My oldest son is about to move out and start living on his own. It's a poignant moment for me because I still remember the little boy he was, innocent and wide-eyed. Now he's embarking on his own life journey with all its inevitable ups and downs.
He may not be consciously aware that his normal hormonal surges are in overdrive and fueling his blossoming desire for women and sex. As a dating coach, I know how important it will be for him to develop healthy relationships with the women he'll meet and date in the future. It will mean the difference between a life of turmoil, misunderstanding and loneliness, or a life filled with joy, comfort and acceptance.
Here are the nine pieces of advice I gave my son about women and sex.
1. Don't Listen To The Jokes Throughout your life, you will hear jokes about women and how complicated they are, how they nag and how needy they are, or they don’t want sex after marriage. Don't listen to the jokes and especially don't buy into them. There are just as many derogatory jokes about men as there are about women, and both are inaccurate generalizations. Take the time to get to know each woman individually and make your own assessments, and remember jokes about women only serve to belittle, not inspire.
2. Don't Follow Your Peers If your friends try to talk you into coming along with them to a strip club, please say NO. These places only serve to objectify women. The men who frequent those places consider women as property and not individuals with needs and feelings. Also, it may seem funny when your friends talk about "banging" women as if they're a piece of meat, but I assure you it's anything but funny. Capturing a woman's heart is a valuable and appreciated skill; treating her like a "conquest" is an immature fantasy.
3. Beware Of What You Allow Into Your Eyes And Mind Men are visual creatures, and nothing arouses men more than pornography. Some might say it's harmless, but the truth is, the more you watch or read porn, the more you'll be desensitized to the actual physical experience of making love. It will blind you to the real wonders of a woman's body. Nothing on this earth is more amazing then the real touch of a woman who loves you and wants you.
4. Forget Friends-With-Benefits In theory, friends-with-benefits (FWB) sounds like a good idea because you get all the sex with none of the emotional responsibility. But here's the thing: while the sex may be incredible in a FWB situation, what usually happens is that one person begins to have feelings for the other, and then someone gets hurt. No matter how open you are with each other, FWB relationships rarely ever work and you usually lose a friend — that's a fact.
5. Always Practice Safe Sex Yes, you think you know all about diseases and pregnancy from what you've learned in school and I know (eye roll) you've heard it all before. Condoms can save you from diseases that can have life-long consequences. They can also prevent pregnancy and I probably don't need to remind you again that raising a child is a huge responsibility. Wait to start a family when you are in love, married, and have a good job and home. And don't assume the woman is on birth control or is being honest about it. Make sure you take care of yourself.
6. Know The Dangers Of Great Sexual Chemistry When you are drawn to a woman and feel out of control believing you're in love, take a step back. Remember, chemistry is really brain chemicals like testosterone and dopamine running amok, not unlike the feeling of being high on crack cocaine. These brain chemicals will cloud your judgment and lead you to making hasty decisions. Real love takes time to develop, so don't say, "I love you" unless you're ready to be there in good times and in bad times.
7. Be True To Your Word And To Yourself You might be tempted to say anything to get sex. But honesty and integrity mean always telling the truth to yourself and to your partner. Manipulating a woman by telling her you are more into her then you really are just to get sex is tantamount to lying, even if you think it's true. You should never have to convince your partner to sleep with you. Focus on showing her how much you care, and the desire will follow.
8. Don't Accept A Cheap Thrill One-night-stands may seem exciting in the moment, but you're usually left with a ton of regret in the morning. You'll be tempted to sleep with as many women as you can because you'll want to "prove" something about yourself. There's nothing to prove. Although your friends and the media will disagree with me, it's more of an achievement to sleep with one woman a thousand ways than to sleep with a thousand women.
9. Make Love, Not Sex Nothing really compares to the mind-blowing experience of making love with the one special woman you deeply care about. When you are fully present physically and emotionally, that's making love. Sex is just a physical experience. Having sex may feel good, but making love is heaven on earth. Take time to nurture a relationship. Be friends first and foremost. It will be so worth it.
If only I knew then (when I was my son's age) what I know now! While I know I can't protect him from ever having his heart broken, I want him to benefit from the hard lessons I've had to learn in my own life. That's why I knew a heart-to-heart talk with him was in order, so that hopefully the things I tell him now will guide him to make wiser choices in the years ahead.
“The greatest impact that can be made in a boy’s life is the wisdom shared by his father.”