teenagers don't believe in relationships they have a new meaning of friends with benefits

I saw this poster and laughed.  But not because it’s funny.  I wish it was a joke. I laughed out of nervousness.

Random hook ups seem to be the new normal with teenagers.  Apparently, just like the horror called Camel Toe is in style, so is frenching your friends.  Relationships are out and FWB  (friends with benefits) is in.

When I heard the tales of a boy who made out with 30 girls at a Grade 9 dance party, and of a girl who gave six blow jobs at a house party, I was sure they were  teenage urban legend.  But, as I continued to hear stories of bases 1-3 being regularly reached with no class rings being exchanged, I started to realize that the rumors were true.

My kids confirmed what I didn’t want to hear.  According to my daughter, it’s so much easier to keep things casual than to have a boyfriend or girlfriend.  My son, a couple of years younger, said the same thing.  He said some people like to have a relationship, but mostly, kids like to be free spirits.  Apparently, house parties are one big orgy. Or something like that.

Is it the 60s all over again?  Do I hear strains of Aquarius in the air?

corralled my my son in the car to ask if he would hook-up or take sexual favours from a girl at a party.  He looked bemused. I persisted. You know that’s not respectful of the girl, right?  Don’t you want to have a girlfriend?

Redfaced, he looked at me like I was from another planet.  Mom. I wouldn’t DO that.  You know, but I don’t want a girlfriend.  I just want to chill.  With my friends. 

I was not reassured.  And, I didn’t get the answers I was looking for.

I decided to go hard core and ask the older one, a girl, who I could be a little more frank with, since she is done with puberty and harder to mortify.  Do you have sex with boys who are not your boyfriend? I actually didn’t want to know the answer to that.  I didn’t want to know when her Magic Moment might have been (or would be). I do, but I don’t.  This was a moment where I wanted to be in denial. But, I couldn’t be.  So, I blurted out,

What exactly goes on at these parties?

Just like my conversation with her brother, I received a non-answer

Oh, yeah mom. I’m a slut.  I have sex with everyone. Everyone!

With her, I persisted.  Sometimes it works.

So, like do kids, you know, do stuff with each other when they aren’t going out? 

She gave me an honest answer. She said yes.  She said they make out, they have oral sex, they have actual sex.  She said it’s no big deal. Kids just do it.   She said they’re so stressed and they have to decide their whole lives when they’re 18, and the last thing that they need is a boyfriend.  The just want to have fun. Fun?

When I was a teenager in the 80s, we went on dates.  If you liked someone, he asked you out, and then after the movie, you smooched in the car.  After a few dates, things would progress, you know, under the shirt, down the pants. Boys were masters at unsnapping a bra from the outside of a t-shirt, and had excuses at the ready when they’d hear Oh NO. I shouldn’t.  I’m not ready.  Sure, teenagers were having sex, but it was with their honeys, not their buddies.

With Flo-Rida teaching everyone how to ‘Whistle’  (In case you were confused, he’s talking blowing penises not air), sex seems to have been demystified.  The act is nothing to many teens.  It’s a way to connect, maybe even something to do.  Apparently, it’s stress relief.

So, how do we as parents deal with the casual regard for sex that our kids seem to have?  In all seriousness, I’m sorta stumped on this one. I want to say NOOOOO. Don’t do it.  You’ll get hurt. You’re supposed to be in love, or at least, like when you have sex.  

But, I can’t. So, instead, just like the teen partying, I recognize that it’s happening, and do what I can to parent somewhere between rug and chain.  I ask questions, listen, and I don’t lecture.  I try not to look shocked at what they tell me, even if my inner prude weeps.  I educate about the emotional and physical ramifications of casual sex, and I talk honestly about my own experiences.

And then, I hide in my bathroom, run the shower, and cry. Because my babies are quite possibly moving like Jagger.


  1. DD1 is now 12. She’s smart, well grounded and has a healthy dose of self-confidence and self-worth. Even still, I am more than a little scared.

  2. I believe ‘friends with benefits’ is the 60’s all over again. I know 2 of my 3 had sex while in grade 11 because they basically tell us everything. Hubby and I went shopping for condoms, which too my surprise takes up quite a lot of shelf space. Anyways, after perusing the condom wall, we purchased a large package and told our children that they were in the bathroom for use, because the last thing we wanted was a pregnant teenager. The condoms have been used but generally they purchase their own because apparently hubby and I bought the thickest condoms available. We wanted them to be like steel, we said.

    • I think that’s fabulous that you bought the icky condoms. I feel like we should buy 16 some, but he says he’s not sexually active. Probably I should get some for the girlie off o university. And, yes. Like Steel.

  3. The stories I hear from my DD at 16 were enough to make me put her on he pill and for me to start smoking again-great. She had 4 girlfriends over one night at the beginning of the summer and I went outside that am to clean our pool and I found 2 condom wrappers in my backyard and one used one. Needless to say that was the last sleepover this summer. And she was not a participant. But she had sex at 14 with a long time ‘boyfriend’ who promptly dumped her and then told the whole school about it. She has not been the same since. If parents don’t think this is happening then I have news for them. And yes, the stress both academically and socially is ridiculous-I had people asking DD when she was in the 8th grade where was she going to college. I’ve had two counselors call me and tell me that there was a rumor going around the middle then high school that she was pregnant. And this is in a highly educated upper income area. She was never alone with him, uh, except a party in the 9th grade and the parents were home. He talked her into going into the basement bedroom. She thought she was in love. I should have filed charges. Hindsight is 20/20. Open conversations are great but they can make your stomach hurt-or drive you to smoke like me. Just be prepared for the answers. And don’t judge…..

    • That’s a disheartening story. I think I’d start drinking at 8 am if I found condoms in my backyard. Except, I’d be glad they’re all using condoms. You’re right, honesty is stomach-pain inducing, but not communicating is worse.

  4. This is tough. I spoke with a good friend about this. She educates kids in a non-confrontational manner about sex, drugs and anything else they get into. Her advice to me, and what she used on her kids was very simple.
    We, as parents, are not afraid to let our kids know what we expect of them and for them in all areas of their life EXCEPT when it comes to their bodies and sex. What we do now is explain to our kids what we expect from them. What their bodies represent, how what the do physically is intrinsically tied to their emotional and mental development, and how, regardless of how it may ‘feel’ like, their choices as teens are made with the maturity of a teen yet the consequences (physical, mental, emotional) they will face will be those of an adult.
    I will not tiptoe around this topic with my kids for fear of pushing them away. It’s too important and we haven’t been shy about discussing all topics with them up to this point. That won’t change.

    • Your friend is completely right. We shouldn’t avoid the awkward conversations just because they’re awkward. We need to talk to them, be real and not judge. You’re obviously on the right track.

  5. Scariest conversations ever. I bought condoms for our eldest when he was 15. (Big, thick, boring ones – not easy to find!) We talked to him about diseases and pregnancy and emotions. We told him we didn’t condone him having sex at his age, but realistically we would rather prepare him. To keep him and any partners safe. We specifically told him we wouldn’t ask him about sex, but he could talk to us any time he wanted to.

    Hubs later had a conversation with him (in the car of course) where he confirmed he’d had sex. He also confirmed that the whole boyfriend/girlfriend thing was passe. Kids just “hook-up” at parties. Sigh.

    • Please tell me where you got the boring ones. And, I’m glad that you’ve confirmed that my kids aren’t crazy.

  6. Lisa Troupe says:

    I have a 16 year old son who has recently started having sex with his girlfriend who is 15. He tells me she is on the pill but I have told him that even so, he needs to protect himself in case she forgets to take a pill etc. They are constantly touching and kissing and they don’t care who is in the room with them, it’s really quite uncomfortable. I have told him it’s inappropriate but they continue to do it. It drives me crazy! What am I to do?

  7. This blog has a disturbingly prudish approach to casual sex. Get over it, humans weren’t meant to be monogamous and the 80s weren’t exactly good. We had a murder rate that was twice as high as it is now which isn’t good. Biology tells teens that they should have sex at puberty and that teenagers are in their sexual peak. I mean it seems you’ve forgotten what it was like to be 13 or 14, if you don’t allow the sex then it will morph into something that is bad and casual sex isn’t bad, it’s a good thing and it’s good that we are finally embracing the hippie lifestyle again because the hippies were smart, happy, and we would have been better off if that movement hadn’t died out. Not to mention when you combine the pill and the condom the chances of getting pregnant are like .1 so it’s not like they aren’t ever safe no matter what they do.

    • I totally disagree, sex is an expression of love and trust that is a gift an a mature relationship . When you give it away to another kid to relieve stress or gain self esteem it becomes a selfish physical act . Our kids then loose the special gift that they had an opportunity to share n their adult lives . It is a big lose and that is what I grieve , for my 15yr old daughter . Her life is forever less deep , due to an impulsive teen decision she made .

  8. Actually, “Whistle” by Flo Rida, is about a game of netball, not about bj’s.

  9. What this means is that you don’t use the Chaturbate token hack in your important account.


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