What is that sound? I can hear something creaking in the house. I open my bedroom door to investigate, and find the sound is coming from my parents room. OH GOD. Here we go again…
Now you may be wondering — why are you not totally disgusted by this situation and running screaming from the house in horror? Because, let's be real. For starters, I wouldn't exist if my parents hadn’t have had sex, but also, as much as it may make us cringe, my parents - like all adults - are also humans with sexual desire who have loved each other for the past 28 years.
Not that I want to hear my parents at it; similarly I’d be mortified if my parents heard screaming to the almighty heavens as I climax. But sex has never been a taboo subject in my house. I was taught from a young age how a baby is made by my parents (not by defecation, apparently!). I was taught about contraception by my mum (sorry Dad, but I don’t think you’ve ever had a crying fit of hormonal rage over soggy cornflakes or accidentally leaked blood at night). And as a parental unit, my mum and dad taught me to respect myself and my own choices over who I wanted to sleep with, along with all the other sex-related logistics.
This means that I've been able to grow up, having a mature view of my sex life. I've been able to make informed choices about how and with whom I have sex with in a healthy way, and so far, so good! Although it's likely unrelated, it's a definite fringe benefit that I manage to avoid fuckboys like the plague. Plus, it means I can walk into Ann Summers and look at sex toys and purchase something at the counter without giggling like a school girl.
However, I also appreciate that I have been lucky to have parents who are so forthcoming about sex, because I don’t know many others whose parents, guardians, or other parental figure will openly talk about sex the way mine do. I think it's important that families are open about sex; educating a child about sex helps them to understand that sex is not ‘sinful’ or ‘dirty’, but part of life. Even for religious purposes, where sex before marriage could be frowned upon, talking positively about doing the deed can still be made a part of the family culture to teach children about marital sex and procreating.
If you want to open a dialogue up within your family's dynamic, speak with your parents. If they're not usually ones to open up about sex, try watching a film with a particularly graphic sex scene in it and start from there. You can gauge their level of comfort with the openness of the sex conversation and start to drop it in from time to time. For example, I remember watching a film at my grandparent’s house in the evening when they babysat me, and there was a sex scene. I actually think it was Titanic (yup, that condensation in the car scene), and my nan comes out with ‘me and your Grandad did that in the back of a van when we started dating’. Cue hysterical laughter and understanding that my nan is both not shy about sex and one fucking cool lady. Whilst I'm chuffed that my nan and grandad are pretty open about when they get down to it, perhaps sticking around upon hearing the sound of their mattress springs might be a bit too much...
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