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Episode 40: Breaking the Cycle of Sexual Shame & Talking to Your Kids About Sex with Raven Faber

 

Sex positivity and sexual wellness have had their unfair share of uphill battles against all the fear, stigma, and misrepresentation around sex and intimacy.

In reality, there doesn’t need to be any shame or fear around what our bodies were naturally made to do. We should be opening up conversations about sexual wellness and passionate play to figure out why there’s shame and how we can better help our children to make sexuality a normal, shameless part of everyday life, especially as they get more curious about sex and about their bodies. When we talk about decolonizing, we should also talk about the sexual shame that’s rooted in colonization. 

In this episode, Raven Faber and I break down the historical stigmas around sex, shedding light on how we can begin to facilitate honest conversations with our kids about sex.

Raven Faber founded EngErotics in 2016 in response to a clear lack of design standards and safety regulations in the sexual wellness industry. With over a decade of engineering and sales experience, she leverages her passion for using the fundamentals of engineering, math, and science as the basis for the design and development of high-quality sex toys and CBD-infused intimate body care products. 

Raven is extremely passionate about normalizing the conversation surrounding sex and sex education as well as increasing black representation in the canabis and sex tech industries. “Representation is important and I don’t feel like we get enough of that in the canabis industry or in the sex tech industry, so, it’s very important work that the company’s doing,” Raven says. 

Raven describes the stigma towards sex and sex education as puritanical. 

Remember the term ‘prude’? Remember the weird, grossed out feeling we felt as kids, or even still as adults, when someone says ‘penis’ or ‘clitoris’ or ‘vulva’? For many of us, it’s easier to use a cute euphemism for body parts. But as Raven says, why can we call an elbow an elbow, but we can’t call a vagina a vagina? This puritanical stigma didn’t develop overnight. This fear-driven propaganda goes back far into our history, especially for young black people and children, and has been carried into our modern lives. 

“When it comes to how young black girls, young black boys, black women, black men feel about their bodies, I’ve found that many of us seem to suffer from shame that we really don’t need to carry and I think a lot of it is generational shame,” Raven says. Of course, there were no Facebook groups or conscious parenting podcasts out while our parents were raising us. They were just raising us the best way they knew how. 

That said, we now have the powerful resources and wisdom needed to recognize what didn’t work before and how we can break the cycle of generational sexual shame and stigma.

What areas of life did you struggle with or do you still struggle with? Have you struggled with sex and intimacy? How do you think this could potentially impact your children’s view of and experience with sex, intimacy, sexual health, and pleasure?

 

Tips for Talking About Sex and Intimacy With Your Children:

  • If your child is 14 years or older and you haven’t had a talk with them about sex, they’re likely getting their information from elsewhere, like porn or school. In other words, if you can, talk to your kids earlier than high school.
  • Kids take your cues on just about everything. How you react to these topics sets the tone for how the conversations will go. Be conversational and vulnerable, not confrontational. You can always admit you’re uncomfortable.
  • Masturbation, birth control, pleasure, and topics like that will likely come up in the conversations. When new topics come up, don’t freak out. Check in with yourself, go through your feelings, examine why you’re feeling that way, and approach the conversation with a loving, caring, supportive perspective.
  • Let them know there’s nothing shameful or nothing wrong with exploring their bodies, urges, and curiosities. Encourage them and let them know that it’s totally natural.
  • Teach your kids about their anatomy. Knowing their bodily functions will empower them to connect with their body, to know when something’s not functioning properly, and to feel more comfortable talking to doctors and future partners.
  • You can always give them books! Check in on them periodically to make sure they’re reading them and always remain open to answering their questions.
  • Remember that talking about sex isn’t going to cause your kids to go out and have sex. 

We need to let go of this shame around talking about sex because it doesn’t do anyone any favors, especially our kids. As uncomfortable as it can be, we just need to do it.

Let’s get comfortable with the uncomfortable so we can normalize sexual wellness and break the cycle of shame. Let’s empower our children with this knowledge so they can be empowered in their bodies and make empowered decisions.

Ready to start instilling confidence in your children and empowering them to embrace their sexuality? Listen in to this incredible discussion to learn more and be sure to check out EngErotic!

 

About Raven Faber:

Raven founded EngErotics in 2016 in response to a clear lack of design standards and safety regulations in the sexual wellness industry. She has over a decade of engineering and sales experience and she is very passionate about using the fundamentals of engineering, math, and science as the basis for the design and development of high-quality sex toys as well as CBD infused intimate body care products. She is extremely passionate about normalizing the conversation surrounding sex and sex education and believes very deeply in the need for engineers and scientists to have a direct influence on how the world looks at intimate product design, formulation, quality, and safety.

 

To connect further with Raven & EngErotics:

Visit her website: www.engerotics.com

Follow her on Instagram: www.instagram.com/engerotics

Follow her on Twitter: www.twitter.com/EngErotics 

Connect with her on Facebook: www.facebook.com/EngErotics