Random Thoughts: The Even More Too Much Information Edition

Yet another reason my blogging has fallen off: My dad reads my blog.

As of late, there’s some sexual politics news out there that I would like to dissect and discuss, there’s that new book about women and sexuality that I do plan to review, and, basically, I want to have some conversations about sex. Which would involve my sex life. Which is not, generally, something you talk with your dad about.

So, disclaimers? I’ve done them in the past, the “Dad don’t read this post” notice. I don’t know if my father proceeds to read those posts, and if he does… well, I’ve done my part, right?

Plus, there’s this: The way I talk or may talk about sex, sexual politics, sexuality, it may not line up with the whole Catholic church thing.

I’ve declaimed this before. I’m not a fantastic Catholic. I have strayed very far outside the Catholic teachings about sex in general. I even recently had a conversation about the church’s teaching on homosexuality that showed what a heretic I really am.

Short version: The Catholic church doesn’t hate homosexuals, and doesn’t teach that homosexuality is a sin. As with all sexual things, the Catholic church teaches sex only within marriage, and marriage is only between one man and one woman. So far, so good. I go off the rails right about here: What the church actually teaches about sex may not be what God actually feels (if God could be said to feel, per se) about sex. We humans don’t really know what God feels (per se) about *anything*, although yes, we have the Bible to guide us. Of course, the downward spiral of this conversation is: humans wrote the Bible, and a lot of guy humans actually decided what went in the Bible, and now my feminist sensibilities and my Catholic sensibilities are getting a little riled with each other.

At this point, I should probably go to confession, right?

Of course, too, there’s the whole teaching my children thing, which is going to possibly require a lot of toeing the line and/or cognitive dissonance. Or, depending on your point of view, outright hypocrisy. I’ve been here before. I’m not sure how I feel about it.

All three of my children will receive the same basic message: Sex is for marriage. Sex is a good thing, a gift from God, reserved for (again) the sacrament of marriage.

After that message, comes… what exactly?

Look, my parents didn’t talk to me about sex. And there’s nothing that can be done about that at this point. I know what the result of that was for me (and I’m not quite prepared to spill right now, I’m still struggling with this “talk about sex but my dad reads my blog” thing).

I’ve been pretty open with my children about their bodies so far. And I know I have to talk to them about sex and sexuality, in little doses as they get older, in age appropriate ways. And honestly.

And that’s all I got for today.

Do your parents read your blog? And does it freak you out or not?

9 thoughts on “Random Thoughts: The Even More Too Much Information Edition

  1. Knowing my Mom reads my blog definitely makes me edit my remarks and subject matter. That’s just a fact. I know my political bent doesn’t agree with theirs. That’s okay with me. But it also makes me kinder in the way I state my case, not wanting to offend them, which I think is a good thing. So far, I have not really felt the need to venture into sexual issues, but I’m not sure if that’s because she reads my blog or not.

    But I’m curious about the sex/marriage thing. Of course, I have no kids, but I always find it interesting that my parent-friends teach their kids that sex is for marriage only, when I know that it wasn’t for them. I can probably count on one hand the number of friends I know who were virgins when they wed. (Admittedly, I mostly know about the guys’ sexual history, but they weren’t sleeping around with married women when they were single.) Are those of us who engaged in premarital sex hypocrites for insisting that it’s important that our children remain chaste?

    Of course, I make no assumptions about your past, but for my friends who are parents, I wonder, do we tell our kids “do as I say, not as I do (did)” because…

    a) it’s a religious teaching that most of us ignored, but nevertheless, it’s still a religious teaching?

    b) premarital sex damaged our souls and we don’t want to see their souls damaged likewise?

    c) we are scared to death of our daughters getting pregnant, or our sons getting girls pregnant?

    d) we don’t want them catching things?

    e) we consider our premarital sexual experiences to be huge mistakes that we regret, and we are trying to spare them that kind of remorse?

    f) all of the above?

    I certainly don’t know if my parents were chaste when they wed.(and at this point, I’m holding on to my naivete on that subject), but I’m curious as to how that works out as a parent these days.

    • I’m not far enough along in parenting yet to have confronted this head on BUT, we do not plan to tell our kids that sex is for marriage only. I had premarital sex with multiple partners and it did not scar my psyche or make me regret my choices. I can’t say that’s true for everyone but the fact remains that I am realistic that my children will not wait for marriage to have sex. That’s just not today’s world.

      In my opinion, many parents tell their kids “wait for marriage” so that they delay having sex as long as possible. They aren’t necessarily opposed to the premarital aspect but they are certainly opposed to their 14 year old being sexually active. I think parents are scared that their teens won’t listen and their teens will roll their eyes and assume they know better than their parents. And they will probably do those things. But I’m hoping that an open dialogue with my kids about sex, how it changes a relationship, how it has emotional and physical consequences, about how to have safe sex – I’m hoping that gives them enough self-esteem and self-respect to know when they want to engage in sexual activity and when they don’t.

      Laying down a hard and fast rule – “Sex is for marriage only; marriage is between men and women” just doesn’t work for me. First because I don’t see anything wrong with homosexuality and second because the rule is just unrealistic and it doesn’t give teens anything to work with. It just gives them “Good kids wait. Period. If you don’t wait, you’re bad.” I don’t roll like that. No one needs that kind of shame and guilt.

      I respect other parents making other choices when it comes to talking about sex with their kids. But I think sex is part of a loving, long-term relationship and delaying it until marriage can mean that you don’t end up with a partner that complements you in that way. I also think it’s entirely possible to be faithful to your spouse even if you’ve had other partners before they came along.

      This is quickly going to get into why I think abstinence only sex-ed is a crock of bull-poo and this is long enough already. Suffice to say, no, I have no intention of laying an impossible goal upon my children when it comes to this.

      • “Laying down a hard and fast rule – “Sex is for marriage only; marriage is between men and women” just doesn’t work for me. First because I don’t see anything wrong with homosexuality and second because the rule is just unrealistic and it doesn’t give teens anything to work with. It just gives them “Good kids wait. Period. If you don’t wait, you’re bad.” I don’t roll like that. No one needs that kind of shame and guilt.”

        Exactly. Let’s get real here. It’s a fine line between saying, “Don’t have sex until you’re married” to “Yes I had sex before I got married and I’m OK.” The way I plan on educating my daughters at least is, “Guess what? You think sex is fun? Wait until you’re a little older, find a guy you really love and wait for sex that makes sense.” Of course sex is fun for guys. They’re guaranteed the big O every time, but it’s us ladies who have to work for it and half the time it doesn’t work. So it’s really worth the wait.

        My mom did a good job of telling me what was up and said she trusted me. Guess that’s why I waited until I was 18 to cash in the V card and only have 3 partners total. I can say with 100% certainty that the good sex didn’t even happen until I was well into my marriage with Matt. I guess it’s about being comfortable.

        Only in America is everything overly sexual. We see breasts at an art museum and associate it instantly with pornography. (Maybe not that far, but you know.) If you don’t make sex such a big huge OH MY GOD NO NO NO! Perhaps then it won’t be such a let’s jump in and see what it’s all about when I’m 13. Give your kids the tools, a little faith and trust and that’s all you can really do.

        Oh, and my grandma reads my blog. So I really have to keep it PC.

      • You understand that I don’t see anything wrong with homosexuality, too, right? I just want to make that clear. Also, while I understand why the Catholic church and other religious institutions won’t marry gays in their churches, I think gay marriage should be legal. I sincerely hope the Supreme Court overturns DOMA. Just wanted to get that our there.

  2. My mother reads my blog which is why I never, ever discuss family dysfunction except in a recent blog. And then I made a point not to point fingers at her wrongdoings of which I still feel the effects and try to outrun. I have actually been writing less political stuff on my blog because I am looking for a job and need to keep that neutral for potential employers who might feel the need to peek.

    • Oh, I don’t think my parents were wrong, per se, not to talk to me about sex. I had great parents, and a fantastic childhood. They were very scientific, and very much about rules, and very Catholic. But I was very curious, and didn’t understand the big deal about my virginity, so I made my own choices in that area. I think I can do better by my kids by giving them more information. (I may be wrong. Time will tell.)

  3. I thought I could warn my folks away from my occasional sexy-time posts by posting a warning, but I learned that was like trying to scare ants away from a picnic by throwing sugar on the ground.

    I think you have to call it a win if your kids at least wait until they’re out of high school.

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