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Episode 12: The Birds & The Bees (2/2)

What was your sex education like- in school, from friends? What role did technology play in your education? How do you define consent and how would you explain it to a child? In the second episode of our two-part series, we discuss different ways to understand as well as teach consent, and developmental phases going into adolescent sexuality. Give us your feedback Follow us on Instagram! Facebook BBXX website Sign up for our digital “book” club — a twice-weekly curation of the best digital content about identity, sexuality, intimacy, and relationships!
The transcript wasn’t added for this episode.

On this week’s episode we bring you part two of our two-part conversation with Dr. Logan Levkoff, a parenting and sexuality expert who encourages honest and open conversations about sexuality throughout childhood and adolescence. We discuss different ways to understand and teach
consent and development phases within adolescent sexuality. We hope that you feel empowered by this discussion and more open and understanding with your family.

Lessons in Consent

Our biggest mistake is that we make consent only about our sexual behaviors.

Instead, we should be speaking about consent within the context of our daily lives. Learning to ask permission for things that we want, and dealing with whatever answer we receive, will help to prepare kids for understanding and asking for consent throughout all aspects of their lives, including sexual encounters.

One of the most complicated caregiving issues is finding the balance between your kids feeling empowered to advocate for themselves and wanting affection. One way to balance is to express your desires and let them make the call – like asking for a hug rather than just hugging them
without asking first.

Media

The show Sex Education on Netflix is a good example of media that shows young people acknowledging they’re sexual beings, that pleasure is part of our sexuality, and that there is a great diversity in how we identify and express ourselves. Also, it shows that a lot of adolescent sexuality is
about seeking emotional connection, not just sex or sexual pleasure. As our media pushes the boundaries, more and more representative media will enable us to see our own experiences in the media we consume.

Navigating Adolescent Sexuality

We have a tendency to treat kids differently after they go through puberty – and this especially happens for girls who become very aware that people see them differently. Helping adolescents through the transition of the changing dynamics of relationships when you’ve shared your body with them, or how other people may perceive you. It’s incredibly important to help your kids understand how important and positive understanding your sexuality is.

Age has never been the sole determinant of someone’s ability to make a good decision about any type of sexual behavior.

Overwhelming Feelings

Adolescence is a time when feelings are big and raw and emotional and sometimes as adults we forget how it felt to be a teenager. It is important to help our kids by acknowledging these feelings rather than trying to tamp those feelings down (ex: “there are more fish in the sea”) so that they can learn and grow from their feelings and experience.

Teaching People How to Say No… and Yes

It’s not just about teaching kids how to say no to things, but also about how and when to say yes. Helping kids learn about what qualities and feelings are important to have in a relationship allows them to better understand what saying yes means for them.

Sex Ed

We have no problem speaking about sexual response and pleasure when it pertains to assigned male puberty, whereas with assigned female puberty the focus is only on reproductive potential and not sexual pleasure or response. Not to mention that intersex and other non-binary identities are completely ignored. It’s an old double standard that we need to do away with when teaching kids about their innate sexuality.

Tech and Sex

Teenagers push boundaries so it is important to set your expectations with them regarding sexting, or relationships, so that they understand you and the consequences of their actions. When it comes to sexting, there is no anonymity, which is a new dynamic that many parents may not have had to navigate when they were young. So taking the time to discuss these issues can help them understand the boundaries and expectations you are setting. Understanding how to evaluate your partnerships is a skill we all need to learn!

Own the awkward! It’s part of the territory and you get used to the feelings of awkward so that you can better navigate sexual relationships in the future.

About the Expert

Logan Levkoff

Logan Levkoff

Logan Levkoff is an AASECT Certified Sex Educator and Sex Educator Supervisor and served on the AASECT Board of Directors. She received her Ph.D. in Human Sexuality, Marriage, and Family Life Education from New York University and an M.S. in Human Sexuality Education. Logan is dedicated to perpetuating healthy and positive messages about sexuality and relationships. She speaks on a wide range of issues, including sexual health and sexuality education, trends in sexuality, relationship hurdles, and the role of sexuality in pop culture and politics.