Dear Daughter: I Hope You Have Awesome Sex

ApprehensiveDad

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Ferrett Steinmetz is tired of being told that he should point guns at his daughter’s boyfriends.

There’s a piece of twaddle going around the internet called 10 Rules For Dating My Daughter, which is packed with “funny” threats like this:

“Rule Four: I’m sure you’ve been told that in today’s world, sex without utilising some kind of ‘barrier method’ can kill you. Let me elaborate: when it comes to sex, I am the barrier, and I will kill you.”

All of which boil down to the tedious, “Boys are threatening louts, sex is awful when other people do it, and my daughter is a plastic doll whose destiny I control.”

Look, I love sex. It’s fun. And because I love my daughter, I want her to have all of the same delights in life that I do, and hopefully more. I don’t want to hear about the fine details because, heck, I don’t want those visuals any more than my daughter wants mine. But in the abstract, darling, go out and play.

You’re not me. Nor are you an extension of my will. And so you need to make your own damn mistakes, to learn how to pick yourself up when you fall. I’ll help. But I think there’s value in getting lost. I think there’s a strength that only comes from fumbling your own way out of the darkness.

Because consensual sex isn’t something that men take from you; it’s something you give. It doesn’t lessen you to give someone else pleasure. It doesn’t degrade you to have some of your own. And anyone who implies otherwise is a man who probably thinks very poorly of women underneath the surface.

Yes, all these boys and girls and genderqueers may break your heart, and that in turn will break mine. I’ve held you, sobbing, after your boyfriend cheated on you, and it tore me in two. But you know what would tear me in two even more? To see you in a glass cage, experiencing nothing but cold emptiness at your fingers, as Dear Old Dad ensured that you got to experience nothing until he decided what you should like.

You’re not me. Nor are you an extension of my will. And so you need to make your own damn mistakes, to learn how to pick yourself up when you fall, to learn where the bandages are and to bind up your own cuts. I’ll help. I’ll be your consigliere when I can, the advisor, the person you come to when all seems lost. But I think there’s value in getting lost. I think there’s a strength that only comes from fumbling your own way out of the darkness.

You’re your own person, and some of the things you’re going to love will strike me as insane, ugly, or unenjoyable. This is how large and wonderful the world is! Imagine if everyone loved the same thing; we’d all be battling for the same ten people. The miracle is how easily someone’s cast-offs become someone else’s beloved treasure. And I would be a sad, sad little man if I manipulated you into becoming a cookie-cutter clone of my desires. Love the music I hate, watch the movies I loathe, become a strong woman who knows where her bliss is and knows just what to do to get it.

Now, you’re going to get bruised by life. But I won’t tell you sex is bad, or that you’re bad for wanting it, or that other people are bad for wanting it from you if you’re willing to give it. I refuse to perpetuate, even through the plausible deniability of humor, the idea that the people my daughter is attracted to are my enemy.

I’m not the guard who locks you in the tower. Ideally, I am my daughter’s safe space, a garden to return to when the world has proved a little too cruel, a place where she can recuperate and reflect upon past mistakes and know that here, there is someone who loves her wholeheartedly and will hug her until the tears dry.

That’s what I want for you, sweetie. A bold life filled with big mistakes and bigger triumphs.

Now get out there and find all the things you fucking love, and vice versa.

This article originally ran at theferrett.com under a slightly different title.

You might also like a mother’s letter to her son:

An Open Letter to My Son About Sex

 

Photo—Stewart Black/Flickr

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About Ferrett Steinmetz

Ferrett Steinmetz - @ferretthimself on Twitter - is a Nebula-nominated science fiction writer and C-list blogger who blogs about puns, politics, and polyamory at http://www.theferrett.com - that's two "r"s, two "t"s. His urban fantasy debut novel Flex, described as “A desperate father will do anything to heal his daughter in a novel where Breaking Bad meets Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files,” arrives on September 30th and is available for pre-order. He lives in Cleveland with his beautiful wife Gini, a friendly ghost, and a small black dog named Shasta.

Comments

  1. Sorry, but the overprotective father thing is aimed at TEENAGERS. I do NOT want my teenage daughter or son to have sex. There is plenty of time for that when they are grown. Then they can have all the awesome sex they want, preferably in a monogamous marriage.

    I had sex before I was married, and it is my biggest regret to the point where I rarely enjoy it now. I’ll encourage my children to wait.

    • Sex before marriage isn’t the culprit- the lack of responsibility is. Rather than blindly telling your kids that “sex before marriage is wrong”, it is better to tell them that sex is not something you “give away blindly” but something that should only be given once one knows the person they’re going out with will treat them well and is trustworthy. Should that point come after marriage then so be it…but, bottom line, your kids need to learn how to identify who’s “worthy to have sex with” rather than putting up barriers blindly.

      • It’s not blindly putting up barriers to wait until you are married. Like you say, you should wait until you know the person will treat you well and you can trust them. Yeah, well I say you don’t know that till you are married. You don’t know if the person wants you or your body until they are willing to commit to you. Waiting until you are married to have sex isn’t about blindly following what someone has told you. It is about realizing how sacred that act is and how much it can hurt if you do it with the wrong person. It is about really trusting the person you are with, which is nearly impossible without marriage. Ever wonder why people who are married have no problem saying it like it is while people who are unmarried struggle to be honest with their boyfriend or girlfriend? Because there isn’t that trust until the commitment has really been made.

        • “It is about realizing how sacred that act is and how much it can hurt if you do it with the wrong person.”

          That’s the problem. There isn’t anything sacred about sex. It’s amazing, pleasurable, overwhelming, and at times heartbreaking. But it’s not sacred. Anyone that has seen a dog have sex with a pillow can tell you that. Yes, dogs are just animals. But guess what, so are we. Having “good, moral married sex” with the lights off, missionary, and only one the first Saturday of the month while trying not to do anything too dirty doesn’t make it any less basic.

          “It is about really trusting the person you are with, which is nearly impossible without marriage.” I don’t know what rock you live under, but I know several married couples that don’t trust each other, and several unmarried ones that do.

          “Ever wonder why people who are married have no problem saying it like it is while people who are unmarried struggle to be honest with their boyfriend or girlfriend?” My husband and I lived together for two years before we married. Our relationship was built on trust from the beginning. I say the opposite. Don’t marry someone if you can’t trust them without some silly ceremony to prove it.

          • I was with my husband for 9 years before we got married. We slept together on our first date. We trusted each other pretty much from get go. Marriage made no difference to our relationship other than the legalities and changing my name.

            • courage the cowardly dog says:

              Caz, you are lucky, your premarital relationship wasn’t challenged by a pregnancy. I wonder what would have happened had it been so challenged.

            • courage the cowardly dog says:

              Caz: Do you really encourage people to sleep with another person on a first date? That is irresponsible as hell. But I suppose if you did get pregnant you could just kill the baby, oops, we don’t want to call it a baby, lets call it something that sounds like it should be kill — lets call it a zygote.

          • Alyssa is on to something. As an acquaintance of mine says, “If you can’t say ‘No’, what does your ‘Yes’ mean?” Sex is a part of making a total gift of yourself to the other person — both in the giving and in the receiving of the other’s gift. Part of the reason virginity is still a topic amongst us humans is that each of us only has one body, and sex is a giving of the most intimate parts of one’s physical and emotional self. Once you give that to someone, you both take part of the other person’s heart with you. If you don’t make the commitment called marriage (and truly commit, take your vows with the intention of fulfilling them, take your marriage seriously), what happens? You’re not free to give yourself completely. Only when you’ve committed to a life together would it make sense to give yourself fully and completely to your spouse. I’m not saying that all married people are 100% trustworthy, nor that marriage turns anyone into a completely faithful husband or wife. But marriage, properly understood, is a commitment to fidelity “until death do us part”– which is the context that most fully allows and calls forth the complete gift of self from each of the spouses. Again, “if you can’t say ‘No,’ what does your ‘Yes’ mean?”

            • What is the typical length of courtship between two virgins who choose to wait for marriage before having sex? I’m guessing it’s much shorter than that of those who have sex while dating as they explore each other in many aspects during their relationship before deciding to marry, or even move on.

            • Jennifer G. says:

              Can not let this one slip past me:

              Sex is a part of making a total gift of yourself
              to the other person – both in the giving
              and receiving of the other’s gift.

              That sounds crazy. One may as well say that one
              gives oneself to a vibrator or to the hand.

              As for the original article, the Ten Rules for Dating My Daughter is a bit of humour – something that is overlooked – and for the record, I do not mind when Dada tells guys to be good to me.

        • Plenty of people marry assholes and still end up heart-broken.

          • But isn’t that the point of trusting before you give sex away blindly? I slept with my ex on our first date ran into that relationship completely blind. It lasted 2 years, in that time he taught me sex was to be taken on command, I did not get to give it and no was not a word. He taught me to repair cars too, since he was always ripping mine to pieces so I wouldn’t go places. He taught me that words hurt and physicals wounds will heal. I left him.

            I was with my current husband 2 years before we married, I gave nothing for the first 3 months. We have now been married 15 years. I can see the difference.

        • In reality as a high school teacher, most kids are going to have sex, before marriage. You can also commit to someone without being married, to think only married couples should have sex is ridiculous. So that means anyone not allowed to marry should never have sex? All I know is I went to Catholic school and it had the highest teen pregnancy in my city, and they pretended sex didn’t exist, teaching kids about condoms, safe sex, and all kinds of fun activities one can engage in without ‘penetration’ is the smart, realistic thing to do. Great article!!

        • Alyssa, you present yourself as an adult, but it seems that you still have a lot of growing up to do. You have to trust yourself, not try to second guess whether someone else “wants your mind or your body.” Do you want to do it? Good – have fun! No? Then SAY NO. They won’t take no for an answer? Get to safety ASAP and report the rape.

          You write about how sex “can hurt you if you do it with the wrong person,” but (unless we are talking about rape) it was a choice YOU made. If it was a mistake, move on for crying out loud! No matter what anyone told you, you are not marked or disgraced by your experiences. Nursing regrets and resentments, and being dramatic – internally or externally – does not make you a well-balanced adult. It is a good demonstration of your immaturity and weakness of character. Whether you are married or not you still need to own your actions, take responsibility for how you feel and be honest with yourself and others.

        • No. I know my girlfriend will treat me well, with kindness and patience and decency, and she knows I will treat her the same way. It’s not about being married (we’re not) it’s about establishing honesty and trust early and willing to give trust in exchange until they betray that trust. Waiting until you’re married isn’t necessary and in fact is extremely unlikely to happen in today’s age. My girlfriend and I waited until we trusted each other and proved that trust several times before we had sex, and it was great. It was awkward and silly, but great because we trusted and respected each other.

          It’s not about marriage, it’s about trust and respect.

      • courage the cowardly dog says:

        And how do you know when you can say a person “trustworthy” enough to have sex with? I’ll tell you how, when they have committed themselves to a monogamous marriage. Anything short of that leaves open the possibility that your assessment of this person’s trustworthiness was wrong and you and the child you bear could be compelled to live with your mistaken character assessment, while the one you thought was trustworthy disappears.

        • Apparently you haven’t heard of divorce, huh? Since the divorce rate is quite close to 1/2 of all marriages (in north America and in the UK), I’m pretty sure marriage isn’t how you are able to tell if someone is trustworthy. Also, many people cheat while married, so again, doesn’t prove trustworthiness. If it takes until marriage for you to know that you can trust someone, you have trust issues. And that’s coming from someone who knows she has trust issues.

        • Anonymous says:

          Have you ever heard of birth control? Sex before marriage does not equal children before marriage. Despite what you may have been told in your abstinence class, it’s very effective. I had sex from ages 18-30 without getting pregnant or STDs. Then I got married and had sex for another 4 years until we decided to have child. Married 10 years now.

    • hey, parents. fun fact. no matter how much you tell your kids not to have sex, masturbate, watch porn, etc, they are going to do it. some don’t, but most do. it’s part of growing up. instead of just saying DON’T HAVE SEX!!!!, tell them how to be safe. people are going to have sex. that’s how life works. safety is better than nothing.

    • You have serious issues. Sex before marriage has nearly ruined sex for you now? Are you kidding me? That is insane. Clearly, you need some sexual therapy. You’ll also just end up perpetuating the same issues onto your children.

      • I agree Britt- maybe the problem is that she doesn’t know or understand her sexual-self. Sex is wonderful, amazing, and doesn’t always have to ‘be special.’ There are a lot of different ways to have sex, and as long as your are safe and feel comfortable I say go for it. Explore it, embrace it! We live in such a backwards society when it comes to sex- we really need to get over it and open up!

    • I think that’s fine, but the point of this article is that you should treat your daughter the same way you should treat your son. If you’re against your kids having sex that’s your right, but too often in today’s society we see fathers encouraging their sons to chase girls and “get some” while the same father will tell his daughter to keep her legs closed and not have sex. It’s okay to have a differing view of sex, but when it bleeds into being sexist we need to recognize that. I think this man is also trying to say that teenage boys are not just sex crazed monsters and shouldn’t be viewed that way by fathers.

    • It sounds like you have a lot of issues that need to be addressed if you can’t enjoy having sex now. I feel like you may have missed the point of this article/letter.

    • blahblahblah says:

      boring. People who don’t have sex until they are a 20 something are doomed to a life of awkward mediocre sex. Let their first experience be awkward while EVERYTHING in their life is awkward.

      • Also wrong. I waited until I was 28. I had opportunities, but I know I wasn’t ready and I’m glad I waited. Once I was ready, I dove in headlong. I may have gotten a late start, but I have awesome, and just as important, ethical sex.

        Good sex is all in judgment and attitude. There are a lot of elements that build off of those, like respect and enthusiasm, for example. A bad or unhealthy attitude can ruin it for you and your partners. There’s no expiration date on your ability to form a good, healthy attitude about sex.

    • you obviously didnt read any of this.

    • You probably rarely enjoy it because you’re repressed.

    • @OP – “I had sex before I was married, and it is my biggest regret to the point where I rarely enjoy it now.”

      Counterpoint: that sucks for you. I had sex before I was married and it was awesome, and I enjoy sex a lot now too. I think you are probably doing something wrong. Have you tried not being a prude?

      • Jay… “Have you tried not being a prude?” – what a dickhead comment! Obviously this woman revealed something really personal that upsets her and whilst her advice is poor that doesn’t mean you are entitled to making comments like that.

    • So YOU don’t want your teenage daughetr to have sex with other teenagers because YOU believe it’s wrong, so you’ll encourage her to BE LIKE YOU instead of an individual. Great parenting there /sarcasm

    • Anonymous says:

      Whoa, you rarely enjoy it now? That shouldn’t happen due to not waiting. If you are in a good relationship, sex should be enjoyable. I’d say you should consider talking to someone.

  2. Honestly I fond a large amount of the comments appear to be negative. This father does not necessarily agree with his daughter going out and having sex. However he understands that if his daughter really wants to he cant really stop her. So instead he plays the supportive dad and educates on what may or may not happen. This is the view that most people of the U.S.A. should have in regard to sex.

    • As a Canadian I find the USA still has one foot in the puritan roots of old. Canada has needle exchanges, places to go for condoms, and safe sex tips. We are open, honest and realistic, we don’t say run out and bang the hockey team, but we know the hormones are real, the affection is real, half of married couples who cheat can’t control themselves AFTER marriage, so asking a 16 year old to seems ridiculous. Canada has lots of guns, but we don’t shoot each other, we are open about sex, we have low teen pregnancy (and think of those cold nights!) Step into the 21 century USA.

      • We have more than one foot still in the puritan roots, I’m sorry to say. I am cheering this post and so glad to finally see SOMEONE say something like this amid all the posts about dads and daughters and guns. But I stopped short of posting it on my own FB page because I know too many will take it the wrong way.

        What I would like to say those: I like what some of the people have said above about sex not being sacred. We’ve made it into this “thing” that’s so big when it really doesn’t have to be. Teach your children, boys and girls, to respect themselves and one another. Teach your boys that sex is not something they “take” but something they do. Teach them that their partners should be willing and that there are plenty of good women who will be willing, and that sex is best in a respectful and loving relationship (but of course no one is perfect). Teach your daughters, not even that it’s something they “give” like the author here says (I give him so much credit for trying that I don’t hold this against him) but that it’s something that can and should be enjoyed mutually. Teach them all that if someone doesn’t respect their own personal boundaries or treats sex as a weapon, that person isn’t worthy of their attentions.

        Do NOT teach your daughters that they have some precious gift that their daddies and brothers must protect. They will grow up into women who will need to make their own decisions and they aren’t always going to have someone there to “protect” them, nor will they need it. Stop treating grown women like children. “Failing” to preserve their virginity will not lessen their ability to grow into an amazing woman, whether in a career, as a wife, as a mother, or in whatever path they choose.

        • I was concerned at first about sharing it because of some of my friends’ potential reactions, but you know what? If they react badly, it will start a discussion and maybe open their minds.

      • FoerBarca1899 says:

        Canadians! Bashing the US at every opportunity. Yeah, we know most Canadians are some of the most pleasant people to be around. Then again, it brings nothing of worth to the table to any global discussion of poverty or global warming. Nor can it stand up to tyrants and dictators. Nice? The Dutch were nice too, which is why 2/3rd of their Jewish population were shipped of to their death under the Nazis while the Dutch looked the other way. Nice? Its a place in France, but its nice to live in a country that has balls. Then again, what does an immigrant like me know about niceness?

        • Making a discussion about parenting and sex become a discussion about completely irrelevant things… yeah, how are you NOT perpetuating American stereotypes by doing that?

  3. While we all hold our own views, this is an honest piece written from father to daughter. It is more than a lot of us are given. We a brought up in a culture that fears sex. Sex isn’t the enemy, it’s how we use it. I feel a lot of our children need this type of honest confrontation because, quite honestly, many of them grow up in a bubble and when they finally have the chance to get out on their own, a great majority of them go stark-ass crazy, trying to experience something they were never given the honest up-fron approach about. Give them the room they need to fail, and then be there to tell them its ok and its not the end of the world – they can make better choices next time. Don’t be afraid of failure – our kids are humans, just like us. So whether you believe sex should be saved for marriage or not, our kids need more honest approaches like this. They, just like you, grow up to be independant thinkers like yourself. Give them the chances they need to take a leap and experience life while they still have the opportunity to come back to you (their parents) and learn and understand things in a better light. No such better teacher than personal experience. No better place to fall than in the arms of parents who aren’t afraid to let their kids fail at points in life and pick them back up to make wiser decisions for tomorrow.

  4. Uh… can we change “men, women and genderqueers” to “people”? C’mon now.

    • Steve – No, “we” can’t, because “we” didn’t write this, it’s one man’s view and terminology and he’s entitled to it. In his own words, “This is how large and wonderful the world is!” – you have your way of saying things, I have mine and this dad has his. If “we” started deciding amongst ourselves how he should or shouldn’t word his letter, then it would look very different, have no personality and almost certainly fail to make its intended point.

    • I see no problem with the author using proper English. Genderqueer is a catch-all term for gender identities other than man and woman, using the original definition of “queer” to mean out of the norm.

  5. I actually dated a girl when I was 19 and her father was a schizophrenic who illegally possessed a handgun (he was arrested on domestic violence charges for beating his wife). Anyhow, during the time we dated she would often use her dad to intimidate me and control me as we were NOT in a healthy relationship. When we were breaking up her dad actually threatened to kill me. It disturbs me when I see these jokes not only because it oppresses women’s and young girl’s sexuality but also because it sends a message that violence in relationships is ok. Seems to me like if a dad really wanted to protect his daughter he would teach her about STD’S and make sure she gets access to birth control. By the way, the schizophrenic dad ended up committing suicide on Christmas eve of 2010. Every time some one posts this “joke” on Facebook I like to post his obituary along with it.

  6. Wow, this dad is open-minded.

  7. See, this is a continual problem. The comments assume that this father is telling his daughter to have sex TODAY, RIGHT NOW, AND ENJOY IT DAMMIT. Instead, you might read it as, “I want you to have awesome sexual experiences WHEN YOU ARE READY TO HAVE SEX.” There was nothing even remotely implied that he was encouraging her to have sex outside of marriage!
    Really people, does anyone have reading comprehension skills any more? FYI – This is called inference – knowing something without being explicitly told.

  8. Love the article. I Can’t help feeling old because I knew what a consigliere was without being told or explained. :-(

  9. I loved this man’s words. My children are young teenagers and I really don’t want them sexually active at this young an age however I have spoken to my son who is 13 about sex being a priveledge not a right. I have told him how this act should only be done in a loving and trusting way. I have reminded him how there are diseases out there and he has to be the master of his own health and destiny.
    But most of all I spoke of how to respect a woman who is prepared to share the act with him and to be sure that she respects him. I have also told them of the wonderful experience I had when I lost my virginity (G-rated version). The time was right and the young man, now grown up still has respect for me.
    These words will be equally repeated to my daughter when she comes of age that this is a possibility in her life.
    I want my children to grow and have a happy healthy life and this does include sexual relationships. I applaud this father for having embraced that for his daughter also.

  10. Like it. It’s reality. Girls will get hurt, and dads can’t prevent it. Girls are not wrong or bad for having sexual desires or falling in love with the wrong dude. (Let’s see…which woman among us hasn’t fallen for the wrong guy at some point? Did we want Dad pointing a gun at him?) You can threaten, cajole, and engage in general dad-harrumphing, but it won’t prevent your daughter from finding a way around you. And face it, Dads, your daughter is equally as involved in getting around you as her young man…so be someone she can trust when it all goes wrong. Because you can’t stop it from going wrong. It’s life. It’s young love. Teach her that she’s strong and she can cope. Because she can — and she needs to KNOW she can.

  11. I really love this article. A lot of people on here seem to think he’s telling her to have sex, but that’s completely untrue. He’s just telling her that he doesn’t control her or her body. He’s telling her to be herself and do what she thinks is right when it’s right for her. In fact, he admits he’s uncomfortable with the idea of her having sex, but she can do what she wants because it’s her body. So often today we see fathers high fiving their sons for having sex, but condemning and being ashamed of their daughters when they do the same thing. I understand being against teen sex, but these “threatening’ fathers he’s talking about hold their daughters to a different standard than their sons and are trying to control their bodies. If anything, this father’s message to his daughter is much more conservative than a lot of fathers’ messages to their sons (basically telling them to have sex as often as possible) but people seem offended by it. If you’re offended by this ask yourself if it’s because he’s talking to a daughter and not a son, and if the use of the word son would offend you less. If the answer is yes, it’s your own sexist ideals that are the problem, not this article.

  12. What a beautiful article. I wish you were my father! Raising young women in an open environemnt that teaches them to enjoy the experience (when they are ready and armed with knowledge regarding pregnancy and STD prevention) without shame is a huge step in the right direction.

    As a single, 40 yr old woman with no children, and I am amazed that I still face judgement and criticism from others regarding sex. Amazing that a single, adult woman is still looked down upon for enjoying a physical relationsip with a single, adult man, while men are still praised for the same type of relationship. I hope that daughters raised in a more open enviroment do not have to experience this harsh judgement.

  13. Wonderful article, and, after a few early squibs, some great, thought-provoking comments too (frogma and dox1842 should win prizes).

    So glad “10 Rules For Dating My Daughter” has had the kicking it deserves.

  14. Fucking brilliant!

  15. Thank goodness! What a fantastic article and so refreshing to hear someone with such great aspirations for their daughter’s life. No wonder so many people have commented, people seem to have very strong opinion. The news today in England is discussing whether the age of consent should be lowered from 15 to 16, can you imagine people’s response to that when they seem upset and the possibility of enjoying sex!

    Sex is a choice you should be able to make, an informed one preferably. You can’t do that if you’ve been taught that the opposite sex is plain horrible and should be avoided at all cost before marriage. It’s one of the most fantastic things you can experience and you’d be missing out. Maybe more children and young people should be taught about respect for themselves and anyone they have sex, whether that be in marriage, love or a relationship.

    I wish I had a father like you Ferrett! Thanks for the post!

    • Well I remember the age of consent used to mean the age at which people could be married;
      in our country – just a smidgen before the 20th century – it was age 12 for girls and 14 for boys.

      I found this insightful about different cultures and times: http://www.nairaland.com/450419/age-marriage-medieval-times-paedophilia (just ignore the last word it’s just referencing a title there “Age of Marriage in Mediaevil times or Paedophilia” it is telling different ages from early Roman times through Mediaevil till now) History is great! We learn that things haven’t always been as they are now.

      I absolutely agree with you too about how awful it is if people say how horrible the opposite sex is, (mainly the old ‘boys only want one thing’) that is a really shameful, damaging attitude.

  16. I’m gonna teach, lead and inspire my daughter well, trust her, let her make her own mistakes and successes and always be there for her whether she flies or falls. It ain’t about me, it’s all about her. If I ever threatened her or her partner with a gun, she’d take it from me and talk or knock some sense into me. You only infantilize infants. Good piece.

  17. I wouldn’t marry someone i haven’t had sex w. I love it and am open minded about it and in no way want to wake up one day realizing that my husband doesn’t share that w me. And there are alot of men out there, trust me, who don’t share that. I want to marry someone i already know is compatible w me. Not end up divorced or worse. .. unhappy and sexually dissatisfied for the rest of my life.

  18. Amazing. I so wish my parents would have spoke to me this way. It brings a tear to my eye imagining all of the battles we have had and all the unnecessary shame. Thanks for the writing.

  19. Good for you Dad!!!!

  20. Look, you gotta test drive the car before you buy it.

  21. For those who think sex is something wonderful and should just be tried out. How do you feel when you significant other cheats on you? And what give you any reason, or what is your basis for feeling offended or hurt? After all, its just another act, right?

    • cheating is not just sex, it’s betrayal, which is sex in a completely different context, and it might not even be sex, it could be something as simple as kissing to some people. Sex is in abundance, love is somewhat rare and very difficult to find. There is a difference between having sex for enjoyment, and being exclusive. Be safe, wear condoms, make safe decisions, have a lot of sex, but don’t give your heart out so easily.

    • AlbanianWarriorOfTheMountains says:

      Poor logic. Cheating implies that the couple made the agreement that they would have sex only with each other. So if someone cheats they are betraying trust and breaking a prior agreement. It’s not just about the sex. Not to mention plenty of people do not bar their partner from sex with others. Including the author of this article.

      You were raised to believe a few things about sex.

      1. It is bad if you are too young, no matter what you think or feel.

      2. It is some magical experience that needs to be exclusive and sacred.

      3. It is dirty if not done in the exactly correct context.

      All three of those are utterly wrong and cause a lot of issues and harm in our society.

      • So you’re effectively saying that if a 10 year old enjoys being fondled by a 50 year old man then that should be perfectly acceptable? There are some ages that sex is too young for, ie: when the people involved are not mature enough to handle the emotional repercussions of sex as well as the physical ones – pregnancy and STD’s for one. You really want to advocate that young people – who are reckless by nature regardless of having relevant knowledge – be allowed to rampantly sleep with all and sundry? Its that kind of thinking that leads to teenage pregnancy and the spread of disease.

        • Woah woah woah, I don’t think he was implying that at all. But in America, an 18 year old boy can be imprisoned for having consensual sex with a 17 year old girl– under the logic that a 17 year old female is far too immature for her “yes” to have any weight compared to the rapacious deviousness of a male who is essentially her peer. Everyone matures at a different rate, and unfortunately young people are going to make mistakes regarding sex no matter what. Personally I think this father’s attitude– one of openness, support and honesty– will be more effective regarding pregnancy prevention than a parent who avoids all talk of sex except to make unenforcable threats.

          • Well said

          • Men are pigs says:

            Statutory rape is the law. The 18 year old should know that having sex with 17 year olds is illegal. If he does it anyway he can go to jail and bend over for his cell mate who will be of age, at least LOL. I have no sympathy for law breakers. If you do the crime, you deserve the time.

    • Sex is supposed to be the ultimate experience in bonding with your spouse. It’s designed by God to be that way. To give every piece of yourself to your husband or wife. Don’t let society and all it’s ridiculous views on sex make you think otherwise. The act of cheating isn’t how it’s meant to be. Don’t get it twisted with something that it was never designed to come with. I feel for you if that happened to you. It’s something that will crush most people. However sex is not a fraction of what society takes it for.

      • That’s a interesting way to look at sex, especially because sex between some species doesn’t involve bonding at all.

  22. Beautiful post!! I love this article. You are awesome.

  23. Absolutely amazing. I am the father of three wonderfully diverse teen aged daughters and you have just given me much to think about.

    I have joked before, never in their presence, that my policy with boyfriends (or girlfriends) would be, “You break her heart, I’ll break your legs.” The humor of that in my mind was aimed more at more own powerlessness (really? I’m gonna break your legs? Not likely.) at ultimately fulfilling that self imposed mandate of protector.

    Like you, I am aware that life is full of heart break and pain and rightfully so, for that is how we learn and grow, and the last thing I want is to diminish life for my girls. What’s interesting is how much I hadn’t realized that I was really just trying to protect myself. Gonna have to think on that one for a bit.

    Thank you.

  24. what a brilliant and beautiful piece of work.

  25. I don’t have the words to tell you how beautiful and refreshing this is. I wish there were more fathers like you. Thank you for not just thinking these things, but saying them.

  26. I just like the helpful information you supply for your articles. I’ll bookmark your blog and take a look at once more here frequently. I’m moderately sure I will be informed a lot of new stuff proper right here! Good luck for the following!

  27. Too many people are TOO loose these days with sex.. I’m tired of hearing the term repressed and things of that nature. Sex is incredibly powerful. People swear that it doesn’t have any worth. Sex is just sex. I would love to see their attitude when they walk in on their spouse getting screwed by someone else. This is exactly why we have so many std’s extra marital sex and pre marital sex because people don’t honor/respect anything. We encourage these young girls to be sexually liberated and then when they grow up, she meets the man of her dreams, women go on these forums whining. Why should a man have to deal with a woman that has had 50-300 partners? A woman’s/man’s sexuality is incredibly powerful. A woman can encourage me all she wants if we’re married. At the end of the day I want some sex with someone that valued their body (in a marriage).

    Condoms aren’t 100% safe and more and more diseases are becoming resistant to meds….

    • Reply to Guest says:

      We encourage young boys to be sexually liberated as well. Even more, actually – we still love to call girls/women nasty names because of their sexuality.

      “Why should a man have to deal with a woman that has had 50-300 partners?”
      Eh. I hope you know people don’t lose body parts or their capacity of loving someone by having sex with many people, or a lot of sex with not so many people, whatever. The same goes for men.
      And I hope you didn’t mean to sound sexist here. If anything, you don’t have to deal with ANYONE. I just hope guys that are not into “promiscuous” women are not promiscuous themselves, you know, just dislike hypocrites.

  28. Unless you’re unfortunate enough to have religion, the only concerns regarding sex are health, safety and unwanted babies.

  29. This guy is weirdo. Any guy who sits and thinks and writes about his daughter’s potential sex life is just off. I would never want my father thinking about whether I am having good sex or not. If I found out that my father was writing op eds about my potential sex life, I’d go into Witness Protection and demand for a parental divorce. What a pervert.

  30. Bridget says:

    Here’s the problem, men are able to compartmentalize sex. For men it’s usually purely physical, especially teenage boys. There is no maturity behind it. BUT girls, especially teenage girls are driven by emotions. Yes, the physical desire also feels good, but she will feel a connection that is emotional. And like all teenage relationships, it will end. For the teenage girl who has had sex, that she psychologically feels was meaningful, her heart will be torn. And you’re promoting her hurt, essentially. And if she happens to get pregnant before she has accomplished anything besides teenage drama and hormones, you’ll be the catalyst to promoting babies having babies rather than women who change the world. Sex isn’t evil, but ALL decisions have consequences.

    • Alan Siebuhr says:

      I’m sorry, but what science is this based off of? Men are able to “compartmentalize” sex whereas women feel the most “emotional” side of it? What rock did you grow up under?

      Get your sexism out of here.

Trackbacks

  1. […] not me,” Ferrett Steinmetz writes. “You’re not an extension of my will.” Telling her I Hope You Have Awesome Sex,” he […]

  2. […] Dear Daughter: I Hope You Have Awesome Sex […]

  3. […] Read the article here, and tell us if you think he’s a good dad or a bad dad for saying this? […]

  4. […] not me,” Ferrett Steinmetz writes. “You’re not an extension of my will.” Telling her I Hope You Have Awesome Sex,” he […]

  5. […] Dear Daughter hit a nerve because it is exactly how I feel, and I’d lately seen too much of the dad with shotgun meme. We always had a saying for how we treated our kids: they’re little, not stupid. For the shotgun parents I would say: they’re people, not property. […]

  6. […] Dear Daughter, I hope you have awesome sex. […]

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  8. […] I get really bored of the cliched over protective dad/daughter dynamic when I see it in movies or anywhere else for that matter, so this article was very refreshing. […]

  9. […] appear to be in the minority, at least if the response to the recent article “Dear Daughter: I Hope You Have Awesome Sex,” found on The Good Men Project, is any indication. Those who spend any time on social media […]

  10. […] Ferrett Steinmetz e sua filha – Imagem divulgada no site The Good Men Project […]

  11. […] but is utterly neglecting his teenage daughter is the man who wrote the recent internet sensation, “Dear Daughter: I hope you have awesome sex”. The open letter, written by Ferrett Steinmetz, has over 305,000 ‘likes’ and was shared over a […]

  12. […] Read this: http://goodmenproject.com/ethics-values/brand-dear-daughter-i-hope-you-have-awesome-sex/ […]

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  14. […] someone pointed me to an article entitled Dear Daughter: I Hope You Have Awesome Sex, I was prepared to be […]

  15. […] Dear Daughter: I Hope You Have Awesome Sex […]

  16. […] For more go to Ferrett’s Blog or check out the repost at The Good Men Project. […]

  17. […] “I’m not the guard who locks you in the tower. Ideally, I am my daughter’s safe space, a garden to return to when the world has proved a little too cruel, a place where she can recuperate and reflect upon past mistakes and know that here, there is someone who loves her wholeheartedly and will hug her until the tears dry.” - Ferrett Steinmetz in Dear Daughter: I Hope You Have Awesome Sex […]

  18. […] Dear Daughter: I hope you have awesome sex by Ferrett […]

  19. […] the Met but for nice young people. She also mentions a letter a father wrote to his daughter titled Dear Daughter: I Hope You Have Awesome Sex. I don’t have many regrets in life but one sticks out in my mind. When I was in my early […]

  20. […] will admittedly make more sense to liberal parents than conservative ones. They already been cogently outlined by Ferret Steinmetz (must… take… high… road) at goodmenproject.com, and I will just briefly […]

  21. […] Siamo sicuri che questo retaggio antico ci indichi il giusto modo per educare le nostre figlie? Ferrett Steinmetz è in profondo disaccordo e ci spiega […]

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