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Raising My Rainbow
  RAISING MY RAINBOW

Who Gives The Sex Talk To A Gay Child?

I was in fifth grade.  I boarded the school bus and a sixth-grade girl asked me if I was virgin.

“No,” I said giving her a dirty look and finding a seat.  That sounded like a terrible thing to be.

“Yes you are. Virgin!” she said rudely.

I ignored her.  After dinner I told my mom that a girl at school called me a virgin.  She took a deep breath.

“Well, honey, you are one.”  And, right then and there, I got the sex talk.  I walked to my bed with slumped shoulders and cried myself to sleep.  Men’s penises get hard and they stick them in women’s vaginas.  Someday a man was going to stick his penis in my vagina.

What a nightmare.

The next day my mom left a book about puberty and sex on my bed. I was grossed out and humiliated.

Our oldest son is getting ready to turn 10.  He’s been asking some questions that have us feeling like the first of many puberty and sex talks may be coming in the year ahead.  Which got me thinking.

I can’t remember the first time that I assumed it—because I’ve assumed it for so many years now— but because we have two boys, I always figured my husband would take on the brunt of the responsibility when it comes to detailed discussions of puberty and sex.

We’d be absolutely open and honest, discuss topics freely as needed, but certain discussions are heavy—C.J.’s Dad would lift those.

If we had girls, it would be my job.

“Who gives the boys the sex talk?” I asked C.J.’s Dad out of the blue— like I ask most questions. “I do,” he said without hesitation.

“What if one of them is gay?” I asked.

“I don’t know.  I’ve never thought about that.”  He paused.  And, paused.  And, paused.  “I have to admit, you’re blowing my mind a little right now,” he answered honestly.

It’s the same for our close friends with kids; the same-sex parent does the majority of the puberty and sex talk.  And, the majority of the sex talking involves the details of heterosexual sex.  Mine did, rightly so.  My brother’s did—epic fail.

The puberty and sex talks seem to be all about procreation, not about having sex because it’s enjoyable or because it’s what you do in a committed relationship or to bond with your partner. And, if you’re talking about procreation, you’re talking about a man and a woman.

The sex talk needs to be different for gay children, right?

“Say C.J. is gay…I guess we give him both sex talks,” C.J.’s Dad said after a while.

“So, if his brother is straight, are you going to give him both sex talks?” I asked.  “That only seems fair.”

“Ugh!  My parents didn’t even have any puberty or sex talks with me.  I figured it out on my own.  Can’t they just do that?” C.J.’s Dad asked entirely frustrated.

“No!  They need to know about safe sex and being responsible and respectful and all that crap,” I argued.

This poor lad has been caught in the act.

To be honest, if one of my son’s is gay, it just seems like I should be the one to give the sex talks.  I don’t know why. But I think that we need to be careful with both of the boys that as we start to discuss these things we are mindful not to make assumptions about their sexuality.

No stigma.  No shame. No secrets.

Thankfully we have plenty of time to think about it.  Because, as with so many things about raising kids in general and raising a gender nonconforming child in particular, we have no idea what we’re doing.

* * *

Disclaimer: I know that not all households have a father and mother present. If I were the only parent/primary caregiver, I would give the sex talk to any children in my home.  C.J.’s Dad and I realize that our assumptions hadn’t been based on a lot of thought. We assumed them; we didn’t think about them prior to getting inspired to write this post.   

By:           Raising My Rainbow
On:           Mar 8, 2013
Tagged: , , , ,

  • 21 Comments
    • Mark Allen
      Mark Allen

      My partner and I raised a boy and a girl. When it came time to give the sex talk, it was MUCH easier to talk to our son. With our daughter, it was awkward and there were questions she had that we really didn’t have good answers for. Ultimately, I took our daughter to our local chapter of Planned Parenthood. She was 12. The folks there were FANTASTIC. A nurse took my daughter into a private room and talked with her for about an hour. I told them I wanted them to answer any questions she had, that I didn’t need to know what she asked unless she wanted to share it with me, and I told them they could give her any material they felt she needed to better understand the changes her body was going through.
      My partner and I did discuss heterosexuality and homosexuality with both our children, and our daughter had a girlfriend for 2 years in high school before marying a young man. Our son was definitely heterosexual, with many beautiful girl friends that left my partner and me actually wondering what the attraction was!So in raising your sons, I would say give them general information at first,explain both hetero and homo sexuality and let them take the lead with questions. They will ask what they want to know about.
      Good Luck!

      Mar 8, 2013 at 11:10 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chad Hunt
      Chad Hunt

      Honestly, I don’t think it important, WHO gives the sex talk only that it is given. My ex wife was adamant that I not even talk to my son about such matters and I was just as adamant that I would be. My ex-wife is an ultra religious, heterosexual, conservative, republican while I on the other hand am a spiritual, bisexual, liberal, democrat with a sprinkling of conservative ideals.

      I talked to my son about sexuality in general, not in terms of hetero/homo. I think most parents fail to realize that a lot of same sex experimentation happens before an opposite gender encounter. There is a lot of you show me yours and I’ll show you mine experimentation, truth or dare, circle jerks, breast comparison, practice kissing, penile comparison, pubic hair flashing, ball/ass slapping, locker room anxiety etc.

      I explained to my son at a young age the differences between and fundamental practices of heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality, and transgenderism. Letting him know each was valid and would depend on his innate being.

      I think a comprehensive talk on STD’s is also important but can be done a little later than the initial talk.

      Personally I believe an open talk with both parents is the most beneficial because the child will feel they can come to either parent with questions and not feel ashamed to do so.

      Mar 8, 2013 at 11:13 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Sparkyu1
      Sparkyu1

      I’m not sure I understand the logic of this. If your son is straight then his father, a male parent will have the sex talk nearly entirely, despite the fact his sexual interactions are going to be with women… but if he’s gay input is needed from his mother when his sex life will involve far less interaction with women?

      I don’t understand why it’s assumed a straight woman will somehow have insight into male sexuality, male puberty, male anatomy etc, just because that man is gay?

      Wouldn’t it be better for either or both parents to be involved – after ensuring some decent research into all sexualities – especially since there’s a very high chance a kid won’t tell their parents their sexuality before the sex talk (or after for that matter).

      Mar 8, 2013 at 11:14 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chad Hunt
      Chad Hunt

      @Sparkyu1: I think what you are missing here is that if the child is a male homosexual and the mother gives the talk she may have more insight on how to please the man where the father may not go into detail as to what feels the best for him. Likewise, a father giving the sex talk to a homosexual female may better explain cunnilingus etc. Then there is positional experience. A woman may be better at explaining being the passive partner to a gay son while a father may be better at explaining the active partner to a lesbian daughter.

      Personally I don’t subscribe to either of those theories but can understand how a heterosexual parent might.

      Mar 8, 2013 at 11:29 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Sparkyu1
      Sparkyu1

      @Chad Hunt: I think that would be a very… rigid understanding of things (especially the idea that someone GIVING oral sex would know better what someone likes than someone receiving, or that people like the same thing). Besides, do parental sex talks usually come with advice on how to be GOOD at sex? I never had one myself (thank gods, my homophobic parents would have not handled that well) but I can’t imagine sex tips and advice on how to give a good blowjob are usual fodder

      Mar 8, 2013 at 11:35 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • dkmagby
      dkmagby

      Wouldn’t it be nice if “sex talk” wasn’t just a one time deal? It bugs me that we look at it like peeling a band-aid and that kids only get to hear the info once from their most trusted source.

      It should be an open dialogue. If we quit treating sex like a tabboo subject to discuss and instilled that with our kids, there would be a lot less feeling like we need to hide the information (and that they need to hide from us). I’m sure in this day and age kids are gonna find porn before you can give a sex talk. We should just accept the fact that sex exists, kids are gonna experiment probably before they even hit puberty, and it’s a parent’s responsibility to protect them from the real harm of sex which is STIs and unwanted pregnancy.

      Mar 8, 2013 at 11:35 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chad Hunt
      Chad Hunt

      @Sparkyu1: I absolutely gave my son all perspectives including the best way to please your partner. My son just happens to be lucky because he had a bisexual, versatile, father so I can explain almost all aspects of sexuality to him and I had a great Transexual friend in NY (Miss Tina Sparkles, roommates with Kandis Kane) to explain more on transgendersexualism. It is more en vogue today to be much more comprehensive than what parents of the past were.

      Mar 8, 2013 at 11:41 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • kurt_t
      kurt_t

      Lots of great ideas here. I never knew that Planned Parenthood offered the kind of service that Mark Allen mentions. I definitely agree with dkmagby that there needs to be an ongoing dialog. Our culture seems to have embraced this idea that the Sex Talk is some sort of painful ordeal that the family must reluctantly endure, something like a tribal initiation ceremony. Nobody wants to do it, nobody likes it, but if we don’t do it, or if we do it carelessly, something terrible will happen.

      For me, I think I learned about sex mostly from reading. My best friend’s parents, who were quite enlightened and forward thinking, kept a copy of Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Sex* on the bookshelf in the living room. And then there was Cosmopolitan Magazine, which… OK, I probably shouldn’t even go into the stuff I learned from Cosmopolitan Magazine, but let me just say that the American dessert topping industry owes a huge debt of gratitude to Helen Gurley Brown.

      So yeah, I agree that there should be an ongoing dialog, but also there needs to be an understanding that you the parent might not know all the answers or might not be able to anticipate all the questions, and you don’t have to be the only source of information.

      Mar 8, 2013 at 1:17 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • RomanHans
      RomanHans

      @Chad Hunt: I’m with Sparkyu1, though I’m much more seriously miffed. Parents are supposed to teach kids about sex, not offer TECHNIQUES. Ten year olds don’t need to hear that the alleged gay world divides into tops and bottoms. Ridiculous. I actually think it’s offensive here that dad tells the sons about sex unless they’re gay. Doesn’t dad have a relationship with the kid? Does it break when the kid’s gay? Is it sex panic? Is dad afraid he’ll look funny if he knows anything at ALL about homosexual sex? Being a man, I’m pretty sure he knows and can communicate what men like to do during sex, and the fact that women suck him off rather than men doesn’t make him totally unfit for the job.

      Mar 8, 2013 at 4:29 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chad Hunt
      Chad Hunt

      @RomanHans: No one is saying to offer techniques to a 10yr. old. Discussing types of acts & explaining what they are called certainly should not be off the table at an appropriate age. No one said that the dad shouldn’t speak to a gay child either. You have jumped to all sorts of conclusions for no apparent reason or without any comprehension of what was being discussed here.

      Mar 8, 2013 at 5:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • RomanHans
      RomanHans

      @Chad Hunt: From the story: “’Who gives the boys the sex talk?’ I asked C.J.’s Dad out of the blue— like I ask most questions. ‘I do,’ he said without hesitation. . . . To be honest, if one of my son’s is gay, it just seems like I should be the one to give the sex talks.” Looks like the comprehension problem is on the other foot.

      As for the techniques question, what other motivation do you have when you suggest “the mother … may have more insight on how to please the man [while] a father giving the sex talk to a homosexual female may better explain cunnilingus etc.”? You’re clearly not explaining to the child that pleasure is involved: you’re into telling them how to MAXIMIZE it.

      Mar 8, 2013 at 7:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chad Hunt
      Chad Hunt

      @RomanHans: nope you are wrong did you not read your own quote from the mother.

      “To be honest, if one of my son’s is gay, it just seems like I should be the one to give the sex talks.”

      She states that it “seemed” that she “should” not that she for sure “was” going to be the only one. You have jumped to a conclusion.

      In most cases a heterosexual woman would have more insight as to how to please a man sexually then a heterosexual man speaking on how to please another man would because he, as a heterosexual, has never pleasured another man sexually.

      As the mother stated, “The puberty and sex talks seem to be all about procreation, not about having sex because it’s enjoyable or because it’s what you do in a committed relationship or to bond with your partner. And, if you’re talking about procreation, you’re talking about a man and a woman.”

      So yes we are explaining to the child that pleasure is involved not necessarily how to maximize the pleasure. You keep jumping to conclusions without reading and comprehending the words as written.

      Mar 8, 2013 at 8:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • viveutvivas
      viveutvivas

      I never got a sex talk and I am grateful for that. I think it would have traumatized me. Even now I the idea of my parents + sex is mildly traumatizing to me.

      Mar 9, 2013 at 1:59 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dixie Rect
      Dixie Rect

      Ah yes, the fictitious CJ and his mother appear again. This entire blog series is a complete fiction. Please end this silly propaganda! I call shenanigans.

      Mar 9, 2013 at 6:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • RomanHans
      RomanHans

      @Chad Hunt: I’m not sure if you’re falling down on reading or logic.

      AUTHOR: “Who gives the sex talk to a gay child?”

      This implies that just one of the two parents gives the talk.

      AUTHOR: ““Who gives the boys the sex talk?” I asked C.J.’s Dad…. “I do,” he said without hesitation. “What if one of them is gay?” I asked. “I don’t know” [is the dad's reply]…. “To be honest, if one of my son’s is gay, it just seems like I should be the one to give the sex talks.”

      This means the parents agree the father will give the sex talk to sons, but the mother thinks she should give a gay son the sex talk.

      ME: “I actually think it’s offensive here that dad tells the sons about sex unless they’re gay.”

      Now, we’ve got these things called “tenses” that say when a verb has occurred. My sentence is in present tense — which means it hasn’t actually occurred yet. In fact, it can be a theoretical thing, like “Ducks quack” and “Dogs bark.” Here, “Mom pretty much decides that Dad tells the sons about sex.” Got that?

      Okay, point two. You didn’t get it the first time, but try, try again.

      YOU: “[T]he mother gives the talk [to a gay son] she [sic] may have more insight on how to please the man where [sic] the father may not go into detail as to what feels the best for him.”

      You’re actually going to defend this sentence? First, tell me why fathers “may not go into detail as to what feels the best for him.” Is it a male or a heterosexual thing? Also, you use the word “best,” which is what we call a “comparison word.” Later, though, you attack me by saying, “So yes we are explaining to the child that pleasure is involved not necessarily how to maximize the pleasure.” O…kay. You want the kid to knows what feels “best” but not how to “maximize” the pleasure. I’d love to hear the distinction between the two, but considering the obfuscation you generated from my first reply I’m thinking the odds aren’t good.

      Anyway, it’s been entertaining. My sympathies to your ex-wife.

      Mar 9, 2013 at 7:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • dazzer
      dazzer

      When the sex talk takes place, both mother and father should be there to deliver it. Mostly because the idea of a ‘relationship’ is important for a young child – as well as the technical, biological aspects.
      And the same should be the case in two gay or two lesbian parents.
      Sex is scary for a kid. It involves doing things with your body that you’ve never thought of before.
      For a child, you need to be able to put sex in the context of love and and safety and an on-going relationship. And to get that message through, both parents should be there taking equal responsibility for the education of their child/children.
      The instruction as to what goes where biologically merely clears up a mystery for the child. The far greater message to get across is that it happens betwen people who love each other.
      Obviously, I’m not so daft as to think that the ‘love’ and ‘trust’ message will get through to the child to such an extent that he/she won’t screw around in her/his teens and twenties, but it’s still a vitally important message to get across.
      The idea that a mother should talk about sex to a daughter, or a man should talk about it to his son or a mother should talk to her gay son (does this mean a father should talk to his lesbian daughter?), strikes me as being silly beyond words.
      A sexual encounter isn’t a male/female, male/male, female/female exchange of bodily fluids. And both parents need to be there to: i) field questions; ii) put the act in in the context of both sets of parents being OK with it; and iii) something that’s beneficial in a loving and safe relationship.

      Mar 9, 2013 at 7:39 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chad Hunt
      Chad Hunt

      @RomanHans: Look … you make absolutely no sense and are just trolling to get me to further respond to you. Have you not seen that no one agrees with you and you are totally confusing what has been said with your own conclusions. Gee, wonder why your comments weren’t listed in the follow up thread but mine were.

      Saying ” Who gives the sex talk?” Does not imply one person. Just like someone could say, Who should change the baby’s diaper? Answer: Both of us. Who can be plural: Who are they? Who wants a cookie?

      Now, saying the mother may know what feels the best does not necessarily mean the maximum pleasure. Saying, “Guys like head” is telling what may be best for pleasure but saying “Guys really like head when you cup & squeeze their balls while you blow them moving your other hand in a twisting up and down motion across the base of the penis”, would describe maximum pleasure.

      As stated before a heterosexual man may not necessarily know the best way to please another man as he has never pleased another man before because he is a heterosexual. He may also not be comfortable in saying what he personally likes to do with the child’s mother. Just because he may know what feels good for him does not mean he knows what other guys like. Odds are the mother has been with more than one man in her life and may have more insight.

      Just like a heterosexual father may be better to speak to a lesbian daughter because he has probably slept with other women and know what woman like. Example: My wife hated cunnilingus. She thought it was gross and dirty so therefore may not list it as a pleasurable experience. I on the other hand would list it because many other women love and enjoy it.

      The mother nor father ever said for sure either would give the sex talk to a gay child for sure. Actually in the end this is what was said.

      “Say C.J. is gay…I guess we give him both sex talks,” C.J.’s Dad said after a while.

      Now go troll somewhere else because all you do is look more and more ridiculous in your statements and your personal attacks on me are pointless and affect me in no way so run along now, I think I here a few billy goats gruff clip clop clip clopping over your bridge.

      Mar 9, 2013 at 8:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chad Hunt
      Chad Hunt

      @RomanHans: Also lets not forget my final word in comment 4 was this:

      “Personally I don’t subscribe to either of those theories but can understand how a heterosexual parent might.”

      Meaning: I personally don’t think either a father or mother is best in giving a sex talk to a gay, lesbian, bi, trans, hetero child but can see how a heterosexual parent might think one or the other is best per particular situation.

      I said this:

      “Personally I believe an open talk with both parents is the most beneficial because the child will feel they can come to either parent with questions and not feel ashamed to do so.”

      Mar 9, 2013 at 9:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Debs
      Debs

      As a mother of seven children, 3 girls & 4 boys, I would have to say I have been the one to ‘give the sex talk’ to each of my children ….although my 11 yr old son hasnt seemed too interested yet. One of the girls is gay and they other 2 are bi (one married now)and I dont remember the talk being different for my 2nd daughter?? I explained the fact of live, periods, puberty and being ready for the responsibility of a serious relationship while still a teenager. These topics work whether the child is gay, bi, trans or straight. As a parent you are there to answer questions as best as you know how, not say sorry your dad has to tell you that. Actually many kids will just google or ask their peers anyway so just be there when they do come to you and dont be ashamed or embarrassed about any questions.

      Mar 15, 2013 at 1:17 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • KatAstraFe
      KatAstraFe

      The “sex” talk doesn’t phase me. It’s the what is rape discussion, and how does alcohol effect your judgement conversation that are going to be awkward. Or the why does porn show acts that are uncomfortable or painful conversion. My guess is there are going to be a lot of books and movies and less actual talking.

      Mar 15, 2013 at 1:52 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Andre
      Andre

      I agree that both parents should be involved in the sex talk it shows the child that he/she can go to either parent with questions about sex. I also agree that the talk shouldn’t assume that the child is gay or straight. the talk should present the facts: what the changes in the child’s body mean and what kind of changes are going to happen. and that what ever feelings of sexual attraction the child has are natural and not to be afraid or ashamed of whether they are for boys or girls. teach them how to look after themselves (bathing, deodorant, grooming) and about safe sex(basics like using a condom or dental dam) and then let them ask anything else.
      If you present an open mind and make sure they know they can come to you, hopefully they will.
      I also believe that when/if they do ask about gay sex it should be treated just as if it were a straight child asking about straight sex. tell them everything within reason.

      Mar 15, 2013 at 3:12 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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