Straight Talk Advice

Mom reads Internet posts about daughter’s oral sex

Apr 14, 2010

DEAR STRAIGHT TALK: I checked a link where teenagers ask questions to each other. From what I read, I suspect my 15-year-old daughter is performing oral sex on boys. What is the best way to talk to her about this? — Torrance, Calif.

Nicole 20, Arcata, Calif. Ask me a question

You’re in for a rude awakening. In my human sexuality class we learned that girls are now giving oral sex to boys in sixth grade — before having sex in eighth grade. I hope your daughter knows that one in four teens has an STI. Have her look up oral herpes online.

Scot 23, San Luis Obispo, Calif. Ask me a question

Just as the medium soda used to be a large, so has oral sex become the modern goodnight kiss. It’s considered a consolation prize to intercourse. It’s not uncommon to read Internet posts like, “He bought me that expensive dinner so I gave him oral sex.”

Lisa 22, Sacramento, Calif. Ask me a question

A friend got caught and had to write a paper on it. Not that it cured her. I had oral sex before real sex and I was definitely too young at 15 — but I knew lots who had already done it.

Rachel 18, Fair Oaks, Calif. Ask me a question

Oral sex is often considered “safe” sex. It is also considered a way to keep your virginity. Your daughter needs to know that almost every STI can be contracted by mouth — and that guys will respect her for saying no. Outside a committed relationship, oral sex can be emotionally heartbreaking and hurt your reputation.

Delaney 18, Auburn, Calif. Ask me a question

This guy at a party was like, “Let’s have sex.” When I said no, he said, “Will you at least give me oral?” I was disgusted, but most girls give in, including friends of mine. It’s a common hook-up activity, performed most always by the girl. If a girl requests it, she is usually laughed at. I’m in a committed love relationship where it’s more equal. But it’s sad that sex and oral sex aren’t often acts of love anymore.

Liz 18, Sacramento, Calif. Ask me a question

I did this the first time at 15. It’s quite common. It wasn’t something my parents talked to me about, but it would be great to discuss it with your daughter. If you don’t have good communication with her, invite her talk to a doctor. Kids definitely don’t consider it real sex but it’s equally dangerous for STIs.

Catherine 22, Amherst, Mass. Ask me a question

Be honest with her. State your concerns, offer health information, an ear, and if you’re comfortable, condoms. Many teens feel pressure from the media and friends to move quickly in sexual relationships. They need to know they are never obligated to do anything.

Molly 18, Fair Oaks, Calif. Ask me a question

Avoid an angry or blaming attitude. If you are reasonable (from her perspective), instead of “just a reactive parent,” she’ll more likely tell the truth. You can’t control her choices, but creating a space where she feels comfortable talking to you increases your chances of influencing her.

DEAR TORRANCE: Now that you’ve had your crash course from our field experts, I hope you will be less reactive and more constructive. Sexual mores have definitely loosened — across all age groups. Nonetheless, most sexually active girls are not morally bankrupt. They are just trying to feel loved. Of the panelists who admitted to oral sex, I would be happy to have any of them as my daughters — and some have come a long way precisely because of loving family and mentors. Talk to her directly, with loving concern: “Honey, I’m not mad, I’m worried.” Show her the Internet posts and this column. Promiscuity generally results from low self-esteem. Girls truly believe boys won’t like them otherwise. The more you value her (yes, this includes raising expectations and tightening boundaries) the more she will value herself.

Editor’s Web Note: Lest you think after reading today’s column that every teenager engages in the “modern goodnight kiss,” please calm down. While oral sex is more common, less shameful, and occurs at younger ages than even the recent past, the only really solid sex study is from Guttmacher Institute with data limited to 2006. Other recent surveys tend to be media-originated and use sloppy data-gathering methods and I suspect their main purpose is to increase ratings. An infamous sensationalism was the “rainbow party” publicized on the Oprah Winfrey Show in 2003, which created panic among parents and only later was learned to be false.

What is fact is that the average kid starts viewing pornography at age 11. Today’s sexual revolution is definitely driven by Big Porn. The industry influences some girls to put out in formerly unthinkable ways. And for some boys to expect that. Yet for all this conditioning, I’ve never met a morally bankrupt teen. Boundary-less, yes, but not bankrupt. The more children are valued at home, the less they need to prove they are lovable, or studly, elsewhere. Teens crave open, safe, non-judgmental dialogue about these topics with parents and mentors. It really is the best way to influence them. And if you don’t do it, Big Porn will. — Lauren Forcella

  1. By Brie from Ashland, Ore on 04/14/2010

    Oral sex is not taken nearly as seriously as vaginal sex. This was not a subject that my parents spoke to me about, but I did my best to avoid subjects that would be in any way awkward. I don’t know of a way that you could approach this subject without making your daughter feel awkward. I think the best place for teens to learn about any kind of sex is in a health class.

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  2. By Katelyn from Huntington Beach, CA on 04/14/2010

    First, I think you simply need to tell her that you are concerned about what she is doing. Sex is sex, and there are dangers just like any other type of sex. Yes, oral sex is usually done casually and yes, you do tend to get the same type of feelings if your boyfriend/girlfriend dumps you because you are addicted to them and I mean literally addicted. It’s called the “attraction-affection-addiction” principle.

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  3. By vanessa from Galt, CA on 04/14/2010

    I believe that if you haven’t had intercourse, you are still a virgin. However, oral sex carries has the same risk of STIs, ruined reputation, and heartbreak. It’s especially popular because you can’t get pregnant. In reality, you can’t stop your daughter, but you can teach her the facts.

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  4. By Shelly from Tacoma, WA on 04/14/2010

    Sad to say, but where I live this is very common these days and as some of the others say, many girls do not even consider this to be “having sex” while at the same time satisfying their boyfriends’ craving for sex. It’s even common to quote the fact the the President of the United States (Clinton) actually said that this didn’t qualify as having sex.  What a great example to set for young people.

    I recently came home early from my part time job on a Saturday because business was slow and they didn’t need me and our parents were out of town for the day and walked in on my sister who is barely 15 performing oral sex on her boyfriend in our room.  Not only that, she was nude and his pants were all the way to the floor.  It didn’t even phase them when I came in our room and saw them doing this. My sister just took “it” out of her mouth long enough to ask me to leave the room until they were finished, which I obviously did. Her boyfriend just grinned at me. I tried to talk to my sister about it afterwards, but she didn’t see it as a big deal and didn’t feel that they were having sex. Since he wore a condom, she didn’t feel that she really had “it” in her mouth and can’t get any kind of STD, so what’s the harm?  I’m not going to tell our parents since we have an agreement that we don’t tell on each other, and while I’ve not done anything like this, she knows some things about me that I don’t want our parents to know. Also, she could make things very difficult for me since we share a room. 

    Shelly

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  5. By Tom from Carmichael, CA on 04/15/2010

    My stepsisters who I share a room with on visitations actually asked me to let them “practice” this on me so that they could do it well for their boyfriends.  It was hard to turn the offer down even though it seemed sort of like incest, but it technically isn’t since they’re just my stepsisters.  They took turns doing it to me while the other watched when our parents were out for the evening and even agreed to do it in the nude since they were getting to see me nude.  From this experience and what I’ve heard from friends girls often offer this without even being asked in order to impress guys.

    Tom

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