"I Thought I Had A Mini Penis"
Growing up in a very religious home, sex wasn’t exactly part of our dinner conversation. Anything sex related was talked about shamefully and I often felt guilty for even thinking about it. Combine that with being sexualized at a very young age for being… well… EXTRA curvy, made for a lot of confusion with my sexuality. It has been a 17 year journey trying to become comfortable in my sexuality, and in particular, in my own body.
I believe if sexual education in school was more informative, specifically when it comes to female anatomy and female pleasure, I wouldn’t have felt so lost. Some of that responsibility lies with the parents, but for those children whose parents won’t have those talks with them, like me, the school system should step up. Spending the first 17 years of your life believing that something was wrong with your vagina because you didn’t know how it was supposed to look, is really unacceptable. Nobody should feel like that. Things like that have long term effects that are hard to shake.
I find myself thinking about how I would do things different with my future (currently non-existent) children. Do I show them pictures of the different shapes, sizes, and colours that genitalia come in? Do I talk about masturbation with them, and promote self exploration? When do I start broaching these topics with them? How will I create a safe and comfortable environment for my children so that we can talk about sex in a healthy way? While I definitely have time to search for these answers, I find myself looking at the way my sister-in-law is raising my nieces.
“Who-ha” and “pee-pee” are not words used in her house. It is a vagina and that is what my niece calls it. Although she is only two and a half years old, my sister-in-law talks to her like what she is: a little human. She gives her the proper vocabulary and knowledge necessary to not only talk about herself, but to understand consent with things as simple as a hug. She lets her be naked when she wants to (in appropriate situations of course) and even lets my niece watch her shower. There is no body shaming whatsoever in that household, and it is a beautiful thing. My sister-in-law is an amazing role model for the mother I hope to become, and I think it is so important for other parents out there to do their research on how to talk about these things with their young children. I personally know how much a sex-shaming household can affect a person long term. With sexuality and consent becoming bigger parts of our society and conversations, I hope everyone takes these things into consideration when raising their wee-humans.