It sounds daunting I know. During your early experiences with sex, probably the last thing you want to do is discuss it with your parents without cringing in embarrassment. However, opening the conversation of sex is extremely important for your health and wellbeing and best to have with those closest to you. Sex is nothing to be ashamed of and talking about it early on is precisely what breaks the taboo surrounding it. Whether you are sexually active or not, getting as much understanding of it will make you feel more comfortable and prepared should a situation arise where you need help.
Start early on
The conversation doesn’t have to begin after you’re sexually active and it’s probably a lot easier if opened up beforehand. Sexual health is about more than just sex itself, whether that be periods, going on the pill, or feelings of sexuality. Being able to discuss these topics early on will break down any embarrassment attached to them and make you feel comfortable coming to your parents should any issue appear.
Approach it first
While it can be nerve-wracking to approach the subject of sex, the likelihood is that it’ll be much easier after the first conversation. Your family has your best interests at heart and any concerns they may have will probably be related to your health and wellbeing rather than sex itself. It is a natural part of life that should not be discouraged, which should make you feel comfortable with approaching your parents and using them for advice and support. It will create a comfortable environment in your home where you feel liberated of any problems or doubts concerning sex.
Bringing sex into everyday conversations is how to break the stigma attached to it and present it as something normal. Sexual health should be given the same focus as physical and mental health as it all contributes towards your overall wellbeing. Engaging in casual and inclusive discussions about sex will take their awkwardness out of it make you more comfortable when thinking about sex-related topics in general.
Talk to friends
Another great way to get advice is through friends who may be experiencing the same things as you. Talking about some things with friends first might give you some added reassurance and make you more confident about choosing to talk to your parents. It's all part of figuring out which people are best to rely on for advice and support, this being important in many areas of life as well as sexual health.
Talk to health professionals
If you have a concern for your health, the best thing is to go to a professional for detailed medical information. Whether it be a gynecologist or sexual health charity such as Umbrella, they offer safe spaces full of resources and advice. It’s good to include your parents in your involvement with health professionals as shows them you’re active in keeping yourself healthy and safe.