When I was a kid, I a relative of mine happened to be way into kinky sex. Don’t worry, this relative never did anything even vaguely inappropriate to me or in my presence.

I was about 10 years old when I picked up on my mom talking about this relative’s sex habits. I didn’t understand the specifics, but like any kid, I wanted to be in on the gossip. Now, my mom had a strict honesty policy. She was honest to a fault. She loved to tell a secret. So, after my prodding, she told me all about this relative’s sex life. I was 10 years old.

Parents, do not tell your 10-year olds about bondage. Just resist the urge, okay?

So, for years, possibly decades, after my mom filled me in, I was terrified of sex. No, not sex, just dirty sex. My mom did not judge the stuff she told me, she only gave me the basics. But the simple fact of getting too much too soon built a wall inside me.

The fact is, we adults sometimes do things that make no sense to kids. We break the rules, our own rules. We’ve learned enough to know that we can fuck up without ruining ourselves. To us adults, this can be exhilarating and life-affirming. But trust me, kids are not prepared for the truth.

When my kids come to me for information, I want to be truthful. I want them to know the facts. But I will keep it simple. Start with the easy facts, let those sink in until sexual exploration is a real part of their lives. Don’t crush them with too much too soon.

And when the time comes? Let them know that sex can be very, very fun. And complicated. Let them know where to find out more, and then give them the space to figure it out.

Mark, do you agree?

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