Today, whilst we were out sailing, I chatted  to my daughter about the books she was reading. She had brought along two. One was a chemistry book, and the other a novel I had never heard of, a harmless looking book called The Color Purple by Alice Walker that she had borrowed from the school library.

“What is it about?” I asked.

“Rape and the abuse of a young girl,” she said. “It starts with a violent rape scene.”

I was momentarily stunned.  “Should you be reading a book like this?” Her father and I have sought to fill her childhood, and that of her siblings’, with beautiful things only and now, at nearly 17, she is reading about a violent rape scene and abuse?

“I’m doing my Extended Essay for English based on this book,” she said comfortably.

“Uhm,” I mumbled, uncomfortably.

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And then, I thought about this:  if the Fifty Shades of Grey guy was a lorry driver and lived in a council estate, his emotional abuse of a vulnerable woman would not be so celebrated and nor would it have been accepted into mainstream. Abuse happens in all forms, not just in violent rapes. A man (OK, woman, too) abusing his spouse emotionally, wrecking her mentally, harming her wellbeing, raping her of her self-worth, is just as disgusting and deplorable.

Yet how many people teach their children just that?

And abuse happens in our world, all around us, the the ‘best’ homes.  Like porn.  Insulating our children from the ugliness does not mean it does not happen. Attacking the sex industry to protect our children is not the way. Like sex education. Avoiding it, shutting it down, does not mean that our children will remain celibate.

Unfortunately, this is part of the society we live in. Just as we teach our children to walk, eat with spoons, cross the roads, I believe we have to teach them what we value (and this may differ amongst families).

I do not want it to become norm for my child to have multiple casual sexual partners, devaluing something that should be special between two people.  I do not want her to ever accept a man abusing her, be it physical, mental or emotional. I do not want her to accept that as norm. I would like her to cherish herself and move forward in life with a strong sense of self-worth, rather than being used.

So I said, “I know it is yukky talking to your mother about the actual ins and outs out sex, so to speak, but do you know what I think is most erotic?”

She rolled her eyes. “You’re gonna to make me puke,” she replied.

“You’re going to listen anyway,” I retorted. Just as I taught her about birds and bees, and vaginas and penises, I will teach her too, that the beauty and the greatest high of sex is to be found with someone who cares deeply, desires passionately and is madly in love with you.  Empty highs, such as with porn, unnatural sex, etcetera, will never be able to equal that soaring feeling which you get when you are with someone who matches you ounce for ounce.

I read her something I wrote on the 27th January this year, about the exquisiteness of that feeling:

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You can read it here.

“At your age, too!” She mused, amused.  “Thought you both would have been past it.”

I told her about a couple, who were both attractive people in their 20s and 30s respectively.  They broke up painfully, because one partner was “not enough” for the other. Colouring the grey bits of his hair and having a personal trainer to firm up the tummy weren’t enough in the end.

I told my daughter, “It’s up to the two people in a relationship to feed the fire. That’s when the real excitement starts …. the erotic stuff I write, where d’you think it comes from???”

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“OMG,” she said. ‘You’re full of surprises, Mum, but TMI.”

Just sex education, my dear girl. Hot sex is not about age, looks or even what you do.  It’s all to do with what you think and what you feel ❤

Related posts: Seven ways of making your spouse your porn star and OMG, YES!