Masturbation for Teens

I don't usually watch Oprah, but had the TV on while cooking a day or two ago, and picked up the middle of a show on talking to your daughters about sex. I just missed the 10 year old being told the mechanics, and tuned in to hear the expert telling the audience something that had them aghast.

She reckons you need to tell your teen daughters about masturbation, self-pleasure and how to discover your sexual responses before they start dating. That way, when they start to get hot and heavy with a guy, they'll not only know what they're feeling, why they're feeling it and where it could potentially go, but they will be able to say "stop" - and if necessary go sort out their sexual frustration on their own later. It's a way of empowering themselves as women, knowing they don't have to depend on a guy to give them pleasure - or simply being able to take control of their own responses.

Now most moms I know have never had their moms tell them anything like this - and there was considerable outrage from those present at this blatant going-against-the-norm advice. It's bad enough that you have to sex-educate your kids - but this???!!!!??? Where does this leave talk of abstinence, "sex is bad" and all the other things that tend to be pushed to the fore, either consciously or subconsciously?

Of course that in turn opens a whole can of worms as to what the moms actually know about masturbation - and whether they're comfortable enough to pass that knowledge on. (I know my mom never mentioned it - it just "wasn't done") Oprah's all about empowerment - but is this taking it too far?

Maybe I'm too open-minded, but that advice makes sense in a weird way. If you know what to expect and how to control yourself in spite of raging hormones, you're less likely to end up in a sticky situation. Yet... how much is too much information - and at what age? It's a scientific fact that masturbation is a natural activity - unborn babies in the womb do it, little kids soon discover what feels nice (and are promptly told "that's nasty, don't do it!", leading to years of issues surrounding sexuality...). Perhaps being open enough to discuss the whys, hows and wherefores is a good thing?

I dunno. What are your thoughts?

And why is all this sensitivity around the subject only applicable to daughters? :-)

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