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Discussion: Sex toys and teens, and a few other things

December 29th, 2009

20060722Floating around the reviewing community, there’s been a few questions about teens and sex toys.  The laws in most states dictate that a person isn’t allowed in an adult toy shop until they’re eighteen or twenty-one.  Most credit card companies won’t approve anyone under eighteen.  So that leaves teens with the options of asking an older friend, breaking the law or waiting till they’re adults to discover the wonderful world of sex toy enhanced masturbation.

Or asking Mom and Dad.

So the questions that have come up time and again are:

  1. Would you buy your son or daughter a sex toy?
  2. Why or why not?
  3. If you would, what age would you consider “old enough”?
  4. And finally, what kind of toy would you start him or her out on?

And that started me wondering other things.

For example, what age is a good one to start teaching your child about sex? How do you handle awkward situations? Like walking in on your child masturbating, or them walking in on a scene, or whatever.  And just how far should you go in your sex education? Like, should you explain S&M to your kid? What if you’re heavily involved in the BDSM community? And do you remain objective or tell them what you think about the different aspects of sex?

A couple years ago, we had a doozy of a situation where my six-year-old (who’s now nine) was caught masturbating to orgasm in class.  Her step-mother and father hadn’t yet had “The Talk” with her and, as far as we know, she’s never been molested, so it was just a case of a curious child finding a glorious experience through experimentation… And choosing to share it with her first grade class, apparently.  How would you handle that?

Abstinence only or contraceptive education?

What do you guys think? Let us know!

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  1. VieuxCarre
    December 29th, 2009 at 16:16 | #1

    I would start talking to my kids about sex and masturbation once they hit middle school. Going to Catholic school most of my life, they pushed sex on us. They would tell us how sex worked, how the organs worked, and whatnot. If the school can do it, then why is it bad for me to talk to my child about enhanced sexual pleasure and condoms?

    I would start probably at 13 and if my child asked to experiment with a toy, I would gladly oblige and purchase one. I started masturbating with a marker and didn’t get to experience a vibrator until college. I would most likely start my child with an egg, tell him/her how it works, and let them figure it out from there.

    Now, if my kids ever walked in on me and my partner playing, then I would ask them to leave and explain what we were doing. It’s not fair to hide from children when they’ve already seen you at it.

    And definitely…contraceptive education! I am all about teaching my future children, maybe, about condoms and birth control. All of this is available to them and affordable, so why the hell not? Just because I introduce them to these things does not mean that they will go and start having sex. If they are going to do it, at least be safe about it.

    That’s my opinion, though 🙂

  2. cinnamon
    December 29th, 2009 at 17:16 | #2

    Dealing with awkward situations as a parent, is entirely irrelevant. As parents awkward and uncomfortable things do and will come up, and as good parents it is our job to handle these situations as truthfully and gracefully as humanly possible. Avoidance will only hurt your child. If you are nervous or anxious, or uncomfortable about talking on any subject with them it is simply the best idea to let them know how you feel. Parents are humans, and have the same feelings our children do; they understand this.

    I feel that sex education begins at a very young age, when they realize boys and girls are different. When my daughter was 2, I became pregnant with my second child; and she very plainly wanted to know how the baby would get out. I told her the truth. There were no explicit details mind you, but enough that she understood what was going to happen when it was time for the baby to be born. She was not frightened or still curious about it. She had her answer, there were nothing else for her to wonder about.

    When my daughter had been caught masturbating, my mom totally freaked out. I was calm, and told her I’m sure most children do it, and assured her I would ask the pediatrician at her next appointment. The doctor also made it a point to educate my mother on the importance of not overreacting to these situations, and told her that my reaction of staying calm, and explaining that she was only allowed to do this while she was alone, and that it was ok, was in fact the correct one; my mother was horrified and didn’t understand the nonchalant attitude that the doctor and I had. She assumed that there was something wrong if my daughter thinks her body is pleasurable at such a young age. My friends, that is what has been so wrong with some of us, our parents, and their parents. Sex and masturbation is not dirty or shameful. It is a wonderful way to improve mood, relieve stress, and just plain escape for a second and focus on you. I see nothing wrong with this. How often do mothers hear, “Oh you just need to take time for yourself.”, or “Take a bubble bath.”, or “Why don’t you relax when you get a chance?”. These are great suggestions, but you don’t have to spend tons of money on expensive teas, yoga classes, or bath salts, just get off; and I promise you will feel better.

    A lot of people fail to see the medical benefits of orgasm. It is very helpful in fighting heart disease, improving sleep, calming cravings to your addictions, burning calories, and pain management for some. We are always trying to get healthier, and the way I see it, there should be more focus on sexual health benefits.

    -back to the kids

    Yes, I always do my best to be objective to my children on matters of religion, politics, and sex. They have to make their own choices, and the sooner they understand the benefits of making good choices, the better off they will be, so start young. I know I lost my virginity at 13, but I started masturbating long before that. I will probably sit my children down by the age of 12, younger if i feel it’s needed, and have the talk about sex in general. I think about 15 is a good age for the first sex toy and adult movie, if they have an interest, if they don’t I won’t push. When I know she starts dating or having boyfriends, condoms and birth control, and some more in depth talk will come out. The point is, I don’t want her to think it’s wrong or gross. I would rather her understand the ins and outs and not be afraid. I don’t want her to be afraid of asking questions and being curious on any subject. It’s part of life, and I want my children to have full lives.

    BDSM is another subject, but yes, I think that information should be given out as well, but much older than 15. Adulthood is a better time to learn about this stuff. S&M is not for children, and can be dangerous. I would think 17 or 18 would be an appropriate age for learning about this. It may save my children from being abused or abusers.

    I want my children to be as fulfilled sexually as I am. I want them to grow up in a sex-positive world. There isn’t any reason to hide sex, it’s been around as long as humans have. If we act nonchalant about it, so will they. It’s not a crime, and we shouldn’t be ashamed of it.

  3. December 30th, 2009 at 15:07 | #3

    Hmm….I can’t give much input because I don’t have kids, but I do think that, as a “kid” myself, letting them know the facts is the best way to go. My school never did, but then again, I’m a curious and smart little girl, so I ended up finding out all of these things through the internet.

    As for buying sex toys, why does it really matter? We all know teenagers are masturbating. As long as it’s a non-obvious one (like personal massagers, not life-like dildos) I don’t see a problem. Not the life-like ones because I KNOW parents would take offense to that.

    On that note, I know I posted something on EF about it, but I did get my first sex toy when I was 15 at the local Spencers (It’s like the “fuck society” store, really). I was thinking about it recently, and I figured out they can get away with it because none of what they sell actually *resembles* any genitals. They just have smooth, non-phallic toys.

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