“What About Your Daughter?”

By Kendra Holliday | September 2, 2017

The first page of the Hustler article.
Photo by Connie LaFlam

I received this thoughtful letter in 2011, when my daughter was 11:

“Dear Kendra,

I just read your story that was in the latest Hustler.

We probably are in agreement 100% on most topics.

I personally feel that people are too uptight about sex and nudity in general and that if public nudity was allowed- everybody would worry a lot more about their health and appearance. Nudity would be the ‘norm’ instead of something ‘dirty’.

My personal opinion about sex– ‘So what?’ if you are not hurting anyone with your actions and everyone involved is consenting….have fun!

I don’t know how to ask this without it sounding mean and I don’t want it to come off that way.

My questions are these: I’m wondering what you think about your actions having such a negative affect on your daughter?

How are you handling this with her?

What do you tell her?

I’m just wondering, no offense intended.

Sincerely,

Cave Man”

Here is what I wrote back:

Dear Cave,

Thanks so much for thinking about my story and dropping me a line. I’m glad to hear we agree that sex and nudity are natural and nothing to be ashamed of. That is exactly what I am teaching my daughter.

She is learning about sexuality and nudity in a sex-positive, age appropriate manner. Therefore, she has a healthier attitude about sex at age 11 than the average American adult. She knows I am a sex-positive activist and supports my mission. She knows about my website, but she does not read it. She is not yet interested in sex.

It is my goal that by the time she is a legal adult, she can talk about her sexuality openly and honestly, without having to hide behind an alias like I did for many years. I’m proud to say I have taken many lumps, but it was worth it, because I can talk about sex and put my real name and face to it. It’s very liberating being able to be myself with my daughter, parents, family and partner. I want everyone to enjoy that level of freedom!

I think the U.S. is making great progress; I look forward to seeing how the sex-positive movement continues to unfold.

Sincerely,
Kendra Holliday

Then he wrote me back with:

“You’re such a smart lady! My wife and I support your efforts!”

which made me really happy.

2017 Update: My daughter is now 17. She is still not interested in sex, but is very sex-positive. We’ve been interviewed on a couple podcasts together – take a listen! I made the right choice to be open and honest with her, and myself. 🙂

Comments

Algernon 2012-01-11 21:42:28

Good response. I’m reminded of Stephen King being asked a similar question, not about sex, but about horror stories and his children. He made a similar point about introducing things honestly and in appropriate stages for the kids’ age and development. To paraphrase, he said he shared scary stories with them but there were some books and movies that stayed on the “high shelf” until another time. A topic on which you might have to write — perhaps as a book — is the stages by which you introduce and educate your daughter about sex.

Reply

Miss Scarlet 2012-01-12 12:06:11

Kendra, you know I adore you and completely support you and your mission, but you said you’re supportive of nudity in this post, but then censor your own nude photo. That makes no sense.

Reply

    Kendra 2012-01-12 21:00:23

    If you wanna see the uncensored version, you should buy the magazine! That makes sense, right? Also, I’m trying to tone down the nudity on this website so it’s more approachable to mainstream/women.

    Reply

David Wraith 2012-01-25 14:03:47

The article “When My Daughter Googles My Name” by Hugo Schwyzer reminded me of this post.

http://www.rolereboot.org/culture-and-politics/details/2012-01-when-my-daughter-googles-my-name

Reply

AlanK 2017-09-03 08:00:21

I think part of the question was to what extent your being known for sexual openness affects your child’s life. The nail that pops up is the one that gets hammered–as you know from your own life. Children (and their parents) can be very cruel toward anyone who has a “different” life.

Reply

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