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Did your parents talk about sex?


the bumbling rotifer

Did your parents tell you about the birds and the bees?  

  1. 1. Did your parents ever talk to you about sex when you were a teenager?

    • Yes
      98
    • No
      138
  2. 2. What nationality are your parents? (no offence to people with parents of other nationalities - I just chose two of the dominant nationalities in AVEN to keep it simple!)

    • Parents talked about sex; they are American
      59
    • Parents talked about sex; they are British
      14
    • Parents talked about sex; they are neither British nor American
      25
    • Parents didn't talk about sex; they are American
      62
    • Parents didn't talk about sex; they are British
      24
    • Parents didn't talk about sex; they are neither British nor American
      52
  3. 3. Do you suspect your parents might be asexual/grey/demi?

    • Parents talked about sex; I suspect my parents are ace/grey/demi
      13
    • Parents talked about sex; I believe my parents are sexual
      80
    • Parents didn't talk about sex; I suspect my parents are ace/grey/demi
      22
    • Parents didn't talk about sex; I believe my parents are sexual
      93
    • Not sure
      28
  4. 4. How old were you when you realised you were different to other people in terms of sexual attraction?

    • Parents talked about sex; I realised I was different at < 19 years old
      74
    • Parents talked about sex; I realised I was different at 19-25 years old
      25
    • Parents talked about sex; I realised I was different at > 25 years old
      3
    • Parents didn't talk about sex; I realised I was different at < 19 years old
      87
    • Parents didn't talk about sex; I realised I was different at 19-25 years old
      33
    • Parents didn't talk about sex; I realised I was different at > 25 years old
      13
    • I'm not different
      1

This poll is closed to new votes


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the bumbling rotifer

I'm wondering how common it is for parents to talk to their kids about sex, and whether it's influenced by nationality or the parent's sexuality. I'm also interested to know whether the degree to which parents talk about sex influences the age at which asexual / grey / demi people realise that they're different.

I'm 26 and asexual. My parents are British, I suspect one of them may be asexual, and they have never talked to me about sex. I think I might have realised I was different at a younger age if my parents had talked more about sex.

P.S. Apologies for not giving a fuller list of nationalities. Please feel free to post your nationality together with your responses to the questions and your thoughts on this subject below :)

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My parents never mentioned anything at all about sex to me. This may be something to do with having an absent father...most males I've known who've had "the talk" got it from their fathers. I only know anything about sex from what I learned in Biology at school.

I didn't really consider I was any "different" until I was about 19...I'm not sure if it would have been any earlier if I knew more about sex.

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ObsessedWithCats

I got 'The Talk' once, and recently since my youngest sister became a teenager my Dad talks about sex-related stuff on occasion, though not in any detail thank goodness. We talk about sexuality on occasion too, it's one of those topics that comes up at the dinner table when we're all in a good mood. Like earwigs, geology and the non-existence of giraffes.

English family, AFAIK all but myself are straight (though I'd not like to make any guesses this early about the youngest) not sure if there's any influence there. 18 at the point where I first knew for sure I was asexual.

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The Great WTF

This is a bit complicated for me to answer, because my parents had drastically different parenting styles and sexualities. My mother's asexual and hates talking about anything related to sex. Her idea of sex ed was throwing a 'your body and you' book at me and telling me to ask my dad. My dad, on the other hand, was (I suspect) bisexual and very open about sex and sexuality and encouraged me to ask questions. I think both had more to do with their upbringing than their individual sexualities, as my mother was raised in a very "traditional" household where women were seen and not heard and certainly never discussed things like sex, whereas my dad was raised in a sexually open household that embraced sexual diversity (which is pretty damn stunning when you consider the fact that he was raised during WWII by Irish immigrants). Mom had no idea she was abnormal until I started discussing asexuality with her, but my dad was honestly more accepting of it. My mother's stance has always been not to make waves or put your "weirdness" on display, so discussing sex was a no-go with her.

And my family is technically American. Dad was a first generation Irish-American, so he still had a lot of his parents' cultural quirks. Mom's parents were third or fourth generation from Sweden and Norway respectively.

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They only had it.

No in all seriousness, nope :P

And to get a more accurate nationality thing, it would probally better to not have USA, UK and then the rest of theworld, aka 99% of it :P And maybe split the rest in bigger areas. I.e Central America, Northern Africa, Eastern Europe etc.

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ObsessedWithCats

I got the 'Growing Up' books too, and 90% their contents were completely irrelevant to me, but I kind of like being able to look the relevant bits up when I wanted without having to bring up the subject with my Mum.

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Not often. I figured it out from textbooks when I was very little and wasn't much interested in it after that.

Parents were both American. I grew up with mom. Hardly ever saw dad. Last time we met, I was nine years old. Not even sure of his general whereabouts anymore. Point being, it was all up to mom, and I think she knew somehow that I had already basically figured things out before she got around to it. There wasn't much point in talking about it otherwise.

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I am a teenager. My parents have never said a thing about sex, I kind of absorbed information through osmosis (internet, surroundings, books, etc.) and they can see what a shut-in I am, so I suppose they realize that there's no point teaching me stuff by now. I think they are sexual but it's not like I think about it much, and we're Czech.

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Both my parents were uptight about sex. They're both Canadian and I believe they're both sexual as well.

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the bumbling rotifer

I'm finding this really interesting. I always assumed everyone elses' parents talked about sex, and that mine were a bit odd for not doing.

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My parent's left it up to the school sex-ed. Which I was very uncomfortable with and wanted to get out of. All I remember from it was that one of the videos we were stuck in front of had an adult male and adult female, both wandering around naked and I swear there was a naked child in it too - it just seemed so terribly WRONG to be showing to 10 year-olds! :unsure:

I guess I kinda realised then that I was probably different to everyone else in some way :ph34r: I sat out some of them with my friend who got out of it from being a Jehovah's Witness (she hated being one and isn't anymore :lol:)

I think, however awkward it may have been, that I'd have preferred a talk from my parents - it would probably have helped me feel less distant from them and more able to talk to them about stuff. I've never really thought very much of their parenting 'skills'...but that's a different issue. :mellow:

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Sneaky Snek 🐍

My parents never discussed it with me, but I imagine that's because I never really expressed any interest in it. I figured out what it was myself after taking Biology courses in middle school. I just didn't understand the point of it all really. I still don't, but that's ok different strokes for different folks after all. Or maybe my parents' trusted my intelligence? I honestly seldom did anything stupid to betray their trust, so maybe they just assumed I could practice common sense without them. XD

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my parents never talked about it. they're both canadian and, like 5_DCC said, "uptight". i grew up in the u.s., and i've observed that americans seem to be much more open about sex than canadians. pretty sure they're both sexual, but they were never really that comfortable with showing affection.

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livinginnightvale

My mother went through and demanded to have copies of the stuff the teachers were supposed to cover in basic Sexual Education back when I was in fifth grade. She told me I can always ask her questions, and would buy me "children appropriate" books for said questions in case I didn't feel comfortable enough speaking about it. (Even now she'll make comments about going to a strip club, or about how a certain male is gorgeous and that there would be beautiful babies made, and I'm just not comfortable with it. I much rather Google my questions or ask friends then have to subject myself to asking her. Still haven't told her about my experiments - detailed below - or my identifying as ace.)

I was utterly mortified talking about it. Not because I was embarrassed (well, I was slightly, but no where like some of my classmates), but because I had no interest in it whatsoever outside of pure curiosity. I viewed it as just "procreation", nothing to be frequently enjoyed or such as some others I know did. Middle school came and went, and people were getting girlfriends and boyfriends and I was there doing my own thing, focusing on school, ignoring the snogging sessions and such going on in-between classes. Many rumors spread, and quite frequently I went home and cried my eyes out because people I thought were my friends called me a lesbian or a dyke because I wasn't fawning over boys, so "obviously" I had to be a lesbian. And when I wasn't a lesbian, I was a slut, because I dressed nice and had a bunch of guy friends. It was either one or the other, and I never really had peace. (I'm rolling my eyes at the thought now, but the fact i was being shunned for being different still hurts.) It was bad enough I BEGGED my mother to move us to the other side of town so I could go to school at another district and not have to deal with these people any more.

Once I was in high school, I was surrounded by the "rejects" as they called themselves. These were people who were dealing with family issues, openly homosexual couples, and more; most of us thought ourselves too mature for our age, and couldn't stand the immaturity the rest of the teenagers surrounded themselves in. I found myself a 'girlfriend' but we didn't do anything that was in a typical relationship. She wanted to snog and fondle, i wanted to hold hands and cuddle. She ended up cheating on me with a mutual friend. I tried dating a boy, we went to winter formal together, and once again it was the same thing: he wanted to kiss and such and I was just "why do I need to do that?". He too ended up cheating on me, told me specifically it was because I wouldn't put out.

It wasn't until the summer after sophomore year in university that I got my first kiss from a boy and didn't see anything special about it (outside the fact it was the first kiss I can recall from someone who wasn't family). I tried dating a girl again, she was autistic and said she was willing to go slow with me, just so I could see how it was. I ended up going further with her than anyone else, only because I felt bad for "not putting out", and I didn't want to push her away. We dated for a year before I called it off and said it wasn't working.

Last winter I dated another girl, to try it one more time, because I thought there must be something wrong with me, or maybe I just hadn't found the right person so I should keep looking. We held hands and cuddled, and I never felt pressured to do anything more with her. Unfortunately she wanted more and felt bad for wanting to coerce me into doing things I wouldn't normally. She hadn't even bothered asking, she just told me she felt bad about wanting more from me, and that she wanted to call it off. I miss her, but I know that she's happier now with a girl closer to her age and one who is willing to do things with her.

Wow... Life story there...

TL;DR: I've pretty much always been different, and I've known it for what seems like forever.

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the bumbling rotifer

They only had it.

No in all seriousness, nope :P

And to get a more accurate nationality thing, it would probally better to not have USA, UK and then the rest of theworld, aka 99% of it :P And maybe split the rest in bigger areas. I.e Central America, Northern Africa, Eastern Europe etc.

Hey Howard,

I take your point about the nationality thing - but I think the attitude towards sex can vary a lot between countries, even for instance within Europe, so I decided to just compare two countries. I went for Britain and America because they make up a large percentage of the community on AVEN.

I didn't mean to marginalise anyone who isn't of either of those two nationalities. I've edited the question to explain :P

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I couldn't really answer to the poll, because only only my mother talked about sex, and her personal view of sexuality was... weird, to not say that it was sick (sometimes her acts weren't far from what could have been qualified of sexual assault). And my father didn't say anything about sex other than telling me details about his sex life that I didn't want to hear. I'm glad I learnt basic things about sex in a book when I was 8, because my parents were the last persons on Earth who could have given me good advice about sex.

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peanut-butter-cloud

...Not that I can remember? At least, I never got the whole "when a man loves a woman" speech, my parents let sex ed in school teach us that stuff. All I can remember my parents doing for me personally is just before I left for college, my mom gave me a box of condoms "just in case" I needed them. The box is still unopened, a year+ later.

My siblings, on the other hand...my older sister got the talk about not leaving her drink unattended at parties, never to be alone with a guy she didn't know well, etc and she also was bugged about whether she was having safe sex. My older brother also gets routinely asked whether he's having safe sex, whether he needs more condoms, etc. My mom even asked him once how he "cleans up" XD.

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My family always talked about anything if I asked them about it. They never gave me a lecture or anything but just let me know if I ever thought about trying it to ask for more information and also that everyone was allowed one " oh shit" moment when they were young. I didn't realize that I was asexual though until I was 26.

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My parents never really talked about sex to me; they just let the school teach it (in 6th grade, my school taught us about sex in our science class for a few weeks, and then in 9th grade, health class went into greater detail). I'm guessing the reason my parents never really talked about it with me was because they knew I wasn't the type to go off and do it during my teen years and I wasn't curious about it, so I never asked them questions. Both of my parents are Americans, and I think they're both sexuals, though my mom, after they got divorced, is leaning more towards just wanting a companion than anything else now.

I put down the 20-25 range of finding out, only because that was the time I realized there was a word for not having sexual attraction. As all my friends during high school never talked about sex, it never occurred to me that people actually have attractions to others that went beyond the simple "I think you're cute" type. It wasn't until I heard about asexuality late in college that I realized that I was asexual.

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My mum first told me about sex when I was about four/five years old. (Yup.) Its a long story.

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gypsy_princess

they never talked to me about sex. they still think i'm some kind of innocent girl because, whenever there's something sexual on tv, they switch channel as if it could permanently shock me for life.

i'm 18. i know sex exists, even if you try to hide it from me. <_<

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Janus the Fox
Don't know... I remember a talk by my father about girls, kissing ant such... Nothing significant really but relied on Sex-Ed to fill the rest in. Meh... don't really care to put a sexuality onto parents though, I've realized I'm very different in a number of ways at the age of 24 :)
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My parents never gave me the "talk" - I put 2 and 2 together from what my friends all said. But my parents are pretty open about sex with me and my brother and have answered questions when I had them.

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Kimchi Peanut

My mom is American and sexual but HA! I can't imagine anyone in my family ever talking about sex. They'd be scandalized. My grandmother bought me a few books when I was about 8 or 9 when I started going through puberty and that covered everything from the puberty talk to the sex talk.

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Oh and I realized I'm Asexual at the age of 22.

And the more I think about it, the more I start to wonder if my mom is either Asexual or gray.

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My parents never talked about sex, all kids here (which is not america or UK) kinda learnt about it when 9-10 years old from other kids and then everyone were running around joking about it.

I suspect my mother to be on the spectrum, my father I have no idea about. I have kinda always known that I wasnt as interested as others when it came to "hot people" and when I was perhaps 17 or 18 I understood that sexual attraction was a thing and I understood that I didnt get it.

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