Most of the time our mothers are where we first experience being shamed for our sexuality. We are dismissed, we are ignored, and often times we don’t get the answers we seek.
I’ll be honest I don’t think my mother ever REALLY had the sex talk with me. It wasn’t until after she found out that I was sexually active that she even sat me down about sex and by that time she was so pissed at me it was her just screaming for what seemed like forever followed by her not speaking to me for a few days. I always knew when my mother was mad at me because she would cook, not tell me, eat by herself, put the food up and go to bed. Basically leaving me to figure it out in my own.
I was 15 when I lost my virginity. Sex was never a topic in my house and I mean NEVER. I never had the space to feel comfortable to come to the mother about things like sex or boys because I knew to the T how the conversation would go. I would tell her what I was thinking and she would hijack the conversation and most of the time the advice she offered wasn’t to help me learn what I deserved, but more to demonize men and to further prove that she didn’t trust me or my judgement. And it use to drive me insane. I got so use to not telling my mother things about my personal life, that now at 28 it feels weird to even try.
No one sat me down to tell me about STD’s or condoms or picking the right partner or when I should be having sex. I paid attention in health class and I did A LOT of reading on my own. After my mom found out that I was having sex it took her and I having a sit down with my pastor for us to finally talk. And even then, DEAR GOD she was a mess. The way my other operates (and I’m sure a lot of black Caribbean mothers as well) they don’t to hear your truth. For them the truth is what makes sense TO THEM. Truth be told, most of the time our mothers are where we first experience being shamed for our sexuality. We are dismissed, we are ignored, and often times we don’t get the answers we seek.
My mother insisted that the only reason I was having sex was because I was being a follower and all my friends were having sex. Because peer pressure makes sense. But the truth was, I was the 1st of my friends to have sex, I never told any of my friends and we didn’t even talk about sex until we were in college. My mother didn’t want to believe that I made THE CHOICE to have sex. To her that didn’t make sense. She didn’t want to hear that the guy I was with, him and I planned our first for weeks. She didn’t want to hear that we had been together multiple times and any time we got together we were safe. She didn’t want to hear that I knew his status (STIs) and he knew mines.Believing my truth meant that she had to come to terms with the fact that I was sexually active and she was not ready to handle that. Which is understandable.
However, I feel like as a parent there will be a lot of uncomfortable moments but you have to be willing to be uncomfortable. It’s not enough to SAY you want an open line of communication with your kids. You have to make the effort to make your kids feel like they can come to you. Sex is not an easy topic to talk about especially with your kids, but you can’t brush off your kids forever. You can’t say you want them to be honest and open with you about any and everything when you don’t give them space to be honest and open. You can’t pretend they don’t know anything. You can’t leave them in a child’s place forever. In today’s world they have a lot more avenues to get the answers they’re looking for. Which leaves room for them to be swayed in a direction that you as a parent wouldn’t want. At some point your kids will make a choice and if they aren’t properly prepared or at the very least educated about sex, it can go left VERY QUICKLY.
I wish my mother was more open with me. I wish she would’ve listened, not so she can tell me right from wrong, but so I can speak on what I was thinking without feeling invalid. SOOOOOOOOO I say all of this to say, mothers talk to your daughters, or at the very least listen to them, and really hear them. You have no idea how down the line that will make a difference in their lives as women.