwicga // Posted 30 June 2010 at 9:38 am

Great post Anji! My 8 year old read it yesterday (because it was open on my laptop) and I asked if there was anything that should be added for you to teach your child – the answer was that you should remember to tell him that men don’t wee in the ladies vagina. So remember that!

Seriously though, I was sitting in a primary school staff room a couple of years ago and the Yr5/6 teacher had done the ‘sex talk’ with her class and was laughing at their questions. One of which was how can we wee when using a tampon. The teacher had utterly failed to explain female biology to the girls and then thought it was funny.

Jane // Posted 30 June 2010 at 11:51 am

My son is nearly 16, and I’ve always tried to answer his questions and instill the idea of ‘enthusiastic consent’ (great phrase!) into his head, but now he’s older, his dad plays a larger part in talking to him about the boy stuff. He took our boy out for a trip recently (a car trip is often good as you don’t have to look at each other while asking or answering tough questions) and talked to him about ‘itchy boy nipples’ (I had no idea!) and that masturbation was fine and healthy but please could you get rid of the tissues (‘Arrgh dad! Does mum . . . .? ARRRGGGH!’) but also about how to talk to girls (our son is straight) and treating them as equals.

My early experiences of sex were crap. Not abusive but with men who thought that foreplay was twiddling about with my nips as though trying to locate a foreign radio station followed by inept pumping so I wanted my boy to understand that a lot of women are more likely to orgasm from gentle clitoral stimulation. Not something I could tell my boy without him screaming and running from the room. But my partner could tell him – and did. My boy was very quiet when this was pointed out to him apparently. Not that he COULD run away screaming as they car was doing 70 on a motorway but he didn’t cover his ears or look horrified. Just thoughtful.

Troon // Posted 1 July 2010 at 10:44 am


Pointless as advice goes, but just to respond. I too am furious about the way these ‘matchmaking’ comments work, uncomfortable just meant how I felt in relation to other adults, not my inner feelings. My response flipped to yours though-will stress respect on an averagely cranky day, orientation on a very cranky one. On breastfeeding, I was horribly unclear. I was specifically talking about Jesus feeding from his breast (not Jesus being breastfed, but Jesus breastfeeding) and meant ‘early’ as in pre-200CE, not as in ‘childhood’. These tales, along those in with Jesus gives birth, would seem a confusing place to go with sex education.

On the middle point, I still feel my biggest problem with all discussions like this (apart from just making me feel so inadequate as a parent) is that they are so domestically centred. The real-world support networks that parents, almost exclusively women, end up drawing on after birth are so randomly thrown together in terms of personal politics, essentially baby and NCT concoctions of people who conceived at roughly the same time. There is no ‘feminist parenting group’ (maybe in London?), and access to feminist friends and activists who are childless or have older children becomes tricky. And I’ve never found a consistent rather than case-by-case basis of thinking through whether highlighting conflict is worth it at this stage-since it just confuses and upsets, and produces tensions between me and those women I find so supportive. Don’t know what others feel about this, and how far age matters (I am certain I would point out the conflict if I was sure he fully understood my position).

Ruth // Posted 1 July 2010 at 7:09 pm

Ah, see what you meant now Troon!

As for groups of parents, well, I don’t have anything even approaching a “feminist parenting group” up here (Merseyside) either (and don’t ID as a Feminist anyway) but I’ve found that although I met friends at the SureStart and similar baby groups I used to go to (when my child was a baby), I’ve maintained my strongest friendships with people whose worldview and parenting style isn’t totally at odds with my own, so we can have discussions like this.

I’m a bit of a hippie/Alfie Kohn devotee type of parent, and I’ve found that although it is sometimes at odds with parts of feminism (certainly Liberal Feminism and Radscum type ‘feminism’) there is a lot of overlap certainly in the belief that how we act towards children now will have a lot to do with how they behave in the future. But to each their own.

There’s also a lot of support online for feminist/anti-kyriarchal/non-violent/etc. parenting – whatever flavour of parent you are.

corinne // Posted 3 July 2010 at 4:22 pm

I was not fortunate enough to be taught sex at an early age. I grew up in a Christian household and taught in a Christian school so my view on sex wasn’t very positive. I thought it was something adults did (men and women only) and was too disgusting to be talked about. When I hit puberty I started to think about sex a lot and I mean a lot, I actually thought I was a sex addict even though I was still a virgin. I felt disgusted with myself and felt masturbating was evil and I was going to hell. I know it affected me in my adult years because even though i stopped thinking sex as only for procreation , I still feel that some things that I do is wrong, like when I was in a female relationship I felt that whenever we had sex i was doing something wrong. I am going to make sure my kids know everything they need to know about sex so when they are older they will have a healthy view on what sex is.

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