Opinion

10 shocking truths about Federal Way's ‘Sex Lady’ | Amy Johnson

1. Your column is about sex, which means it’s vulgar. People who read my column on a regular basis know that I am passionate about helping people think intentionally about sexuality, especially those who are parents or who work with children and teens. Contrary to some gossip, this isn’t the “Real Housewives of Federal Way” column. It’s about giving you tools and conversation starters — and challenging your thinking about issues related to sexuality.

2. You just gather up kids and talk to them about sex. Sure, I talk to young people about sexuality when they are in my classes or workshops about sexuality. In those same workshops, we also discuss, role play, and do activities around relationships, value clarification, decision-making, communication, friendship, intimacy, rights and responsibilities. Sexuality is a complex topic, interwoven with many others. It’s not just about reproduction and birth control. There’s a whole lot more to it. And I don’t just gather them up. They have to have parent permission to attend the classes I teach.

3. You think it’s OK for kids to have sex. No. I don’t. (See #9).

4. You don’t support marriage. I’ve been married for 24 years, so personally, I’m a big fan. I even believe in marriage equality for sexual minorities and don’t believe that a gay or lesbian couple marrying will undermine my own heterosexual marriage. That said, I don’t think marriage is the right choice for everyone. Being American, I’m also a big fan of the freedom to choose.

5. You’re a bleeding heart liberal. We prefer the term “progressive.”

6. Parents don’t need your help. Many don’t, it’s true. And many are relieved and grateful to have someone to discuss the topic of sexuality with — to sort through confusing or unhealthy messages they received themselves and to make it better for this generation. If you don’t want my help, then don’t ask. But if you do, please call. I’d love to talk with you.

7. You overwhelm teens with information they aren’t ready for. Children and teens can easily be overwhelmed with unhealthy messages about sexuality with no help from me or any other sexuality educator. It’s a rare young person today who is raised without any exposure to sexuality through television, computer or video games, and peer misinformation. I strongly believe we need to go from “Just Say No” to “Just Say Know.” It’s important for our children to hear full and accurate information from trusted adult sources before they hear it from other places.

8. You embarrass teens unnecessarily when you talk to them about sex. Most teens are very receptive to receiving correct information and accurate answers to their questions. They express that they are grateful for someone who provides a safe space for them to be curious and admit they don’t know some things. On the other hand, parents are often embarrassed and uncomfortable, which can determine the tone of a conversation. The more comfortable you are, the easier it will be to discuss challenging topics with your child.

9. You’re anti-abstinence. I actually promote abstinence. It is the only 100 percent effective way to prevent pregnancy and disease. I use an abstinence-based curriculum when I teach. Abstinence is the best choice for young adolescents, and for many adults. I also believe it’s important to give youth the information they need to stay safe and be sexually healthy for their whole lives.

10. You’re not a real Christian. Please don’t tell my pastor. He’s under the impression I’m a fourth-generation PK (that’s inside lingo for Preacher’s Kid. By fourth generation, I mean that I’m not only a Preacher’s Kid, but also a Preacher’s Grandkid and a Preacher’s Great-Grandkid, all of whom were pastors in mainline Christian denominations). I am a dedicated and practicing Christian, and I am certain Jesus loves me, even if you don’t.

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