By Kendra Holliday | February 10, 2017
Category Archives: Parenting
When my daughter was 7 years old, a boy kissed her hand on a dare. She confided to me, “It was the most enjoyable moment of my life.”
Now she is 16, and identifies as asexual. She doesn’t feel sexually attracted to other people, but she yearns for romance. She wants to hold hands, cuddle, and be intimate with someone special.
I’m thrilled to tell you she went on her first date the other night! They held hands!
I asked how their date went, and she gushed to me, “It was AMAZING. Not only were the events we attended awesome, but he was super sweet. He put his arm around me during the movie, and we held hands twice and he is so very kind all the time. God, I adore him, he made it so amazing.”
He’s like a young George RR Martin, they’re so cute and nerdy together.
I’m SO happy with this new development. She tends to brim over with teenage angst and melancholy, so it’s wonderful picking her up from school and she’s smiling so hard, her face hurts. The rush of happy hormones and feeling connected to someone special to her is better than any pill she could take!
I asked if he is her boyfriend, and she said she didn’t know, but she would ask him. She has ups and downs, and frets over being too direct with him.
I reminded her that she is probably advanced in the realm of communication, and needs to be patient with others and teach them how to be open and honest. I also let her know that the wonder is part of the fun of the early stages of a relationship – infatuation is a trip, and you should let it last as long as you can! After that, you get into attachment, feeling the person is a safe haven, then anxious when they are not around, then finally, secure (if the relationship is healthy.)
That’s where I’ve been with my partner Matthew for the past four years or so. We can’t ever go back to the infatuated stage with each other, but since we are polyamorous, we can feel secure while flirting with other people and enjoying novel experiences.
Anyway, my daughter shared her list of curated date ideas with me and gave me permission to share them with you. I think they’re so cute! She made most of them up, and collected some from the internet. I want to do a lot of them, how about you?
By Kendra Holliday | August 25, 2016
Last night my daughter and I attended a school board meeting that featured sex ed.
The school sent a survey out to parents last year. Over 1000 parents responded (I was SO excited to fill it out!), with the majority of parents in favor of updating the curriculum to include important topics beyond pregnancy and STIs, such as gender and LGBTQ issues, consent, and exploring sexuality.
As a result, the board voted and approved the improved curriculum in March. HOORAY! You can read details here.
I’m Co-Leader of Sex Positive St. Louis and I graduated from the school in ’91. My sex-positive daughter is a sophomore now. Needless to say, we strongly advocate acceptance, inclusiveness, and accurate education when it comes to the wide range of human sexuality. We were in good company, with plenty of rabbis, physicians, professionals, sex and health educators, and representatives from local organizations such as Growing American Youth and TransParent.
But some people are having a fit over the change. They think the curriculum, which draws mainly on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for sexual education, is medically inaccurate. They also think providing information sends a dangerous message and encourages teens to have sex. Let me ask you – did you have sex as a teenager? Most of us did, and we fumbled around and made lots of mistakes. I wish I would have been better informed at that age.
People both for and against the teachings that will promote acceptance and better emotional health attended the meeting.
The people against the change wore white to symbolize purity and innocence.
One of the white people kept repeating the word “pornography” with such passion that it made me want to run right home and watch some! Another white person demanded that the school stick to “education, not indoctrination.”
A mom and her incredibly brave and shaking 16 year old son got up to speak – Andrew Bennett has been getting bullied and slandered by some of the white adults, online and in person.
As they spoke, some of the white people shouted angrily at them and some turned their backs on them.
You can watch footage of them speaking here. The building was surrounded by police and security.
Teen hero Andrew is saving lives by putting himself out there. I can’t wait to see him speak in front of thousands of people someday.
My daughter got to witness adult behavior – some mature and respectful, some not. I’m proud to say the people we sat with exhibited good manners. But I have to confess – as soon as we got to our car, we burst out laughing and repeated the word “pornography” all the way home.
I got compliments on my Planned Parenthood “I LOVE SEX ED” shirt. 🙂
I counsel adults mainly in the 40-70 age range who were grossly misinformed when they came of age. If the next generation gets proper education, then I can be put out of business and bake cupcakes or garden instead. Or, if we choose to remain ignorant, I can make lots of money mucking around in all the guilt and shame baggage.
I prefer the former.
By Kendra Holliday | July 15, 2016
My 12-yr-old daughter is asexual. Sometimes I wonder if she will always be that way. (UPDATE: I first wrote this four years ago. She is now 16 years old and is still asexual.)
Not that it would be a bad thing, but it sure would be really fucking ironic.
Asexuality is the lack of sexual attraction to others or the lack of interest in sex.
I’ve been a horndog since I was about 9. She and I have had very different experiences growing up.
My mom tells me I used to play with myself as a baby. To my knowledge, my daughter has never experimented with that. (As an aside, my mom was 27 when she gave birth to me, and I was 27 when I gave birth to my daughter, so there’s always this eerie parallel running in my head – how DIFFERENT I am from my mom, who’s only had one sex partner her entire life and suffers from a host of mental illnesses.)
When I was 9, I was molested by an older adopted brother, which exposed me to sex early and manifested itself as a hypersexual mindset. I was drawing dirty pictures in 3rd grade, and writing erotica at age 12. I was making out with girls at 11 and boys at 13.
My daughter has never been molested. So far, the only bad things that have happened to her on that front is 1) one man on the internet sent her a cock shot, 2) one man flashed her while she was walking down the street, and 3) one man grabbed her butt in a public swimming pool. Each time, she was horrified and disgusted.
She does a lot of research online for her writing projects and is into anime and deviantART. This means she runs into adult content from time to time. As soon as she encounters it, she backs the hell up – she has absolutely no interest in it.
By Matthew | June 18, 2016
Ed Note: This is a guest post by my partner, Matthew. He is the father of two children.
A couple of weeks ago, I started hearing the yearly buzz of “Father’s Day” gifts, salutations and tributes. I started thinking a bit more in depth on the subject of Fatherhood and what it means to me.
Being a Father is synonymous to me with being a man. I hear so many people speak of “men” they know or have connections with and then start divulging details about these people.
I know women who demand flowers from their husbands as a way of apologizing for an act of relationship treason.
I know women who are dating “men” right now, but speak of nothing but their shortcomings.
I know of “men” whose wives have gotten up and walked away from them while they were eating her pussy.
I know of “men” who don’t make an effort to spend time with their children.
I know of “men” who can’t separate business from pleasure and vice versa.
I know of “men” who are so weak themselves, that they show their “strength” by preying on the eager and ignorant.
I know women who have settled for a “man”.
I know of “men” who live in their mother’s basement.
I know of “men” who can’t dress themselves.
I am sure you know plenty of “men” like this as well.
If a man has children, they are his number one priority.
By Kendra Holliday | May 1, 2016
So one day I posted a video on my YouTube channel showing off the difference between two vibrators and how they sounded. It got yanked for being inappropriate, due to the fact that I held an adult toy in my hand for less than 30 seconds. I duplicated the video here, only this time I used kid toys in place of the adult toys. This time it was considered appropriate, and got to stay.
That got me to thinking about baby toys vs. adult toys. (By they way, when my daughter was seven-years-old and found my sex toy stash, she exclaimed, “I’m so glad grownups get toys, too!” Such a healthy response!) Below is a series of toys. Can you guess which is intended for babies, and which are for adults?
By Kendra Holliday | December 29, 2015
|Sex is like a mango|
I wrote this post five years ago, when my daughter was ten. Now she is fifteen, and still working through her teenage hormones! Join us this Sunday, January 3 for a FREE Sex-Positive Parenting talk at The Ethical Society at 9:45am!
Being pregnant was an incredibly interesting experience.
Having a baby was cute, fun and exhausting.
Toddlerhood was my least favorite stage – I felt like a classical music lover at a speed metal concert.
The solid kid stage (4-9) was the best, and I thought I’d get to enjoy it for another year or two, as my daughter just turned 10.
After all, I didn’t start freaking out until I was 12, and I got my period when I was 13. My mom didn’t get hers until she was 14.
Girls are developing much eariler these days thanks to improved health and diet. Surprise! My daughter is tweening, and it’s giving me whiplash.
One night this summer, the hormone fairy snuck in and replaced my sweet child with this half-finished mutant version of myself.
She’s starting to develop. She’s insisting on training bras and sanitary napkins for just in case. She’s crying one second and laughing the next. Have you ever heard about how bitchy trans folks get when they have their hormone shots? My daughter is as dramatic as a drag queen downing diva cocktails.
By Kendra Holliday | October 29, 2015
This is me in high school. I was a punk rock teenager – very depressed, wore black all the time, always feeling desperate, dramatic, negative.
This is a page from my journal when I was 15, circa 1988 – I met a 24-year-old guy named Greg at a high school party, and he latched on to me. He constantly badgered me to have sex with him:
He used all kinds of tactics to get me to cave in – it was no big deal, it was a very big deal, it would make for a good witchcraft initiation, and I was being a cock tease and it wasn’t fair to him.
He finally convinced me to have sex with him, and I did, on the floor of his dad’s apartment. It was okay, but immediately afterward, I was convinced I was pregnant (even though we used a condom), and I had a lot of shame and guilt. I hated myself for doing it. I freaked out so bad, I ended up in a mental hospital! I had a horrible relationship with my parents. I ended up taking medicine, and dated this guy for a while, until I wandered off and started dating someone closer to my age. Of course I was branded a slut, blah blah blah, the rest is history.
I remember all the sneaking around as a teen and having to find awful, dirty, nerve wracking places to have sex – the backseat of cars in industrial parks, closets, underneath a muddy deck, in the woods… it’s hard practicing safer sex and feeling pleasure in those conditions.
I had it really rough as a teen, and I’m SO glad my 15-year-old daughter is having a better teenage experience. I raised her sex-positive, and we’ve been having a series of good, age-appropriate conversations since she was about seven. She has a boyfriend now, and he is super sweet and respectful, and they are exploring things very slowly together. I’m so proud she chose him. She’s having her first romance on her own terms, and she has good support in place. She’s being educated properly, she has access to condoms and privacy, and best of all, she doesn’t have guilt and shame to contend with.
I wish everyone could be introduced to sex at the age that is right for them, and be given a sex-positive education – one that goes beyond STI’s and birth control, but also encompasses feelings, pleasure, consent, power exchange, and mutual respect.
My daughter and I will be giving sex-positive parenting talks November 22 and January 3 – check the SEX+STL calendar for details!
BONUS LINKS: Scarleteen is a great national resource for teen sex ed
Growing American Youth – St Louis org for LGBT teens
Transparent – St Louis support group for parents and their gender independent children
TASH – Teen Advocates for Sexual Health – St Louis
More great sex-positive resources can be found in the right column of this website, as well as the SEX+STL Links page!
By Kendra Holliday | March 14, 2015
The other day, I attended a SEX+STL women’s only Topless Tarot event with my daughter, and it was wonderful!
The ages of the attendees ranged from 14 (my daughter) to 65. There was one other mother/teen duo there as well, in addition to about 20 women of all shapes, sizes, and backgrounds.
This was not the first clothing optional women’s only event we’ve had (in the past, we’ve done Pussy Parties and Topless Tea Parties), but it was the first one my daughter attended. So it was kind of a big deal! Naturally, I wanted it to be a positive experience for her.
I think ALL young women should have the chance to experience body-affirming moments. It’s so funny – for a lot of us, the older we get, the more comfortable we are in our skin. We don’t appreciate our bodies when we are younger, thinner, and more vital.
My daughter has a wonderful, strong, beautiful body, but she is wracked with all the insecurities I had at that age. I remember feeling so awkward and inferior. I compared myself to every other female – girls my age, models on television, older women. I remember some of the weird things I tried to improve my appearance – slouching, lots of makeup, starving myself, padded bras, walking around blind without my glasses.
When it finally seemed futile that I would never be beautiful and measure up to society’s standards, I went ahead and shaved my head and wore black all the time. I eventually outgrew that phase, but the body image struggle continued through my stripper phase, my married phase, my pregnant phase, my divorced phase, my nude goddess phase… heck, I STILL struggle, but I’m not going to let that hold me back from celebrating my body, feeling pleasure, and being naked!
It’s painful watching her struggle. The Topless Tarot party seemed like a gentle exercise, and of course, she was happy to give it a try. She and I are used to seeing each other naked around the house, but it would be different with others there.
Here is me at age 27 with my squishy little newborn daughter, almost 15 years ago:
By Kendra Holliday | January 25, 2015
This is a picture of my daughter and me, from half her life ago:
She was 7 in this picture. Now she’s 14!
She is slightly bigger than me. I never imagined that! Taller, bigger boobs, feet, etc. But we’re still pretty close in size, and share clothes.
We also share a super intimate, platonic relationship. She’s my top priority. We’re both proud of each other, and we’re both moody and crazy women. We share an unconditional love; accepting each other for who we are.
So last weekend, when I needed to attend a SEX+STL roleplay talk at Shameless Grounds, I told her I was going to the talk and would be back in a couple hours.
She immediately piped up, “Oh can I go?”
She’s geeky and loves roleplay.
I said, “You don’t understand. This is SEX roleplay talk.”
She snorted. “Of course I understand. Why wouldn’t it be about sex if it was one of your events? I’m curious about these things and I think I can handle it.”
Unconvinced but open to the idea, I negotiated, “If you go, do you agree that will let me know if you are uncomfortable at any time and would like to leave? And do you agree that we can talk openly about it afterward?”
By Kendra Holliday | December 27, 2014
Thanks to the opening of an adult boutique in our area featuring incredibly helpful staff, my wife and I recently started experimenting with S&M and bought some new regular toys as well. As a result, we now have a few whips, a prostate stimulator, a rabbit vibrator and a few other goodies hidden in our closet in a place where, we hope, our teenager will never find them.
When my folks passed away ten years ago, my brother’s wife came across a box of videos and toys when we were cleaning out their house, which caused a bit of embarrassment in the “more than we needed to know” way.
Do you have any suggestions as to how we can avoid this happening to our kid down the road? My main concern about our toys in question has to do with the S&M aspect, something that even mature adults might find a bit disturbing.
I’m thinking a note on the outside of our toybag to the extent that “If you are finding this bag it is because: a- You are snooping; or b- Something has happened to the two of us. If you are snooping- PUT THIS BAG BACK WHERE YOU FOUND IT- we can talk about its contents and answer any question you have if you wish to do so. If something happened to us, please dispose of this bag without opening it. It contains items that we enjoyed during our intimate private times together and, as such, wish them to remain private.”
I’m of the mindset that toys are nothing to be ashamed of – I keep mine out in a display case. When my daughter was 7, we had a talk about sex toys and she was glad to know grownups get to have toys! She has been raised to understand sex is to be explored and enjoyed and can be playful.
How do you feel about your parents having a sex life? Are you glad they did, or would you rather never know the evidence of such? Well guess what? YOU are evidence of their sex life! Was the discovery of the toys a bit embarrassing, or mortifying? In the grand scheme of things, was it a big deal? Not trying to dismiss your feelings on this highly personal matter, just offering an objective perspective.
That said, if you have a different mindset in that your bedroom activities are private and kept separate from other aspects of your life, then your approach is a great one! I love the idea of you stashing the toys with a note that offers a chance to discuss or dispose – it gives the finder options. The wording of your note is sweet and positive, very thoughtful of you!
There is this option for hiding personal items: The Sneaky Sack. It’s a bag that is easily disguised under hanging clothes. That way, you can keep your sex life safely in the closet.
By Kendra Holliday | May 1, 2014
|A mother can be
a sexually creative person
Written by AV Flox
Please read the article in its entirety HERE.
I’ve entertained the discussion of women as Marilyns or Jackies, generalizing to describe problems of misaligned expectations between partners, but it wasn’t until I finished reading America’s Queen, Jackie Kennedy Onassis’ biography by Sarah Bradford, that I realized how wrong these assumptions are, and how damaging they are to women who fall into Marilyn versus Jackie discussions.
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, by most accounts, always strove to be a good mother to her children. That much is true. What is not mentioned is that while she was not a sex icon as Marilyn Monroe was perceived, she was not a prude. In the sixties, she is said to have embraced the counterculture and had her share of one-night stands. The accounts and photos of the early years of her marriage to Aristotle Onassis in particular, describe a woman who was comfortable with her body, and who very much enjoyed pleasure. Friends she made later in life describe her as someone who not only enjoyed herself, but freely talked with them about their escapades.
Marilyn Monroe, on the other hand, while idolized as a sex symbol and desired by many men, including Jackie’s husband John F. Kennedy, did not live the fantasy life most envision. In the days before her death in 1962, she made tapes for her psychiatrist Dr. Ralph Greenson, discussing the difficulty she had in achieving orgasm:
What I told you is true when I first became your patient. I had never had an orgasm.
I well remember you said an orgasm happens in the mind. You said there was an obstacle in my mind that prevented me from having an orgasm; that it was something that happened early in my life about which I felt so guilty that I did not deserve to have the greatest pleasure there is; that it had to do with something sexual that was very wrong, but my getting pleasure from it caused my guilt. That it was buried in my unconscious. Through analysis we would bring it to the conscious mind where we could get to the guilt and free me to be orgasmic.
She would eventually achieve orgasm after learning to masturbate and finding a lover who took his time, but the quest for pleasure wasn’t the only thing on her mind, either. Investigations into her involvement with the Kennedys by CBS would decades later paint a picture of Monroe as a woman who was not only informed but passionate about the politics of her time.
My point is that these two women against which so many of us have measured ourselves are not points on a spectrum between virgin and whore, good and naughty, mother and home-wrecker (Marilyn may have slept with JFK, but Jackie became close to Aristotle Onassis during her sister’s affair with him and never stopped competing for his attention with his lover of nine years, the soprano Maria Callas). No, these women aren’t points on a two dimensional plane, they’re complete beings, with their own motives, drives, goals and stories. Just like every one of us….
Read the rest of this article by AV Flox HERE.
By Kendra Holliday | April 11, 2014
I’ve been married to my wonderful husband for six years and we have a great house and great jobs. Life is great! There’s only one thing missing – we’ve been trying to have a baby for the past two years. Trying to get pregnant has almost become an obsession for me. It’s taken the fun out of sex. People give us all sorts of advice, from practical (recommending positions) to silly (place a rabbit figurine facing east in the bedroom). I hate to admit it, but I’m starting to get desperate. My gyno says things seem to be in working order. We’re saving up for invasive fertility treatments. I WANT A BABY! Why is it so hard??
You know, I’ve had many obsessions in my life, and one of the most surprising ones to me was when I got obsessed with having a baby.
All my life I had no interest in breeding. As a kid, I remember shuddering with horror just thinking about childbirth. I saw my mom get ripped apart over and over – she was pregnant at least seven times, and the last birth, they yanked her bladder out with my baby sister. She’s had incontinence issues ever since.
Nevertheless, I fell in love with some guy and got hit by a maternal urge over pancakes, so we got married and decided to have a kid. We had been in a traditional vanilla monogamous relationship for over five years at that point.
I was shocked to discover that pregnancy was an elusive goal. I mean, what’s easier than throwing birth control out the window and fucking a lot? It took us two years and two rounds of Clomid, a fertility drug, to finally conceive our daughter. It got to the point where we dreaded sex and he resented me for pestering him for sperm deposits.
By Kendra Holliday | November 20, 2013
|You really did a number
on my vagina, baby
A guest post by SW, a 29-year-old mother…
For some strange reason, I didn’t think about the horror of what would happen to my crotch from having a baby. I guess I figured people had more than one kid so it must not be a big deal. Plus, with all the fisting, double dick fucking, etc. out there, I figured the thing’s made to stretch. So I was really blindsided by the horror my poor nanny experienced.
I had my son nine months ago. I gave birth at home naturally with two midwives attending. Moments after he was born, as we lay in bed staring at our golden accomplishment, I wanted badly to have sex with my husband. It struck me as a strange thought but I really wanted to. I felt closer to him and more grateful to him than ever before (or since really) in our marriage. There are no words for that moment.
But there was a lot of tearing for me. I had a “button” hole in my labia, which sounds all cute and sweet but in my case amounted to something a dick could accidentally find its way through. I’m sure there’s someone with a fetish out there for that, but it isn’t me. While I was prepared for childbirth with no drugs, sewing my girl parts with no drugs is another fucking story. The pain of a needle going into your labia to numb the area is excruciating.
So I was less than thrilled when six weeks later, all the sewing had to be repeated in the midwife’s office. When, at 15 weeks postpartum, I needed my labia sewn a third time, I sucked it up and paid the OB for the drugs and the “comfort.”
By Kendra Holliday | April 19, 2013
Here is how to ensure teenagers get pregnant and STIs:
– shame and scare them
– refuse to educate them
Sooo… how about we not do that?
Our society is obsessed with sex, but for the most part, mainstream culture either avoids frank discussion about sex, or it sensationalizes it in an unhealthy, negative way.
Children find this mixed message very confusing. ADULTS do, as well!
Many people are working hard to infuse our country with an open, honest sex-positive message, myself included.
As a mother, I was keenly interested to learn of a performance piece featuring a teen/parent sex ed theme hosted at The Ethical Society, a welcoming home for humanists with the motto Deed, not Creed, and sponsored by a local organization called Teen Pregnancy and Prevention Partnership.
I attended the program with my 12-year-old daughter.
By Kendra Holliday | March 19, 2013
My daughter is 12. I’ve raised her in a sex-positive, body-positive environment all her life. I haven’t had “the sex talk” with her – I’ve had many matter-of-fact conversations with her along the way, from anatomy lessons when she was three to discussing the fact that grownups have toys when she was seven.
I am educating her about sexuality in a shame-free manner. I had to learn about the harsh truths of life as I went, and sometimes I had to learn the hard way. I don’t want that for her.
If your child asks you a question, it means he or she is ready for the age-appropriate answer. Think ahead and be prepared!
The lessons I teach my daughter combat all the twisted views our society spreads like cooties. As a parent, it is my prerogative to teach her things that will help her instead of hurt her, and offer an antidote to those toxic messages.
Since she was about 7, I’ve taught her repeatedly: