Parenting Sexually Active Boys

Like it or not, your son will probably become sexually active at some point. 

Do you…

a) buy him condoms?

b) let his romantic interest stay over?

c) say ABSOLUTELY NOT to sleep over requests?

d) freak out?


Note: there are no “right” answers to these questions. Each family has their own values regarding sex, and each of our sons is a unique human being.  — which means that we each have to grapple with these questions.

Today’s guests are Dick and Dennie, a brother and sister who are each parenting young adults. They helped steer their teens through crushes, dating and relationships. They made some different choices along the way, but the children of each are doing well and their parent/child relationships remain strong.

“Our parting gift to all of our kids, as we’re leaving their college room, is the value-pack of condoms,” Dennie says. “Whether it was our daughter or our 3 boys. We would say, “listen, even if you’re not using them, if your friend needs it, hand ’em out.”

Dick admits to thinking about male and female sexuality differently. “I am aware, and have been for a long time, that I have 2 different perspectives on the way I think about sex for my boys and they way I think about sex for my daughter,” he says. “It’s not really a double standard; it’s just a distinctly different perspective.”

He shared stories of his teenage experiences with his sons. “I think the most important and most valuable thing that I’ve done with my boys in particular, that I think was really a service to them — they didn’t like it, but I think it really was very good — is I talked with them about what it’s like to be a high school boy and what I was like as a high school boy and what happened to me.” He admitted to his sons that he had “no idea what was going on” during his first consensual sexual experience.

In this episode, Jen, Janet, Dick & Dennie discuss:
  • Unpacking family values regarding sex
  • The role of your child’s pediatrician in sex ed
  • Setting family rules re dating and relationships
  • First sexual relationships
  • Tackling our own fears and hang-ups re talking about sex
  • Helping teenage boys understand the power of sexual urges
  • Discussing consent — & ensuring boys’ understand their legal vulnerability
  • Teaching respect for others
  • Supporting kids’ evolving relationships as they mature
Links we mentioned (or should have) in this episode:

Boys & Sex with Peggy Orenstein — ON BOYS episode

21st Century Sex Ed with Jo Langford — ON BOYS episode

Talk to Boys About Sex with Amy Lang — ON BOYS episode

Boundaries & Consent (w Sarah Casper) — ON BOYS episode

Talking to Boys About Sexually Aggressive Girls — classic Building Boys post