mother daughter

The older I get the more I realize that one of my responsibilities in this world is to do my part to better the community around me. Some days it is through mentoring, some days it is through cleaning parks and some days it is by being a big sister to a young girl that clearly needs one.

One evening as I was returning home I passed two teen girls having a little girl talk. As I waited for the elevator I couldn’t help but chuckle at their girly banter about whose hair was a mess and other normal teenage drama (my how times have stayed the same!), until I heard one of the girls say “Yea girl he said we don’t need to use condoms. He said he loves me … so, and I love him, so we don’t have to.”

Pause.

Not only were these girls barely into their teens (14 to be exact) and having sex, but the fact that ‘love’ was enough to risk her health and life over, in this day and age, shocked me. The elevator came, but I couldn’t get in, these girls were out here talking and living reckless and clearly whatever their parents did or didn’t say, hadn’t gone through and someone had to school them to the truth.

I walked over to them and told them that I couldn’t help but overhear that little piece of their convo and woman to woman (well woman to beginning woman, but you know we all thought we were grown at that age), they needed to be put on to the truth. I invited them up to my apartment for a little private chat because as I also explained, a lady never puts her business in the streets and the lobby was no place to talk this kind of talk. Surprisingly they didn’t give me any of the “To hell with you old lady! Mind your business b*$ch!” back talk I was expecting and agreed to come with me.

When we got inside I had a real heart to heart with them about what they know, told them what they didn’t know, Googled some stats and facts to inform them, told them that ‘love’ can still burn you, just ask Janet Jackson’s character in For Colored Girls (had to make it relatable) and gave them my copy of the Lifetime movie She’s Too Young, a movie I bought for my little sister years ago, so they could understand that oral sex is sex too and just as deadly.

I schooled these girls for nearly two hours on all I learned on my life journey so far and filled their heads with as much info as I could find. The amount of sexual knowledge they didn’t have was amazing. One girl said past telling her about her period and that the sperm meets the egg to make babies, her mother didn’t really talk to her about sex. She learned a little more info at school, some from friends and the rest from experience.

While listening to both of them everything in me wanted to scream “Keep your damn legs closed and stop giving away your fantastics! You’re not ready for this!! Hell I’m older than you and I’m not ready for this!!” But instead I listened and I informed because the reality is, while I did encourage abstinence to a degree, the sexual train had already left the station and hormones were charging full speed ahead.

Instead of being another adult in their life that wanted to ignore what was happening and what’s to come, or wanted to just threaten them and tell them what they shouldn’t do, I wanted to be the one to give them a non judgmental ear and I wanted to be the one to give them the knowledge they clearly weren’t getting at home. There are enough women my age dying, and they get younger and younger every day.

These girls weren’t my family, but they are a part of my village and if I can keep them from learning their sex ed lessons the hard way and keep them alive long enough to hopefully reach their dreams, then that’s what I’m going to do.

Let’s just hope they listened.

Do you talk to children in your family or community about sex?

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  • Diana

    I stood up and clapped while reading this piece. If everyone took time to love and care for one another enough to get involved then communities everywhere would be a much better place. As a 23 year old woman I distinctly remember my peers in 6th and 7th grade already having sex. Their sex education came from movies, television shows and more “worldly friends.” While my parents never gave me and in depth sex talk, I had enough sense not to sacrifice my life or future by rolling in the hay. Parents need to get more involved at a much younger age. Some parents are waiting until their childs late teens to sit down and have “the talk” and by then it’s already too late. Bravo for the kindness that you showed these girls, wonderful article!

  • Smilez_920

    Once I had my first period, the ” good touches bad touches ” talk turned into the sex talk. That’s great that you took the time to talk to these girls even though you didnt know them from Adam. Kids are starting to have sex earlier and earlier and it’s like adults just ignore it or just call them fast and keep it moving.

    These are a few points that you have to focus on when talking to girls about sex

    – Love. Women love love, little girls are dying to be grown and have boyfriends at the 14 and up age. You have to teach them that sex is not a requirement for love, and that if someone truly loves you , that they will respect you and your body.

    – how the first time really is. Most little boys don’t know what their doing. Those boys in your 8th grade class are not going to sex you like “Trey Songs” don’t let them fool you. It can be very awkward and there are a lot of emotions you will deal with after. So make them aware of the non – movie theater version of sex .

    -Protection, Protection , Protection. Most little boys are just tying to get into your pants . You have to watch out for your own best interest and your future. Most of these young teen boys aren’t going to get tested for Std and StI so even if he’s not sleeping with anyone else or cheating he could still have something you or him don’t know about. Condoms condoms condoms, and if possible try to get your daughter / little sister / cousin on the pill or some form of birth control.

    – just because you’re not a virgin doesn’t mean you have to or owe any boy your dealing with/ dating sex. You control your body, you have the right to say no to any boy you want. I don’t care if its someone you already had sex with, your no is your no and it’s final until you change your mind. Just because you had sex with boy number one doesn’t mean that boy number two should have access.

    -Oral sex is sex. You can get a STI or STD.

  • Amaka

    I. Loved. This. Article.

  • KR

    We have got to stop doing what doesn’t work. Unfortunately a large percentage of black women are still in the dark ages when it comes to birth control which means their daughters are also going to be in the dark ages.

    A lot of black women are on this condoms only narrative and female contraceptives are optional/not needed which is just plain laughable. Condoms only has NEVER WORKED for any race nor nation in the world. Yet they’re promoting this failed ghetto myth to sexually active black teens and young adults? They’re setting them up for failure. Funny thing is a lot of the black women promoting this condoms only nonsense are never married baby mamas or previous clients of abortion clinics. A healthy sexually active young woman using only condoms is going to get pregnant sooner or later….it doesn’t take much and can happen pretty quickly. Yes, plan on using a condom every time but if you don’t want to get pregnant you better have a back up plan. Condoms are good for prevention of STD’s and short term hookups. That’s it. When trust is built and emotions and feeling are involved the condom is almost always not used or not used as often. It’s just a fact of life, regardless of race.

  • Mademoiselle

    Wonderful initiative! I hope you also stay in these girls lives to an extent, just to be a friendly reminder that they should think the world of themselves above and beyond what any boy/man thinks of them. There are a couple girls in my past that I know I had great influence on while I lived in their area, but after I moved away and we lost touch, I learned that my absence had the opposite effect. I know you can’t make everyone your personal cause, but if it’s possible to stick around, please do. These years could be very pivotal for them. I’m glad you were able to bless them so far.