This May Horrify A Religious Mom, But As An Atheist Mom, I’d Be Proud

This May Horrify A Religious Mom, But As An Atheist Mom, I’d Be Proud August 23, 2018

When I think of condoms, I think about the single invention that could save our planet and our species. Generally, with a “bow-chicka-wow-wow” in the background because I am your strange and shameless GM, after all. Thinking about a pecker poncho usually brings a grin to my face, even if it’s not on the chiseled body of Alexander Skarsgård, because in this tiny little banger balloon, lies the solution to many of the world’s most concerning problems… most importantly, preventing me from becoming a grandmama before I ought to be.

The Catholic Church, as we know, doesn’t see it this way.

To this Catholic mom, a close combat sock is a symbol of sin. Momma Communion tells us the story of a time she overheard two teenage girls buying condoms at the pharmacy… and she tells it like she’s recounting a murder she witnessed:

I wanted to run after you and tell you how you deserved better than inebriated “safe” sex.

Of course, by “better” she means imaginary men in the sky who demand your abstinence until you marry an equally inexperienced man and sloppily bump uglies as you perfect the missionary style and nap through vanilla sex for the rest of your life. That is hot, lady. Hot.

Or did she mean, perhaps, not purchasing the condoms and hoping that powerful teenage hormones and underdeveloped brains prone to bad decisions don’t lead to teen mommyhood, or a horrific STD infection, or having to consider abortion or adoption? Those all sound like far better options than “safe” sex, right? These options sound way better than using our bodies, responsibly, for what they were built for at a time in your life when your body is screaming for it… right?

There is a plan for sex for you and me and everyone. It is, in fact a perfect plan that is moral, natural, satisfying, fun, pleasurable, marriage strengthening, life-giving, and faith solidifying.

Oh, I see. Using a naughty bag goes against HIS plan. A cock hat is a direct assault on God, which, when you think about it, indicates the big fella isn’t as powerful as the religious would have you believe. I mean, if I was all-powerful and it was my plan for you to have a baby, the catcher’s mitt you’re using won’t stand a chance. I suppose then, even God is no match for the mighty rubber? Is that what I am to believe? Not only does it prevent pregnancy and STDs, but also God’s holy intentions? Wow!

Salami slings are god-proof!

How about a more rational way of looking at sex? About a week ago, I was asked on Twitter how I talk to my kids about sex. The answer is simple. I talk to them honestly. Always. There was the one time, when my son was five, that he asked me, “Mommy, what are my nuts for?” which, like many things, required him to pull his little bits out of his shorts and wave them around. Once the tiny parts were tucked safely back in his underoos, I answered truthfully, explaining that they were little seed factories that, when his body was ready, could help make a baby. He said ok, and followed it up quickly with, “but they’re not little, mom”. Of course, since men don’t ever really grow out of that, my husband quickly backed him up. “Yeah, they’re not little.” but I digress.

My stepdaughter, on the other hand, is freshly 16 and drop-dead gorgeous. She’s growing into the body of a supermodel (not even joking) and has naturally long eyelashes, and deep, expressive dimples. Her eyes are a rich, chocolatey brown and her hair falls down to her mid-back. She has beautiful, trendy taste in clothing and has more makeup skill in her baby finger than I have in my whole body. She is stunning. Her family also has a history of teen motherhood, and she has already shown interest in boys. For most of her life, we only had her for a few weeks a year, and I knew that when I didn’t have her, she didn’t get a ton of attention as she lived alone with her working mother. So, when she was here with us, it was sex-ed crash course time.

So, how did I open the conversation up with a child who is not biologically mine, and who is extremely shy and easily embarrassed?

I did it with MTV’s Teen Mom.

Now, before the chorus of “that’s such trash” chimes in, I want you to understand that you’ve been duped. You’ve been duped into thinking that shows about real world issues are somehow trashy, while shows about nerdy roommates with a dry wit are a more respectable choice. You’ve been duped into thinking that teen motherhood is not something that should be a topic of discussion out in the open using mediums that teens themselves would actually be attracted to and that watching an Atlanta cop slay zombies is somehow deeper and of a higher quality.

Teen Mom sheds light in a very real way (no one is getting voted off the maternity ward, and there are no cash prizes) on a problem that most people consider extremely serious. Let’s look at some facts, shall we?

• In Canada, over 30,000 teenagers became pregnant in 2005
• In the USA, 3 out of every 10 girls will become pregnant before the age of 20
• In the USA, 1 in 10 new moms is under the age of 20
• Nearly half of all teenagers are sexually active by the time they graduate
• There are direct correlations between young mothers, single-parent families (often the case for teenaged moms) and crime.
• Many studies suggest that children thrive in a home setting that involves two parents, financial stability and a stable, clean, routined and secure setting which is often not the case when there are teenaged mothers involved.

But it’s trashy to shed light on it, right? It’s trashy to talk about the consequences, to demonstrate those consequences in a place that teens are already tuning in, right?

I realize that eventually the mothers starring in Teen Mom get paid for it. I also don’t like the fact that we have to put these vulnerable young women on television to get this conversation started. However, the statistics don’t lie. After the original show, 16 and Pregnant first aired, 82% of teenagers reported that the show gave them a far greater understanding of the difficulties and hardships a teenaged mom experiences. The drop in teen pregnancies in 2009 was also so significant, that the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy actually recognized the show for the part it played.

So, I watched it with my stepdaughter. I paused it every now and again and explained things to her. I talked to her about the people in her life who had babies as teens and what they had to go through, the struggles they had to deal with. I told her about how she can protect herself, and explained all types of birth control. I also told her that if no one else would, I’d take her to get it, no questions asked. I explained to her the emotional side of things, and about how hormones during teen years become so powerful that they make boys and girls alike desire things that may not be in their best interest. I explained to her that waiting for the right person, whom you love, is always the best option. Then, I always told her about condoms. Grabbing a pack at a store in a pinch is easy, nothing to be embarrassed by and should prevent any unwanted consequences of sex.

I’ve also explained to her that the god-defeating latex raincoat could also help us significantly reverse the following worldwide issues (aside from STDs and teen pregnancy, motherhood and abortions):

– Poverty
– Climate Change
– Overpopulation
– Poor education
– Crime

So, if I walked into a pharmacy, and saw my stepdaughter buying condoms as a teenager, my reaction would be quite different from Catholic Mommy. I’d feel sad that it’s happening, but I’d know that she’s heard my schpiel about being in love and making sure a man respects her before laying down with him, and I’d trust that she’s making the right choice for her. It wouldn’t be easy, but in the same way that taking your 5-year-old to the first day of kindergarten isn’t easy. It indicates the passage of time; the kid who’s not a baby anymore; the young adult who’s not a child anymore. I would be sad, but I would look at her with pride and respect that she listened to me, and full comprehension that she understood: if you’re going to do it, do it responsibly.

Of course, then I’d find out who the boy is and cut his nuts off… but that’s another blog post.

How do you talk to your kids about sex? Let me know in the comments!

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Image: Creative Commons/Pixabay

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  • Ungodly Sweet

    I only answered (truthfully) what they asked, I didn’t elaborate past that particular question until they asked, so they would become overwhelmed, confused, bored or scared. It doesn’t have to be one big talk, doing it but by bit with age appropriate language works better.

  • clanhamilton

    I’m with you. My boys got condoms in their Christmas stockings for which my ex told me I was headed to hell, but I don’t care!
    My oldest has two on-purpose babies with his wife and my youngest doesn’t want kids and responsibly wears rubbers.

  • Ungodly Sweet

    Just reread my comment, obviously today I lack any spelling, punctuation and any other grammatical intelligence.

  • Shadowfury333

    Not that I don’t appreciate the value of this post (and the hilarious condom euphemisms), but the idea of condoms being “God-destroying” has got me stuck imagining different ways a story about heros fighting God could use condoms to win, from wrapping one’s fist in a condom before punching (“ribbed for *my* pleasure, asshole”) to building a geodesic dome out of stretched, stitched-together condoms to protect a place from divine wrath.

  • WallofSleep

    Came for the euphemisms, was not remotely disappointed. Also, this:

    I’m never having sex again. Though I’m pretty sure that was already set in stone well prior to that article.

  • Raging Bee

    I wanted to run after you and tell you how you deserved better than inebriated “safe” sex.

    …by strongly advising her not to get inebriated? Sounds perfectly sensible to me! Oh wait, that’s not what she’s recommending? Damn, I guess I overestimated a Christian moralist’s intelligence…again…

  • tatortotcassie

    Indeed. EVERYONE deserves better than inebriated sex of any kind.

    Interesting that Catholic Mom assumed that the forthcoming sex was going to be inebriated, as if there is no other kind once condoms are involved.

    EDIT: having read the article, Catholic Mom says that the girl in question “sounded tipsy.” Okay but that’s still quite an assumption. Was she slurring her words? Was she talking just a bit too loudly? Did her body language seem uncoordinated? Was she flushed? Did she give you any other indication that she wasn’t sober? No? And she had a friend with her to keep her safe even if she was drunk? Then butt out (unless/until the young woman appears to be in danger.)

  • Michael Neville

    Thank you for the circumlocutions for condoms. I didn’t know several of these euphemisms.

  • Michael Neville

    Both my wife and I talked about sex with our daughter including various methods of birth control and the consequences of getting pregnant at a young age. As it turns out, the daughter is asexual and a 42 year old virgin. But she is knowledgeable about sex and reproduction.

  • Aloha

    Someday we’lll get more BC options for men. Someday ….

  • Benjamin Muller

    My boys got condoms in their Christmas stockings for which my ex told me I was headed to hell, but I don’t care!

    All the Christian pedophile priests and pastors who preached against and never used condoms will be in heaven, so…

  • Some guy

    Who knew there were so many euphemisms for cum-catchers? LMFAO!

  • Some guy

    Or did the girl have some neurological condition, like cerebral palsy, for which the saintly bigot was condemning her?

  • Some guy

    Yeah, I had no idea there were so many names for boner bags either.

  • Some guy

    “Honey, I insist we practice a SAFE apocalyptic upheaval!”

  • Some guy

    So many jizz jackets, so little time . . .

  • Raging Bee

    She was sober enough to stop partying long enough to buy condoms. That says a lot right there. Diverting into a boring sterile drugstore isn’t exactly something dangerously drunk people normally do.

  • My husband and I talked about sex with our kids, plus they have comprehensive sex ed at school. We checked to see what the kids knew, and it turns out they know more about STDs than we did lol.

    As a mom, I have talked with my kids about sex needing to be absolutely consensual. However, my daughter said I went too far when I told her she should masturbate so she would know what she likes and can communicate with her partner and that she is responsible for her sexual pleasure. I don’t get her outrage – I wish my mom had told me that lol – would have fast tracked the pleasure train!

  • Laurance

    Oh wow, this is great! Not only is your story interesting, your funny names for condoms had me laughing my ass off! Thanks for making my day!

  • mambocat

    I can’t be the only one to notice that Catholic Mom, while merely mentioning inebriation as an adjective, focused exclusively on protected sex as the “problem.” Granted, if one is planning to get tipsy and have sex, and one is of age, by all means, grab bottle of wine and a condom. But for teens to be inebriated when making the important choice to have sex (or not) seems to bother Catholic Mom only remotely, even though teen drinking is both illegal and potentially dangerous. And we all know the dangers — not knowing your limits when young, passing out and possibly being raped (likely without a condom), drinking and driving, etc. That’s so sad. For Catholic Mom to be far more concerned that those girls might have sex “against God’s plan,” but not to express any concern for the very real dangers of teen inebriation is rather mindboggling.

    (Please note that this is not a statement against responsible alcohol consumption. I spent a chunk of my life in the live music business and as a bartender.)

  • Sinonymous

    It’s refreshing to hear you told your daughter that she’s responsible for her sexual pleasure. I don’t have proof but this absence of understanding by women is key to many failed relationships. Men, of course, fail by not asking. Sadly, it was years before I learned to ask and in one case, the silence was maddening.

  • Martin Penwald

    How do you talk to your kids about sex?

    Well, someone has to explain to me how we do kids before.

  • Mythblaster
  • Rennyrij

    Not to worry…I just chalked it up to a keyboard that can’t spell…mine does that from time to time! But you’re right about giving information in small doses. If they know they won’t be overwhelmed with information every time they ask a question, children will be more inclined to ASK the questions that need to be asked, and at a time when they’re ready for it.

  • wolfypuppy

    Reza Aslan would disagree about Mary’s being a virgin teenage bride when Jesus was born. 😉 And for my kids, I don’t want to emphasize the “sex only belongs in a loving relationship” thing because, define “loving relationship.” The Christian version I was brought up with is extremely dysfunctional. I want my daughter to know how to please herself first and be confident enough to get what she needs/wants from a sexual relationship. I want my son to be interested enough in whatever girl he’s (potentially) screwing that he thinks to ask her and make sure she enjoys it. I’ll also emphasize that human pheromones and bonding hormones sometimes trick us into feeling “in love” when we’re in a sexual relationship, even when we’re not, and that they need to watch out for that. I plan on telling them that it’s not just consent that matters but being clear with the other person whether this is a sexual or sexo-romantic (I made that up right now!) relationship, and to keep communicating about it. And that regardless, school, family, friends, and extracurriculars come first before dating or sex. AND, bottom line, if you’re too shy to ask your beau to buy you period pads at the pharmacy, or he’s too shy to do it for you, you’re not mature enough to be having sex. [I’ve been sure to send my son off to the other bathroom to get me tampons since he was young, so he’s “programmed.” lol] So I guess that’s what I’d emphasize: maturity. Because love doesn’t have to be part of it. I’m rather burned out and cynical about the whole “love” thing right now. 😉

  • wolfypuppy

    Wait, what’s wrong with inebriated safe sex? I have many fond memories of inebriated safe sex! For instance, the time I was studying in Moscow when it was still the Soviet Union, and I had tried to keep up with the boys with vodka shots (me all of 5’2″ and 100 pounds back then) and me all over this one boy, having inebriated safe sex wondering if the KGB was recording us and not caring. For “good Christian girls,” a little inebriation goes a long way towards blocking out Jesus long enough to enjoy ourselves. My problem was more non-inebriated Christian boys who didn’t want sex yet, safe or otherwise. I wonder if Catholic Mom has ever had fun sex. Maybe she just doesn’t know what she’s missing.

  • wolfypuppy

    And wait, what’s wrong with inebriated safe sex? I have many fond memories of inebriated safe sex! For instance, the time I was studying in Moscow when it was still the Soviet Union, and I had tried to keep up with the boys with vodka shots (me all of 5’2″ and 100 pounds back then), and me all over this one boy, having inebriated safe sex wondering if the KGB was recording us and not caring. For “good Christian girls,” a little inebriation goes a long way towards blocking out Jesus long enough to enjoy ourselves. My problem was more non-inebriated Christian boys who didn’t want sex yet, safe or otherwise. I wonder if Catholic Mom has ever had fun sex. Maybe she just doesn’t know what she’s missing.

  • wolfypuppy

    And then there’s inebriated non-safe sex, which is what spreads the HPV virus. Just the memory of inebriated sex is going to make me spill all my secrets here! lol lol lol I am quite proud to announce, for instance, that I was the only girl at Ivy Club at Princeton during their initiation, which was the same weekend that Rutgers was doing their frat initiations, and some guy jumped off a frat roof and maybe died, I can’t remember because I was inebriated, but more drunk students than ever were taking to hospitals between Princeton and Rutgers combined, and it was all over the newscasts that Something Must Be Done about Underage Drinking on Campus! This was the early ’80s. My alma mater, Bryn Mawr, had welcomed my freshman class with a party–with alcohol–saying it was our responsibility as adults to follow the law, or not. Damn! That weekend the Princeton-Rutgers Incident ruined everything. By the time I graduated in 1985, students throwing parties were being required to check, gasp!, IDs. Fortunately, drivers licenses back then were still made of paper and easily forgeable, so my friends and I still managed to get into plenty of nightclubs in Philadelphia, dressed in black, where I would drink vodka tonics and dance to Sisters of Mercy. Oh, the good times!

  • mashava

    Can I just–

    but I am here to tell you one thing: you are beautiful.
    Let me repeat that.  You. Are. Beautiful.

    What is it with these people and equating sex and low self-esteem? (Don’t answer that.) I didn’t have sex as a teen because I didn’t respect myself (the actual sentiment from my grandparents), I did it because I wanted to. No alternative daddy issues, esteem problems, etc…

  • I wonder why that person is your ex?

  • Hey Catholic Mom, you middle ages view of sexuality is leading cause of Priests raping children. I could care less for your God;s wonderplan for my life. I seen it and the plan sucks.

  • Otto

    There should not be a ‘sex talk’…it should be a series of ongoing discussions. They don’t have to be long, I would say most of the talks I have had with my kids has been under 5 minutes. That keeps them from getting too uncomfortable but allows them to engage if they want to…and they will sometimes.

  • David Miller

    Godless Mom, you did a heroic thing educating your stepdaughter about the birds & bees. And if it ever gets to the attention of her mother, most probably just gave her the legal ammo to have a religionite judge revoke any sort of joint custody arrangement your husband had with his daughter’s mother. Unfortunately, life is not fair & rational – religionites have made it that way – so your sensible act of kindness shall most probably be rewarded by punishment. At least you may have broken the cycle of teenage pregnancy among the females of that family line, but the family will credit the power of prayer (worthless).

  • Kitsune Inari

    Mary’s being a virgin teenage bride when Jesus was born

    Well, she was a teenage bride alright─just not a virgin one.
    Within the fiction I mean. I’m aware that none of the characters were real.

  • M_Lombaers

    I guess I’m lucky with growing up in the Netherlands. My father was very open on the do’s & dont’s of sex, and condoms were always available for grabs.
    Nowadays sex-ed starts even early in K12 (on a relatable level adjusted for age) over here.

  • Mr. James Parson

    Hey, son, where do you think babies come from?

  • Raging Bee

    “Sounded tipsy” might have just meant “more confident and less inhibited than I think a proper girl should be.”

  • Raging Bee

    The number of people who care more about the alleged needs of an imaginary superbeing who can bloody well fend for him/her/itself, than about the needs of real people with limited power, is just plain appalling and scary.

  • mambocat

    It’s terrifying, really.

  • Cozmo the Magician

    (“ribbed for *my* pleasure, asshole”)
    If there really was an award for “Best Comment of the Year” you would have a beeeeee-yoooo-ttteeeee-fullll statue to put next to your keyboard right now. That was solid gold. Brilliant. Awesomesauce. Amazeballs. You win the internet!

  • Cozmo the Magician

    Waaaaaay back when I was a young adult, my first true love and lover had a diaphragm (the birth control thing, not the muscle). Her MOM made took her to get it. We also used condoms. And we humped like bunnies every chance we got. If it were not for the foresight of her mom, and mine too, I would be the ‘proud’ daddy of many many many little Cozmos and Cozmoettes. Imagine a world with not ONE but MANY MANY Cozmos. Yeah, thanks to enlightened parents, you do NOT have to deal with that world.

  • Cozmo the Magician

    Um, i thought it was Iron Chariots that could defeat Yawee. I guess a pocket full of Trojans works just as well.

  • Cozmo the Magician

    Then why are there STILL so damned many kittens? Guess I’m just not working hard enough.

  • Oh, her mom is not religious and I am sure her mom would be supportive of what I taught my stepdaughter.

  • Yes, I agree!

  • Right? Me too! I was curious and had raging hormones and I was head over heels in love with my boyfriend. Why not?

  • Yes, agreed. It should be an ongoing, open discussion.

  • Good job!

  • Haha, I feel like this would make a great movie.

  • Yikes! Why is it named similar to my podcast partner?

  • Drink as much as you want! Just don’t let anyone near the devil’s doorbell!

  • To me, all teenagers sound tipsy. lol

  • You are very welcome, Mr. Neville.

  • You sound like a supportive parent. She’s a lucky lady 🙂

  • Here’s hoping!

  • Heaven truly sounds awful.

  • She could have just pulled an all-nighter and been super giggly, too.

  • Yeah, they’re not always going to like the talks, but the more info you give them, the healthier they will be sexually. Consent is so important to talk about. It starts young, too. When my son was a toddler, I talked to him a lot about touching, hugging, kissing and to listen to people when they express discomfort, etc. it’s a lifelong conversation.

  • Haha, happy to provide a laugh 🙂

  • Excellent point. Religion has that tendency to make people focus on issues that are just not as important as others.

  • Sounds like a place full of healthy attitudes towards sex.

  • Haha, smart mom!

  • Raging Bee

    I kinda like that nickname!

  • WallofSleep

    Patient Zero, maybe?

  • Raging Bee

    That would, at the very least, have beat the crap out of many many many little Duggars and Duggarettes.

  • Raging Bee

    In their little world, if you wanted to have sex, it was, BY DEFINITION, because you had low self-esteem. Or maybe because you had too much self-esteem and were willful and angry at God and needed God to smack down your self-esteem. Yeah, that’s it. No contradiction there, nosireebob, it all makes perfect sense if you squint at the Bible correctly…

  • Cozmo the Magician

    19 kinds I’m sofaking glad I don’t have to count.

    I think I’ve mentioned this before here… MY mom was a foster parent. I changed more diapers before I even hit puberty than most people can do in a whole life. So , yah, THANK YOU MOM. Really had no desire to be a daddy.

    And before anybody says ‘You can’t know that until you do it’… ARE YOU FUCKIN NUTS? Have you MET me?