When you have a burning sensation in your bathing suit area, or wonder why you can’t make an erection go away, who do you turn to? A parent? Your counselor? A friend? Maybe a teacher at school? What about a brother or sister?
Personally, asking my mom if it’s normal to burst into tears after sex is mortifying. Asking a sibling, however, wouldn’t be so bad.
It has been said that siblings are sometimes the best people to turn to when you need to talk about sex.
According to Dr. Eric Howard, a licensed psychologist and certified sex therapist, it depends on the siblings’ bond. “I’ve seen all different combinations of those,” Howard said. “It depends on the nature of the relationship. There is no real pattern (of who talks to whom).”
Amanda Kolbourn, an assistant professor of human development and family studies at Missouri State University, has done research on the role older siblings play in protecting teens from engaging in unsafe sexual practices.
[sex] “Siblings often share similar experiences and perspectives and may be more likely to understand each other’s viewpoints than those of adults,” Kolburn said. “Because of the unique nature of sibling relationships, brothers and sisters can be important role models.”
Fisheries and Wildlife senior Ryan Schwind said that he talks to his sister, but not his parents about sex. “It’s just awkward talking to my sister about our experiences, but its easier if its just sex in general,” Schwind said. “I never talk to my parents about sex.”
Although siblings can be great to consult about sex, Howard said it is still important for parents to get involved. “I do think it is important for parents to talk to kids about sexual issues,” Howard said. “Usually, it promotes communication. Sex is still a hidden subject, although somewhat less than it used to be.”
He also said there is still some embarrassment in society because of it. “I think parents should wade in anyways,” Howard said.
Furthermore, he said that it would depend on the relationship between the parents and children when the topic of sex should be brought up, and how.
If it is too hard or embarrassing for an individual to approach parents or siblings, Howard said there are still many more sources to talk to about sex or sexual issues and that the important thing is that you do talk.
“Counselor, pastor, or trusted adult,” Howard said. “There’s a real need for better sexual education in the schools because that’s where the kids are.”

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