Children’s Sexual Pleasure: a letter to parents

 

Hello Parents, 

By now you have got HomeSchooling#101 under your belt. I have heard about the sense of inadequacy you feel around your own  math knowledge , geography and Xhosa. Ive learned that as a parent you have  stretched yourself into new technologies to enable your child to learn online. And you’re exhausted .

Sorry for you, but I think there is one subject that you may be neglecting . And that is Life Orientation. Well, to put it more plainly, teaching your child about sexuality. As you well know,  learners rights to  access Comprehensive Sexuality Education is a requirement the Government makes  of every school. The part that is not yet a stated requirement in the curriculum, is the right for your child to have sexual pleasure.

I want to draw your attention to the sexual pleasure of your children . Like talking about sexuality with your children , the notion of pleasure and sexual pleasure, needs to be woven into your daily discourses and actions.

Don’t be afraid . Here are wonderful playbooks to guide you through this process.

Think about your own sexuality as an adult. Think about what you most would have welcomed learning about sexuality  as a child. I am sure you did not welcome the vivid descriptions of how babies are made. No doubt you sourced that information from porn , a teacher in biology or from a friend’s messy personal experience.. or maybe your own childhood sexual abuse.

Perhaps as research indicates,  you would have liked to know how to stay safe, navigate relationships and what is /will be happening to your body. The first step in teaching your kids SexEd#101 is to expand your definition of “sex” and “pleasure” .

Moving out of the mono-hetero-normative model gives your child the much needed acceptance they need to talk to you about their unique sexuality. Porn and sexual rights have opened up the door for their own self exploration. They need your guidance, compassion , care, confidence and empathy to safely and pleasurably enjoy their right to sexual expression, irrespective of their size, orientation ,  gender, or able-ness.

Children long to know :

  • How should I love and be loved?
  • How can I navigate the world with curiosity (but also safely)?
  • What should I know about my own body, about how it will grow and change?
  • How to date ?

FACTS ABOUT  YOUR CHILDREN’S SEXUAL PLEASURE 

Comprehensive sexuality education ,across all ages, is recognising that as a parent, you need to take an individual approach to your child’s sexuality. Be inclusive, non judgmental , calm,  and talk about pleasure as you talk about consent , freedom from coercion, choices, and differences. Be aware: “Pleasure” does not equate with “Permission.”

  1. Age appropriately , Pleasure talk begins by teaching children the pleasure of all their sensations : touch, vision, sound, taste , smell. Pleasure is shown in their bodies, and they are encouraged to find pleasure in their own bodies when they move, dance, jump, swim, do yoga.
  2.  Teach the pleasure of mutual equitable relationships,
  3. Male sexual entitlement  dominates. Tragically  male approval and attention continues to validate young women
  4. In a recent study published in The Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality found that cis women are more than twice as likely to perform oral sex on their cis male partners than vice versa, even though these women were far less likely to enjoy performing the act.
  5. The takeaway is that the major benefit girls derive from having sex with boys was presented in relation to their social status and power, not actually pleasure or joy.
  6. Girls expected to look a certain way to get this approval and attention : like porn stars they aspire to being plucked, smooth, their pleasure performed persuasively. 
  7. This removes pleasure for queer and trans youth who are often taught to hate their bodies, desires and identities.
  8. The LGBTIQ community of children and teens are excluded on pleasure  discussions.
  9. High school girls who identify as lesbian or bisexual are more likely to contract an STI and become pregnant than those who identify as heterosexual or questioning. Not only that, but they are also more likely to have experienced coercive sexual contact.It means a world where young, gay cis men are targeted for violence, bullying and sexual assault regularly.And it also means a world where transgender and gender nonconforming youth – particularly those of color – also experience high rates of sexual abuse.
  10. A woman’s orgasm is seen to be her bonus- but not to be expected as is the male’s orgasm
  11. Pleasure can only be seen within the context of consensual sex . Without the conversation about your right to pleasure, girls will continue to tolerate painful , bad, uncomfortable sex as “normal”. This is especially real for non conforming people who may believe that only certain bodies and identities have the right to sexual pleasure.
  12. Teens must learn that caring partners make sure everyone is comfortable and mutual pleasure is the outcome. Knowing this ensures a better chance for negotiation about birth control and condoms
  13. When sexual pleasure is written or spoken about it, it is geared towards cisgendered heterosexual boys. Consider the difference: menstruation : messy and painful versus  wet dreams = orgasmic and pleasurable . The  end of a sexual experience for a cisgendered heterosexual girl is pregnancy  whilst fro her male counterpart it is an orgasm.

TIPS FOR TALKING TO YOUR CHILDEN ABOUT SEXUAL PLEASURE 

  1. Make pleasure a key component of any conversation you have with your kids about sex.
  2. Include LGBTQIA+ youth in your pleasure messaging. Sexism and cis/hetero expectations of sex hurts the queer community in innumerable ways.
  3. Don’t just talk to kids who are sexually active.
  4. Try to talk about sex in non-reproductive terms. For a lot of young people their interest in sexuality has nothing to do with the baby-making part.
  5. Don’t pretend most people have sex to get pregnant. They don’t.
  6. Stop worrying about virginity and whether a someone has “lost” it through PIV intercourse.
  7. Don’t assume all kids are looking for sexual pleasure. Its ok not to seek sexual activity alone or with a partner.

For more information about SEXUAL PLEASURE , e ail me to receive 3x FREE weekly e mails : dreve@dreve.co.za

 

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