How To Explain Affairs and Cheating To Your Child

Gone are the days (well, they were never really here, actually) of monogamy being the one and only way to be in relationship. Ever since time began, people have had all kinds of arrangements and agreements within their relationships and for many different reasons – health, time, sexual tastes, etc. I believe monogamy is primarily a social construct and not a natural inclination.

th_editedI think it’s important to talk to your kids about different types of relationship structures because it is a nearly impossible and ridiculous idea to expect human beings to mate for life. We are just not wired that way. If we were our divorce/ breakup rate would be nominal; people would nearly always have crazy and totally satisfying sex lives with their one partner; and the only person we’d be turned on by would be our life-long mate.

If handled correctly, relationships that are non-monogamous have rules spelled out and are fully agreed to by all parties. Here are some different relationship structures for you to chat about with your kids.

Monogamy: Two people, fully committed to each other as primary partners in life and in bed. The agreement is that they have sex and a relationship only with each other and no one else.

Monogamish: Two people fully committed to each other as primary partners in life and with an agreement that each (or sometimes just one) partner may occasionally have sex with other people, but not a dating or boyfriend/ girlfriend type relationship.

Swinging: Two people fully committed to each other as primary partners in life and with an agreement they both can have sex with other people on occasion. Usually the partners connect with other “swingers” at events or online or in other ways. Sometimes they swap partners. This is often something they do together and is about sex.

Polyamory: Two people fully committed to each other as primary partners in life who also have concurrent committed relationships with another person or people. This is different from swinging or being monogamish because the primary partners are allowed to have full committed relationships (not just sex) with their other partner or partners.

Cheating: Two people fully committed to each other in life and in bed and one (or both) partners have sex or relationships with other people without permission or agreement from their primary partner. The relationships are hidden. No agreement = cheating.

Your kids may ask you what kind of relationship you are in. The safest thing (and easiest) is to tell your kids you are 100% committed to your partner. Most kids don’t want to hear about their parents’ sex lives, so if you swing or are monogamish, they don’t need to know and they don’t want to know.

If you are polyamorous, they do need to know – but please don’t ask me what to say, because I’m bound to offend someone. Talk to your poly pals and find out how they handle it.

Full disclosure, since I am certain you are wondering, I am in a happy, long term monogamous relationship and so far (25 years in) it’s working pretty well for us. I, personally, find that one relationship is pretty much all I can handle. The thought of adding another personality (on any level) to the mix scares the shit out of me. Although I would be willing to give it a whirl for John Stamos.

Finally, a big old shout out to Dan Savage  for helping thousands and thousands of people understand this super-confusing stuff – including me.

Posted in Relationships | Tagged , , , ,

A 14-Year-Old Girl Takes on Rape Culture, School Dress Codes and Rocks It!

Spring is here and young women’s thoughts turn to rape culture. This is from a young woman who decided she’d had it with the school system policing her clothing choices. I’m posting this with her consent and without her name, for obvious reasons.

Here are her thoughts:

UnacceptableATTENTION EVERYONE. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT. That’s right I’m posting about this too, and you should as well. The more people that are informed the closer to a better, safer future we will get. We have unknowingly created a horrible thing called rape culture.

Rape culture is when young people are taught that girls’ bodies are sexual OBJECTS that need to be hidden and then girls are punished when they don’t hide them, as well as the ludicrous idea that if you get raped it’s “your fault” and you were “asking for it.” This mindset is subconsciously forced upon us at a young age starting with strict sexist dress codes because girls bodies are “too sexual” and “distracting to boys.”

Also, we make it harder for them to learn, but it’s perfectly okay to pull a girl out of class or have her miss a whole period to go to the principal’s office because her bra strap was showing. Well, let me explain something to you if you’re an adult who supports this: It’s. Just. A. Freaking. Strap.

And guess what, it’s nearly summer, and it’s getting hot, bra straps are gonna show no matter what you do, so you might as well join us if you can’t fight us and start to teach that rape is never okay, no matter what.

Consent is the only way a girl/boy could be “asking for it” but only if it’s by her/his own free will.

It’s not consent if:
1. They were threatened into giving it.
2. They were pressured into giving it.
3. The advancer is someone with authority over them.
4. If they’re intoxicated and unable to think clearly.
5. If they’re passed out it’s CERTAINLY NOT OK. Silence is not consent.
6. They can change their mind during any part of the activity, and once they stop willfully wanting to continue it’s no longer consensual and becomes rape.

If you want to support our cause to stop rape culture in our community then wear whatever you want to school tomorrow to protest!

(Disclaimer: I know men can be raped too and this isn’t an attack on men it’s an attack on rape culture and our schools’ sexist dress code policies).

I love you all and I hope you’ll help us stop this idea that rape is okay at the root: our public school system. 😘😄👗

Posted in Dress code, Rape, Rape culture, sexism | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Want Your Kids to Be Smart About Sex? Pretend Your Family Is The Netherlands

In the Netherlands, they have been doing sexuality right for a very, very long time. If you want your kids to be super-smart about sex, the easiest thing you can do for them (and for yourself) is to pretend your family is the Netherlands.

holland-physical-large

The Dutch have the lowest teen pregnancy and STI/HIV rates in the industrialized world. This tells me they are doing something that actually works when it comes to their kids birds + bees education.

Here’s how you can turn your family into the Netherlands:

1) Be a naked family. Families in this part of the world are naked together from birth until death. They see nudity as a natural and normal state of being. We see it as embarrassing, shameful and something to hide.

2) Accept sexuality, in all it’s forms, as a natural and normal part of being human. Which it is. Just like humans are intellectual, social, spiritual, physical and emotional, we are sexual, too.

3) Offer sexually relevant public service announcements. This means you talk about how to use a condom correctly, the most effective forms of birth control and why communication is key to great sex and anything else when the mood strikes you. Short and sweet.

4) Start sex education in kindergarten. Rather than wait until children are in 5th grade or even high school, like they do in the US, start the sex talks really early. And by sex talks, I mean the whole tamale – penises in vaginas, sperm, eggs, etc.

5) View sex as a positive and fun part of life that requires education and  responsible behavior.  Compare this to driving a car: you wouldn’t just hand your kid the car keys on their 16th birthday, would you? This is one of the biggest responsibilities they will ever have. So is sex. It’s awesome and you need to be careful and responsible.

6) Expect your children to use birth control and condoms every time they have sex. It should be understood, from an early age, people have sex for fun and pleasure 99% of the time. This means everyone knows birth control and condoms are part of the deal when it comes to their sex lives.

7) Make birth control and condoms free and easy to get. Tell your kids where and how to get birth control and condoms. Actually, you should by condoms for your kids and leave them in a place anyone (including their friends) can access them.

8) Dutch teenagers see teen pregnancy as shameful. I’m not a fan of shaming kids, but this is part of why they have such amazing sexual health outcomes for their young people. Watch “16 and Pregnant” so your children can see how terrifically hard it is to be a teen parent.

9) Accept the fact that your child will have sex. And sooner than you will want them to. Most kids have sex at age 17 or so and it is in their best interest to be as ready as possible for this inevitability.

Read more about their culture here.

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The Effect Of Sleep Deprivation on Teen Sexuality

If you are sleep deprived you are more impulsive.Finger pointing teen

If you are a teenager you are already very impulsive.

Therefore, sleep deprivation increases the chance that teens will have unprotected sex.

Let your teens sleep in on the weekend – even if they sleep until noon, they need it. And if it keeps them out of someone else’s bed, even better. ;-)

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Hey Anti-Choicer, Why Didn’t YOU Adopt Your Children?

This bugs me – why don’t “pro-life” people adopt? I would have adopted if I had problems getting pregnant. And when I thought we’d have more than one kid, we would have adopted, rather than make one. Fortunately, I got over that desire – the thought of having two car seats freaked me out, so I figured I probably couldn’t handle two wee humans.pregnant belly

I get it, adoption is expensive, complicated and requires some serious hoop-jumping. And you don’t know “what you’ll get” which can be scary. Newsflash, people: Jeffery Dahmer’s parents made him and he was just about as horrid a person as can be.

You never know “what you get” when it comes to kids. Just ask all those asshole Christian parents who disown their kids because they are gay. Perhaps this is the God-I-don’t-believe-in’s way of telling them they should have adopted.

Posted in Adoption, pregnancy | Tagged , ,

Is Your Child Smarter Than All The Other Kids In The Sandbox? Too Bad For Them

Take a moment and think about every adult you know – your friends, co-workers, spouse, partner, parents. Now think about how “successful” they are in life – do they have a job, a healthy relationship, mental health, physical health, etc. Okay, now think about how smart they are and by smart, I mean think about their IQ.

Boy in sandbox

Finally, think about the relationship between their IQ and the rest of their lives. Are your super-smart “special snowflake” friends happier and healthier than your not-so-smartypants pals? Are your special snowflake friends and family members who did the whole private school thing and went to some Ivy League college far exceeding everyone you know in all of the important parts of life?

Probably not. If I had to bet, I’d guess they are doing no better or no worse than all the rest of us schlubs. Now, I get that this might be you. And I’m sorry if I’m pissing you off, but I think you were probably sold a bill of goods that you would somehow be exceptional because of your smarts. I may be wrong, but I happen to know some of you and even though you are very smart and were given all the “best” you are merely okay parents, okay at your relationships, okay at your work and generally kinda rolling out your life just like everyone else, myself included.

In fact, I think that those of us who were not given the “special snowflake” treatment are generally happier, healthier and better adjusted than the people who were. Here’s the irony, we non-special snowflakes are raising up crops of kids who think they are brilliant special snowflakes.

We get roped into this at the start of Kindergarten when we fret about their school and then have our kids take part in stupid and pointless Kindergarten testing. It turns out pretty much everyone shifts back to “normal” intelligence in the 3rd grade, which makes the kids who were once “smart” feel dumb when they can’t keep up with the harder work (this is bad for them, BTW).

How about we let our small fry learn how to strengthen their social and emotional muscles as they are learning along with the rest of the pack. These skills are so much more important than how smartypants a person is or whether they can do the entire multiplication table and read Harry Potter in the 1st grade. I know one kid that really and truly is way smarter than average. One.

You may be wondering, “What does this have to do with sex, Ms. Lang?” A lot, actually. We all want our kids to have great romantic relationships and if we don’t let them figure out the social stuff when they are small, it makes it much harder to manage it when they are big.

Intelligence only gets you so far in life. It’s the ability to be flexible, kind and empathetic that makes a person a decent human being, not how well you can take tests or where you went to college. Just ask your favorite Harvard grad.

Check out my favorite parenting book NurtureShock for some science that backs up what I’m talking about here.

And surprise! Here’s a study that seems to back me up – more or less!

Posted in Parenting, Ranting | Tagged , ,

What To Do If Your Child May Be Gay And You Don’t Like Gayness For Whatever Lame-ass Reason

Here’s how you know if someone is straight: They are physically, sexually and emotionally attracted to people of the opposite sex.

gay thumbs upHere’s how you know if someone is gay or lesbian: They are physically, sexually and emotionally attracted to people of the same sex.

And here’s how you know if someone is bisexual: They are physically, sexually and emotionally attracted to people of the both sexes.

How do you know you are straight? Or gay? Or bi? Did you “decide” one day to be attracted to whomever you are attracted to? I didn’t think so. It just doesn’t work that way.

Are you thinking, “God wouldn’t make someone that way (gay)?” Sorry, your God DID make a whole heck of a lot of people “that” way. Just like he/she/it made you whatever “way” you are.

Here’s what your God also didn’t make – your belief system. You made that, not God. You get to decide what you believe and if you want to believe peoples’ God-given sexual attraction isn’t real, then go for it. Feel free to believe and think whatever you want.

Just remember this: The child you probably made with your own private parts; the child you love more than any other human on earth; the child that is telling you he or she is gay; the child that your God gave you, he/she/it picked you to parent this child just as they are, whether you “believe” in gayness or not. You can change your belief system but you cannot change your child.

So what do you do? You do the right thing and be a champion for your gay child and change your belief system. It’s your God’s will.

BTW, I’m an atheist (gasp!) and am so excited to let you all know that I will be the host at the next Seattle Sunday Assembly  on Sunday, March 22 @ 11AM at the University Heights Community Center. Sunday Assembly offers all the good parts of church without religion and everyone (even believers) is invited.

Posted in childhood sexuality, LGBTQ, Sexual orientation | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment