Dear young man, here's what your dad may not tell you about sex (but should)
If your son has started puberty, you're probably breaking out in a cold sweat panicking about how to have the sex talk with them. The best thing you can do is to be honest and as informative as possible. This is not to say be the cool parent and tell them EVERYTHING. We all know that some things are best left for you to find out for yourself. Rather, help them understand the changes their bodies are going through.
After our successful Period Series, a dad mailed us and asked if we could please demystify the puberty process for boys in the same sympathetic way we did for girls. Here's our response!
Also read: It’s never too late to have the (sex) talk
We want you to be sex positive. What is sex positive? According to the International Society for Sexual Medicine, sex positivity is "having positive attitudes about sex and feeling comfortable with one's own sexual identity and with the sexual behaviours of others".
This also means being open to learning about sex and about your own body – this includes the physical, emotional and psychological aspects of intimacy. Sex should and can be discussed without shame. It is important that you ask questions. That way, false ideas and information, which can lead to dangerous sexual practices that can harm you and your future sexual partners, can be eliminated.
You may be embarrassed to talk to us about what's happening to your body or you're freaking out because your suddenly have all these feelings you didn't have before. The only person you can really talk to is your friend but you have an inclining that they're just as clueless as you are but don't know how to admit it.
Also read: How to speak to your son about puberty
So, how do you become a sex-positive king? Listen up:
1. Sex feels good
Up until this point, you've been told that sex is for procreation, which isn't a lie. However, sex is a beautiful thing that happens between two people who are attracted to each other and respect one another. This is not to say you should have sex with every person you find attractive. Sex isn't just a physical activity, it's also emotional. Which is why it's best done with someone you truly care about.
Please remember what Uncle Ben said in Spiderman: "With great power comes great responsibility". This means that you should absolutely be ready to have sex. Condoms can break, contraceptives aren't 100% effective and the trauma of having to deal with a pregnancy scare or an abortion will be very stressful and may negatively impact other aspects of your life.
2. Yup, touching yourself down there feels good
Masturbation is very natural; in fact, you probably did it in utero. Many foetuses have been seen touching their genitals from 15 weeks in the womb! While researches aren't sure it's for sexual pleasure, facts are, you've been touching your genitals before you were born so there's nothing to feel ashamed about.
But if you find yourself masturbating obsessively, for instance as a tactic to fall asleep or easy your anxiety, it may become something it wasn't meant to be and could create problems when you're with an intimate partner in real life, such as the inability to have an erection.
Also read: Parents protest ‘radical’ sex education
3. Clean up after yourself
Need I say more?
4. Wildest dreams
You're probably about to start having very vivid sexual dreams that will result in you ejaculating (there, we said it!). This is called wet dreams or "nocturnal emissions" (for those who want to sound smart). One moment you're with your fantasy sexual partner and the next you're waking up alone with ejaculate all over yourself.
Wet dreams occur when you're sexually aroused in your sleep, and theyre mostly common among males, but females get wet dreams too. Some say that wet dreams are nature's way of getting rid of old sperm in your body, so see, it's all part of nature. They're as natural as sneezing or blinking. You don't have to be embarrassed.
Just change the sheets, wipe the semen off with a wet towel and go back to sleep. It may seem embarrassing, but it's just something that your body does, you can't really help it.
While on the topic of wet dreams, the chances of you impregnating someone from a wet dream are very low. Don't panic!
One more thing, wet dreams cannot kill you.
Also read: Don't avoid the sex talk
4. Seriously, do it in private
While a part of sex positivity is about being comfortable with your sexuality and educating yourself about sex, public displays are not legal and they make most people feel uncomfortable. Remember, respect others in your journey to being sex positive. Part of doing it in private includes not putting up any nudes of yourself on the internet. It's illegal because you're a minor. Also, no-one likes unsolicited genital nudes, no-one!
This is a very important one. Consent is sexy. Nothing can be sexier than being desired by someone that you desire right back! So instead of forcing yourself onto someone you're attracted to, remember that "no" means "no". "No" does not mean "try again tomorrow", "no" does not mean "buy me gifts to try to change my mind" and "no" certainly does not mean you should ever make someone feel guilty for turning you down. No means no!
Rejection can be embarrassing, but forcing yourselves onto someone is simply wrong and illegal. We live in a world where sex is power, and by forcing yourself on someone, you're ultimately taking away their power. How would you like it if someone did that to you?
6. Don't slut-shame
It's important to never judge anyone for their sexual practices. It's degrading and distasteful. Slut-shaming is a toxic act that makes other people feel shameful about their sexuality. It also tends to make you seem like you feel entitled to policing someone's body. It doesn't cost you anything to be non-judgmental and to mind your own business.
7. Don't rush things
Despite what the teen movies say, you don't have a big timer looming over your head counting down the seconds for you to have sex before you turn a certain age. Maybe all your friends have already had sex, but that doesn't mean you have to do the same. Have sex when you're ready and comfortable with your body. You may seem lame because the only action you're getting is from your hand, but who else is supposed to know your body and your likes more than you? Sex is a human activity that is as old as time, it's not going anywhere. Take your time, you'll be happy that you did. DO NOT FEEL PRESSURED BY ANYONE!
Everyone is different and unique and therefore, they'll go through their own changes differently. If your puberty experience isn't the same as your older sibling or friend's, that doesn't make you a freak, it makes you you. Instead of comparing yourself to others, try and learn more about your body and ask many questions: If you're scared to talk to your parents, talk to someone older that you trust. They've been through puberty too and they were just as confused about the changes they were going through.
Do you have any advice you'd like to impart about sex and puberty to young men? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we may publish your comments.
- Why is my pre-teen being so difficult?
- Lost boys and their aromatic world
- Too young to have babies? The age of consent in SA and around the world
Sign up to our weekly newsletter to receive Parent24 stories directly to your inbox.