mother talking to child about porn

Starting the Porn Talk: A chat with Braxton Dutson

You’re not alone if you’re unsure about the porn talk. It’s a conversation that many parents struggle with.

And it’s the sort of conversation that is easy to put into the ‘too hard basket’. Which means it never happens.

But in this day and age, it is an essential conversation. And just we talk to our kids about how to stay safe on the road, we need to talk to our kids about how to stay safe online.

I recently had a great chat with Braxton Dutson from The Birds and Bees Podcast about the porn talk. Braxton Dutson is a sex therapist practising at The Healing Group in Salt Lake City Utah. He primarily works with Adolescents and Adults dealing with pornography issues and sexual dissatisfaction. In his work, Braxton found a pattern with the parents and teens he works with. He noticed a significant gap in education about healthy sexuality, parents communicating with their children, and couples being able to develop intimacy. People he worked with would often say “I can’t talk to my kids/partner about sex, I’m not sure what to say, and I don’t know what to talk about, we’ve already had ‘The Talk’ what else is there to say?” Braxton also noticed adults felt: fear, discomfort, ill-prepared, to have conversations about sexuality with their partner and children.

In January 2017 Braxton started Birds and Bees Podcast to provide an accessible, sex-positive, education platform for couples and parents. He believes reliable information about sex/sexuality/intimacy, and relationships will support healthy conversations between couples, parents, and the future adult generation. Braxton interviews professionals in their respective field to dispel myths, identify healthy practices and address common issues parent/couples face.

We had a fantastic chat about how to get the conversation started.

Youc an find the podcast below, as well as the transcription of our chat.

Read the transcription

[00:00:00] Welcome to the Birds and the Bees Podcast. This is Braxton Dutson.

That’s the key. People aren’t talking about it.

Everybody needs to know that porn is not a documentary. It’s not like if we don’t talk to kids about sex and sexuality, they’re not going to hear about it, they’re just not going to hear about it from us.

They have tons of questions, they just don’t know how to ask them.

All you have to do it be one chapter ahead. You don’t have to know everything. Just one chapter ahead of wherever your child is.

[00:00:31]

Braxton Dutson: Hey everyone, this is Braxton Dutson. Welcome to Birds and Bees Podcast. So glad to be with you hive mates once again. If this is your first time, welcome to the show and if you’re a longtime listener, thanks so much for your continued support and being with me once again on this amazing journey of learning how to talk about sexual health and improving your relationships.

This interview is all about pornography and talking to your kids about the dreaded naked people on the computer and sexual activity that they’re going to come across at some point in time. You know and some people ask, what do I say, how do I even bring this up with them, is there an age that is too soon? And if I bring it up with them, are they just going to start looking for it sooner? How do I address questions that kids may have and what happens if they really don’t want me to bring it up? These questions and many more are going to come up in this episode with Cath Hakanson.

She is a sex educator from Australia, and has worked in the nursing industry, has done so much work when it comes to sexual health, and actually is the creator of SexEdRescue.com and is a wonderful resource especially if you’re thinking of having the conversation about pornography with your kids or even just sexual health. She covers all sorts of topics in her blog and with the books that she reviews. So, I thought I’d bring her on Birds and Bees Podcast because I’ve had many parents asking me, hey when do we start this talk, what are we supposed to do? We need an educational podcast about talking about pornography with our kids from little ages all the way through the teens and into adulthood.

Today, we’re going to be covering how to talk to your kids about pornography, what about parental controls, maybe ways to use parental controls, and what to do if your child’s already seen pornography, when to start talking about it as well as when you talk to your kids, what else do you tell them and how do you keep the conversation going. This isn’t a one and done. So. I’m really excited to get you this information and to have you all start talking to each other as parental units as well as how you start talking to your kids about this because this needs to happen. It’s not a matter of if, it’s when and you’ll hear us talk about that in the episode.

Thank you so much for your ongoing support for Birds and Bees Podcast. If you find this episode supportive or you find it helpful, please consider sharing this with your friends and also consider donating to Birds and Bees Podcast. We’ve got a Venmo, it’s just @BraxtonDutson. It’s @B-R-A-X-T-O-N D-U-T-S-O-N. Any little bit helps fund to be able to get them more often as well as be able to get the equipment needed to keep this podcast a high quality. So, if you can throw any amount of money into donations to keep Birds and Bees Podcast going, I’d really appreciate it.


Also, continue to share with your friends that keeps the hive alive and it also keeps the conversation buzz going, so we really appreciate everything that you’re doing just in listening and anything you can do to support the podcast. Thank you so much.

We’re really excited to get started into this, so without further ado, let’s hop into the conversation I had with Cath Hakanson on Birds and Bees Podcast. Thanks for tuning in.

[Music].

[00:03:57]

Braxton Dutson:               Hey everybody, welcome to Birds and Bees Podcast. This is Braxton Dutson and today, I have a really special guest. We have Cath. Cath, I don’t know exactly how to say your last name. Tell me about it.

Cath Hakanson:        Oh, Hakanson.

Braxton Dutson:               Hakanson, so Cath Hakanson is with me today and we are talking about probably the number one question I get for Birds and Bees Podcast as well as a sex therapist, and it is about pornography and kids, and how to have this conversation so thanks so much for being with me Cath.

Cath Hakanson:        Hi Braxton, thanks.

Braxton Dutson:               So, one of the things that I’m really excited about talking about today is essentially we’re going to be going over some of the ways to start up the conversation, how parental controls work, is porn harmful, and what to do if your child’s already seen pornography or maybe you haven’t talked about this quite yet and you don’t know how to start the conversation, maybe you have an older child instead of a younger child, and we’re going to cover all those things today. So, I am so excited to get into it.

First off, I’m curious Cath, tell me a little bit about your history. You’ve got quite the extensive history on sexual health and [00:05:00] working with people. Tell me about it.

Cath Hakanson:               Yeah. So I’ve got a nursing background. So I’ve been talking to people about sex for about 25, 26, 27 years now. So for basically for almost from the start of my nursing career. So, I did my nurse’s training and then I ended up in a part of Australia, which was a little different, right in the very, very center around Ayers Rock/Uluru, and it’s where our indigenous population is. And I started what you call Bush Nursing because the money was really good and it was really interesting work. But it was back in the days where we were really worried that HIV would hit our indigenous communities and wipe them out. So they were throwing a heap of money at sexual health. And so because I was a female and I had a vagina and a vulva, I was expected to do sexual health screening and I got thrown in the deep end.

I had never done. I’ve never held a speculum. I’d never lo– Yeah, I’d probably, yeah. I had looked at vulvas and vaginas before in the hospital setting, but I was just thrown in the deep end and I loved it. I found I enjoyed talking about sex and I found that I was actually good at the talking part and I was really good at making the women feel comfortable. So, I went off and did some training and found that it was just an area that I don’t know, I think as a nurse, we just have an art of getting people comfortable. And I don’t know what happens where you live, but in Australia, they do this big survey every year of the 10 most trusted professions. Nurses are always number one or number two. And I found that people were happy to tell me stuff that they wouldn’t normally tell their doctor or someone else.

So, I worked in sexual health, I worked in women’s health stuff, worked in prisons, I did clinical drug trials. I did research. I did everything, and I did sex therapy for a lot of them and I thought, this is it. I’ll have finally found what’s made me happy because I did what I called ‘meat and 3 vege’ sex therapy. So, it was the everyday stuff. I didn’t get the fetishes and the kinky stuff. I got the normal, the stuff that either made or break a relationship. And then, I had kids and everything changed. I’d walk into the lounge and my 3-year-old will be sitting on the lounge or the handout or pants at a level with people over masturbating. And it was like, my God, what do I do? I think, talk to a client about the sexual pain and what was happening in their bedroom, but I’d walk into my own house and see my own daughter push buttons to me.

Braxton Dutson:        Absolutely.

Cath Hakanson:               Yeah. So, I then started thinking, okay, sex education. This is something I need to do is having worked as a sex therapist, I knew looking at the different clients and you would know this yourself, that different clients come in and they have totally different backgrounds. And what happened in their own childhood in regards to how their parents talked about sexuality and how they learned about sexuality has a huge impact on the decisions they make as adults. And I found that the adults that came in and just makes it a little bit of help, a little bit of a push in the right direction.

But I usually had healthy sex education. My work, they didn’t grow up with a lot of shame that they don’t get the people that grew up with lots of negative messages and it created so many future problems for their relationships. So, I knew that sex education was important, but I didn’t know what I had to do. And I would read this stuff and I’d go, talk to your kid about a vagina is a vagina or a penis is a penis. I’d be like, yeah, okay. But how do I do that? You know, tell me what to do. Don’t just tell me this, tell me that I have to do it, tell me how to do it.

So I got really frustrated with all this, what I call crap out there that just wasn’t helpful. So then, I thought I need to do something about it so I canned the sex therapy because it was just getting too hard to do everything, and decided to set up SexEdRescue, which was all about helping parents to find a better way. And what’s really interesting is my sex therapy and all that stuff that I’ve done – going from one area to the other, I’m applying it every day now to what I do and it’s great.

Braxton Dutson:        Absolutely.

Cath Hakanson:               So, I find, I tend to get a lot of parents who find sex education hard, tend to follow me, so there must be something that I’m doing to help them get more comfortable with sex ed.

Braxton Dutson:               I would say that that is the truth. And that’s how I actually was first introduced to you. And I was thinking back on, how did I, how did I meet Cath? Someone asked me like, you’re interviewing someone from Australia. How did you even meet Cath? And I was like, Oh man, I cannot remember how I came across SexEdRescue. I don’t know if it was from Twitter, somewhere through the lines. I found SexEdRescue [00:10:00] and I started following your emails as well as the blog that you’re on. And I was like, man, I have to have her on Birds and Bees Podcast because the resources that you give is just– I mean, you’ve got books, you’ve got recommended books too for kids at certain ages. You’re constantly putting out great content. And so if you are interested, I’d head over to SexEdRescue.com and just browse. There are so much support that you can gain just from this one website that the Cath’s been putting together. When did you end up starting now? How long has that been?

Cath Hakanson:               Oh, I gave up fulltime work because I sat down with my husband 2015 and I said to him, I either have to give up on this or I have to put everything into it. So, we sat there and made well, financial decision. We’ll no longer have holidays. Kids definitely will not be going to private schools, but I’m so much happier. Yeah, so this is my fifth year and definitely. I think it’s taking me that long to get clear about what I actually do.

Braxton Dutson:               Oh, that’s great and it’s all part of that process, right? It’s all part of the process. And speaking of processes, I think that’s exactly what we’re going to be talking today and we’re going to be saying, how do we talk to your kids about pornography? Not just sex, but we’re talking about naked people in your iPad, the things that they can run across. And that same question that you just came up with, how do I have this conversation about my child who’s got her hand down her pants, let alone this conversation with what they might be seeing online. What are some of the things that you see these parents get hung up on the most, the ones that are following you? What do they tend to go, ah, Cath, I don’t know how to start this. What do I even ask?

Cath Hakanson:               Yeah. A lot parents struggle with actually starting the conversation. I get two types of parents. I get the ones whose kids are already seeing it, and they don’t know how to respond and they don’t know what to do about it. And then, I get the parents who want to be proactive, and actually they hear the stories from the other parents whose kids are already watching it and they sort of know they’ve got to have the conversation, but they just don’t know how to start it because we’re not talking about loving baby-making sex. We’re talking about sex that can be not very nice.

Braxton Dutson:               Yeah, definitely. We were talking about the whole spectrum. You can run into so many things if it’s especially because we’re typically talking about pornography that is found on a website that’s free and it is just no holds bar. You can run into whatever, right? What are some of the things that you encourage parents to do in bringing up the conversation?

Cath Hakanson:               Well, I guess the first thing is, some parents first well, haven’t even talked to their kids yet about sex. So, if you’ve got the sort of relationship where you’re not talking about sexuality, you’re not talking about penises at the dining room table. If you’re not having conversations about where babies come from, you’re not talking about dating and loving someone and other conversations like that, it can be really hard to then throw yourself into a conversation about porn. Then again, talking about porn, you don’t always have to talk about sex because this is the thing.

I read something from one of my peers and she was saying that if you’re going to talk to your kids about porn, you’ve got to talk about sex first. And I thought, well, yes and no, because you can talk to a three or four year old about porn. You can talk to them and say this. Look you go to the shopping center. How many kids do you say sitting there on mom’s phone while she’s shopping at the checkout? And I’ll tell you what, apps have been around on phones when my kids were little and you’re lining up in the long queue and the kids are hungry, I would have had my kids on a phone too playing a game. So, you need to be out of sight the little ones. “Aha, sometimes, you might see videos of people with no clothes on. If that happens, you need to give mom the phone straight away or something.” As simple as that. You don’t need to tell them what they’re doing.

If the kids see something or adults sounding like they’re hurting each other, because sex, you know, if you do know what was going on. I’ve got a friend who used to think that her neighbors were fighting in the evenings and she was a sex educator. And then one night, every Saturday night, she’d hear this. And one day, she got so curious, she got the ladder laid it over the neighbor’s back fence and they were watching porn. She laughed because she said, I’m a sex educator. I know about this stuff.

She didn’t realize it was sex they were watching, sort of porn they were watching. So, to kids, it doesn’t sound like sex. It [00:15:00] sounds like someone’s getting murdered – the noises that happen with sex. So to kids, you can have a conversation with little ones about porn, but you’re not actually talking about sex. And this is the whole thing I think that when we are talking to kids about porn, we focus on porn whereas the conversation really should be about, if you find something online that upsets you. So all those videos where they were doing pranks. Do you know about those a couple of years ago, pranking videos? And they would scare people, and people would get hurt and people were– It was just going crazy on YouTube.

A lot of those videos, upset kids. So conversations with kids that if you see something, you might see a beheading. There were all these horrible, five years ago, horrible beheading videos from the middle East when this stuff was going on. So, it’s conversations about anything that you see that upsets you. And then, you can also talk about the fact that if it’s people in no clothing or sexy clothing. Like my son so many times, he’s come up to me and said, “Mom, mom, I’ve seen porn.” And I’d go, “have you, what did you see?” And he’ll show me something, it’ll be a girl in a bikini. It’s like oh phew! So, the thing is that he felt safe doing that. He felt that he heard the message and would tell me when he saw stuff.

Braxton Dutson:               And I like that you brought up that. There’s two parts there. That one you were having the conversation, he felt comfortable. The second part is the first question that came out of your mouth was, Oh, have yet, like you’ve seen pornography, what did you see? That first question, the curiosity. “Well, what did you see?” If you would have responded with some of the parents that I work with are typically that were like, uhu, my son just saw porn. That means that he’s a porn addict and I probably need to call my religious leader. I need to do this. I’ve got a sex fiend on my hands and I don’t know what to do. And he saw someone in a bikini, but he’s like, this is porn. That curiosity clears up so much stuff, right?

Cath Hakanson:        Yeah. Yes.

Braxton Dutson:               Yeah and I love that. That’s one thing to bring up that curiosity aspect of it and the other things that were sticking out to me on what you might say is just starting out at, if you can, if you have the opportunity, your children are young, talk to them about sexual health. Like we’re using penis, vulva, vagina. Talk about these body parts and be able to use them mostly for your own benefit so that you can learn to say them without maybe like being like, oh, this is way too embarrassing or you’re just having another conversation.

Cath Hakanson:               Yeah, yeah. You don’t want to throw yourself in the deep end without knowing how to swim. But sometimes, knowing how to swim or how to stay afloat and you can also prep yourself for the conversation. You might go, okay. There’s been, I’ve heard all these stories about kids streaming porn at school. There’s a good chance that little Johnny’s been shown it as well, but we haven’t talked about anything. So, okay, how about my goal is to work towards a conversation about that in a couple of weeks, but let’s talk about some other things first. And this ways, I don’t know if you know that saying that beating around the bush, where you’d go to a conversation in a very indirect roundabout way. And you might have a couple of them. You might talk about something that you heard on the radio first, before you actually get to the conversation of, have your friends showed you any of this? Have you seen it?

Braxton Dutson:               Yeah, absolutely. And how many ways around the bush can you go? We’ve got music videos and we got TV shows and movies. And I mean, we could go down the list of anything that starts beating around the bush of pornography and sexual health or sexual conquests or whatever you want to bring in because it is everywhere.

Cath Hakanson:               Sex education, talking to kids about sex is so easy nowadays because there’s opportunities thrown at us all the time; listen to the radio in the car, turn the TV on, bus goes past with someone in sexy lingerie, go food shopping. I’ve got a sex shop a block away. So, there’s opportunities everywhere. There’s no shortage of excuses to talk. So, I think today, it’s much easier for us to talk about this stuff because we do live in this over sexualized world. So rather than sit here and go poor me, how do I keep my kids safe? Turn it to your own advantage.

Braxton Dutson:               Yeah, definitely. Do you think that there’s an age where maybe the child’s too young to talk about pornography or is there a specific age that you recommend or think would be a good time to start?

Cath Hakanson:               Oh, I think– Now, I’m in the process of writing this all up into levels at the moment. I think that you can very gently talk about it [00:20:00] up to about the age of five, six or seven. So for example, my son, he’s now 11 and I first started talking to him about pornography about three, four years ago because I had a friend who wrote a book and she said, Cath, have you talked to him yet?” And I was like no. So, we had conversations, but a year ago, we were driving and we were sitting at a traffic light and there was a sex shop across the road. I live in the inner city.

And there was a sign out the front and he said, “mom, what’s PORN spelt?” I said, PORN, I said porn. He said, what’s porn? Luckily, it was a red light. I stopped and I looked at him, you know, bad parenting mother. I said, what. I said, well, you don’t know what porn is. I said, what? We’ve talked about this so many times. Porn, are you for real, you don’t know what porn is. He looked at me and said, no, what is it? I said you know, naked people having sex. People with no clothes on. The sort of stuff that you might find on YouTube. And if you do, you’re supposed to tell me. He said, Oh yeah, yeah, I know what that is.

Braxton Dutson:        Oh yeah. I remember

Cath Hakanson:               I was like kids, they forget stuff. And so, it’s a conversation that you have to keep on having, but I think you can talk at about that age of five or six because you’re talking about if they find people with no clothes on or people in sexy clothing. And if you’re also talking about it as images that make you feel different or feel funny or make you feel scared or excited or just different, something that makes– Because this is conversations. And this whole thing, I’ve got a friend who works with protective behaviors, protective education.

And she talks about how she went to a big cyber thing in Australia. It was like some big guru came from England and he turned around to them all and said you’re all stupid. He said, you’re all talking about cyber safety as if it should be its own niche, its own sort of area of expertise. He said, it’s protective behaviors. He said, you should be thinking of cyber safety and pornography, as in, how do we keep children’s safe? Not as in talking to them about a particular issue and a particular sort of area of conversations. He said, it’s a conversations of talking to kids about, if you feel scared, what does your body tell you? Getting them to understand the inner warning signals, making sure that they’ve got someone they can talk to if they feel safe.

So when you look at preventing child sexual abuse, a lot of that stuff fits in with pornography because grooming and pedophiles as well with sexual abuse will group children with pornography as well before they abuse them themselves.

Braxton Dutson:               And that I like that you’re bringing this up. That maybe it’s not so much the question of what is the exact age I should start this, but I love the idea of around the age of five, especially because that’s about the time that we’re going to start having them go off and play with friends and they start to leave parents side, if you will.

Cath Hakanson:               Yes, it’s the environment that you have. So if you’re homeschooling, when you have no internet access and you live in the middle of nowhere and the kids aren’t playing with other kids, I don’t think you need to have that conversation then. But if they’re going to grandma’s and grandma just lets them sit on the internet and do whatever they want, or she has visitors and stuff, you need to have different conversations then depending on what your kids are exposed to.

Braxton Dutson:               Yeah. And then I love the fact that we’re talking about pornography being so– The term does not have a definite definition if you will. So it’s like, well, what’s pornography. Well, even as we’re describing it here, where we’re specifically talking about engaging in sexual acts, being naked, something that is meant to arouse sexually. That is something that even as though your son came up said, I saw porn. That possibly could be something that was distressing to him. And then being able to have that one or that two way conversation while also checking in because some kids won’t check in with you, others will be very open with checking in. And so being able to start feeling out what your kid likes to do more – are they more one that will hold things in and not talk, are they one that are very expressive and want to talk about what feelings they have. And how do you read your child that way?

Cath Hakanson:               Yeah. And this is where it comes down to the relationship that you have with your child. If you’ve got the sort of relationship, what you need is a relationship where your kids feel comfortable talking to you. And this is the thing about sex education is if you can talk to your kids about sex, it means that you can talk to them about anything, but more importantly, they can talk to you because kids pick up that sex is a taboo topic. So my daughter’s 14 and she knows that the conversations we have at our dinner table are not conversations that many of her friends have and [00:25:00] so it’s interesting. So, she knows that she can come and talk to me about stuff and she does. Now, she does not always, so great example when she had a first period, she didn’t tell me for three days.

Braxton Dutson:               Wow!

Cath Hakanson:               And we have a very open and honest relationship. So she had supplies. She wasn’t stressed or anything, but she felt uncomfortable about telling me, despite the fact that we talk about all this other stuff. So, this is that great example of, even though you might have an open and honest conversation, kids won’t always feel comfortable talking to you about stuff. And the porn is one of those conversations as well. But I might say to my son, if you see something like that, tell me. I also have to remind him that he’s not going to get in trouble. He’s not going to lose his internet access because if he thought that was going to happen, there’s no way he could tell me. It’s like handing off their oxygen supply. It’s pretty important.

Braxton Dutson:               Like thanks for telling me. Now, you can’t hang out with friends or play.

Cath Hakanson:               Yeah. So we need to sort of make it easier. And as they get older, we then need to take on that responsibility for checking, and it is hard. Like I’m lucky. I’ve got a 14-year old who likes dobbing on her younger brother, so I’ve got her watching as well. But I’ve actually installed software monitoring stuff now. I don’t mind. You’ll have to go in and check if it’s still working because my son’s 10, nearly 11 and one night, we’ll crawl into bed. My husband said, Oh, he had his iPad for some reason, he said, oh how to kiss girls. He said to me, oh is there something you should tell him? I was like, ha, so my son had started too. So, he’s getting to that age now where he’s starting to get curious so we have to have conversations. If you want to know anything about how to kiss girls, come and ask me about it. Don’t look it up on the internet because– And this is how most kids find stuff, curiosity. And it doesn’t matter how many conversations you have, how open and honest your relationship is, kids will still be kids and they’ll still do what kids do, which is why we’ve got to have these conversations.

Braxton Dutson:               Yeah. We’re in an age where Google is accessible anywhere and you can’t hold that back from your child. Not just because you can’t, but like there’s, you literally don’t have the access to cut off all areas. Even if you don’t have a computer in your home, they’re going to have access to it somewhere. And I’m learning something here the most. Like I say this all the time to my clients, because I’ll be talking to them about this and like, oh, you must do it perfectly or when you– I wish I knew everything that you knew and I’m here hearing Cath, you and I, we know this and you’ve got kids that you’ve worked with on this, and they’re still looking at Google. They still feel uncomfortable from times to talk with you about them.

And that’s just how growing works is, how do I feel comfortable? How do I not? And so, we can’t take this personally in a way of how are we going to do this perfect? We can’t do this perfect because every child’s different. And when every child is different, all we can do is say, this is what seems to work, I’m going to keep talking to you about it. And when something comes up, how is my reaction going to be? Can I keep calm? Can I get curious? All those things are so important because just like what you did, where you’re saying, well, tell me about what you saw and I’m not going to freak out over this, even though I don’t know what to do right now.

Cath Hakanson:               Yeah. And you don’t always have to respond straight away. You don’t have to give that instant reaction. It’s not like you see your kid riding a bike off the side of the bridge and there’s no barrier and they’ve got no brakes. It’s not like you have to intervene and respond straight away. You’ve always got that time to calm down and you can always do damage control. I’m a big believer that if you have responded negatively, you can fix it up. Kids learn more I think from when we stuff up as parents. They learn more because sex education is everything we do is parenting. It’s all about getting kids ready, preparing them so that they’ll leave home and have successful lives. And when they see us stuff up, and they see us apologize or make amends, they learn a lot from that as well. They learn, grow up, understanding that they don’t have to be perfect themselves.

Braxton Dutson:               Yeah. And I think that I like your analogy of they’re not going off a cliff on a bike that needs action right now. And there’s one right way to do something.

Cath Hakanson:               Yeah. And look, porn is, I have from talking to lots and lots of parents and talking with people who specialize with working with children who have usually ended up in the eyes of the [00:30:00] police and they’ve got to come along and have therapy and treatment because of what they’ve been up to. Talking to them and from what parents of say myself is the kids that end up having problems with porn are the kids whose parents don’t know about it, or the parents don’t do anything about it. The kids that have got parents that jump in and respond and have got open, good relationships, they’re the kids that don’t have problems. Often say that I see sexual development as a path and there’s like a main path. And sometimes, we go off the path, but nine times out of 10 with a little bit of conversation, the kids will get back onto that path.

But occasionally, they don’t get back on the path and they get a little bit lost and then you need to get someone to come in and help you get them back on that. That’s what I just believe and I just feel yes. And the ones that end up off the path, they’re the ones that do stuff. That’s gets them in prison, sexual problems. And but there’s a lot of really good research. The UK in particular does some fantastic research that looks at how teenagers deal with porn, and it’s not all doom and gloom. We thinks kids stupid. We think that they’re going to look at this stuff and they’re not always going to believe that it’s what happens that it’s yeah.

So, I think this is good research coming out saying that teenagers can look at stuff objectively and go, oh, I don’t really think that’s what happens or that’s not what I want to do with my partner. There’s a pocket of them that do believe that but then you’ve got to look at what else. It’s the bigger picture. What else is that child narrow minded about? When we look at research and we hear these horror stories, we’re only seeing one small snippet of the story. We’re not seeing the bigger picture and the other stuff that happens as well. I think as parents, porn is pretty serious and I don’t want my kids growing up on the jar of porn. But when and if they do see porn, well not if because it’s a matter of when. By talking to our kids, we’re giving them the skills and the knowledge to be able to manage porn appropriately, to be able to make good decisions about whether they want to watch it or not.

Braxton Dutson:               Yeah. That involves you instilling your values, which is why it can feel like they’re falling off a cliff on a bike because it’s typically not the values that are there for the parent. And then, we’re also looking at it going– When this research that we’re talking about, there’s been some fascinating research I want to say over in Ohio, that they had a group of kids that, they were teaching about sexual health in pornography. They talk specific about pornography and started saying, this is what sex is. This is what female bodied individuals typically like, this is what male bodies typically look like. This is how actions are, this is kind of how sex works. And they talked to them or they had a screening pre the education and then post and you’re right. They followed right along with that.

The first part is they were like, I don’t think so, but I’m seeing so many people engage in this type of sexual act online, and so I must need a penis that’s this big, or every girl really wants this, or every homosexual relationship really wants this or that. And they’re putting it together and going, I don’t have any other context cause no one taught me more so it’s becoming education. When they get education about it, then they look at it and it almost becomes hysterical. They’re like, that is not what they want. That is okay, yeah, sure. Touching this girl on her neck, isn’t going to make her make those sounds so much.

                      Maybe some people, but for the majority, it’s okay. If my girlfriend or my boyfriend does not act this way because I know that this is entertainment versus a peek into someone’s room that I’m all excited to see because now I know how to have sex. And I think that’s super important is they will pick that up, but they have to have the education. We have to talk to them or else porn becomes the education and we don’t want that.

Cath Hakanson:               Yes. And we’ve got to talk about this stuff because kids are picking up messages from everywhere. And we can’t tell a kid what values to grow up with. So if you want your kids to wait until they’re married to have sex, you can share that information with them, but you can’t force it. The days of chastity belts are over. Hopefully they’re not over for everyone. Some places still do have them, but you can’t force them. But all we can do is guide them and talk about stuff. And how the hell can we expect our kids to make a decision about pornography if we’re not talking about it or to make decisions about love, sex relationships, if there’s not conversations, if there’s no baseline?

Because a lot of us, as we grew up, we didn’t have parents ourself to talk about. So where did we get our sexual values from? What we saw on TV, what we read in books, what our friends were up to. And so many of us made mistakes ourself. [00:35:00] So, if we don’t want our kids to make those same mistakes, we need to talk. And as a parent, I worry about the partners that my kids are going to have one day because I don’t want my daughter’s first relationships to be with someone who learned everything they know about sex from porn. And I don’t want my son treating his partners how people get treated in porn either.

Braxton Dutson:               It’s pulling out your values of saying I want relationships to be supportive and a sexual relationship to be caring and to be able to have them know that they can expect and demand certain things from a sexual relationship. That it’s not something you have to– I think that’s the number one thing that I hear most people report like, well, guys typically want this or girls typically want this, or I saw this and so I figured I was just supposed to go along with it. And that is probably one of the things that makes me the most sad is that it takes the consent out of it.

It takes the consent out of a sexual experience because whether they’re having sex after marriage or beforehand, or they’re following the values of the family or they’re not, or they’re creating their own, if you’re not bringing consent into it, some of that education, especially from porn is more of like, well, if you don’t want to, I just have to convince you more. Or if you don’t like this, I just need to wait and then eventually you’re going to want this because that’s just what I saw and that’s the education I’ve had. And I think if we have this conversation, especially when we are talking to them about you don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do.

If you don’t think you want it, don’t say yes and if you have a trusted partner and you want to try something, let them know beforehand. Talk to them say hey this is something I’d be interested in doing, this is something I want to or this is something I want to do only after I marry or only after I’ve been in a relationship for a couple of years. And they get to then start creating that decision for themselves and what they want their relationship to look like. No matter what they’ve seen in pornography or what their partner seen in pornography, it can take that out of the equation more or less.

Cath Hakanson:        Yeah, definitely.

Braxton Dutson:               Yeah. What are some of the things that you think we ought to– We’re talking about this conversation. I wonder if we can break it down a little bit more into what would we tell a kid if we’re bringing it up maybe for the first time? We’re a parent that is listening to this podcast, following SexEdRescue and goes, oh, I have a 14-year old too and I’ve never talked about this. In fact, we’ve only had to talk about her period and or my son about masturbation or maybe we talked about periods but we haven’t talked about anything, we’ve given one talk. What should they do about talking about pornography? They’ve probably already seen it.

Cath Hakanson:               You can often use the excuse of I heard something on the radio the other day or I saw something on TV, I read something in a magazine, and it talked about how teenagers are learning about sex from porn and it made me sit and think and realize that we actually don’t talk about sex, we don’t talk about porn and it made me think about why. And my parents didn’t talk to me about it, therefore, I haven’t felt comfortable talking to you. I feel uncomfortable now talking to you. This is something that we don’t talk about but I’d like to change that. I’d like us to have to talk about this stuff more. And maybe later from that, sometimes, you can take the easy way out and grab a book.

Books, this is why I love books. This is why I started reviewing them all because they make sex education so easy. Want to talk to your kids about porn, there’s a choice of about 6 or 7 good books. You can go with the fairy tales, you can slip in a book about porn or consent, whatever you want. I used to do a deal with my kids and I’d go you can pick two books, I pick one book and we’d read a book and we read the books and I might ask a question that’s totally rated I was just rated and then try to see what happens, and then I might pull the book out again a week later and I might ask a question. You can take it very slowly. Books are great because you don’t have to remember what to say. You don’t have to post porn is this, the what, why, how, when, how because the book says it all for you.

And then, you can slowly as you get more comfortable and realize that holes not going to open up in the earth and you’re not going to fall into it by reading this book, and you can then start asking questions [00:40:00] or have you seen this sort of stuff on the internet, and there’s some really good books starting to come out. And books like this are good because you need to buy them because you need to keep revisiting them. It’s not the sort of book that you can borrow from a library, it’s a book that you need to have sitting in your bookcase.

Braxton Dutson:        Yes, most definitely and you’ve got a lot of those on SexEdRescue.

Cath Hakanson:               Yeah, there’s about a dozen porn ones. Someone is sending me a book to look at about sexteen which I’m so excited about. She messaged me today and asked if it had arrived and it’s like no. Apparently, there’s a heap of mails sitting [unintelligible 00:40:41] warehouse is on … at the moment, so I’m hoping. A book called sixteen, so I’m really keen to see what that’s like.

Braxton Dutson:        So important.

Cath Hakanson:        There’s more and more stuff coming out to starting conversations.

Braxton Dutson:               What you’re talking about Cath is making– Like I’m seriously feeling warm inside. I’m like when you started talking about how to bring up that conversation with a teen or someone that you like I’m behind the ball on this one, and just being brutally honest. This has been uncomfortable for me. This is something I don’t know how to handle and I feel it’s really important and just being real and saying this is what’s going on and this is kind of the values I have. I think typically, parents feel the need to jump in and say [kind of in a demanding way] you will not look at porn, you will tell me if this happens. And just as much we’ve seen that work super well with teens, right, you’re going to do this. And the teenagers go watch me not do that and then we get into a battle of wits or a battle of will.

And the way that you describe that, I think teens are really good at also recognizing reality and emotion. And if you’re being real and saying you know what, I know that you’ve probably already experienced this, I want to talk about it, I want to have this conversation keep going, it’s difficult for me. Wow! You’re teaching them so much more than I don’t want you looking at pornography. You’re teaching them everything about this is uncomfortable and parents are uncomfortable just like what you’re saying and [crosstalk].

Cath Hakanson:               Because this is just one of many conversations. Teenagers, you’re talking about I don’t want you going in a car with someone who’s been drinking. I don’t want you using the phone as you drive. I don’t want you coming back home on the bus at midnight. There’s so many conversations that we have with kids. And it comes down to your parenting style as well as to how you parent. It’s about fitting it in with your style.

But as you’ve said, if you’re going to come down heavy with teenagers who are finding their own independence, but they still need you there to catch them and guide them, yeah, it all comes down to your style. And that’s why I’m that big believer in open and honest relationships. They’re just so important to have that. And you can be as firm or as lenient as you want, but if you’re talking and you’re communicating and your child trusts you and they know that you’ve got their back, it’s just a good starting point.

Braxton Dutson:               Yeah. It’s definitely that balance between, is the parent a friend or is the parent the ruler that needs to be there? Like, we’ve got to have that balance of like, you can come approach me and I’m also going to hold firm boundaries, and you can push the boundaries, but I’m also going to push back and these are the values I’m going to teach. There’s very much a balance to it that needs to play in with your teenager, as well as your parenting style, one hundred percent.

Cath Hakanson:               Yeah. And I get very analytical. I look at the people around me that I know different family members, different friends. And I look at how they talk to their kids about stuff, and I’ll look at the directions that their kids go to. And I’ve got lots of sex friends in sexologists or sex educators or therapists. And I look at where their kids end up in the decisions that they make. And you see that evidence of those people that have those great conversations with their kids. Their kids grow up making usually smart decisions.

We all make bad decisions, but their kids bounce back from those bad ones as well. And I look at the other friends who might not be talking about sex. Well, they might be talking about other things or they want to be a best friend to their kid rather than being a parent, and just see the directions that their kids end off and the writing’s on the whole, you can just see it. And having worked with adults and teens for a long time, the writing’s on the wall. You can just predict where someone’s going based on what’s happening at home.

Braxton Dutson:               And there’s those differences as you’re saying, like with smart decisions and bad decisions, we have healthy decisions when it comes to the physical body. And then even though maybe [00:45:00] because– I’m in Salt Lake city, Utah, which is a place where we have a lot of individuals that really value not exploring sexual experiences before marriage. And when those values are really heavy, we’re just saying like maybe more Orthodox individuals that are a part of a religion that’s more Orthodox and says, this is what you’re supposed to do.

The not talking doesn’t encourage the value following. It’s just, there’s not, we don’t see that in research, we don’t see that anecdotally. There’s no way to be able to say, if we don’t talk about sex, then my child will not engage in sexual experiences. What we’re actually saying is we talk about sex, we instill our values and talk about those values. We also talk about sexual health and all three of those will help create the decisions that your teen wants to make, that you want your teen to make, and then be able to help them build that resiliency to come back if they start to come off of that path a little bit, but we have to have the conversation.

Cath Hakanson:               Yeah. Can’t make smart decisions based on ignorance, can you?

Braxton Dutson:               Oh, I have to quote you on that. Can’t make smart decisions based on ignorance. I love that.

Cath Hakanson:        No, you can’t.

Braxton Dutson:               Yeah.

Cath Hakanson:               It’s like having an operation. You know why I have this major surgery which could change my whole life? To make a decision like that, you need to have information. You can’t just go, yeah, I’ll do it or no. It’s yeah. We just see that if by talking to your kids about porn, that you’re going to create a problem. So I started writing all this stuff and I’ll be, I was doing all this research and finding out, getting all the evidence to back up what I wanted to put because there’s not a lot out there to actually say what we should be doing. And a lot of what I do is based on common sense, understanding of how kids learn and experience sexuality and a little bit of experience.

But I was writing all this stuff and I was starting to talk to my son a lot more about porn. And I had that moment where I thought I shouldn’t be talking to him, by talking to him about this stuff, maybe he’s going to go and Google it, maybe I’m planting the seed, what’s mom going about all the time, maybe I should go and look it up. And then I thought, hang on, get real, this is not what’s going to happen, and I had to sort of remind myself. And it’s funny, like I know all the barriers, I know all the fears but they keep coming up, and it doesn’t matter who you are. Here I am with all the knowledge, all the research, talk to my kids about stuff all the time, and I’m still getting fears about what’s it going to do, the conversation. Am I going to create a problem?

Braxton Dutson:               Am I going to create it? That one comes up all the time that the parents, when I’m talking about this, they have this jump and they’re like, I’m going to do it. But what if I start talking about breasts and bodies and people being naked, and then that’s going to push them. Am I going to push my 7-year old to go look at naked people having sex?

Cath Hakanson:               Yeah because talking prepares them. It makes them more resilient rather than– I remember one night, this is when I was doing some research about five years ago, I found this really good website by someone, and it was for parents about how to have the porn talk. I think it was called the, I’ll tell you the web now you’ll find what I found. I think it was called the porn talk.com or something. Anyway, I found a piece of paper somewhere in my huge pile of photocopied things that had the website domain. So I plugged it in and next thing on the screen was this huge photo of these guys having sex, a video. And I thought, and it was like this, oh, wasn’t what I expected to see. I was shocked first of all that that appeared because all I was expecting a black screen because the website was black with white and it shocked me.

And then I had a bit of a look because I wanted to see what was there just out of curiosity. And my husband was sitting next to me and happened to glance over and said, “are we bored are we?” And I was like no. And then I told him and yeah. And it was just like, it was that initial shock, but I knew what I was looking at, but how would my kids feel if they– Because I sometimes will be looking for something and porn will pop up, but I’m an adult, I know that what I see and I recognize it and I know how to respond. If we don’t talk to our kids, how are they going to feel when they say this stuff and they don’t know how to respond? They can’t recognize the feeling that their body’s responding to. [00:50:00] So having these conversations makes it a little bit more resilient. It prepares them so that they know what to do when they see it.

Braxton Dutson:               There’s probably a lot of parents that are listening to us talk right now going, yeah, I was one that didn’t get spoken to, and when I saw pornography for the first time, I did experience a lot of that, kind of the immediate shock and then maybe bodily reactions where the body’s responding to sexually relevant content. And then I don’t know if I should be looking at this, but I’m also intrigued and there’s curiosity and all these different experiences that come up and you haven’t had any context for it.

So, I loved it, that’s talking about that can help curb that reaction. And at the same time, I think there’s a combo in here that we’re talking about. You were talking a little bit about having parental controls and that the parental controls popped up. And from the parental controls, you could see that your son or someone was wondering how to kiss girls, which is obviously a very curious thing for a preteen to be wondering. But being able to see that with the conversation, there’s protection where you can also follow up.

Cath Hakanson:               Yeah. I have always been anti software blocking, first of all, because it made my job working from home. And even when I was working, I’d stole it when my kids were younger. I couldn’t look up anything on the computer for work because I’m looking at sex stuff all the time, so I’ve always been anti because it make my life harder. But also that I actually felt that I saw so often that parents would go, oh, well I’ve got software, I’ve got parental controls, my kid’s fine. It’s like yeah right. And so a little Joanie lands on these phone and says, hi, look at this or they go to grandma and grandma does nothing with the computer. I was always against it, but then my kids got older, and I’ve got a super curious little boy.

And I then realized that I actually needed to put up some self-something to make it harder, to make it hard cipher for him, but also it’s what it is, is about delaying it because I know it’s going to happen, but I don’t want him to be exposed to porn now because I don’t know whether he would tell me. He’s just at that funny age where, so for us, we have it. My kids know about it so we had a big conversation about it because it makes their life a little bit harder. But for us, what was really good was about was it actually helped us to start having conversations again about pornography, and because my kids wanted to know how it worked and we had to do a little bit of testing, so I was looking up porn on Instagram, on my daughter’s Instagram account, which she wasn’t very happy about. She went to see what I could find because I wanted to know what it would, it wouldn’t let me do.

Yeah, really interesting brought up some great conversations by installing it. But the common thing that I see with parents is that it’s like, I have parental controls therefore, I don’t need to talk. Conversations do still need to happen because parental controls are a pain. Like, oh, I’m going to go in after a chat just to check, the ALS is still on. I get a report every day. I instantly delete it. I don’t even look at it. I do get a notification if someone’s looking up porn because okay yeah, so it does let me know if something has moved up.

Braxton Dutson:               Yeah, there’s one quote from one of your blogs that I really liked where it says you find that it doesn’t just block pornography, it also blocks conversations. And I think that’s what we have to take from this the most is parental controls, yeah, they can be annoying, they can be great. The main thing is that it makes it harder. I have not heard one story of someone coming into my office and saying, you know what? I was looking at this and then I was curious, and then my parents got parental controls.

And for the next five or six years, I just, I didn’t see pornography at all – that never happens. What happens is they got parental controls, we stopped talking about it. And then, I would find this on Instagram or if I would type this and misspell it just a little bit the software wouldn’t read it up. And so when it wouldn’t read that, then it wouldn’t pin it and then I could see some things, and there’s always a way around it. So, the conversation is the first step, the software can be the second step and then continue to check up is the third step in that, but don’t– It’s not a crutch to rely on.

Cath Hakanson:               Yeah. And if kids are watching porn, they often find it hard to stop watching it. And that’s why parental controls can be really helpful as well, because it just makes [00:55:00] it that little bit harder for them. But again, you still need to be having those conversations as well.

Braxton Dutson:               We’re looking at, like you said earlier, we’re looking at them as healthy adults, as adults that we want with a positive sexual experience. Once they’re 18 and they leave your home and they are not paying for their own parental controls, we want to teach them ways to be able to help manage stress, anxiousness, boredom, desire for sex, masturbation, things along those lines because if it’s like, well, we held you out till 18, now go off and do your own thing and they don’t know how to manage it, then we’re dealing with the same thing.

Cath Hakanson:               I know! There’s so many adults that have porn addictions, who aren’t able to have healthy relationships with someone, and this is the thing as well. I do a YouTube channel for tweens. I’ve stopped doing it lately because I turned off all the comments because it was just getting too hard to moderate them. And I felt there were a few adults that were potentially grooming some of these younger viewers, so I just stopped all comments.

But a lot of them were watching a lot of porn and they were finding that it was the only way they’d masturbate. They would masturbate daily to porn. They were incapable of having a relationship with someone or didn’t want to, or felt that having a girlfriend or boyfriend was too hard. It was just easier to watch porn. And it was tricky because it was sort of like having to come up with a reason why they shouldn’t.

It’s like if my son could have McDonald’s every night for dinner, he would, he’d love it. So try to get the message across to him as to why McDonald’s every night, isn’t a good idea. And you’ve got to come up with reasons that makes sense to them. You know, do you want to be able to find a soccer player one day? Yeah. Well, don’t eat McDonald’s every night, and it’s the same thing with porn. Do you want to have a relationship with someone one day? Do you want to meet Mr. Right or Mrs. Right?

I’m not big into fairytales and the believing that there’s one person out there, but hey, if you’re talking to a 12-year old or a 14-year old, you spin them, whatever yarn you want to spin them to get the message across to them. And for a lot of kids, they want to meet someone, they want to have a boyfriend or a girlfriend, they want to feel loved. They don’t want to feel alone as an adult, so talking to them about, if you want to have a good relationship with someone one day, well, you need to be able to connect with someone and watching porn every day is going to stop that from happening.

Braxton Dutson:               And that can be something that, again, we look at it in a way of it’s parts to relationships. And we can talk about that, especially when it comes to pornography, being simple, it’s inviting, it’s no one’s ever judgmental. And so, there tends to be less stressed than being naked with another person. That’s definitely a thing to talk about.

Cath Hakanson:               You know, you stick some porn on, watch it, within 10 minutes, you’re sexually aroused, you climaxed, you had your orgasm, and you’re back off to watching the dishes or whatever. But to have sex with a partner in a bedroom can take up to half an hour, an hour. That’s if you’re actually talking to each other or like each other at the time, or he’s in the mood or you’re in the mood. Porn’s easy especially if you’re feeling horny. It’s the easy solution, but it doesn’t do much for a relationship. It’s thought of that connection. It’s very much about one thing, getting your own rocks off, you know, it’s about your own sexual pleasure.

Braxton Dutson:               There’s one thing is you’re talking about that I’m reading the book, Boys and Sex as well as if you read the Girls and Sex, by Peggy Orenstein, I believe is the author. And in Boys and Sex, they are talking about how these boys were experiencing, especially that we’re talking about right now is typically when porn is seen as the go-to and we’re not talking about it. And they think their relationship should be like this.

And they’re avoiding relationships because they’re so worried about penis size or squirting or breast size or how they’re supposed to moan and act and all these things. So it’s like, ah, I just won’t do this and I’ll look at the pornography instead. And when education came in, they were able to start bringing that back in. It’s not a death sentence for a relationship. It’s just, let’s bring it back to what we have for values and relationships and connection. We can all talk about this as parents.

Cath Hakanson:               My daughter’s 14 and most of the conversations we have lately are about love. They’re about relationships, they’re about consent. We don’t talk about sex a lot. We talk about all the other stuff that makes a relationship up. I’m getting lots of converse questions from her about when I met her dad, how did I know I [01:00:00] loved him, how come we’re still together, but some of her friends’ parents are divorced. The conversations we’re having now are about love and relationships. The sex stuff she finds. She can go read it in a book.

Braxton Dutson:               What’d you say, you’ll throw a book at her sometimes and say.

Cath Hakanson:               Yeah but we’re now having conversations about all these other things that are just as important, and it’s about the big picture. It’s the whole package. It’s not just about one small part. It’s like, yeah, your meal with MacDonald’s, you don’t just get a burger. You get fries and the shake and all the other stuff. And I think we need to let kids understand that relationships are about the whole thing. They’re not just one small thing, and sex is just such a small part of a relationship. It’s an important part, but it’s a small part.

Braxton Dutson:               Absolutely. I’m going to ask you one more question and I ask everyone this, is like if you could takeaway the thing that you could tell all the listeners here, one thing that you want them to have or that you want them to take away from this episode, what would that be? And I’m going to fall or bring that up as I’m taking away my aspect of it.

One thing I’m pulling from this is that formal conversations aren’t necessarily the best, just one talk or once every couple months talk is not going to get us into the place that we want. But if you’re starting to talk at age five, and then you’re going up through the ages and it continues to progress and we keep them as casual conversations and we’re talking about it a lot, you’re doing yourself a lot of favors when we get to some of those more difficult teen years. And we just have conversations about what we see; bring it up, talk about it, be uncomfortable, seek support. That’s what I’m learning from everything that we talked about is you can do this, you just need to do it. What would you say you want the listeners to take away?

Cath Hakanson:               It would be that the first conversation is the hardest and I see this in my parent group. I do a free Facebook group for parents and some of them will come on and they’ll go, I had my first conversation with my kid about X and it was so much easier than I thought it would be. And this is the thing is that the first conversation is always the hardest conversation, but once you’ve sort of had it, it then does get a lot easier, and I think that’s that thing. It’s don’t put it off because once it’s happened, it’s done and then you can talk more.

Braxton Dutson:               Nice and it keeps going. Well, thank you so much, Cath for being on here to talk about such an important topic. I really appreciate you.

Cath Hakanson:               Thanks Braxton. It’s a good talk [crosstalk].

Braxton Dutson:               It was a good talk. We did have a good talk and it all, and we hope that you take all parts of this and be able to start your own conversations. Again, thank you so much for tuning in to Birds and Bees Podcast and for supporting the buzz, keeping the buzz alive, talking to your kids about sexual health, talking to your partner about sexual health. That is what we’re here for. So we look forward to seeing you in future episodes, and we appreciate you being a part of the hive.

[Music].

This has been another episode of the Birds and Bees Podcast. Thank you for tuning in. If you have any questions about the show, comments, or questions you would like addressed in another episode, please give us a call at (385) 449-1818. Leave your voicemail and your question. Or you can also email us at [email protected] or visit us online at birdsandbeespodcast.com. [01:03:46]

Resources to help with talking about porn

My mission is to create resources that will help you to naturally talk to your kids about sex, all while respecting your personal values.

Which means that inside this website, you’ll find lots of resources to help you with talking to your child about love, sex, relationships and growing up.

My Sex Education 101 page includes all of the information on sex education. You’ll find lots of different blog posts to help with getting started, on a wide range of different topics – bodies, consent, diversity, porn, sexual intercourse and more.

You’ll find videos about sex ed in my Sex Education Videos resource page that you can watch with your child or to learn more about sex education yourself.

You’ll also find an extensive range of sex education books for children, for kids of all ages. There are even some books in there for parents!

If you’re looking for some ideas on how to talk to your child about bodies, How to Talk to Kids About Bodies, will help you to start naming the private body parts and to have shame-free conversations with them about bodies. It is filled with lots of different ideas on how to have natural conversations with your child about their body. 

You’ll also find some child-friendly anatomically-correct cartoon illustrations of the genitals and internal reproductive organs that are appropriate for children from the age of 3 and up. Let’s Look at Different Body Parts is a printable that will help take the awkward out of talking to your child about their body, so they grow up feeling educated, confident, and comfortable in their own skin.

Or if you’re looking for an activity that you can sit down and complete with your child, then you may want to look at my activity books. They are perfect for starting natural conversations whilst your hands are busy.

If you need some help with explaining sexual intercourse to your child, then How to Talk to Kids About Sex, will help you explain sex to your child in a way they will understand. It breaks sex down into simple steps that take the stress out of explaining!

If you’re unsure about how to answer your child’s questions about sex, then I have a number of different resources that will give you word-for-word answers that are age-specific.

If you want a printed book to hold in your hands, then The Sex Education Answer Book will give you age-specific answers to the most common questions kid’s ask parents about sex. Which means you don’t need to worry about finding a child-friendly explanation that your child understands. 

If you want the answers to questions about a lot more than just sex, then Sex Ed Quickies is your best option. This web-based app has answers to 300+ questions that kids commonly ask parents,  including how babies are made, sexual intercourse, body parts, puberty, relationships, pregnancy, birth, masturbation, sexual diversity, gender, pornography, STIs, contraception and much more.

And if you get stuck, feel free to get in touch! You can contact me here.

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