Thankfully sex as a young woman for me was something that didn’t set the path for my sexual experiences to come; sexual empowerment came later. In those early days it was more about groping about, fumbling along and hoping for the best. That was how it was in ‘my day’ but today thankfully things have moved on and changed for young women. They are becoming more sexually empowered and open with an understanding that as they learn to create their own boundaries they will keep themselves physically and emotionally protected.
It isn’t unusual to discuss topics on vaginas, their clitoris, orgasms and the whole mystery of oral sex. With so much information online and sex education in schools, young girls are far more aware of the ‘whole sexual experience’ than ever before. But this can also be totally distorted by the readily available pornography, provocative photos on social media and askew views on ‘how one should perform.’ Perhaps girls are now left more confused than ever!
So, in some ways ignorance really was bliss!
With today’s knowledge and children developing younger and younger let’s find the right balance in equipping our young daughters with the right information to have total respect for themselves – so when the timing is right for them they are actually able to enjoy their sexual experiences. Over the years I have gathered tips through my experience and work with young women defining this list -
1. Let’s Communicate – Be open with your child and actually learn to talk openly with them; educating them at home (at the appropriate age of course) will ensure they develop a healthy respect for sex. Having open, natural discussions (we used to have these around the dinner table) will help your child to have a healthy respect for sex emotionally and physically. Their experiences will be more positive and they won’t develop so many ‘hang ups.’ Talk about everything from teenage pregnancy, contraception, and sexually transmitted diseases to their body image will help them to alleviate any concerns they might be withholding.
2. Making Logical & Well Thought out ‘Judgements’ – Teach your child to be able to problem solve and make decisions that are right for them – this of course is important in every area of their lives. This will allow them to follow their desires and be in control of their own sexuality without exploitation. Children from around the age of six years old start questioning everything in life as they develop their conscious mind. As they get older keep this alive by encouraging them to question and explore their sexual feelings. The more in touch they are with their own thoughts and desires the more they will analyze, assess and prepare themselves for their own sexual experience and their partner. I would encourage my girls to ask themselves, ‘What are my sexual feelings?’ And get them to think about them. The stronger the thoughts are around this, the better quality of life they will produce.
3. Commend their Own Sexual Pleasure – What is often missing in sex education today is how a woman achieves her own sexual pleasure, orgasm, masturbation and arousal. We often talk about the dangers of sex and what can go wrong but what we really need to focus on is the joy sex can bring whilst being responsible. Girls are often told ‘not to masturbate,’ ‘it’s dirty’ but this is how they learn about arousal and we should encourage this along with having sexual fantasies. Girls can then develop a healthy relationship with themselves; one of self-love, which you ultimately need first before you can go on to have a healthy sexual relationship with a partner.
4. Pornography – A relatively new phenomenon is porn online and because of the way society has developed digitally now more than ever our children need educating at a young age what pornography really is. This really needs to be done before they come across any porn. This isn’t the sort of sex that they are looking for; this is the quick fix, unromantic type of sex that isn’t about relationships. Once young girls are aware of the differences between porn and what sex really is about they can make their own decisions later in life with what they want. Once a young girl has this understanding she will be in control of what she wants and desires and not what society portrays to her.
5. How We Feel About Sex – In my work I focus on ‘people’s feelings’ as I believe this is what life is about – how we feel about something. Young children are very in touch with their emotions and we ‘lose’ this art of connecting with our inner selves as we grow older and life gets in the way. Sex can be seen as something we DO – to reproduce, to have babies and to relieve ourselves, and not something we FEEL. Encourage your daughter to explore what she feels is right for her sexually – does she want to chat beforehand, does she want to be touched, how does she like to be kissed… and so on. This is a great place to begin, as she will feel empowered and not submissive. Sex is to be enjoyed, it is an act of love, and we want to FEEL good about it. It isn’t something you just do.
Helping your daughter to understand and explore her own sexuality can be one of the greatest gifts you give to her – it could save her years of pain and hurt, putting her on a path to value her personal sexuality and be in control of her sexual destiny. Encouraging your daughter to seek bodily awareness and a curiosity will give her huge sexual empowerment.
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