Let’s Talk About Sex! Now, when most of us read those four words together our minds automatically start singing the Salt-N-Pepa song from the early 90’s. Hey, if that helps you think about sex then I say sing it loud and sing it proud!
What I’m talking about is Breaking the Hush Factor: Ten Rules for Talking with Teenagers about Sex by Dr. Karen Rayne. This is a ground-breaking book that gives readers excellent tools for talking about sex with teenagers. I find it to be a refreshing and practical approach to having “the talk.”
In this review I’m going to give you a small glimpse into the three main things that made this book stand out to me.
This Book Vs. Others (3 Key Differences)
So, what makes this book different from all the others? Why should you buy it? Why should you take the time to read it? Below, I have detailed some of my opinions on what causes this book to stand out and why I believe it would benefit you to read it.
- Hold the Preaching
Dr. Rayne isn’t teaching you about sex in this book. She is giving updated and practical advice about speaking to your teenager and breaking the “hush factor” about sex. Many books written in the past try to flood you with what they think you need to know about sex, but rarely give advice on how to explain it to a teenager.
Rayne challenges you to prepare yourself, asking you to explore your views and expectations on sex and sexuality. She also invites you to better understand how to be present with your teen as you speak with them about sex.
Rayne emphasizes that you need to know when to stop talking and start listening. She wants you to get to know yourself while understanding that having the talk is about your teen. All of this sounds simple right? But Dr. Rayne pushes you to look at these seemingly simple subjects in a new light to better understand and utilize them.
- Three Sections: Ten Rules
It wasn’t a coincidence when I said that Dr. Rayne challenges you to prepare yourself. In fact, it is the first of three sections in the book. Each section has a theme and a few of her ten rules.
In the second section, Dr. Rayne discusses the actual conversation. She talks about asking questions, creating a positive atmosphere, and making sure to talk it all out. Dr. Rayne’s strategies are simple, effective, and will help you create a more comfortable environment for both you and your teen.
The third section is all about what is going on inside you during the conversation. Dr. Rayne gives practical advice for remaining calm and engaged. She also offers encouragement to help you persevere through any rough spots or awkward moments. I think this is the most important part of the book. I often work with parents who are so self-conscious that the conversation breaks down.
Dr. Rayne gives sound advice to aid you in speaking with your teen about sex. This book will push you in many ways, but you will grow in many more.
- Reading Time
Now, hear me out. I know “Reading Time” can sound like a cop-out, but if you have a busy schedule like me you want a book that you can: 1) read quickly, 2) easily remember the concepts, and 3) be entertained enough to want to keep reading.
This book has all three! It is a quick read, partly because you forget that you’re reading a text written by an expert with decades of experience. It feels like you’re chatting with a friend. The book is easy to digest, and I found myself looking forward to being able to read more.
A Powerful Message
As a professional who works with young adults and their parents, I hear about communication issues all the time. One major struggle I hear about is talking about sex. Anxiety levels are high on both sides and often neither side takes a break from talking to listen.
This book challenges parents to understand themselves and their attitudes concerning sex before speaking to their children. Many parents believe “the talk” is a natural part of parenting, and it is. However, knowing how to speak about sex isn’t always a “natural” parenting skill.
I recommend this book for anyone who wants or needs help preparing to have “the talk,” or any conversation about sex. Sex isn’t going away anytime soon, why not talk about it the best you possibly can?