Hi Adventurers, there’s a question that’s been niggling me all week and I wanted to ask you guys . How early is too early for kids to have sex & what age is it appropriate for people to start having sex?
Let me tell you how the question came up. I’ve been trying to be the cool aunt that I never had to my nieces & nephews. When I was growing up, people were not very open about sex & I didn’t have any auntie to tell me the truth about sex. I grew up in a time when the only thing we heard about sex were lectures from teachers about how we should keep our virginity otherwise we could a. get pregnant b. get AIDS (not HIV, I mean full-blown AIDS! Such drama!) or c. never get any man to marry us. I was also taught that masturbation was evil- you could get blind from that stuff you know! Oh and don’t think I learnt anything about sex from movies either! Ghanaian movies didn’t have the erotic scenes they have today. Those were the days when GTV would put a big, fat, red ‘18’ sign at the top of the screen whenever a movie scene featured a couple on a bed. The painful part was that they didn’t do squat on that bed! Lol. And American movies that were shown after hours were cropped to remove sex scenes. Yes! As soon as things started getting steamy, there’d be a commercial break and you knew that things would never be the same when you returned! Hahaha.
So fast-forward several years since my heady teens and I’m now an adult with nieces and nephews of my own but no kids yet. I have decided to be open with my nieces & nephews about sex (in a manner appropriate for their age). So this month, when my 11 year old ’Americano’ niece started telling me about her classmates who were giving blowjobs to guys & 2 girls who were shagging the same guy (& knew the guy was dating them both)… Whew! I didn’t know how to react. Should I be cool with it or should I be worried? I don’t know, am I being a prude for feeling that kids should be allowed to be kids and that age 11 to 16 or even 18 is supposed to be about the following: discovering masturbation & the miracle that’s called your clit (if you’re a girl) or your dick (if you’re a man); making out with your crushes; puppy love; having wet dreams & fantasies, crying because some cute guy or girl ignored you, getting to 1st base and trying desperately to get to 2nd base but certainly NOT about hitting a home run ?
Her school counselors have told the kids that there’s nothing wrong with them having sex but they should use protection. I’m in a dilemma about how to feel. On the one hand, I don’t think my upbringing was the best & someone recently told me that one of the reasons why lots of married African women are angry & frustrated & the men are forever cheating is that we’re not allowed to sow our wild oats when we’re young but are pressured with this virginity thing. I think that’s true. My puritanical upbringing didn’t empower me to own my sexuality. So I don’t want that for my niece or any child. But on the other hand, I wonder whether my niece’s friends are being empowered to own their sexuality when she tells me daily about the self esteem issues they have with their bodies because these guys who are screwing them tell them that they want a ‘Nicki Minaj’ look-alike? And whether it’s empowerment when it’s the girls lining up to suck on the boys’ dicks but it’s not the guys lining up in their numbers to lick the girls’ vajayjays? I mean even as adults, don’t we feel broken hearted when you shag a guy & he doesn’t call or he introduces you as ‘just a friend’? I wonder if my niece & her friends are ready to deal with all that? And what happens if/when one of the 11 year olds becomes pregnant since no contraceptive is 100 percent effective? Are they ready to deal with the emotional fallout of having an abortion or having the kid? And if we don’t allow adults to screw kids younger than 16 (in Ghana) or 18 (in Nigeria) because we believe that kids at that age can’t deal with the emotional elements of having sex, is it not hypocritical to expect that they can deal with the emotional implications of screwing each other at that age? What do you think? At what age did you have consensual sex for the first time and what age should kids have it? When would you be okay with your own child having sex (Be honest! lol).