Last Saturday morning I attended a breakfast meeting of E's preschool fund-raising committee. After going through our agenda, we started talking about teen sex (can't remember who made the jump, but I think it had something to do with the fact I mentioned my son is kissy kissy with all the girls in the preschool). Over coffee and bagels, the five us (from widely diverse backgrounds, I having gone to a Baptist church all through my teens and my pal being a bonafide Atheist) discussed everything from oral sex parties on middle-school buses (which my sister and I have also chatted about ad nauseum) to how open we should be with our teens about sex. One mom said she plans to put her daughter on the Pill at 14, because she'd rather deal with birth control at an early age than abortion. Another friend said she and her mom had a pact: when my friend lost her virginity, she would tell her mother by asking how she lost hers.
Most of the ladies kidded me about having had only one sexual partner (yes, you read that line correctly!) my entire life. I said that as much as I would like to live in the fairy tale world where my children wait until marriage, I know enough to realize that's not likely to be the case. The best I can do is to encourage my children to "date but wait." By wait, I mean until at least college, since by then they'll be out of the house ;-) No, no, because by then they'll hopefully understand the responsibility and the consequences that come with being sexually active. And if they can't/don't/won't wait, I hope they're responsible. Of course, maybe my kids will choose to be abstinent, like the four kids in Katie Couric's primetime special.
The idea that 12 and 13-year-olds are having oral sex is just scary to me, and I hope to God I don't have to deal with my children engaging in that kind of early sexual behavior. Honestly, I am just not well-equipped to deal with teenagers, because I was *such* a goody two shoes. My worst infraction in high school was missing curfew or driving with only a learner's permit. I had a lot of friends and went out on weekends, but we were going to dinner and a movie, having pool parties, playing games (Spades was popular for some reason), starting indie film "clubs," etc. I didn't drink. I didn't smoke. I certainly didn't do drugs. And I remained a virgin. Think me a square, but I don't care.
I don't expect my kids to follow exactly in my footsteps, but I hope I can instill enough self respect that they'll choose not to go to "third base" just because the kids in the back of the bus make it look so fun (especially the boys, since it's a win-win situation for them). Or, I guess I can never let them out of the apartment. ;-)