Ep 47: Sex Positive Education for Teens
How do you adopt sex positive education with your own teenager?
Gia Lynne says the answer has to do with shifting our focus from teaching a results-oriented mindset to a pleasure-oriented mindset. Gia is the author of the new book On Blossoming: Frank and Practical Advice on Our Bodies, Sexual Health, Sensuality, Orgasm, and More. On this week's episode of the podcast, I spoke with Gia about how sex positive education works and what parents can do to start using it in their own homes.
The first thing to understand, Gia told me, is that sexuality and sensuality are not the same thing.
Sensuality is about using our senses to experience the world in a rich and pleasurable way. Sexuality, on the other hand, is related to intercourse and sexual attractiveness.
Here's another way of thinking about sex positive education. Sexuality focuses on the end result (having an orgasm or producing a baby), while sensuality focuses on enjoying everything fully in the moment as it occurs. Gia refers to this as having a "results-focused orientation" versus a "pleasure-focused orientation".
Teenagers who are results focused are more likely to rush into sexual intercourse, while those with a pleasure focus are more likely to slow things down and savor the sensual pleasure derived from experiences like holding hands, snuggling, and kissing.
How can you teach this attitude to your own teenager?
Gia told me it is about more than just sex. Sex positive education is about teaching teens to slow down and savor all of life's little pleasures rather than rushing through to get to the "good stuff".
She gave me some great tips for how to pass this mentality along to your teenager. For one thing, it starts with modeling. Let your teenager see you pause for a minute to savor an amazing cup of coffee or stop to watch the sunset. Show them that there is so much joy in life's simple pleasures.
Another component of sex positive education is training our teenagers to ask for what they want and to stand up for themselves when they don't want to do something. During our interview, Gia revealed some great strategies parents can use to start teaching these skills to teens.
We also talked about some other important topics in sex positive education, like masturbation, 'losing'' your virginity, using the right words when you talk about sex organs and acts, and a whole lot more.
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