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Saturday, July 13, 2024

Column: Papa, let me preach

Am I a freak for encouraging my parents to have sex?

Wait. Don’t answer that just yet. Before you make your judgments, let me explain.

To me, sex is a good, natural thing. It’s healthy, fun and my only means of exercise. While the old saying may recommend an apple, I find the trick to keeping the doctor away is an orgasm a day.

So, because I’ve adopted such a laissez-faire sexual philosophy, I don’t cringe at the thought of my parents doing the nasty. Really – doesn’t bother me at all. In fact, I accept it because I know what it’s like to go without sex for a while. I wouldn’t wish that on anybody. My parents included.

But I know a lot of you may not think like I do. Thank goodness, you’re probably saying to yourself, this guy’s a freak no matter how hard he tries to convince me he isn’t. And that’s okay. I understand that not everyone can talk about sex so easily, even less so with his or her parents.

Take this for example: A 15-year-old girl, claiming to be a sex addict, avoided talking to her mother at all costs and went to the only other person she felt could help her, the one and only Tyra Banks. The Associated Press reveals the teen responded to a request on Tyra’s website for sex addicts to appear on her show. Soon after, execs responded and had her “picked up from her home in Georgia in a limo and flown to New York, where she was put in a hotel, all without her mother’s knowledge.” Now the mother’s suing poor Tyra for causing “irreparable” damages and putting her daughter on a show that was “undoubtedly watched by sexual deviants, perverts and pedophiles.”

There are two things to take away from this mother-daughter squabble gone mainstream. For starters, Tyra’s efforts to better the young female generation via talk show only reach pervs and pedos, apparently. The second: Mothers take not being confided in quite personally.

There are tons of reasons why many of us may not feel too compelled to pull up a chair next to mom or dad, and gab about things like Chlamydia, the appeal of pubic hair or doing it for the first time. Maybe you don’t want your parents always butting into your life. Perhaps sex education at your school was more than enough information you needed on the subject. Or maybe you want to talk to your parents, but they shoo the topic away, more disgusted than if they were to find a rat in the kitchen. Or worse: What if they start getting into their sexual history. That’s definitely where I’d make my exit – sure, I’m open and all, but I don’t need to hear the dirty details.

The fact of the matter is: Parents are just as put off by sex talk as you are. A study at Harvard that surveyed parents and teens on their sexual conversations revealed that about 40 percent of American parents do not come around to talking about safe sex until after their child is sexually active. Teens in the study reported having faced issues before even discussing it with their parents; many had already used condoms or uttered a “no means no” before parents mustered the courage to talk about it.

Perhaps the biggest deterrent from healthy and open parent-child sex talk is the overemphasis on when to have sex and not how to have sex.

Now that we’re in college, we’re obviously a little too old for the birds and the bees. But some things we can talk about are how to handle someone who refuses to wrap it up, how to avoid sexually transmitted infections, how to resist pressure for sex, or how to get your leg to bend behind your head without pulling something. (Okay, maybe not the last one, but you get the idea.)

Your parents are a wonderful resource. They were our age once. They had their flings and got naughty, I’m willing to bet. Maybe you can take advantage of that and use some of their ripened wisdom for your sexual benefit.

But like I said, you’re in college now. You’re as much of an adult as those ‘rents of yours. You’ve learned a thing or two. And maybe your parents are the ones who could benefit from a nice long chat about safe sex. In fact, according to a recent study by Indiana University’s Center for Sexual Health Promotion, male teens were more likely to have wrapped their willies for casual sex than older, “wiser” men. Sure, older gents may be more settled down and less frightened at the thought of being a father, but STIs show no mercy. Maybe you can talk to your parents about condoms, just to make sure they’re being safe. Just a suggestion.

MARIO LUGO has actually given his mom some sex pointers and advice. And yes, she even knows about this little column of his. To talk about how well that conversation went in the Lugo household, e-mail him at mlugo@ucdavis.edu.


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