Thankfully sex as a young woman for me was something that didn’t set the path for my sexual experiences to come; sexual empowerment came later.
In those early days it was more about groping about, fumbling along and hoping for the best. That was how it was in ‘my day’ but today thankfully things have moved on and changed for young women. They are becoming more sexually empowered and open with an understanding that as they learn to create their own boundaries, they will keep themselves physically and emotionally protected.
It isn’t unusual for girls now to discuss topics on typically taboo words – vaginas, clitoris, orgasms and the whole mystery of oral sex. How much did you hear at school? With so much information online and sex education in schools these days, young girls are far more aware of the whole sexual experience than ever before.
This is a good thing, but this can also be totally distorted by the readily available pornography, provocative photos that we continually see on social media and askew views on ‘how one should perform’. Perhaps whilst we want girls to be more sexually empowered and aware, they could even be left more confused than ever!
So, with today’s knowledge and children developing younger and younger, we need to find the right balance in equipping our young daughters with the right information to have total respect for themselves – so when the timing is right for them, they are actually able to enjoy their sexual experiences.
Over the years I have gathered what I consider to be essential tips through my many experiences of working with girls, teenagers and young women. Through this, I have defined this list to help you as a mum to help your daughter best equip herself for the future.
1. Communication is key
Be as open as you can be with your child and actually learn to talk openly with them; educating them at home (at the appropriate age of course) will ensure that they develop a healthy respect for sex. Having open, natural discussions (we used to have these around the dinner table) will help your child to have a healthy respect for sex emotionally and physically. You’ve probably heard this before and whilst it might seem difficult for you to approach this sort of openness for the first time, it’s likely that your daughter’s experiences will be more positive and she won’t develop so many ‘hang ups’ this way. Talking about anything and everything from teenage pregnancy, contraception, and sexually transmitted diseases to especially their perception of their own body image will help them to alleviate any concerns they might be withholding.
2. Making logical & well thought out ‘judgements’
Teaching your child to be able to problem solve and make decisions that are right for them is important in every area of their lives. However doing this will allow them to follow their desires and be in control of their own sexuality – and really importantly, without any sort of exploitation.
Children from around the age of 6 years old start questioning everything in life as they develop their conscious mind. As they get older, try to keep their inquisitive nature alive by encouraging them to question and explore their sexual feelings. The more in touch they are with their own thoughts and desires, the more they will analyse, assess and prepare themselves for their own sexual experience and their partner.
Looking back, I would always encourage my girls to ask themselves, ‘What are my sexual feelings?’ and actively try to get them to think about them. If not to share them, just to be aware of them. The stronger the thoughts are around this, the better quality of life they will produce.
3. Commend their Own Sexual Pleasure
What’s often missing in sex education today is how a woman achieves her own sexual pleasure, orgasm, masturbation and arousal. Talks at school can typically talk about the dangers of sex and what can go wrong but we also really need to focus on the joy that sex can bring – whilst being responsible. If it means supplementing talks at school, it’s encouraged; Girls are often told not to masturbate as ‘it’s dirty’ but yet this is exactly how they learn about arousal in the first place and we should encourage that this is not something to feel shameful about, and that it’s something quite normal.
Girls can then develop a healthy relationship with themselves; one of self-love, (which you ultimately need first before you can go on to have a healthy sexual relationship with a partner).
A relatively new phenomenon is pornography or “porn” online. Because of the way society has developed digitally, now more than ever our children need educating at a young age about what pornography really is.
This really needs to be done before they come across any sort of porn at all.
This isn’t the sort of sex that they are looking for; this is the quick fix, unromantic type of sex that isn’t about developing relationships at all. Once young girls are aware of the differences between porn and what sex really is about, they can make their own decisions later in life with what they want. Once a young girl has this understanding, she will be in control of what she wants and desires and not what society can portray to her.
5. How We Feel About Sex
In my work, I focus every day on ‘people’s feelings’ as I believe this is what the essence of life is all about – how we feel about something. Young children are very in touch with their emotions and we ‘lose’ this art of connecting with our inner selves as we grow that bit older and life gets in the way.
Sex can be seen as something we DO – to reproduce, to have babies and to relieve ourselves, and not something we FEEL. There’s a huge difference in that. You should always encourage your daughter to explore what she feels would be right for her sexually – in talking about this, she may share that chatting to her partner beforehand is a necessity, she may well define that she wants to be touched before, how she would like to be kissed… and so on. By saying this out loud, it’s a great place to begin, as she will feel empowered and not submissive.
Sex is to be enjoyed, it is an act of love, and we all want to FEEL good about it. It isn’t something you just do. Helping your daughter to understand and explore her own sexuality can be one of the greatest (and simplest) gifts that you as her mum can give to her – it could even save her years of pain and hurt, putting her on a path to value her personal sexuality and be in control of her sexual destiny for life. Encouraging your daughter to seek body awareness and a curiosity will give her huge sense of sexual empowerment.
About the author Louise Armstrong
As a Family Relationship Coach, Counsellor & Clinical Hypnotherapist Louise transforms lives one by one; empowering women to heal their relationships from the inside out, letting go of the pain & hurt to enjoying love, peace and fulfillment in their lives.
Her mission is to touch the hearts of women worldwide spreading the message that change in any relationship starts on the inside letting go of the pain and hurt. www.louise-armstrong.com
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