When I became sexually active - by which I mean when I lost my virginity to the man I eventually married - I asked my older, married sister for a referral to her gynecologist. I made an appointment, had an exam and a Pap smear, and got a prescription for the Pill.
I did all this without telling my mother. Because even though I was an adult, I still lived at home, and my parents were paying for my education, and I possessed massive Catholic guilt about having sex outside of marriage.
Then the gynecologist's office sent me the results of my Pap smear. On a post card. That my mom brought in with the daily mail.
When she showed it to me, she said, "Just remember how upset you were when you broke up with [my previous boyfriend], and you weren't even having sex with him." And that's the closest we ever came to having The Talk.
So I took birth control, and I ended up marrying my boyfriend, and I stayed on the Pill until we decided to have a baby. And when that baby turned out to be a girl, I made a few promises to myself.
One was that I would talk to her about sex - openly, honestly, and without shame.
Another was that she would always feel able and willing to talk to me about sex.
And finally, that I would make sure she understood and had access to birth control if and when she decided she needed it.
My Precocious Daughter is growing into a beautiful young woman who is confident, inquisitive, and knows her own mind. If I hadn't been there in the maternity ward, I might not be 100% sure she was mine.
But she is. And I'm trying my damnedest to avoid raising her without the hangups and complexes that my mom, God love her, raised me with. With which my mom, God love her, raised me. Whatever.
PDaughter has a boyfriend. They've been together for seven months, which is pretty remarkable for a first romance. He's a nice young man, and he comes from a strong, loving family that keeps him on the straight and narrow. I don't think I could have asked for more from a first boyfriend.
When it started to look as if their relationship was more than a fleeting romance, I talked to PDaughter and made her promise that she would come to me if things turned physical so that we could get her on birth control. I let her know that I thought she was too young for sex, and that she shouldn't necessarily have sex with the first boy she ever went out with, and that just talking about this kind of freaked me out. But that I wanted her to be open with me nonetheless, because I wanted her to be safe and happy, no matter what.
And yesterday she let me know that having a sexual relationship is something she and her boyfriend have been talking about.
As if I couldn't tell by her half of the Facetime conversations they've been having lately.
Part of me wanted to yell "NO! Absolutely not! If you have sex outside of marriage at your age, you might as well email the Devil that you're ready and willing to deal."
To my credit, I managed to suppress that reaction.
Instead I told her calmly that I expected her to wait until she could be seen by a doctor and obtain a prescription for birth control. To which she agreed. Because she's a good kid.
Will she wait? God, I hope so. But there are no guarantees.
On the other hand, I think - I hope - that she knows and trusts in her mom's experience enough to realize that losing her virginity can have a big impact on her life, and that she is willing to wait until she has control over at least some of the variables.
I don't want her to give into pressure or fear or guilt when she has sex for the first time.
And I don't want to create guilt about something that should be a joyful and loving event when she decides the time is right.
It would be so much fucking easier if I just told her NO ONLY SLUTS HAVE SEX AT YOUR AGE. But I can't. I won't.
I just want her to be safe, and happy, and secure. More so than I was at age 15, certainly.
Am I wrong?