What to Say About Having Sex
Responsible parents recommend sexual abstinence to their teenagers. Abstinence doesn't mean “not ever”; it means “not yet.” It means delay, because the later an adolescent can wait to begin, the more judgment from maturity will govern decision-making and the less likely it is that harm will follow.
It is worth advising teenagers that substance intoxication and sexual arousal are both mood- and mind-altering experiences — what seems wise is often not as compelling as what feels good. In both cases, impulse is encouraged, or allowed to take charge. When the two are combined, your teenager is much more likely to try sexual intercourse. Tell your teenager that the best way to prevent unwanted or problem sex is by staying sober.
But suppose your teenager tells you that sometime this year, he or she is probably going to have sex. You're running a home, not a jail. You can inform choice, you can't control it. You can't tie your teenager down or lock the young person up.
Repeat why you do not believe it is in his or her best interests to have sex at this early age: It can confuse feelings, hurt self-image, complicate relationships, affect reputation, cause pregnancy, create parental responsibility, transmit sexual disease, and even result in death. It may also be against your moral values or religious faith.
The most powerful preventions against premature sexual involvement in late-adolescent dating are true friendship for each other and maintaining chemical sobriety when together.
Then, give some guidelines for safely doing that which you do not want the teenager to do. “If you are determined to have sex, then have a plan so it is intentional and not accidental. Be sober and do it with a person you trust. Do not feel emotionally or physically forced or trapped. Be responsible and use protection. Do not feel exploitive or exploited.
Do not assume that sex means love or love forever, and don't assume that love obligates you to have sex. Don't have sex unless you know that if the relationship ended, you would still feel good about yourself for having had sex. And do not feel that because you had sex once you are now bound to do it with this person or any other again.”