Thursday, July 12, 2012

Sex In The Basement

What do you do if your 15 year old son or daughter has boyfriend or girlfriend, and they like to go down to your dark, cozy basement to spend some quality time together; watch a movie, eat some popcorn, and fool around? Not necessarily in that order. And what if that same couple can go to the other person's house, bypass the basement altogether and go straight up to the bedroom with the parent's permission? Different houses, different rules, and different value systems. What might be important and sacred in your family, might be a what's the big deal issue with another family. What can you do, put your daughter in a chastity belt and supply your son with a permanent condom?

First off, you will not be able to control whether or not your teen chooses to have sex. But you can certainly have some house rules about how far is too far in your home, and hope that your relationship with your teen and his/her respect for you will trump hormones. If your teen is coming home with the girlfriend/boyfriend, that is a really good sign. At the least, it means they are not totally horrified by you and worried about being embarrassed by you. Good for you!!! You might have this conversation:
" I am really happy that you and X like to spend time here, and I'm glad that we have the basement so that you can have some alone time and privacy. I get you will probably be doing some fooling around, but honey, honestly...NO INTERCOURSE IN MY BASEMENT" Please use some humor here. That is not to be said with a straight face. However you do want to get the message across, especially if they are under 17, and have not been with this person very long, ie two ships passing in the night. You might also say: "Having intercourse is a very intimate act. For boys maybe not so much, but for girls whether they/you admit it or not, it means someone else's body is in your body to be blunt. That is pretty intimate. Maybe boys can shrug something like that off, but girls not so much." If you have a son, please talk about how girls will often do something they don't really want to do but want to please the boy, and when they break up, the girl can be left with some really damaging feelings. Is he ready to be responsible to those feelings. Say this to your daughter as well. Also you need to make clear that this is the family space, and if you have other children, you can't always be on top of where they are. Having a sibling or a parent walk in in the middle of a sexy situation can be humiliating for everyone. And so to help them put some controls on, you will expect your teen to come up for air and check in with you every 45 minutes or so, or you will go down to "do a laundry" if you get my drift.

Now onto the defense of " well we can just go to X's house, her parents let us go up to his/her bedroom. " This is one of those situations you have to tread quite carefully and be honest. " Well, they are a different family, and have different expectations of their kids about sex. This is what we believe, and we need to be true to that. I can't stop you from having sex, but I hope that when you are here, you will respect our family. We love you, and we have shared with you what we think about being sexually intimate. We hope that there would be real feelings for each other, a history of love and understanding with each other and a time in your life when you are really emotionally ready to handle the consequences. We don't think that time is now."

Listen, your teens are sexual animals. Once the fire is lit, it doesn't go out, but maybe you can keep it simmering rather than burning out of control.

1 comment:

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