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Monday, February 06, 2012

Letter to a Teenage daughter on Sexuality and Love




This is one of my most popular posts, -  I did write the letter after posting this a few years ago, and never included the full version - so ladies and mothers and girls, here it is. Feel free to use it as a model for your own letter. Musemother

Dear Daughter (insert name here)

Wow! You’re already fifteen.

And what I want to tell you is how important it is for you as a girl to know how to trust your body's instincts, and also protect that. I wish I could say that the world has changed since I was a teenager, but unfortunately, there are still double standards in our society that do not honour female sexuality. Advertising and fashion encourage young girls to be sexy and desirable, and yet societyalso  punishes them for acting on their desires. I know it was confusing for me. I lost my virginity at age 15, almost 16, under dubious circumstances not entirely of my own choosing. A lot of it was peer pressure, from friends thinking it was ‘time’ for me. I know these are not the same times, (the 70’s, sex drugs and rock’n roll) and you are not me. Most likely your experience will be very different, but there is still lots of pressure on girls to ‘give out’, to ‘give in’, or to go too fast.

I think the important thing is to cultivate respect for your body, to have good boundaries, to know your own limits and what you feel ready to experience. I guess go slow is the best way to put it. Don’t let anyone else be in the driver’s seat – that’s where you are.

You may not be thinking about this yet, but I'd like to tell you that being a virgin is a good thing, in spite of what other people may tell you. Having sex is about choice, your choice, your timing, not your friends' timing or a boy’s timing. 

You should know that oral sex is still sex, and girls often feel it’s degrading to provide this as some kind of service to boys who give little or nothing in return, not to mention the risk of disease, herpes, etc. I hope you also know that the cachet of being popular does not make it worth it. You already know about the dangers of drinking and drugs - how a girl must always keep her head together, because alcohol and pot lower her resistance, loosen her inhibitions and her common sense (which you have loads of, but everyone loses it sometimes, under social pressures). 

It seems unfair, but it’s still the girls who have to keep their heads on straight, even if their emotions and desire are pulling them to experiment sexually. There are lots of ways to get close and have an intimate connection with someone (or with yourself), that don’t involve penetration or getting pregnant.

Women/girls make love for different reasons than boys I think. Heaven knows there are lots of sensitive boys and men out there, but our needs are more emotional - we bond quickly, we fall in love easily, without necessarily being ready to give of ourselves fully in that way. Sometimes our generous natures can work against us and we give too much away. Making love forges emotional links, little threads of love and need get woven into our psyches from us to the other person. We can't break those bonds as easily as some guys can. We expect our love to be returned and it's not always forthcoming.

I know I can't protect you from heartbreak, but as your mom, I want you to honour your own knowing, your own limits, and feel your own self-worth. You are worthy of all the love, honour and respect a person can give you.

Remember that you are the guardian of your soul’s temple, this body you have been given, and always let your intuition and inner knowing guide you. I hope you will feel comfortable talking about this, when the day comes, if you need help.
Love, your Mom



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