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The Truth About Teen Sex: What Is It?

Updated on June 15, 2007

A lot of the problem parents have with talking to their kids about sex is in knowing what it is. Of course we all know what sex is, but what does it mean to your child? What are the social norms and boundaries teenagers are living with today? As parents we can't assume that life is what it was twenty or thirty years ago.

What is Sex?

Everybody wants to blame Bill Clinton for blurring the lines of the definition of sex, but it wasn't his fault. While oral sex is certainly a sexual act, we all know that sex has meant intercourse for a very long time. It's time for a new definition. The one they're teaching in some schools is this:

Sex is when any part of your body - from the top of your head to the tips of your toes - touches a part of anybody else's body that gets covered by a bathing suit.

That's pretty inclusive and I think it's a great starting place to talk about sex in a modern way.

New Slang for Sex

Burford discovered these terms kids are using to refer to sex:

  • Tossing Salad is giving oral sex anally.
  • Rainbow Parties are oral sex parties where girls put on different-colored lipstick and put their mouths around the penis of a boy. The boy with the most colors wins.
  • Pretty Boy is a sexually active boy - a player.
  • Dirty is a girl who has an STD - a diseased girl.
  • High Five is a person who is HIV positive (High V).
  • Booty Call is an early morning or late night call that involves no relationship or emotional attachment.
  • Hoovering refers to having an abortion.
  • Outercourse is oral sex.

Secret Language, Secret Life

Michele Burford interviewed 50 teenagers about their sex lives for O, The Oprah Magazine. They admitted to outwitting their parents, engaging in sex without emotional commitment or even connection, and disregarding the consequences of sex. It also seems that having sex at a young age has lost much of the stigma today's parents may remember.

Think your kid's not doing it? Think again.

Get Over It

However you define it, kids are having sex. Take the time to talk to yours about it and you may save yourself and your child some future heartache.

It's hard to talk about, hard to think about. We don't even want to tell our kids about the biology of it all so how are we supposed to talk to them about sexual behavior? This is an area parents need to Get Over It and get out there and start talking to kids. Maybe these disturbing truths will get you started.


Submit a Comment

  • DFW TEEN VOICE profile image


    9 years ago from Richardson, Texas

    Patricia Ross Founder of Teen Voice Prosperous and Thriving Youth

    Parents need to visit the subject because sex matters grow with age. So, someone needs to address the topic so you did! Great!

    Stay connected: and

    Much Success!


  • spacebull profile image


    11 years ago from Space

    Interesting to read what some of those terms mean :)

    Anyway, I think folks shouldn't overthink things - if teenagers (older ones) want to have sex - let them have sex, it's natural at that age. That's not the issue, the real is issue is how was that teen brought up etc. and if everything is ok there, everything will be ok sexwise :) IMHO.

  • Paul Edmondson profile image

    Paul Edmondson 

    11 years ago from Burlingame, CA

    When I was a teenager, outercourse was dry humping or simulating sex with your clothes on and a pretty boy was either someone very trendy, into their personal appearance, had fine or feminine features, or possibly gay.

    I can't believe I wrote dry humping.


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