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    Please see the new Men's Sexuality exchange. It is suggested that this exchange be geared to men's health issues.
    My son and "the talk"
    aegale posted:
    My son is now 12 years old, and it has always been just him and me in the house. His mother was never their, and he doesnt have any brothers or sisters. So he is use to just me, and the male bonding that comes with that. Well last night I walked into the living room around 9 to him just in his under shirt and underwear (which is the norm) but he had an erection and was playing with it. This was the first time it occured to me that my little boy was growing up. He doesnt know I saw him, and i dont want him to know. But Im beginning to wonder if its the time to have the 'talk' with him about sex and masturbation, but I dont know how to even begin with him. If you guys could help me, or remember what it was like, please help me!
    GaMale770 responded:
    I know exactly what you mean aegale.

    I have a 26 year old and a 13 year old. I've never caught either one of them playing with themselves. My oldest is out of the house now, but I never did have "The Talk" with him becasue like you, I didn't know how to go about it.

    Now I have my 13 year old left at home and I'm sure he's probably at the age where he'll start playing himself or talking with his friends about sexual things.

    I'm guessing that because I was never given the talk by my father, that this is why I have no idea what to say or better yet, feel very uncomfortable bringing up the subject.

    I'd also be interested in hearing what others have to say on how I/we should approach this matter.

    shortman_eric responded:
    You definitely need to have the talk with him soon, by that age they've probably started wondering about stuff for some time now. I would say that it's best to approach it bluntly and not try to sugar coat it. It'll be awkward, yes, but I would be willing to bet he'll be glad that he's actually getting answers to things he's curious about.

    You might want to start by asking him what he already "knows" (quotes since he may be misinformed), so that way it's a little more of a talk with him and not to him. Once you get a little basis, or if he's really unwilling to talk, I would jump into the whole discussion but taking breaks and letting him ask questions that come up. I know it'll be hard, but try to make it the start to many conversations, not a one time talk then you never talk about sex with him ever again.

    You don't have to go into all the mechanics of things I would say, but talk about the general purpose of a vagina, that that's where you make babies and so on, but I would mention that sex isn't always for reproduction, it is used for pleasure and when you are doing that you need to be safe which leads to the safe sex part. You might want to save this for a later conversation for when he gets more sexually active, but you can also talk about the other kinds of sex possible (oral, anal, outercourse) which don't lead to pregnancy, but also need protection.

    Personally, which you might not agree with, I would start the discussion of other sexual orientations as well. When talking about how sex is also for pleasure, you could bring up that sometimes 2 women or 2 men like to share that pleasure with each other, and that that's ok too. That way he's not caught off guard if someone he knows turns out to be gay, or if maybe he's had those feelings himself.

    The main point is to be open with him, let him ask questions, and be a resource that he can come to with any questions that he has in the future. I think if you can do that, you've done a great job. Hope this helps :-)
    jrocker85 replied to GaMale770's response:
    I think you can ask your sons if they had any kind of talk in school like their health class for example.

    Start with the basic questions and ask them what they have learned from their firends. You may be able to get them to open up a little and make it easier for you to talk about it.
    GaMale770 responded:
    Thanks Jrocker.

    Now I just have to build up the courage to bring up the subject matter.
    RevoHor replied to GaMale770's response:
    Don't wait too long. My dad never really talked to me about sex and certainly not masturbation and there were some other underlying issues festering between us. It finally got to the point that I had to drag him into a therapy session when I was 22 to open a discussion with him that should have happened 10 years earlier. The sooner you talk, the easier it is.
    fatherof2sons responded:
    i gave my son the same kind of talk my dad gave to me, and the guys on here all had great ideas. my dad started off telling me that i can ask any question i want, anything at all, and then he could ask me a question. but i first asked him what he knew about girls, and boys and sex. he didnt know much, so i was glad, that he wasnt getting the rumors kids get at that age. he asked me if i masturbated, and if his penis would get longer, the typical questions youth have. we had a great discussion, cause neither of us held anything back. he always knew that he could come to me when we had talks like that. later on, he came to me about condoms and how to use them several years later. reminds me of how i was, when i was his age.
    zoom1969 responded:
    I think there is always that pressure to have the TALK. A lot of people will have different opinions on this one but I don't always agree that you have to have the talk. I loved my parents and they were great but I could never discuss anything sexual with them! We never had that kind of comfort level. I think that it is great that some parents and children have that type of relationship where they can be open with each other about sexual type stuff. But not all parents and kids have that kind of a bond. I pretty much learned everything on my own from discussions with friends, TV, pornographic type movies, magazines, and etc, Kids now a days have the internet where there is a wealth of information out there! I think if you have that type of bond with your son that you feel comfortable talking about sexual type things with him that is awesome! Maybe you will know the right time to approach him or you could always let him come to you. Maybe it will be one of those things that will never be brought up and he will be just fine!
    Joe8843 responded:
    How much detail are you planning to give your son regarding the mechanics of intercourse? By this I mean positions, technique, satisfying his partner, etc.
    RevoHor replied to zoom1969's response:
    I disagree with the concept of letting the son come to his parents to get information. Parents are supposed to set examples for their children and not rely on their children to make the first move and hope they get it right. Parents need to take the initiative to teach their children the facts of life, especially in regards to an issue that can make a young son nervous and not want to talk about it, at least with his parents. That is the parents' responsibility as teachers and guides, not the son's.

    I agree that it's not always necessary to have "the talk" with so many other sources of information out there and methods of obtaining it if the bond between parent and son is not close. But whose responsibility is it primarily to foster a close parent-child relationship? The parents'! The parents need to break their backs to build a tight bond with their kids, to make sure they are on the right track, to take the initiative to talk and teach about things even when it's uncomfortable, and equip their kids with everything they'll need as adults. TV can't replace a good father. The internet can't replace a mother's wisdom.
    GAP1954 responded:
    My father never had any talks with me and my older brother gave me a medical textbook. As a result I was left to learn things on my own and followed a lot of paths that were not as healthy as they could have been.

    Don't make such a big deal out of talking to your son about sex. I hope you talk to him about drugs, driving and all the areas of life where he should look to you for advice. There are a ton of good books that you can use to walk through the talk. Your only real job is to be open and unshockable and respond to every question honestly. For instance - he might ask if you ever fooled around with another guy - be prepared to answer truthfully whatever your answer is. The same goes with "did you have sex beofre you got married?" etc.

    Just go for it - don't be formal or tense or he will know this is not an area where he can open with you.
    fishburner101 responded:
    I think you shouldn't even have the talk, dependeding on how close you are depends on how awkward the coversation will be. I think you shouldn't even talk to him until he's in the sixth grade. Or the end of fifth because this is a time for him to learn on his own. I didn't even need the talk, and when my dad tried to talk about it I told him to shut up becuase I already know. From health class in 6th grade. So see what classes he has and if he has a health class you wont need to go about it until he is a few years older.
    SS1995 responded:
    I'm sure 12 is a good time. I never had the talk with my dad and I feel I missed out. He passed when I was in my late teens. I think he started the conversation once and I kind of shut down in the conversation. I would have loved to have bonded over that discussion and share his and my experiences into manhood. If I have a son, I'll definitely let it be an open discussion. I'd probably do it over the course of several conversations - like start start off w/ puberty , then curiousity and masturbation, and then move into more involved stuff like sex. I'd probably give him a heads up that I wanted to talk to him over the next few weeks about these tops and to get questions ready. I'd be overwelmed if out of the blue we talked about oral sex. I agree it would be a better discussion if the dad shares his experiences/thoughts as a teen. It might make the son feel easier about the topics.
    shortman_eric replied to fishburner101's response:
    Just wondering fishburner, but do you think you would have appreciated your dad giving you the talk and talking with you about it if you had heard it from him first before the health class, instead of it just being redundant for you?

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