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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Parents, Adults and Teens » Initiating Discussion (Page 1)

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Author Topic: Initiating Discussion
Heather
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When I was growing up, "Where DId I Come From?" was one of my very favorite books. I recently found an old copy, and had forgotten it included a page about how red-faced a lot of parents get trying to have discussions they really want to about sex, anatomy and reproduction.

Parents or teens, how do you make discussion work for you? how do you set the stage? How do you initiate discussion, and handle portions of it where perhaps you don't KNOW all the information?

Or, if you can't do this, what holds you back or worries you about open discussion in your family?


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Rizzo
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Really, my parents did everything they could to make me feel comfortable talking to them. But still, I don't. I know they taught me about the facts of life when I was very young, but by the time it started being relevant to me, I'd grown away from them... I think it's important to bring it up casually and fairly often if you want to have an open dialogue with your children. I hope that when (if) I'm a parent, my child won't hide her first period from me, or hide the fact that s/he's experimenting sexually. I don't feel that if I were a parent it would be my RIGHT to know (I'd never invade on my child's privacy), but I'd see it as a priviledge to be able to discuss something so personal. I'd feel lucky to be able to be so close to my child, and I'd hope we could be friends.
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Lady Moonlight
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My parents, especially my mom, did a great job teaching me about facts when it came to sexuality, but not such a great one teaching me about feelings. As a result, I spent quite a while with some very unrealistic expectations, and ended up equating sex with love and committment and marrying the first guy I ever slept with. Big mistake.

Anyhow, I think I've got my head on much straighter now, and I don't really blame my mom. She did the best she could, and a lot better than many of my friends' parents. I just hope that with each generation things will get better, that I'll do a better job with my kids someday, and they'll do an even better job with theirs, and so forth.


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Dzuunmod
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My parents gave me "Where did I come from?" when I was little and I liked it, too. They also gave me another book that I think was from the same author, publisher, etc... that, I think, was called "What's happening to me?" It was also very excellent.
But, other than that, I suppose my experience isn't that far off from Rizzo's. My folks always tried to make me feel welcome to talk to them, but it just wasn't happening. I suppose I got much of my information from the media, but I think it was pretty smart media. I can remember, on Sunday nights, when I was younger (about 11 or 13 or something) planting myself in my room, to listen to Sue Johansen's radio show. (I guess that that's a mostly Canadian cultural reference that only some of you will pick up on, sorry.) I can also remember desperately trying to hide this from my parents, because I didn't want to have to talk to them about it.

[This message has been edited by Dzuunmod (edited August 22, 2000).]


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Pixie69
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My mom told my brother and I about it when we were young (I was in fourth grade, my brother was in fifth) and it was perfect timing because I got my period later that year, yuck. I didn't like it because, well, I couldn't ask any of the questions I wanted to because my brother was there.

And even though I know everything about menstration, puberty, and pregnancy (my mom was a labor and delivery nurse, so we looked at books and stuff). But we didn't talk about sex at all, and that's what I had questions about.

Now most of my questions are answered (thank you scarleteen), but like Rizzo was saying about being honest about sex and stuff, I know I can't be that way with my parents. Maybe when I'm 17 I'll be able to say something about sex, but now I'm 14 and if I told them anything I'm planning on doing they would probably lock me in my room (knowing my parents, they probably would). But it's okay, because I'll be responsible either way. But it'd be nice to be able to confide in someone in real life.

Parents, don't alienate your kids! Don't laugh at their crushes, don't tease them about their boyfriends/girlfriends, and understand that meanings are different. Going out (according to the teens my age and in my area) with someone means (sometimes) eating lunch together, talking on the phone, hugs after school, and maybe going somewhere with a group of friends. Ask them what it means, my dad thought going out meant making out because that's what they called it back in his day! So don't assume things.

That's the best advice I can give parents yup, my legacy is right here. Oh yeah, while I'm doing the teen therapist thing, don't go through their stuff! Never ever read their mail, listen to phone calls, or snoop in their rooms. How would you like it if your teens found and watched a "home video" of you? (Of course every teen will probably shut it off once they realize their parents are there). But still, it's all an invasion of privacy. I think I've talked enough now!


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concerned parent
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I think that I am the only parent on this board. If you could get some of your parents to join the board so this parent forum will be successful. That is if you don't think that your parents would mind you using this board.
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Quickening
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You know what, if my mom knew I used this board she would freak, this is the only time I've posted but I've looked her for guidance for months now, but this kind of upsets me, my mother is very uptight, wont give me any information about this kind of thing, Scarleteen has provided me an easy, stress free way of finding information about my sexuality, I'm sure there are others on this board that are like me, and have parents who don't want us to use this board, but unless you can provide me with a better solution, I think I will conintue to visit scarleteen.

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Life is but a dream...


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Heather
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Actually, concerned, we get supportive letters from parents all the time, so I'm quite certain you aren't the only parent around by any stretch.

I think, however, that out of respect for their children, many parents don't post or participate here to allow their kids to feel more comfortable doing so. I'm certainly not going to encourage anyone to do otherwise unless they want to.

Really, there's no hurry with any of these things, and if you have any issues of your own, what I'd suggest is that you start a thread of your own in the forum to initiate discussion. Why any board gets active has to do with the people posting on it getting active and initiiating conversation.


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Koi
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Concerned - I'm sure that you are far from being the only parent here. Like Mz Scarlet says some parent may not want to intrude if they have children who are posting here. ;-)
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negative*nancy
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I'm a to-be mom, and I'd encourage my children to talk freely on these boards.

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where is fancy bred? In the heart, or in the head?


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Heather
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Hey Nancy, I had no diea!

Congratulations!

- Heather


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winter
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Scarleteen rocks

If I were a parent, I would *encourage* my child to visit a site like this one. I think that if they aren't getting proper information about sexuality, they're still going to end up having sex anyway, but may not take the proper strides to protect themselves against pregnancy and STD's.

And I wanna thank Miz S and everyone else involved with Scarleteen for making it such an awesome place for teens like myself to go to

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"Can't this wait til I'm old?"-Phish
hannah@atarikid.com


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Ron
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Well I'm a *grand*parent and I *do* encourage my children, though they are grown up and married, to look at Scarleteen. When my granchildren become teens I hope they have access to something as wonderful as these boards. I believe this website and boards are just as important for the influence they are having on parents as they are for what they give the teens.

My wife and I grew up together in the sixties and the so-called sexual revolution. We really thought that all problems about sexuality had been solved. So we were surprised to find that, as our children became teens, we found ourselves just as red-faced as our own parents had been when it came time to talk about sex. Even though we believed and wanted our children be well informed, protected and especially to have the values of responsiblity and love that we felt should go with any kind of human relationship--still, its not easy to talk to your teen age children about sex. For one thing, we really didn't know the answers to a lot of questions. I wish we had had Scarleteen.

I am so glad to hear that at least some parents are viewing these boards with their children, that is ideal. For those who find communication with their parents impossible then scarelteen is providing something very important. And us grandfathers are learning a lot as well.


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Candy_Chica
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For some reason, knowing that a grandparent is on this site makes me freakishly happy, but if it were mine, I'd be freaked...

As far as sex goes, my mom made inferences on what she wanted, but she never really said directly. I've never actually gotten "The Talk", and I dread the thought because I don't really have that kind of open relationship with my mother. I'm glad I was able to get ahold of the right kind of external sources, otherwise I would be sooooo unaware of not only the world around me, but also myself.

I appreciate scarleteen, but I hate that it had to be a primary source. I'd encourage any parent to introduce sexuality to their kids at around 12 so that so many of us would grow up knowing that sexuality is important and beautiful, not disgusting and taboo, and in that, teach them why it should be treasured.

Oh, and CONGRATS NANCY !!!!!!!!!!!

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.........................
Candy
Property of Freud's School of IDiots
No. 6785-4398-3655


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PoetgirlNY
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I would love for my parents to look at scarleteen except for the fact that I wouldn't trust them not to read things that I have posted. I do a lot of things that my parents would freak out about if they found out. Maybe I can get them to promise that if they see that I posted something that they won't read it. . .but that's pretty unlikely.
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Heather
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Well, both MY parents read this site.

I suppose that is perhaps a bit different....but maybe not, eh?


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XEN
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parents should know that if they do not talk to their children about sex--someone ealse will, my parents never disscused sex with me, i did make attemps to talk to them about it ( when i was abused @ 10 by an uncel) but they refused to listen and even punished me insted of hearing me out. several years later when i tured 13 an older friend introduced me to a prostitute--having only the advice of my friends ,I had sex with her. To this day those experiances have realy affected my love life --I am in my early 20's and trying to fix my life, tring to learn things i should have as a teen ( part of the reason why i am hear). I am very luck not to have an STD. --I hope my story can give people hear an idea of what happens when parents do not talk to their kids.
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Ron
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Thanks for sharing your experience Xen. You are right, communication is so important.

It's important for kids to remember though, that parents don't have it very easy on this count. If your getting a bad sexual education well they got a worse one! And they may have even more personal hang ups to overcome than you do. (They may not be abled to talk about sex to each other, for example!)

Obviously it doesn't help when parents minds are closed or they don't respect their kids as people who make their own decisions. But we should probably look at this as something we all have to work on together to improve the communication situation, generally, rather than just blaming it on parents. Even if they want to communicate, they often find it difficult and may not be much better informed than their childen.

That's why I say Scarleteen is as important for parents as it is for teens--maybe more!


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Hanne
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My mom, who teaches 8th grade, reads Scarleteen sometimes.

My partner's mom reads Scarleteen sometimes, too.

My grandmother, brother, aunt, and a couple of my cousins (who have children of their own) have been known to read it from time to time, too.

I know that they read, but don't post, because they feel that this is a spot for teens, and they don't want to overrun the place. I've also told them they're welcome to post if they want to. Maybe they will!

Welcome to Ron and all our other adult readers, learners, and lurkers!


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Hanne Blank
Associate Editor, Scarleteen

"Be Excellent To Each Other" -- Bill and Ted


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ThisGuy
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My dad gave me a talk once...he just asked me when I was 17 if there was anything I wanted to know.

By then, I'd already done sex ed 4 times or something, and he wasn't exactly approachable. End result?

A big nothing.

Not the worst dad in the world, but he coulda done better on that count.


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DarkChild717
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I learned what sex was when I was 5. Mommy and Daddy had disappeared and I wanted to ask a question. Needless to say, I kinda barged in. So, that was my first talk. They asked me what I though they were doing, and I was embarrassed to say anything, so I spelled out sex. They said, "Yes, honey. But mommy and I are making love, because we *love* each other." So I learned about what happy couples do first. My mom is in the medical feild, so I've always been well informed. There's no pressure from them so stay abstinent. It's just my personal choice. And an educated one. I learned anatomy and 7, and my parents have always prefered I watch "porn" as opposed to violence. And they always had me watch "The science of sex" and things like that. It's been great. If only they stayed like that...

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Draw closer if you dare, feel the wind of the massive wings, the heat of flaming breath, the steel stare of fiery eyes... and let your dreams take flight...


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cindy210
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Well, I know how some kids feel. My mom never talked to me about anything... ever... accept for when she snooped through my stuff at home, and found a letter from my best friend too me.. which was hidden with a zip-lock bag full of letters in the back/bottom of my closet. In which this certain letter contained a line that went "so, you and *** had sex this weekend?" and she literally freaked. then she went through my whole room and found some birth control that I had gotten, without her knowing. she made me break up with him and I was grounded for 6 months... little much huh? she has never been open about it... so this board has helped me alot!

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~*Cindy*~
I Love Chris!


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Candy_Chica
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Cindy, that's like a total invasion of privacy!!! Whoa... You sound a bit calm about it, I'd go nuts. How does that make you feel???

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.........................
Candy
Property of Freud's School of IDiots
No. 6785-4398-3655


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Bobolink
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<bump>
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cupcake
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My parents drive me nuts on a regular basis. I get alienated a lot
Anywyas, my parents are really against even saying anything to us kids about sex. My mom's theory is that the more we talk about it, the more I'm going to do it. The opposite is true, at least for me, but what can you do?
My parents flipped the day they found out I wasusing Scarleteen, thsi was after I got framed by my stepdad under the guise that I was checking out internet porn.
They go through my stuff all the time, and I suppose I'd feel ebtter about it if they didn't always deny the obvious and just flat out told me.
I never really talk with my family, mostly because of "belief barriers". I'm really open towards all sorts of things, and I really don't care if you're a different religion or colour or anything.
However, my parents are very religious racists, and that just doesn't jive with me.
If tehy weren't usually so judgemental, I'd be a lot more open to discussion.

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Bobolink
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<bunp>
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PeaceAngel
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My mom was the one who taught me about it all. I think I was 10 yrs old then. This might surprise some people, but a lot of my later sex-ed came from my oldest brother, Justin. He and I just seemed to be able to talk about it. My mom is still who I go to about several sex subjects, though! She has always been very understanding and patient with my questions about this "interesting" subject. As I have said in my other posts, I have A LOT to admire my mom for.

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~It takes all kinds of people to make our world interesting and it takes acceptance to make our world peacful.~


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badly_behaved_badger
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My dad has NEVER, EVER talked to me about anything to do with sex. I wouldn't really feel comfortable talking to him, but I can't explain why. My mum only ever told me about sex once, when I was about 9 I think. I only vagely <(sp?) knew what sex was, though.The main way I found out was my grandma gave me a book about it when I was 10.
*lotsa hugs from da bajjah*

I think this is a great site by the way...


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melimelo
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I never really had one of those converstations with my parents... i know we had a book when i was younger, and as long as i remember, i always knew it had something to do with genitals, that we needed a mom and a dad... i had no idea how exactly intercourse happened, and sincerely, it never hit me that i didn't know.

i learned about the basics of sex in school mainly. in grade 6 we had the school nurse coming in our class one morning telling us about periods, and that's all i'd say. she had left a little brochure to give our parents. i gave it to my mom, and all she said was "if you have any questions you can ask me". i had none.

after that, the other converstation i had with her was the first time i had my period, but it wasn't much of one... (do you want a tampon or a pad? don't worry if you're irregular, its normal). after that i told her a few times to buy me some more pads cause i had none left, and each time she kept on telling me it was normal to be irregular. (sometimes she makes me think that she was very irregular when she was young and she thought she was not normal).

in high school i had a whole bunh of sex ed class. fps 1 and 2 in sec1, fps sec3, bio sec3, fps sec 4, and i'm starting this week fps sec 5. and they were great classes in which i learned a lot and its great, especially if you consider it is catholic (it is public though, and a big majority of schools here in quebec are catholics. but still, i find it weird when i hear that catholic schools are so close-minded. mine isn't. here there are posters of the gay-line, if you want condoms you can ask the nurse or go to the distributor in a toilet room... anyway, i'm kinda getting off topic).

and about why i don't talk with my parents... i don't know. i could, i'm pretty sure (well, lets say i had questions in general, maybe not telling them i want to have sex). i just have never been close to them. i rarely talk about anything, i just mention random non important things when we speak.

[This message has been edited by misscat (edited 04-19-2002).]


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lilkazzy
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when i was around 5 my mother sat me down and told me the facts of life. all about how babies were made, and what the different parts of the body did. stupidly she came to the conclusion that i would remember all of this in later life. As a result of this, when i was 10 and my mum announced she was going to have another baby, i had no clue how she could have known. She seemed totally shocked to realise that i had forgotten what periods were...
Anyway that was the last time that my parents spoke to me about sex, and that was 6 years ago. I want to bring up the subject with my mum, and to tell her i'm sexually active and want to go on the pill, but i'm not entirely sure how she would take it. I know that when she got married to my dad she was a virgin, and it worries me that i might be judged because i am not as good as she was.
I have never told my parents that i am not having sex, and if they asked me i would tell them the truth. But they haven't asked, and they haven't made it clear that they are approachable about the subject. I am sure that if they really considered it, they would work out that i am sexually active, as my boyfriend's parents worked it out without him telling them.

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foreveryoung
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I never really had the sex talk with my mom, I talked to very close, like older sister, about stuff like that.
I only remember talking about where i came from, and sex, when i was like 8 or somthing.
Now and then my mom will make differnt statments but that's about it. I talk about almost everything to her except sex, and guys. I guess i just don't feel comfortable talking to her about sex.

When i have my own children, i hope i can make them feel comfortable talking to me, but like others said, i don't wan't to invade their space, just give them the facts.

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*****@nna-Christine*****


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SirenRose
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my parents have never talked to me about sex, but they know i know about it. cuz i laugh at all the jokes that come on tv about sex...anyways. the first time i got my period i screamed, cuz i knew what it was..it was just that.."AHHH there is blood down there!" and my older sister got it after i did...so i was alone, and i hadtah figure out how to put a tampon in all by my lonesome cuz my mom had a histerectomy and didn't need pads and/or tampons anymore. scarleteen is where i get my sex education..i just wish i could be more open with my parents..but then they would flip if they found out if i was sexually active...

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later rox.
shorter signature, yes?


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nofxgrl56
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My family's a rowdy bunch, I learned it all from the dinner table. Sad, huh?

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Every star in my life equals one problem, which creates another...the sky extends for galaxies.


Posts: 12 | From: SLC, UT, USA | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Lady Moonlight
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quote:
Originally posted by nofxgrl56:
My family's a rowdy bunch, I learned it all from the dinner table. Sad, huh?



Actually, I think this is great, as long as the information being passed along is accurate. Better to be open about such things than to be secretive and clueless, even if it might startle the dinner guests!


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Apoc-chan
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I've learned most of what I know from books and the net... My parents had a little booklet that I read cover to cover a couple dozen times.

I had some virtually useless sex ed classes in middle school, but they were the sort of abstinence-only preachy kind of talks that you usually get in a private school. Basic overview of organs, functions, diseases, etc.

My parents never interfered with my information gathering, but they never gave me "The Talk". *shrug*


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