Blog: The Birds and the Bees
The Condom Demonstration Print

By Debra Hauser, Executive Vice President

Talking to your teen about sex is . .  . well . . . uncomfortable at best for most parents.  As the parent of a 14 year old (and a sex educator by trade) my poor child has been privy to information about sex and sexuality ever since he could hear through the walls of my uterus!  Nonetheless, a few weeks ago, I decided it was time to make sure that he was comfortable with condoms--that he knew how to put one on should he need it. Of course, I hoped that he wouldn’t need it for quite a while. But that afternoon, I had watched an educational film that broke through my parental complacency.  The footage included interviews with five teens--four of whom had already had sex and not one of whom had told his or her parents. Further, none of them had used a condom—for the most part they thought carrying condoms would make them look . . . ready! 

So with my parental denial so clearly challenged, I laid in wait in the kitchen for my son to return home from a football game.  Carefree and unaware of what was in store for him, he trotted into the kitchen for some Cherry Garcia ice cream and a hug before bed. 

The game was on. 

“Hey Sam, remember those condoms I brought home from work last month—can you go get one please. I’d like to make sure that you know how to use them.”  A look of incredulity crossed his face as he protested the randomness of the request.  Nonetheless, I persisted.  “Go on!” I urged, explaining the film I had seen earlier and protesting that parents are always the last to know about these things. 

Sam put up a bit more of a fuss but climbed the stairs to get the condoms while I raided the banana basket.   When he returned, I handed him the banana and clearly yet calmly stated, “You know that I think you are too young to have sex yet, but I do want you to get comfortable with condoms and to know how to use them for when you do have sex.” 

To his chagrin (and to be honest, my bemusement), he carefully tore open the condom package (“Did you check the expiration date?” I quipped annoyingly in his ear), took hold of the reservoir tip and began rolling the condom down the banana.  Pretty effectively, I might add.  With some pride, he held it up for me to see. 

“Good job!” I laughed, pleased with myself for pursuing this course of action.  We both chuckled a bit as I cautioned against the dangers of throwing used condoms in the toilet and gently washed the banana off, putting it back in the basket for his dad to eat in the morning.

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