Sex Talks with Tweens

Sex talks with tweens can be…awkward. 

Even Amy Lang, ON BOYS’ go-to sex ed guru, stumbled through her initial sex talks with her son.

“I thought I’d be great at it, but I just wasn’t,” she says. “I realized I’d rather talk to a 15 year old about their pregnancy than talk to my five year old about his penis.”

But boys need accurate information about human bodies, sexuality, and relationships. They need our help to recognize and explore cultural messages about sex and sexuality.

The tween years can be a great time to explore these subjects.

“Between approximately age 9 and 12, their brains are still open; adolescence has not yet happened,” Amy says, so tween boys may be more open to these conversations than teens. You can also speak more freely, as most tweens will already have some baseline knowledge.

“You can’t harm your child by talking to them about sex,” Amy says. “If you’re giving them the information, it won’t hurt them.”

In this episode, Jen, Janet, & Amy discuss:
  • Sex talks with tweens
  • When — and how — to start talking about sex
  • Helping boys untangle cultural messages about sex and sexuality
  • What to do if your son has been exposed to porn
  • What to do if your son shows porn to other kids
  • Helping boys find safe outlets for natural curiosity
  • Average penis size
  • Polyamory
  • Talking about sexual abuse & “tricky people”
  • Consent
  • Sex for fun & pleasure
  • Should parents tell their kids about their sexual experiences? First time?
Links we mentioned (or should have) in this episode:

Bird & Bees & Kids — Amy’s website (includes a link to her Solutions Center)


Amy Lang’s Just Say This — Amy’s podcast

Amy Lang on How to Keep Boys Safe Online — ON BOYS episode

Talk to Boys About Sex (w Amy Lang) — ON BOYS episode

21st Century Sex Ed w Jo Langford –– ON BOYS episode

The Joy of Sex — book recommended by Amy (at 22:20)

Savage Love – sex Q & A by Dan Savage

Savage Lovecast — Dan Savage’s podcast

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

Consent w Mike Domitrz — ON BOYS episode

Talking to Boys About Sexually Aggressive Girls –– Building Boys post

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