By Barbara McNally
My mother’s talk about sex was nonexistent, like in many fundamental Christian homes. Her only words were, “Don’t do it. Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?”
So I was naïve and thought I should follow the church rules and wait until marriage to “serve” my man. It was about what I “gave up.”
I want my daughters to know that not all boys are threatening louts although some may be selfish lovers. Sex is not awful, and women are not property, plastic dolls whose destiny is controlled by our parents and then husband.
Now, I love sex. It’s fun. And because I love you, my daughter, I want you to have the same delights in life that I do.
You are a beautiful and self-sufficient woman, and I want you to use your smarts to make sound decisions about your body and your sexuality. I wish I had the same conversation with my mother about sexuality, but times were different back then. But you should never be afraid to speak your mind, at least not to me.
Please take these words to heart:
1. There is power in your choice. You should have confidence in sex because you are choosing to partake, so it’s empowering, not shameful. If we consciously admit we’re going to have sex, we are more likely to take responsibility for this freedom by using birth control. By denying our sexuality, like I did, you may still end up in bed, but without protection. Today the spread of AIDS and STDs, let alone the consequences of pregnancy when you’re not ready to be a mother, is devastating. So carry a condom. Don’t depend on the man to have one. Enjoy your sexual freedom, but take responsibility for it. I never want you to have to choose between having an abortion, giving up a child for adoption, or quitting your college or career to raise an unplanned-for child.