Talking to Your Parents, Partner and Other Important People About Sex

teenage sex

If sex was just about orgasms, you could just enjoy it without ever having to talk about it. But there are so many things that come along with sex: pain, messy emotions, awkwardness, confusing feelings, not to mention unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). It's like a 1000-piece model airplane that comes in a box with no you're going to have to get some help once in a while.

But sex and sexuality can be really difficult to talk about, so here's a few pointers that might help get you started. Use them only if they make sense to you and to your situation.

Who do you talk to about sex?

Ideally, the first person you try talking to should be someone you trust and feel comfortable with. It doesn't necessarily have to be your sexual partner or a parent. Think of all the people you know: aunts, uncles, cousins, stepparents, godparents, doctors, pharmacists, teachers, guidance counselors, religious leaders, personal friends, family friends. But be careful about confiding in friends who belong to your social circle: they may accidentally (or not so accidentally) let your news slip, even if they promise not to.

If you can't bring yourself to talk about sex with anyone you know, a youth hotline or support group can give you someone who will listen and help, and you won't have to worry about them blabbing to everyone you know. A lot of times, it feels safest to talk to a complete stranger.

After you've talked with someone you trust, they may be able to help you break the subject with more challenging people, like your parents.

Where do you talk?

Choose a private place where you can rant, rave or shed tears without feeling self-conscious. Depending on your personality and what you want to talk about, a private room at home, a park bench, or a quiet restaurant may fit the bill. Avoid having these discussions by phone or by email - cyberhugs just don't cut it when you need the real thing.

What do you say?

You may want to start by telling the person if you're feeling awkward, scared, or ashamed. It prepares your listener for the information to come. Then tell your story as simply and plainly as possible. Don't dwell on too many details or get side-tracked, just be honest and get to the point. This person wants to help you, so they need to know the whole story.

next: How Do You Know When You're Ready for Sex?

APA Reference
Staff, H. (2008, December 27). Talking to Your Parents, Partner and Other Important People About Sex, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 19 from

Last Updated: June 4, 2012

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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