Teen Issues - Discussing "Gateway Sex" With Your Teen

Have you heard of gateway sex? It is the newest thing for teens that are trying to abstain but having difficulty with the concept. The term comes from the fact that this type of sex can lead to actual sex. Of course, many teenagers do not realize that and insist that gateway sex is simply a "means to an end" in the world of intimacy. As parents, talking to your teenager about the bird and the bees only is a thing of the past, now you must also address the pre-sex and its risks.

What is it?
Gateway sex is a new term for oral sex. Teens are choosing this method to eliminate the chance of getting pregnant and decrease the possibility of getting sexually transmitted diseases. Oral sex does however pose its own risks and some sexually transmitted diseases such as herpes can be spread. Gateway sex may start with only using hand and gradually progress to oral. If you are wondering where teenagers are learning about these acts, simply turn on your television or radio and see what influences are around them. The average age for teenagers to lose their virginity is 14 years old as of 2010.

Talking to Your Teen
Talk to your teen about the risks of having gateway sex; the possibility if what could happen in the heat of the moment and offer alternate ideas to make gateway sex safer. While teens do learn sexual education in school, it is often done at an early age. By the time the teen is actually thinking about being sexually active with a partner, chances are that they have forgotten the basic things that they once learned. Keep the lines of communication open so that you and your teen can talk about any issues that may arise with gateway sex. Also state your feelings about the idea so that your teen does not assume you condone the action.

Alternate Activities
One of the reasons that teenagers are having sex is because they think it is the thing to do when they are board. Consider presenting your teen with alternate options for things to do with their boyfriend or girlfriend. Support group activities that include sporting events, study groups, dinner and movie dates and outdoor fun. Regardless of how responsible your teenager appears to be, they should always be chaperoned by an adult. Until your teen is eighteen years old, you are still responsible for any situation that they get themselves into. Restrict the possibilities of teenage couples being alone together by ensuring that a chaperone is always available when you are not.