- Have you talked to your parent about safer sex?
- If so, how did that conversation go?
- If not, was it because you didn’t dare, didn’t want to, or didn’t have the words?
First, a little background. I was interviewed extensively in “Seniors have sex – and the STI rates to prove it” by Arti Patel for Global News. This article addressed the rising rates of STIs among seniors in Canada, the reasons behind the rise, and what we can do about it. Patel wrote,
Joan Price, sex advocate and author of The Ultimate Guide to Sex After 50: How to Maintain – or Regain! – a Spicy, Satisfying Sex Life, says the reason why the community has high STI rates is simple: they’re not using condoms.
After this article came out, Kelly Cutrara interviewed me about this topic on Talk Radio AM 640 in Toronto. (I apologize for the call quality — the interview request was too fast to get to my landline.) She asked me how the younger generation can talk to their single parents about safer sex. How do they get beyond the embarrassment? What words can they use? What if their good intentions backfire?
I suggested that this approach might begin the conversation:
“I know it’s incredibly awkward to talk about sex with my parent, but Mom [Dad], we need to do this. What do you know about safer sex? Are you using condoms?”
[Parent:] “What? Why are we having this conversation?”
“Because no one else will, and I care about you. I know that STI rates are rising among your age group. I want to make sure you’re protected.”
If you have been at either end — Boomer/senior parent or adult child — of a similar conversation, what did you say? What was the outcome? Or if you have another idea about how this discussion should go, we’d all like to know your thoughts.
Please share by posting a comment here, and include your age. (If you have trouble posting, email me with your comment and the name you’d like to use — it doesn’t have to be yours — and your age, and I’ll post it for you.) Let’s get this discussion going.