Sexual Sleepovers: Blogger Argues Parents Should Teach Kids How to 'Have Sex Well'

do not disturb sign
(SLR Jester/Flickr/Creative Commons)

Traditional sleepovers consisting of girl talk, manicures and rom-coms are being left behind for a much more controversial fad: sexual sleepovers. Or so says a writer for The Huffington Post blog.

In her latest article, titled “How Do You Feel About Sex and Teenage Sleepovers?” Soraya Chemaly suggests that “parents of teenagers would encourage them to bring over their partners, have a nice dinner, then toddle off to bed together.”

After reading Alain de Botton’s How to Think More About Sex, Chemaly sparked up a conversation with her teenage children and their friends about how they are taught to think about sex. “Why not teach children,” she suggested, “how to have sex well, the way you teach them how to do other things?”

The Huffington Post writer went on to explain that although children are taught about sex in school, “parents have more influence on what their kids think and do about sex than teachers do. Parental attitudes, it turns out, are far more influential and meaningful."

Chemaly adds, “Are you a ‘responsible-sex-is-good’ parent, or more in the ‘scare-them-silly’ camp? It seems logical to me that the same way I try to teach my kids to exercise, sleep well and be good people, I would teach them to have healthy sex and sleep with other good people.”

She argued that despite what “socially conservative mythology” says, positive approaches about sex “do not lead to licentiousness, STDs, abortion and despair."

“On the contrary,” she explains, “the more you teach children about healthy, responsible sex, the more likely they are to treat sex in healthy, responsible ways.”

Chemaly writes about how teen sex has been brought to the forefront in recent years, and she points out several authors who have written on the topic. She even shared an excerpt from Amy Schalet’s book Not Under My Roof: Parents, Teens and the Culture of Sex, while praising the author’s viewpoint.

“Why would you create a situation where your children are forced to hide, sneak around, be dishonest, be uncomfortable, take unnecessary risks and make uninformed decisions about their physical and emotional health?” she asked.

The article has received mixed reactions on the comment forum, and several have expressed their disapproval.

“So parents are just supposed to let their kids have sex? And that's going to lower the pregnancy levels?” user jessicastehley wrote. “Well, that's really stupid. That's more likely going to raise the rates because with parental approval, more teens will be tempted to try it.”

Lisa Diane Trifone posed the question, “So should we also now let them smoke pot and drink alcohol in our houses, to make sure they are doing it ‘safely’ and ‘responsibly’?”

Trifone goes on to say, “The author's self-important 'logic' behind this article has not swayed my opinion of what is best for my kids ONE BIT. I want my teenagers to abstain from sex because they aren't ready for the major emotional consequences of that level of intimacy, and neither would their partners be.”

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