Two weeks ago a girlfriend of mine and her fiancé arranged a little get together for a bunch of their closest friends. They just said that there was something special they wanted to share with us. So at four we started arriving and by five everyone was there. We got to chatting and catching up and the evening progressed with lots of laughter and warm fuzziness. Sometime around six thirty another of my girlfriends asked what the couple wanted to tell us. They are expecting a child. She or he will arrive sometime early next year. We were all so exited. This will be the first baby for our group of friends. We got to guessing what it will be and started thinking up the weirdest names possible. When we were calmer, it finally dawned on us that this marked the beginning of the next stage of our lives. Most of us, especially the girls, thought it will be the most exiting time of our lives. What, with all the shenanigans we’ll go through ‘cause of our kids? Who wouldn’t want that? The boys thought it will be the scariest, especially ‘cause of the questions the kids are bound to ask. They concluded that the worst one would come from their daughters and it would be, “Daddy, what is sex?” I agree.

The last thing a father would want to hear from his daughter is “Daddy, let’s talk about sex!” The first thing I imagine would be the attack of utter shock. Then comes the question of how your, let’s say 12 year old, knows that a thing like sex exists. Isn’t she supposed to find that out when she’s 50?! Then finally comes the question of what you should tell her. Scary, huh? For the father anyway. The daughter probably knows more about it than you think or she’s ready to admit. At the rate kids are growing up these days, at 12 she’s probably had it too. Calm down, you won’t be able to kill the idiot who she did it with if you have a heart attack now! So what does a father do when he realises his daughter knows and has probably had sex?

First of all you need to accept that your daughter is going to have sex some day. You also have to accept that she’ll learn about it one way or another, and the other way might give her all the wrong notions. It’s best that this information comes from a reliable source, so stop reading the paper. That’s right. Stop reading the paper, put it aside and listen to the questions she is about to ask. If you are too embarrassed to talk to her about it, ask her to kindly ask her mother or an aunt. Yet if she came to you, she wants to hear it from you. I think it’s hard for Dads to accept that their daughters are sexual beings than it is for them to think the same about their sons because seeing some one of the same sex as a sexual being is easier. Why? Because your mind tells you that they probably have the same thoughts as you. This is usually true. That’s how come if you went to a mother of a 16 year old girl and told her that her daughter was having sex, they would not be surprised much. As long as you don’t tell her that her daughter is pregnant too. The Mum won’t be surprised much because women are better equipped to deal with the reality of sex than men. And she was probably doing it at 16 too so…

So why do Dads insist on their daughters remaining their little angels until she is married? First of all, we are angels. Second, psychology and biology combine to prevent fathers viewing their daughters as women because three, it is dangerous. I mean, can you imagine how many girls would be raped by their Dads if they didn’t remain little girls in their fathers’ eyes? It makes it easier for both parties. Plus girls are equipped with the special ability to suddenly transform into angels when Daddy shows up. Think of the class bitch. Now think of how nice she is to everyone at school events when her Dad attends. It’s a beautiful thing to see. It’s also down right scary!

So, what exactly do you tell her? What do you not tell her? The thing you have to keep in mind is not to lie to her. Or scare her. Tell her the truth as gently as possible without going into embarrassing mechanics. Tell her that sex is a beautiful physical expression of love. Let her discover the pleasure part on her own. Tell her that it feels good and that she’ll probably want to do it over and over again but that she should only do it if and when she wants to. To scare her a little, tell her that the culmination of this act of love is a child. That oughta get her! Tell her that boys and men will be very cunning and will try to get her to bed as hard as they can. Give her an example of the things they’ll do or say and tell her to be wary of such happenings. Tell her that if and when she finally falls in love with someone, the physical part of that love will be very natural and will be the best sex she’ll ever have so she should wait for that. Then send her to her mother or aunt or grandmother to explain the mechanics.

I doubt the boys will ask their Mums and I bet the Dads will be more comfortable with the boys. But in case you are a single Mum to a boy, start training for that conversation and many more scary ones. It’s also very good to have a trustworthy male in your life that you can send your son to for the more embarrassing parts and the mechanics. The best thing about telling your kids about all this ‘grown up stuff’ that is so mysterious to them, is that you can rest easy knowing that they have the right information and won’t go doing stupid things just to see what happens. “Uuuuh… What does this button do?” Label the buttons.

© afra njoki