Ages and stages

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First sexual experiences

First sexual experiences

What do you hope for your child’s first experience of sex?

Research shows that educating kids about sex actually delays their first sexual experience and helps them make safer choices when they do decide to have sex.28

In Western Australia, 52% of high school students have had sexual intercourse by year 12..10  Sexual behaviours reported by Year 10s include:

deep kissing
giving oral sex
vaginal sex

Start to think about talking about sex, not in a 'when you grow up and get married and make babies' kind of way, but about your child's first experience of sexual pleasure with a partner. 

Think in terms of how you want their first sexual experience to be, rather than closing your eyes and just hoping they won’t do it.

This way your conversations are more likely to give them what they need – guidance about values, feelings and safety. 

Many parents hope that their children will be older, sober, in love and in a respectful relationship.

They hope that it will be their choice rather than feeling forced into it and that they will use contraception. The list goes on!

Ask your kids to think about what they want their first experience to be like.

This can help them mentally and emotionally prepare to have a positive experience.

If they can talk about their hopes with you, they will be more likely to be able to voice them to a sexual partner.

(See Preparing young people for healthy sexually active lives .) 

I am going to be really open and honest with my kids. I want them to be able to come to me and talk about anything. Sex is not a bad thing, it’s a good thing. I want them to know it is meant to be pleasurable.

Parent of girl 4 and boy 6

Speech bubble Conversation starter:
While watching a TV show in which two teenagers are having sex.
You could ask "What age do you think a person is ready to have sex?" and "How will you decide?" instead of "Have you had sex?".