‘I wish my parents had taught me’

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It’s an awkward conversation that many parents dread to have when their children approach adolescence, but it’s one Thabisa* wishes her parents could have been more open about.

It’s the sex talk.

The 18-year-old matric pupil from East London says she began to learn about sex in magazines.

“My parents didn’t talk about it, and still don’t really talk about it.

"At school, we started learning about it in Grade 6 in life orientation, but it was also very awkward listening to the teacher because, at home, it’s not something that’s spoken about,” she told City Press.

On her 16th birthday, Thabisa’s parents braved the subject – but only briefly.

“They called me into the room and the only thing they said to me was that I should stay a virgin … the conversation came out of the blue. They were watching the news, I think, and that’s all they said.”

Also read: It’s never too late to have the (sex) talk

Fortunately for her parents, Thabisa has not been sexually active, but not because of anything they said or because of a lack of opportunity.

In fact, she has had a boyfriend for four years, who went to initiation school last month.

However, he has recently been putting her under pressure to consummate their relationship.

“It just doesn’t feel right … the way he is treating me now is like a booty call, when I’m not that. I don’t know when I will do it, but I would like it to be romantic and to feel right,” Thabisa said shyly.

She added that none of her friends’ parents had spoken to them about sex either.

“When you even bring up the subject of boyfriends, parents get angry. Or if they find out that you have one, it’s because they bust you somehow by reading your diary or phone messages,” she said.

“I would definitely like to be more open with my parents. I want to feel like I can talk to them.

"Especially because I’m a teen and you know it’s a time when we are so hormonal.”

*Not her real name

How did you learn about sex? Do you think you'll teach your children about sex the same way you did? Share your stories by emailing chatback@parent24.com and we may publish your stories. Should you wish to remain anonymous, please let us know.

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