THE BLOG

Giving Your Parents the "Sex Talk"

10/22/2013 01:45 EDT | Updated 01/23/2014 06:58 EST

...And 3 different ways to do it

2013-10-15-JilliansHeadShot.jpg I slowly came to the realization that it's parents that need the "sex talk" from kids.

Jillian Bice, once described as "The Oprah of Sex," noticed, through conversations with people in their late teens and early twenties, that there is a much healthier experience around sexual education nowadays. "There is so much more comfort and good, honest information around sexuality," Bice said in a phone interview while describing her motivation for creating online business BloomEnjoyYourself.com. The website is described as a portal for "sexual health information and luxury sex toys for sexy, healthy and smart" people.

"Part of the reason I started Bloom Enjoy Yourself was that women in the 40+ demographic grew up at a time when no one talked about sex...so we grew up not really knowing much about sexuality," Bice explained, and noted that her experience is based on her work as a registered nurse, as well as personal experiences. Bice was motivated to create an online business that would help her own generation catch up to the sexual positivity that younger generations are benefiting from.

"The younger demographic is still learning and educating themselves [in terms of sexual health] but they're doing so with a firmer knowledge base, way more access to information, and less hang-ups." One of the reasons for this shift in perception of sexuality is education, which Bice attributes to "people feeling more comfortable around sexuality and the understanding that it's a natural, healthy part of our lives."

The "echo boom" generation may be more comfortable with sexuality, but are we comfortable with our baby boomer parent's sexuality? How can we help our parents embrace a healthy sex life without sitting them down for that uncomfortable sex talk?

Ways to Broach Sex with Your Parents


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1. The Hands-Off Approach


This is where well-researched and easy to navigate websites like BloomEnjoyYourself.com come in handy. Just leaving a website lying open on our parent's computer may be enough, knowing that they won't be able to stop themselves from checking it out.

What they will find there are expert voices on topics of sexual health and sexuality that are written in a straightforward and respectful way. Everything from menopause to female ejaculation is covered, and the articles can be accessed from the privacy and comfort of home.

2. The Semi-Passive Approach


We might be comfortable broaching the topic of sex with your parents, but not directly. Businesses, like BloomEnjoyYourself.com, offer membership services and gift cards with some additional perks.

House of Bloom is a new membership community, offered through BloomEnjoyYourself.com, that includes an e-newsletter, member pricing on products, events and consultation, as well as inclusion in a monthly draw for their Toy of the Month. Purchasing membership of a subtle, yet intimate nature is a good way to empower a generation that may feel restricted and embarrassed about their sexuality.

We could also book an online sex-therapist consultation, like the 'Ask an Expert' service offered by BloomEnjoyYourself.com, to give parents a confidential and judgement-free opportunity to ask questions and learn about all aspects of sexuality.

3. The Forward Approach


Maybe we have no qualms about discussing sex and healthy sexual attitudes with our parents, and for us there are plenty of opportunities to demonstrate this attitude. Picking out a sex toy for our parents may feel invasive for some - but what if you didn't have to pick the specific toy? Services that curate sex toys are relatively new, but Vancouver startup LuvMyBox.com, sends a new surprise to your doorstep each month. Simply sign up for their service and have the products delivered to whomever you choose.

Make sure that the products you are choosing are body-safe, and look for the "phthalate-free" promise, wherever you shop. Jillian Bice explained that "phthlate is a chemical that softens rubber...and it turns out it's really toxic to humans and contributes to infertility, cancer, low sperm production and lot of problems with developing fetuses." Bice recommendeds avoiding "for novelty use only" products and shopping higher-end brands that say "phthalate-free" on the packaging.

Generations now are benefiting from increased knowledge and awareness of sexuality and sexual health. Jillian Bice ended our conversation saying that "we are on the verge of a new sexual revolution, which is going in a very positive direction" and we can all do our part to advance this revolution by helping our parents realize a healthy sexual attitude in whatever way we are most comfortable with. I mean, they conceived us in a moment of sexual passion -- the least we might do is show our gratitude.