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You Taught Me That And It Gave Me Power

Anonymous, Sophomore

Jan 10, 2022

I Feel Comfortable Asking Questions And Starting Conversations About Sex

Dear Mom and Dad,
I want to preface this by saying Thank you. I understand that the conversations surrounding the topic of sex can seem difficult. In this day in age both men and women feel an immense amount of pressure to be someone they are not. Many times, women feel pressured into having sex while men feel pressure to be great at sex. The education system is failing young teens who need access to information on safe sex, contraception, and safe porn. My school system failed me, but my parents didn’t and for that I will forever be grateful.

Having an open relationship with you has allowed me to feel comfortable in asking questions and starting conversations about sex. Since I was a young child you guys created an open line of communication which would have allowed me to come to you if I ever experienced sexual abuse. You taught me what was and wasn’t okay. You taught me the correct ways to be treated in both personal and romantic relationships. When I first got my period, I was so embarrassed to talk to my parents, but I was reassured by you that it is NORMAL. If I had questions about my period, I felt comfortable coming to my parents and I think that is where it all started in terms of feeling like I could talk to you about anything.

In high school as I matured you became more open with me about how I should be treated and how I should treat others. I was able to handle situations due to the education I received from you, my parents. For example, one night I had a party. This boy who I asked to leave ended up staying late. He pushed me onto the couch and began to pressure me. I felt very vulnerable because I had just gotten out of a long-term relationship. I told him to stop, eventually he did. You guys told me how to handle situations where I was feeling pressured and uncomfortable. Conversations about rape and consent were very important in our family. The way I dress, act, and the amount I drink never means I give my consent. Mom and dad, you taught me that and it gave me power. When I was dating my boyfriend, I felt so comfortable telling him what worked and didn’t because mom, you specifically taught me that it’s important to be open with your partner. Mom and dad, you made me feel comfortable when having serious conversations because you somehow made it lighthearted. You never questioned me when I went on birth control. The only thing they told me was to make sure my partner was using condoms as well to prevent STIs.

My ex-boyfriend watched porn throughout the course of our relationship. Porn is extremely controversial in terms of whether it is considered cheating or not. Some people believe that looking at another man or woman in porn is cheating (because they are naked) and others believe that it is not cheating. My ex-boyfriend’s porn use created a few trust issues for future relationships. However, mom and dad, you taught me how superficial and unrealistic porn is and that made me feel better. You taught me that porn can damage relationships because people can subconsciously create an emotional bond to the person they are being aroused to, along with many other reasons. Our generation is the first one that can access millions of porn videos with a click of a button. I believe this has led to what “hook-up” culture is today. I believe that this created a sort of desensitization within relationships along with unrealistic expectations, and beauty standards for men and women. It also has sexualized women when doing daily activities such as: cooking, riding a horse, and being in school. While I will encounter obstacles, I will always remember what you taught me.

Thank you for being accepting and vulnerable with me because a lot of parents don’t have the courage to do that. I hope other parents can learn that if you are open with your child, they will be open with you. And kids today need that.

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