Practically Speaking

Let’s Talk About SEX

I’m excited to announce Joanna Hyatt’s guest post on Practically Speaking today! As a mom of one pre-teen and two teens, I couldn’t wait to purchase her book -which I did- and now share it with you. I’ve heard Joanna speak to parents and teens about sex, and let me tell you what a valuable resource she is. I just HAD to befriend her. Enjoy!


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Have You Mastered the Sex Talk?

Dear Parents,

You know you have to do it, have “that talk” that you’ve been dreading.

The SEX talk.

You keep putting it off, thinking you have plenty of time, or secretly hoping that someone else will do it for you, maybe your spouse, an uncle, aunt or grandparent, or even the school.

You’re not alone!

In my speaking to parents, I often find that they’re paralyzed when it comes to talking about sex. They know in their head it’s one of those “Parenting Musts,” but the “Why,” hasn’t quite sunk in and the “How” seems daunting.

Why does it matter whether the discussion comes from you or from your child’s teacher?

Does what you say and how you say it really make that much of a difference?

Isn’t saying nothing better than saying the wrong thing?

Besides, you assure yourself, your kids already know what you think about sex. You mentioned it before, on that one road trip to Grandma’s, while gripping the steering wheel and being very careful to keep your eyes on the road.

When did we lose confidence in our ability as parents to raise up our own children, to be the best and greatest choice in their life on issues of morality, values, and identity?

Yes, the culture has become more sexualized, more aggressive in its promotion of sexuality and sexual behavior. And yes, it is much harder for your teens to avoid sexual activity than ever before. But it is not unrealistic or impossible.

I believe a large reason for the increase among teens in sexual activity, number of partners, pregnancy and STDs is because too many parents have simply stopped engaging their pre-teens and teens on these issues. Or they make a half-hearted attempt, which becomes about as effective as dumping a bucket of water on a blazing forest fire.

Rather than laying down our weapons in defeat and ceding the ground on which we stand, we should be all the more driven to fight for our youth to hear the truth. To fight for them to have the opportunity at a future free from physical and emotional hurt from past sexual choices, free from broken relationships, depression and guilt, free to live life with expectation and hope for what sex could be in a beautiful, loving, intimate committed relationship.

You DO matter. And the conversations about sex CAN be fun and effective.

This is why I wrote The Sex Talk: A Survival Guide for Parents. I want to help you improve your sex talk skills today, to be confident in your role as the #1 voice in your child’s life on these issues, and to be able to dialogue in a way that you know will make a difference.

Consider the book a conversation between us where I get to give you the inside scoop on what works, thanks to the thousands of teenagers I’ve spoken to and worked with over the years. Written with humor and full of anecdotes, you’ll get an easy-to-read guide on what exactly you should be talking about and how.

Grab a book, your favorite cup of coffee, and let’s get talking!


Based out of Los Angeles, Joanna Hyatt is a national speaker on dating, relationships and sex, and the author of The Sex Talk: A Survival Guide for Parents. She blogs at and tweets @JoannaHyatt