Ah, summertime—when heat, hormones and boredom lead to bad decisions. This month, four teens were arrested for allegedly having sex on a beach in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. The sun was out, and the shore was filled with families not expecting, um, that type of view. Onlookers called the public display “disgusting,” according to news reports.
But upon hearing the story, some parents of teenagers wondered, well, what if those young men and women just didn’t have a reasonable place to get busy?
On her parenting blog Raising Teens, Cindy Goodman writes that she believes there’s a case to be made for letting teens have sex in their own bedrooms. If they’re already sexually active—and, like it or not, in 2015, 41% of U.S. high school students reported that they have had sexual intercourse—Goodman suggests that providing them with a safe place can prevent them from sneaking off to beaches, parks and who else knows where.
A few years ago, I walked into my neighborhood clubhouse and found a teen couple having sex on the couch. At the time, I thought: “At least they are inside where they are somewhat safe!”
I hate the idea of my kids having sex at random public places like beaches or parks, but I am realistic that this kind of teen behavior happens frequently.
Making the house available for your teen to have sex would involve having a conversation about it, which may be uncomfortable, but it’s important that parents talk to their kids about sex regularly, whether they’re little and just starting to have conversations or if they’re already going through puberty. As for how it would work out logistically—I’m not quite sure. Do you stand next to the family calendar with a dry erase marker, asking, “Sweetie, would you like to have intercourse on Wednesday or Thursday…