Teen Vogues article in July titled Anal Sex: What You Need to Know – How to do it the RIGHT way created an uproar from both parents and conservatives. People were alarmed about the subject matter and whether Teen Vogue has the right to provide that kind of information. The article really just resurfaced the timeless issue of sex education. What is the difference between appropriate knowledge to help kids make good choices and information that leads to poor decisions?
Who should educate kids and what if they aren’t?
Anal Sex was the line that created an uproar over Teen Vogue, but for years the magazine has pushed boundaries writing about sex. You don’t need to subscribe to the magazine to check it out. Simply google “Teen Vogue Sex” and a link will pop up to their sex articles – all 85 of them. Everything from detailed descriptions of “How to Masturbate” to “What consent in BDSM looks like” to information about sexting, STD’s, losing your virginity and even LGBTQ issues. And it is all easily available online at any age for easy reading. These topics may sound extreme but I’m guessing that Teen Vogue is simply responding to real questions from real kids.
Many kids are naturally curious about sex. I remember as a teenager discovering sex articles buried in the back of women’s magazines. Hungry for information about sex, I would skim black and white editorials on Health and Wellness. Today, sex articles take center stage complete with photos, testimonies and diagrams. To say that our world has changed would be an understatement.
Kids have endless access to information about sex on the internet. Everything from Teen Vogue articles to hardcore pornography. Advertising screams of the power of sex to manipulate and use each other. Pornography is filled with explicit scenes of women enjoying abuse and acts that would only lead to pain and shame. Our young people have been exposed to issues and questions we never imagined as kids.
After recovering from the initial shock of the sex topics offered in Teen Vogue, I spent some time actually reading the articles. Though the subject matter may be out of bounds the information seemed accurate and respectfully written. Repeatedly the articles tried to empower kids to say no and not be pressured into something. Practical tips about sexting attempted to safe guard kids by advising them not to include their face in the pictures. Accurate precautions were advised to safeguard kids from STD’s or getting pregnant. Compared to the porn kids watch, the information in Teen Vogue conveyed respect of self and respect of others.
Many parents question whether Teen Vogue ought to address sex as openly as they do. I suppose it is no different than our parents and grandparents questioning how much the schools should talk about sex. If Sex Ed demonstrates how to put on a condom, won’t we encourage our kids to have sex? If the schools talk about oral sex, isn’t that just putting ideas into our kid’s heads?
Most involved parents argue that they should be the ones to teach their kids about sex. I would agree.
The question is, will you talk to your kids about sex, and are you ready?
Are you comfortable talking to your kids about sex and providing them with good information to make good choices? Are you equipped to address the questions your kids have? And the bigger question is, are your kids comfortable asking you questions?
To be honest, Teen Vogues article caught my eye because I am very aware of the importance of addressing anal sex. If you think that Christian kids aren’t dealing with anal sex then you are wrong. Youth pastors have middles school girls asking about anal sex. A young woman that grew up in a Christian home assured me that lots of high schoolers engage in anal sex to avoid pregnancy, avoid losing their virginity or simply keep a boyfriend. The rampant portrayal of anal sex in pornography has caused teens to accept anal sex as just another way to enjoy each other.
Whether you like it or not, anal sex is part of today’s culture. We can either put our fingers in our ears, reciting “la la la la la”, or we can equip ourselves to talk to our kids.
In Awaken-Love classes I address anal sex in order to empower and educate women – not only for themselves but for others. Sometimes the discomfort is visible as women listen but we take a deep breath and we do it. We learn what God says as well as practicalities and cautions in order to make informed decisions.
Talking About Sex
Talking about sex does not come naturally to most of us. We weren’t raised that way and old patterns are hard to break. One of the great benefits of taking an Awaken-Love class in a group is to practice having respectful God honoring conversations about sex. Class helps us get more comfortable and give us an excuse to start talking to our husband, girlfriends and our kids.
But posting an article about anal sex, for people to scrutinize every word and statement scares me. I don’t want to create a ruckus like the Teen Vogue article. But if we don’t want Teen Vogue to address anal sex with our kids, then we had better start talking about it. We better get ready and get comfortable with real facts and details – not just “don’t do it”. Because that won’t work.
Thursday, I will post an article about anal sex. If you don’t want to hear about it, then put your fingers in your ears, just keep shouting “la la la la la” and don’t read. If you want read an open, frank discussion about anal sex, then join me as I address anal sex.