I feel SO grateful my parents talked to me early and often, and openly about sex.
I mean, they did write a book about it after all, and I am just so grateful for their proactive parenting.
They had the “big talk” with each of us at age eight.
Which was genius in my opinion: it was before we heard much about it from anyone else (that’s probably not true any more in our day and age!), it was that time of life when you think your parents know everything, and also that time when you felt pretty honored to be trusted with that big news:)
Dave and I have had that “big talk” with each of our kids around age eight as well (Lucy was a little later).
I’m so grateful we had the tools to talk about this early (I held that book of my parents in my lap and referred to it every other sentence!). I’m grateful that once we opened that door of communication about sex, our kids were (hopefully!) more likely to ask us questions and confide in us if they had worries. (I’ll have to ask my kids how they feel about that whole business now looking back all these years later, because in hindsight I think we could have talked about it more than we did, but maybe they would have been mortified by that! Ha.)
I just feel like sex and the things surrounding it can be such a misunderstood concept, especially when you grow up in a religious family. It is something that has the potential be talked about as if it’s wrong, shameful and dark when in actuality it is incredibly beautiful.
A way to show love as well as to give life.
A gift from God and part of our spirituality.
And I’m SO grateful for the gift my parents gave me to explain that and to put it in such a beautiful framework.
Ok, so fast forward to a few months ago when I heard Jennifer Finlayson Fife (a relationship and sexuality coach) was coming to do a workshop here in the desert…at my cousin’s house.
That cousin had told me about Jennifer Finlayson Fife before and had sent me one of her podcasts years ago, and I had heard good things about her workshops. I was curious not only about how she talks about “Art of Desire” and sexuality in a spiritual sense, but also how she does these workshops/conferences (we’re thinking about doing a retreat for our podcast some day).
Also, I actually went on study abroad to Jerusalem with Jennifer all those years ago, which was a fun connection.
So, I signed up for that workshop and a few good friends did too.
The weekend arrived (a couple weeks ago), and it turned out that Abby and her mom ended up coming as well (Abby’s mom works for Jennifer) it was a pretty awesome few days.
Loved that I got to catch up with Sarah (Abby’s mom) and also that we got to hang so much with my favorite daughter-in-law.
We joked around that we were going to a “sex camp” together, when really we anticipated it would be more about relationships.
But it turned out there was a lot about sex, pretty deep and heavy, and at one point Abby whispered to me, “we really are at a sex camp together!” Ha!
It was a three-day workshop. The weather was gorgeous and the feeling being surrounded with all those women together was pretty awesome. Women are powerful! Jennifer is really articulate and talked so beautifully about relationships and sexuality.
Some of the questions that were asked and things shared made me extra grateful for Dave, and also for how my parents were so ahead of the curve on this stuff. And also made me realize I still have a lot to learn!
Between sessions I loved talking deep with friends as well as with Abby and her mom. We rode bikes back and forth in the perfect weather…
…and having a few adventures along the way.
Each night Dave and I hung with Abby and Lu (and a friend for Lu and Sarah one night), baked cookies, tried to keep up with the rest of life, and Dave and I stayed up late talking.
There was a mini fireside the last night, husbands invited. One of those husbands happened to be with us on study abroad in Jerusalem:
It was a good weekend.
It was interestingly timed shortly after my sisters and I recorded our “In the Arena” podcast about “the most amazing, wonderful, beautiful thing in the world: sex” (that’s how our parents referred to it as we anticipated the “big talk” when we were young).
Although there is another new episode airing today, I think the sex one is really an important one so I wanted to be sure to link it here as well.
It also has a funny ending I hope you’ll enjoy:)
Here you go.
Happy listening, and I’d love any other thoughts or advice about talking more openly about sex. I know some people have this whole deal really dialed in.
Thanks once again, mom and dad, for giving us the gift of that “big talk,” and all kinds of open talks after that, all those years ago! And thanks to you too, Jennifer Finlayson Fife, for all the work you do to create knowledge and wisdom and goodness around this important topic.