by Fibiana Oladipo
I wondered how to start this blog for the past few days. It is weird in the sense that I am trying to educate readers about a predicament that is common for many people. Still, I am oblivious to a topic like this simply because I have no expertise in an area as gripping as discussing sex. However, I can share with you what I would do if I wanted to talk to my parents about sexual health.
It was after watching a stage mix of a Korean pop girl group called Miss A performing their banger of a debut track “Bad girl Good girl” that I suddenly felt compelled to write this post. But before I continue, let me further explain so it will not seem as if I am writing this without any correlation with the topic. The song, as these four amazing vocalists sing, talks about never letting anyone tell you who you are and your worth, that no one has to the right to decide if you’re a bad or good girl. The song expresses that everything that happens to a person should be in the hands of that person. I continued to watch for enjoyment and procrastination, as I did not feel like studying.
That was until the moment Fei, my bias, sings right into the camera, “I find your hypocrisy to be funny because you point at me, yet you know nothing,” and then proceeded to do a high kick. I’ve heard the song enough times to automatically notice the line, but imagine a beautiful woman singing that line in Korean directly eyeing the camera as if she means every word she sings. Though I got my life, I felt like that line could be something many people could relate to when it comes to talking to anyone, especially their parents, about a topic such as sexual health. Now on its 10th loop, the lyrics helped me relate.
Many factors contribute to a child not being able to talk to their parents about sex. The most obvious reason is that it is hard and, without a doubt, very uncomfortable. Not everyone is keen on doing that, especially if they know the type of parents they have or, even worse, a parental figure is not in their life.
Let’s use me as an example. I have grown up in a very African household with extremely traditional parents. Though I feel very comfortable around them, there has always been this unspoken line between us as I grow into the age range where sex comes into the equation. My parents are more on the conservative side overall, and having any conversation about sex is likely not going to happen. I’m not sexually active as of yet, but anything I find out or experience I find out for myself. That’s just how it is, and it is a common situation for many people, hence this conversation.
So, in the words of the legendary Ms. Juicy Baby, “Where do we go from here?” How does a person make sense of all this? First of all, making healthy decisions is critical. If talking to your parents is not in the plan, make sure everything you do is responsible and well thought out. It unquestionably makes a difference.
With that, a support system, no matter how big or small, is vital. I think it’s important that someone trustworthy knows that you are sexually active. Keeping this information limits your knowledge about the range of options and resources available to protect you. That system can include anyone from a best friend to a trusted adult, and if possible, a personal doctor. Other than experience, there is only so much a person knows about being sexually active, so, from a health standpoint, a doctor knowing is not the worst idea. Doctor-Patient confidentiality has always been beneficial, and it’s important to take that into account.
Please remember that everyone, at whatever age, is capable of taking care of their sexual health. Many resources make talking with parents or a trusted adult easier, but at the end of the day, do not take it for granted. Find that support system and make it one that is positive and not only beneficial to you but to others as well. It is important that your sexual health is something that stays in tip-top shape. Meanwhile, check out some of the links below for more resources on having “the talk” with your parents.
Fibiana Oladipo is a Teen Health Mississippi Youth Contributor.