I read the below article the other day and this quote really stuck out to me:
I contracted HIV the first time I had sex, a few days before my 16th birthday, on the second day of my sophomore year of high school. When it came to losing my virginity, condoms were never a thought. Yes, I knew about STIs, unwanted pregnancy, condoms — even HIV and AIDS. But I honestly thought these things happened only when you were having sex with a woman, not with a man. When it came to sex with another man, I was clueless.
See, I’ve worked hard to make sure my kid, age eight, already knows the facts of heterosexual sex and, because conversations have led down this path, she also knows about birth control pills and condoms. A conversation we have occasionally in our household:
Me: Hey, kid, when you are a grown-up having sex, what can you do to keep from getting pregnant?
Kid: Use birth control pills and condoms.
Me: What do birth control pills NOT protect you from?
Kid: Sexually transmitted diseases.
Me: What, aside from not having sex, is the only thing that will help protect you from sexual transmitted diseases?
Me: Give me five. Tell all your friends when you’re, I don’t know, twelve, okay? Tell them ALL. When you’re twelve or thirteen. And if they argue or tell you something different say, “No, you’re wrong. This is how it works.” And if you have doubts, come ask me, I will always tell you the truth about sex.
Which leads me to gay sex. She asked me about it. “Mom, how do gay men have sex? What about gay women?”
What a complicated question! I mean, I hear all the time from gay men about how anal sex is not the end-all-and-be-all of gay sexual relationships and that we shouldn’t emphasize it so much. And, hey, I didn’t tell her about heterosexual anal sex, either. I mentioned oral sex and what we could call frottage and use of hands for pleasure, but didn’t mention any butt stuff. I am trying to figure out when I should mention that. Obviously, I want to and I will need to decide how I want to talk about it, because, here’s the deal:
I want her to know deep down like it’s breathing how to keep from getting pregnant or contracting a disease. I want her to be sure and confident. I want this for her safety and I want this for the safety of her friends. So, yes, I need to make sure she knows about anal sex, condoms, and the relationship to STDs and HIV.
How horrifying that a sixteen year old gay young man didn’t know enough to keep himself safe. I don’t want that for my girl or her friends. Ever.