Kids want the skill set to empower them to make the right choices. — Mike Domitrz, founder of The Date Safe Project & father of 4 boys
Talking to boys about consent is a must. It’s also incredibly challenging and a bit intimidating. Let’s face it: if adults were consistently good at consent, there wouldn’t be a constant slew of headlines alleging sexual assault and misconduct.
The good news about the #MeToo movement is that it’s moved the issue of consent into the national conversation. Increasingly, parents and educators are realizing that talking about the mechanics of sex is not enough; we have to talk about the messy realities of relationships. We need to teach our children how to treat others with respect, and how to set and maintain boundaries. We need to equip them with the skills to navigate a culture that’s rife with stereotypes and sexual imagery.
Mike Domitrz has been working in this space for years. As the founder The Date Safe Project, Mike regularly talks to school children, college students, the military and parents about safe, healthy relationships.
In a world where people are constantly being told “What Not To Do,” The DATE SAFE Project believes the best approach is to give people positive how-to skills and helpful insights for addressing verbal consent (asking first), respecting boundaries, sexual decision-making, bystander intervention, and supporting survivors (opening the door for family and friends).
In this episode, Jen, Janet & Mike discuss:
- How dating today is different — and similar — to “back in the day” (Spoiler: It’s 95% similar!)
- How parents inadvertently cause kids to mistrust their advice — & how you can build connection instead
- Porn (Heads up: There’s no way to avoid porn in today’s culture, so it’s your job to equip your son with information and values he can use to process what he may see.)
- How to make sure you — not your boys’ friends — are their primary, most-valued source of information regarding sexuality and relationships
- Why you should blow up a condom when discussing safe sex and contraception (Really!)
- Specific language you can teach your boys so they can say no (or yes) to sexual activity
- Whether or not to discuss your teenage sexual experiences with your kids
- Helping boys understand the #MeToo movement
- How to use TV, current events & music to discuss consent and relationships with your boys
- Teenage slang for sex (Do you know what “smash” means?)
- Why you always, always need to ask first
Links we mentioned (or should have) in Episode 119:
The Date Safe Project — Mike’s website. Includes links to lots of resources, and info about how you can hire him to come talk to your school or community.
Talking to Boys About Sexually Aggressive Girls — 2014 BuildingBoys post. Includes tips boys can use to say “no.”
Katy Perry, Benjamin Glaze, American Idol and the Unwanted Kiss — Mike breaks down exactly why what happened was so wrong
Special Offer for On Boys subscribers: FREE 48 hour access to Mike’s video, “Help! My Teen is Dating.” Click DSPbonus.com to access the video.