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?
I 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.