Why is sex such a taboo topic? How is it that this one word evokes such a wide array of emotion? In some circles, sex is treated like a dirty word. Let’s not even think about sex talk as it pertains to the church. It’s like the worst kept secret ever! The stigma associated with having premarital sex can be debilitating, but we NEED to talk about it! Not just the adults either. Can we be candid for a few minutes? I mean, it’s obvious that people are “doing it”. Either that, or the child- delivering storks we were told about in our youth are working hardcore overtime. The more open and honest we are with our communication regarding sex, the better! We have the opportunity to create safe places of learning for all ages. Arming folks with truth gives them a chance to make well-informed decisions. I mean, let’s face it. The current course of action, which basically equates to sticking our proverbial heads in the sand as it pertains to discussions about sex, is NOT working!

I remember asking my mother what a douche was. I couldn’t have been any older than 12. She lost it! This was one of the few times I remember my mother ever having yelled at me. It was as if  a switch had flipped. She turned around so swiftly and screamed, “Are you having sex?!?” I stuttered, “N n no.” Again she demanded, “Are you having sex?!?”  By now, I was good and scared. “No”, I replied. “Then what you wanna know for,” she insisted. Clearly, I had triggered something. I wasn’t even sure what, but I knew that conversation was going nowhere fast. “I just wanted to know what it was,” I replied. She retorted, “Don’t worry about it!” That was my first and last attempt to talk to my parents about sex. Eventually I asked my Uncle Sherman what a douche was, but everything else I knew about sex came from what I learned at the Robert Crown Center.

I wonder what makes these conversations so difficult. Is it that we are afraid that people will discover we actually had a past? Parents- here’s a newsflash! We can do the math! If you were married in  January of 2008, and Jr. was born in May of 2008, you were obviously having sex before marriage. So, why all the secrecy? Why is everything about sex so hush hush? Well, I am of the opinion that it’s about time we start having some discussions people! And save all that judgment and the drama for ya mama! Here, I’ll start…

It was a cool March night. Stroke You Up by Changing Faces was playing on the radio. Neither one of us knew what we were doing.

Him: Oops…

Me: Oops?

Him: Sorry!

I know. I know. It wasn’t the most romantic encounter, but it is what it is. By May, I knew that I was pregnant. I had not taken any tests. I just knew. That’s right boys and girls. The very first time I had sexual intercourse I got pregnant! I remember trying to work up the courage to tell my mother. Based on our last “sex talk”,  I just KNEW that she was going to flip out. To my surprise, she didn’t. She switched into Mama mode. She purchased a pregnancy test so that we could be sure. When the results read positive, she started making doctor appointments and signed me up for WIC. She wasn’t angry at all, and if she was, she never let on. She began to make plans to care for her child who was with child. To her dismay, I made the decision to give the baby up for adoption. Mom begged me to keep the baby. I honestly don’t think I had ever caused her so much pain. She said she would raise it herself. I considered our plight. We were poor, and living with my grandfather at the time. I knew that neither of us were in a position to provide for a baby. My mind was made up. December 7th, 1996 I gave birth to a baby boy. I named him Rayquan Martel Mays. Days later, I handed him over to his adoptive parents, who changed his name to Andrew,  by way of Volunteers of America. I think about him often, wondering about the man he has become. I actually believe that he will find me one day, and I look forward to holding my son once more.

Parents, I encourage you to talk to your loved ones about sex. Aunts/Uncles be that place where people can come and ask the tough questions. Church leadership, I beseech you to have the difficult discussions with your congregations. Rest assured, they will learn about sex from somewhere and/or someone. Wouldn’t we rather them learn in an environment that is safe and free from judgment? My experience could have been so much worse. Consider our youth. It’s a cruel world out there. Choose to avail yourselves of the opportunity to be that safe place where our curious ones can find truthful answers to the questions they seek.

Are you having a difficult time broaching the subject of sex with loved ones?

What about the conversation scares you the most?

Comments (14)
  1. I think often the cultural lens or mores of western culture and our own puritan roots dictate what is or isnt acceptable.
    the puritan ethic is still very much here and to have these discussions is not simply the performative act but the socio psychological.
    it is a question of what is “proper” sex especially as it relates to christian dogma vis a vis reproduction.
    I hope that people are able to address this within their sectarian framework but the too the secular.
    like trans homo kids; sex is hard for heterosexual cis bodied people, but what spaces are there for non heteronormative kids/people?
    I was working with a group and facility called Teen Living, which provided housing and school for homeless youth in Chicago.
    at the time I think chicago was at 27k homeless kids. So this place was a great resource but what broke my heart was that the majority of kids were often kicked out of their homes because they were gay or lesbian.
    Kicked out by families whose own religious views informed them on what is “natural”.
    for black folks we really need to have these conversation as it relates to sex/intercourse but also bodies; that sexuality is not as fixed biologically as we have of older generations been taught.
    I can’t say anything more than the need and importance of inclusion in the black community, and for this then I thank you cousin for writing.

  2. Wow….. I’m just blown away by this one. I pray it helps others. What am I saying?? I’m sure it will help others. I was given a religious perspective on why we are not supposed to have sex before marriage. Now I teach my girls about it according to the Word. But I also give them a realistic perspective as well. But after reading this blog, I need to talk to them more about sex. I’ll start by sharing your blog. Thanks for being so transparent.😘

    • Yes please do. I’m glad the girls have a safe place to discuss and divulge ALL the details and/or questions they have. You’re such a good mommy😘

      • Just completed our girl talk using this blog. Great discussion! It opened the door for me to share my personal experiences when I was a teenager.

  3. Wow! Wow! Wow! Love this story! I also have been a huge advocate for taking about sex MORE, particularly in the church. Beyond don’t do it… beyond fornication is wrong… beyond even everyone’s fresh revelation on soul ties. What about couples who waited and after STRUGGLE with guilt having sex with their own spouse! Partners who have difficulty identifying/communicating/expressing their wants or needs because of fear/shame or embarrassment. Or partners struggling with previous individual sexual trauma, that prohibits sexually freedom in their marriage. There is so much to discuss and for people to heal from, once free first from the stupid stigma. I have a passion to see the church FREE! 🙌🏾

    • Yeeeesssssssss to all of that! Let us not make the topic so sacred that folks feel they have no one to turn to for clarity, advise, and instruction!

    • Hi Andrea. Thank you for for being so candid. Deborah would be so proud of the woman you have become. You’re right, sex should not be a taboo subject. But parents need to grasp the fact that we are called to be pure by God,both physically and mentally. That needs to be taught from the Bible to their children. The church’s part should be to help the parents accomplish this. It’s okay for your children to ask questions, and you need to give an honest answer, but also explain to them they have a gift reserved for their future spouse,God intended for sex to be between a husband and wife, and no one else has a right to that gift. Just because the world thinks everything has to be about sex don’t make it so. Deborah did the right thing when you told her you were expecting. I’ve heard too many stories of the girl being kicked out of the house when the parents found out. Like closing the barn door after the horse is gone. She needs your love and support now more than ever, don’t shun her! Help her, guide her. To some my comments may be old fashioned, maybe so, but being obedient to God should be more important than what people think or say. Thank you again for sharing. I hope to meet my great- nephew one day.Love always.❤️

      • which laws, I get confused because it seems like people pick and choose what parts of the Bible to follow.
        Deuteronomy 25:11-12
        11 When men strive together one with another, and the wife of the one draweth near for to deliver her husband out of the hand of him that smiteth him, and putteth forth her hand, and taketh him by the secrets:

        12 Then thou shalt cut off her hand, thine eye shall not pity her.

        “And if the servant shall plainly say, I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free: Then his master shall bring him unto the judges; he shall also bring him to the door, or unto the door post; and his master shall bore his ear through with an aul; and he shall serve him for ever.” Exodus 21:5-6

        I’m always curious as to how christian ethics operates. on the one hand there is the figure of Christ that is itself in opposition to the Law and yet this modern appeal to the very Law in many ways Christ was himself set against.

  4. This right here! Wow! I don’t think there is anything that I could add! I hate that there is this “door” that no one wants to open and when you think about opening it all hell breaks loose! Thank you for your transparency and vulnerability on this one! I am sure this will help someone!

    • I was never big on locked doors anyway. Lbvs Let’s open them up and let some fresh air in! Thanks for reading and sharing!!!

  5. Wow. I love the transparency and the cry/plea for us to move to a place of truth regarding sex.

    My sex talk was, “sex is for grown, married, adults. So don’t do it!” This directive piqued the curious and mischievous teen that I was and I dove head first in sex. I wish someone would have told me the Pandora’s box that would open after my experience. And the sad part was not feeling able to talk about it with my parents without them going upside my head. I wouldn’t learn about any of this until I got to college and learned about the spiritual and worldly side of sex and all it’s consequences.

    I agree that the church along with parents need to be more wise in their dealings with this “taboo” subject. When speaking about sex we have to definitely give truth from the word of God but also bring a little more. As a people we have to be able to explain that sex is not just physical. There are spiritual, emotional, psychological pieces that one goes through when engaging in sex. Our kids are facing so much and many of the adults as well, who were once kids that never had a true conversation about sex. It’s time to talk and share and help remove shame and guilt and let people know that we as Christ’s kids have all fallen short and have been redeemed by his blood.

  6. Thank you for sharing this with me. Sorry I’m slow and am just now reading it. I do agree full heartedly with keeping open communication with your kids. Someone is going to teach them about it! Let that someone be you. They will only be as nervous as you are. Pray about it and ask for wisdom and peace, then pop some popcorn and get to talking! I was never taught about anything growing up either, so my learning was through experience.

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