The Talk

I was eleven years old when my father had the “talk” with me. This is how it went:

You are too little for all I have to say to you, and most of it, you will not understand But listen and remember. You may not need any of it for a while. One day, you will.

You are growing up, not a little girl anymore. You are only a kid but boys just a little bit older than you will start to notice. They will tell you things that you may believe. I am here now to warn you that what these boys will tell you are only big lies.

I am your father, and I used to be a boy. I know firsthand what these tales are. I used them myself.

Understand that boys, when they start being interested in girls, become very different from the friends you have now. They cannot help it. Their bodies are changing. A very sweet little boy may become someone else entirely almost overnight. The boy that was only interested in his toy cars the week before is gone. That boy now thinks different things today.

A boy will tell you that you are the most beautiful girl he ever saw. Do not believe it. The most beautiful girl that boy ever saw was in the center fold of a magazine that we don’t have at home. That girl does not wear much clothes but wears a lot of lipstick.

A boy will tell you that he loves you not even a week after he starts to say hi to you. Do not believe it. That boy does not know what love is.

A boy will tell you that his love for you is so grand that it physically hurts him. And the hurt is worse between his legs. Do not believe it. What a boy has between his legs has nothing to do with love.

But the boy will insist. He will try to make you feel guilty. He will tell you that you are the one making him hurt so bad. Do not believe it. Any girl would do at this point for that boy. You are not special. It just happens to be you right now in front of him.

If you do not walk away at this point, the boy will push the guilt. He will tell you that if you touch him “there”, it would not hurt so much and that only your touch will do. Do not believe it. The boy can take care of himself very well. His touch will do better than yours.

The boy may even go as far as tell you that “there”, things are becoming so hard that he may lose parts of his body. That it may turn all blue. And that will be on you! It will be your fault! If you loved the boy as much as he loves you, you would not let him suffer that way. You would do something about it! You would help the boy! You wouldn’t even have to do much, really… just let the boy take care of it!

Do Not Believe him.

None of it has anything to do with love.

Girls are looking for someone to love and for that someone to love them back. Boys think only about how to please their bodies and how to get what they want fast. The faster they can get it, the less a girl means, if anything at all.

Only the girl they will fall in love with will mean anything to them. And that is the girl they will want to marry and have babies with. That is the girl they will respect. That is the girl they will want to protect and care for.

Boys are not bad. They are different.

I am not telling you that you have to stay away from boys until you get married. Nowadays girls can do whatever they want to do. They make their own money. They have their own careers. They can protect themselves against pregnancy. They can even choose to have babies and raise them on their own if this is what they want to do.

I want you to understand that the way you think is not the way they think. Boys will not see what they say as lying. Whatever works will be fair in their minds. And they will believe that what they want is what the girl wants too.

What is it that you want? If you want a boy to love and respect you, give that boy time to know you. As a girl, you will want to give everything to the boy you like, or even think you love. But if you give all of yourself to that boy too quickly, he will simply move on to another one.

Give him time! Give him time to really see you. To hear you when you talk. To remember what you say. To love your ways and your smile. To find you beautiful when you are all dressed up and find you irresistible when you show up late with your hair a mess and makeup all gone. Give him time to value you. To notice when you are upset even when you try to hide it. To be willing to be there for you when things are going wrong. To think about you all the time. To want to talk to you. To find time for you.

Give him time, and nothing else.

And give yourself time too. Time to know who that boy is. To know how that boy thinks. What are his values? Where is he coming from? Where does he want to go? What does he want to do? Is he a boy that will protect you? Or is he a boy that will share you with his friends? Do you enjoy his company? Can you talk to him without feeling judged? Do you feel good when you are around him?

How long is enough time? It is all on you. Sleeping with a boy can be nothing at all; it can be dirty; it can be beautiful. It can be love making. If love is what you are after, then make love when you are ready. When you want it. When it really is your desire. What girls don’t see is that they are always in control. Girls decide on the if, when and where. All a boy can do is try.

The first boy you will decide to do everything with may not be the boy you will decide to marry and build a life with. That also will be your choice. As your father, I only wish that that first boy will be worth your time and your heart. That when you will be all grown up and look back to your first time, you will remember it with a smile and still some love in your heart for that very special boy.”

Almost none of what my dad told me that day made much sense to me. I remember listening to him and as his monologue went on, the shame and embarrassment I felt. It was such an awkward feeling. The whole ordeal lasted maybe only ten minutes. It felt like days. It could not be over soon enough!

At eleven, I had no use for any of it.

I was twelve when a thirteen-year-old boy offered to marry me. He loved me so much his body was aching and only I could do something to ease his pain. His parents were working during the day. Did I want to see his bedroom after school?

I remembered. I looked at the boy. Only a month prior, that boy would not have given me the time of the day, he was way too busy with his friends then. I smiled and told him that I had to go take care of my little sisters. He never talked to me again.

My dad passed away when I was thirteen. To this day, I am still grateful to him. If it was not for him and his talk, I would have made many mistakes and believed many lies. Instead, my dad gave me the tools that allow me to look back at my first time with a smile on my face and still love in my heart for that very special boy.

Katrin L.







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