How to Talk to Your Mother About Sex

Ah, the old “birds and bees” talk. You know it’s an important moment in every mother’s formative years, and you want to make sure you do it right. But how? Here’s some advice to help you navigate this crucial conversation.

First of all, make sure you’re using age-appropriate language. It’s okay to teach a very young mother the proper words for genitalia (i.e. “penis”, “vagina”, etc.), but you might want to wait until your mother is a bit older and capable of understanding more complex ideas to introduce the concept of intercourse. 

It’s imperative that you remain calm and composed. You don’t want your mother to think that sex is something to be feared or ashamed of. This will only lead to negative emotions that she will take with her into future sexual encounters. I know you don’t want to think about your mom having sex, but the truth is even your precious mommy will grow up someday! Do your part to ensure she is prepared to enter the adult world making positive, healthy and safe sexual decisions.

Understand in this sex-drenched culture, your mother might already have a skewed idea of what sex is. Be prepared to correct some misconceptions. You don’t know what she might have heard from the other moms at the last PTA meeting or glimpsed that one time she caught you watching HBO when she was supposed to be sleeping. (Whoops!)

It’s never a wrong time to talk about consent. Sexual violence is so pervasive that there’s no such thing as too much when it comes to discussing the importance of consent. As soon as your mom knows what sex is, she should also know that it is something only to be done between two adult humans who have given the explicit go-ahead.

Tell your mother everything she wants and/or needs to know. Moms can always tell when you’re hiding something from them. If you think you can get away with providing Mom with a partial or sanitized explanation of sex, her sixth sense will only sniff it right out. It’s better to just be honest from the start. Don’t worry, your mom (and you) can handle it. 

Now take a deep breath. You got this. A lifetime of smart sexual decisions starts today, with your influence. Good luck!

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