Last week, I asked you and your partner to discuss the love and support your experienced in your families growing up. Now let’s talk about sex.


Your family has a big impact on your attitude toward sex. Some of you come from families that were open about sex, talking about it and treating it as a healthy part of life. Some of you got only a little, if any at all, exposure to the topic of sex. Sex was a taboo subject or just absent from any conversation. And others of you grew up in an environment where sex was explicitly negative, either from the way people talked about it or because of how it was acted out or used in the household. Reflect on these questions to explore how your upbringing has affected how you feel and think about sex:

  • Did your family talk about sex? In what kind of way?
  • Did you get “the talk?” Who sat you down and how did that go? What were the messages you got?
  • Was there any sexual energy between your parents? How did you feel about that? Was it appropriate and within bounds? Was it excessive and lacking boundaries?
  • Was there any sexual energy between anyone else in the family? Any sexual contact? What happened? Was it known or acknowledged by family members? If so, how was it treated? How did you feel about it?
  • Did you have any experiences where you were discovered in sexual activity? What happened and how did the person react? How did you feel?
  • How has your family environment and attitude about sex affected you? What impact does it have on your sexual relationships as an adult?

Notice if and how the way sex was discussed in your family is reflected in how you address sexual difficulties with your partner.

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