Let's talk about sex, Bay-bee!


My 13 year old is 13. I assume he’s watched some porn, and I wouldn’t expect or want him to tell me about it. But I have told him that porn is not a good place to learn about sex because the sex in porn is bad sex. So he asked where he can learn about good sex.


I learned about sex from having sex with a far more experienced and very selfish partner. It sucked. Most of my friends had similarly terrible early experiences.

Is there somewhere I can direct this research-driven child for this kind of thing? Is there some sub-reddit that isn’t gross and terrible?


Also please note that this kid has very deliberately not confirmed or denied being of any orientation. We can make no assumptions about who his (eventual!!!) first time will be with.



I’ve heard really good things about the website Scarleteen*

*I haven’t spent any time there myself since I’m not a teen, and I’m not currently raising any…but other inclusive, sex-positive spaces on the internet that I enjoy recommend it.


I have also gotten recommendations for Scarleteen.


I texted him the link. Thanks, y’all!

Where were you when I was 13?


I was also here to say Scarleteen!


I have no advice for modern teens, but if he wants to party like it’s 1999

Books for the sciencey bits… And honestly, magazines. Cosmo hides under pink, pro patriarchy covers but is hugely feminist. And sex positive. It preaches experimentation, had articles about lesbian sex, sexual fluidity and bisexuality before Katy Perry and the L word. It made it so mainstream that I didn’t know fucking girls made me hVe to choose a label. And it got itself banned from Walmart.

I’ve never read playboy, but I think it was maxim and another one that were passed around a few road trips.

Oh, and we can all hate on Dan Savage, but furtively reading savage love in the free papers was a great way to learn more.

Sue Johansson was a beacon of information

Advice columns in general.


Hi! I do not have children, but I do know that Erica Smith Sex Ed. just started offering online consultations (and mentioned that they are at a reasonable rate) and she is highly educated and very well-reviewed. You can find her on Instagram, which I am sure links to her actual website, etc.

I’m very pro sex-ed, since I didn’t get ANY as a kiddo!


Also not a parent, but Erika Moen is a comic artist who runs a sex toy review webcomic and wrote a sex ed comic book called “Drawn to Sex”. I haven’t read it, but her webcomic is very queer friendly, body diverse, and nonjudgmental.


Yeah, no matter what I do he’s better off than I was as a kid. He doesn’t think that having sexual feelings will take him straight to hell. That’s a win.


+1ing Scarleteen and Erika Moen.


Another +1 for Scarleteen. I did some work with an adult boutique that was founded by nurses and staffed by trained sex educators and they used that site as a resource whenever they worked with teens.


Um, I’m 35 and just spent a not insignificant amount of time on that Scarleteen site, and then had a small cry (very small, let’s not get carried away) because WOW I wish things like that existed when I was a teen, or if they did, that I’d had access to them.

I spend way too much time TO THIS DAY texting my very experienced midwife best friend when I have basically any question about my body.


I read Scarleteen when I was a teen


Most of what I know about sex and bodies I learned in my mid twenties, after having been married and had kids. It’s the wrong way around to do things. My kids won’t have the same struggles as me.

Instead they’ll have climate change and neo-facism.



Thank you for asking this, Smacks. My girl is just about to turn 12 so I’m thinking about how to be prepared myself. And I did not know of any of the resources mentioned!




My DH pointed me at Erika Moen after we saw her on a comic competition, after years of me having problems with sex. I should probably check if there’s some way for me to throw money at her now I have some.

Oh and also it would’ve helped me a lot to know about the asexual side of the sexuality spectrum and the variations the as well as the various others.


It actually did exist when we were teens - it started in 1998~!, but people didn’t know about it. Glad to see it’s still around! I found it because the more progressive porn sites linked to it if you clicked the “under 18” bit…

I’m so proud to see Erika Moen mentioned as she’s an acquaintance here!