Q & A ARCHIVE
My teen is writing erotica. Does this mean that
she is sexually active?
Q When I was in my daughter's
room, I stumbled across her diary. While I know I shouldn't have looked,
the book was filled with explicit erotic stories. Some seemed to be
made-up scenes with characters from her favorite TV show. One entry
described her having sex with a guy. I think these entries stem from
her imagination rather than real-life. But, I wonder if I am being naïve.
Do you think this is an indication that she's sexually active?
Young people are inundated
with sexual messages and images. Coupled with an active imagination
and love for writing, these journal entries could simply be your daughter's
way of expressing herself sexually as well as an outlet for her curiosity
about sex. But, as hard as it may be for you to think about, it is also
possible that she has been intimate in some way with another person.
There's no way to know for certain unless you talk with her.
Try initiating ongoing conversations about all aspects of sexuality
and sexual health with your daughter. This will not only foster a stronger
bond and allow for you both to talk openly about sexuality, but it will
also let her know that you are there to support her and answer questions.
Share your messages with her about puberty, body image, decision making,
the media, masturbation, fantasy, peer pressure, contraception, etc.
as "teachable moments" arise. You can even start watching
that favorite TV show with her and asking her to explain the characters'
personalities and relationships. Share with her what it was like for
you growing up—if you were curious about your body changes, or
had questions about sex, and also your experience talking with your
parent(s) or what you wished you would have been able to talk about
with your parent(s).