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Just a Guy Having a Frank Sex Talk with His Son

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Bruce Sallan: Our kids will have sex. The question is when, with whom and under what circumstances.

man talking to teenage son

When I was a Big Brother to a girl (which is no longer allowed except in rare circumstances, sadly), she told me about her "first time" when she was 17. She had decided it was time, went to a party, got drunk, found the first guy who was palatable and "got it over with."

My son has a girlfriend of eight months, which is an eternity for high-school sophomores. They really like each other. They really connect. And they really have important life experiences (or should I say life traumas) in common. I sometimes think they have a more mature relationship than I have with my wife (my wife is quite mature, but she married me).

They've been "caught" in bed, under the covers with their clothes on. Also making out in the Jacuzzi up in Mammoth, and in the showers (in their bathing suits) there. Sex may be inevitable, but when I discussed it with my son recently, he was just as embarrassed as every kid is when us old folks talk dirty -- LOL. He even commented that the thought of me having sex with his stepmom was "creepy." Didn't we all think that about our parents?

I told him about my first time. And the fact that I wasn't sure it was my first time until the third time. I told him about how it was a pretty quick experience until I learned a little control. I told him how I walked around with a boner -- as we used to call it -- just about all day, every day, when I was his age.

He laughed and tried to hide under the table in the loud restaurant where we were, but actually shared his own anxiety about sex. In fact, instead of the usual cool cucumber he presents (and he is a pretty cool kid, given his rock 'n' roll persona and skill), he opened up a bit.

My being candid and admitting my less-than-stellar early experiences helped him relax. I know his girlfriend's mom is having the same talk with her daughter. They're ready, and we can't control it unless we lock them up. If they want to, they will find a time and place. Call me a lax dad, but I only care that they care about each other and take the proper precautions. I think they will. But what do I know? I'm just a guy.

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12 comments so far | Post a comment now
Denise May 2, 2010, 8:08 AM

Bruce, you always make me laugh. Will you have the talk with my kids when they’re old enough, please?

Shannon May 2, 2010, 9:48 AM

Nice article! I appreciate the candid attitude and your son will appreciate it too (eventually, haha).

Jeff May 2, 2010, 10:07 AM

I’m with Denise as we’re not there yet, but I think I’d like to have you come over and help us through this, when the time comes. Can’t I wait until they go to college?

Wendi May 2, 2010, 1:31 PM

I think you did a great job! I have teens and although we tell them that we think they really should wait till marriage, reality is that they probably won’t. I did not, nor did my husband. I am with you on telling them that the truths about the first time and that it is less than what they think it will be. I am totally honest with my kids and think that it is a huge deal especially in these situations. Now you just have to make sure you teach him how to put the condom on correctly…good luck with that one!

Bruce Sallan May 2, 2010, 2:46 PM

Wendi - what’s a condom? Just kidding.

Wendi May 2, 2010, 10:39 PM

You are way to funny Bruce!!

Joe Cheray May 3, 2010, 8:18 AM

I am waiting until my sons brain catches up with his body. He has cerebral palsy and is about two years behind mentally so even tho he is 10 mentally he is about 8.

He has noticed that his legs are getting more hair and that he has pubic hair even has his first crush as it were but he hasn’t put anything together yet.

Most of our serious talks at the moment are of dad and him being in prison.

Black Iris May 3, 2010, 8:57 AM

I passed my son a book. I told him we weren’t saying he should do, we wanted him to know when it was time. I made him promise to read the chapters about safety, too.

Jimbo May 3, 2010, 3:33 PM

BlackIris, that’s the worst thing you can do.. pass a book to your kid. It’s YOUR job to have this talk with your child, not slough it off on some author you’ve never met. My mom made me read a sex book at age 12 and I felt creepy about it for years after. Books don’t give any emotional context. Only Moms can do that.

Bruce Sallan May 3, 2010, 9:34 PM

Black Iris - afraid I agree with Jimbo, though I never thought I’d agree with anyone named Jimbo before!
You or your son’s father, if he’s in the picture, should do this face-to-face. Let us know how it goes! I have confidence you can do it and handle it beautifully!

Melanie May 31, 2010, 1:47 PM

I’m 13 years old, a girl, and I have to agree the sex talk is pretty embarrasing! I had to get it from my aunts, but I’ve been told I have a higher understanding (I love knowing things), but I learned it on the way up. When I asked a question my parents just answered it bluntly and walked away kind of thing. I perfer it that way, because I don’t have to sit through an agonizing 30 minutes with my parents explaining the works and scarring me for the rest of my life.

Ten Tees January 8, 2011, 3:18 PM

Good article! Nice reading. I have got a observation to make about funny shirts.

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