Home » Hey Joe! Advice Column » The Teen Sex Question

The Teen Sex Question

Hey Joe! I love the title of your website, it’s like the Jimmy Hendricks song. I always did like that song, which is kind of how I found your website. Anyway, I’ve been reading the things you put on your site, and I have to say I love your personality! A lot of people would be a lot happier if they just said what they meant the way you do. I’m sorry to be using your personal e-mail this way, but I have kind of a difficult question, and I’d like a straightforward kind of answer. I don’t think you know how to not be straightforward, and since we don’t know each other personally, I feel like I can ask you without being judged. I hope I’m not mistaken about that.

My question is this. I’m worried that my teenaged daughter and her boyfriend are either having sex, or are planning to have sex.  She’s only fifteen, and I’m not sure that this guy is “the one”. The problem is, I’d like to talk to her about it, but I’m afraid to bring it up for fear of either embarrassing her, or having her shut me out of her personal life completely. What would you do?


Worried Mom



  1. Joe Smith says:

    Joe Smith says:
    April 20, 2013 at 12:20 AM (Edit)

    Hi! I forgot to ask if I could use your real name, so I changed it to “Worried Mom”. Here’s the thing with this question; if you think she is, there’s a very good chance that she is. I wish live chat was an option on here, because I’d really like to ask you for more information. Let me start by saying that the way you should handle this, depends on what you are capable of accepting as both a parent, and an adult. I have kids too – two boys, and a girl. My life experiences have given me a more open world view than most people, including my wife. My kids are still too young to even be in elementary school, but I’ve already agreed with my wife that I will be the one handling the sex education for my family – both the boys and the girl. I came from a household where nobody really talked about the sex issue. You were kind of forced to figure things out as you go, with the only real set of instructions being “Wait until you get married.” I have to say, that’s a lovely notion, and I sincerely applaud those that do, but for sex ed, it’s horseshit. It’s amazing that I didn’t have any kids before I did. Long answer short: if you want an honest answer, ask an honest question. If you are planning to try to force the guy out of her life if they are having sex, then don’t even fucking ask. She’ll think she can be honest with you, then you’ll betray her trust. If you can handle it reasonably, and discuss it openly, then just ask. Honesty really is the best policy when dealing with your kids. My question for you is this: What is your plan if she is?

    I hope this helps,


    Feel free to e-mail again anytime at: ask.heyjoe@gmail.com

    Let’s ask the panel of followers (from here on to be referred to as Joe’s Geniuses):

    Am I off my fucking rocker here?
    tinkadele says:
    April 20, 2013 at 1:18 PM (Edit)

    Hi WM,

    I, unlike Joe, don’t have the expertise that comes from the experience of having your own children! 😉 Yet, I would tend to agree.

    If you don’t already know if she is in an intimate relationship, then you’re not much in her personal life anyway, so don’t worry too much about being locked out. I’d just ask, maybe not make it the first line of your conversation and definitely not go on the attack with it, keep it relaxed and informal. She is your daughter so it’s within your domain to have that type of discussion if you wish too but also consider why you want to know and what you will or she will get from it. Don’t lecture her, you’ll just push her away and she will rebel against you.

    PS. Am I officially a “Joe’s Genius”? x

    Joe Smith says:
    April 20, 2013 at 1:23 PM (Edit)

    You Are!

    Joe Smith says:
    April 20, 2013 at 1:38 PM (Edit)

    I’ve thought about it a little more, and I think the thing to remember is to be honest with yourself as well. Don’t tell yourself that if she says yes, that you will handle it rationally if you really aren’t prepared to do so. I’ve been a student of the human body since I was a young teen. At first it was all girls, (I won’t lie) but it evolved into a physiological thing with the more I learned about women, and their body chemistry and functions. Before I realized it, I was taking anatomy classes and stuff to find out about action potential, and “Z-lines” in muscles, rods and cones in the eyes, epithelial tissues, corpuscles…the list goes on. By the time I hit my peak hormonal stage as a young adult, the human body was more of a well-engineered machine to me than something sexual. That being the case, having to have “The Talk” with my kids won’t be anymore difficult than explaining how an engine in a car works. I can be totally honest in saying that there is absolutely nothing they can ask me about the human body that can embarrass me, and nothing they can tell me that will upset me very much. It’s very important to know your boundaries.

  2. I teach eighth graders.
    I, first and foremost, applaud anyone living at home with a teenage girl and not locking her up for either her safety or the safety of others.

    That said, I’ve overheard a lot of eighth grade conversations and its clear how important it is for parents to get correct sex information to their kids. Teens (not necessarily all of them, or yours) are talking about sex in ways you wouldn’t believe. They also listen to “the rock and roll” and enjoy games on the “video box”. You know this, of course, but the amount of misinformation and poor-assumptions is amazing. (I do let them believe they can get pregnant from oral sex though)

    So yeah, get your kid the info. My parents just kind of slipped me a book about it when I was 9 or 10 (maybe younger) that at least gave me the basic physiological information. Kinda helped, I guess. At least I knew to be safe and how things worked.

    As for the effect on the parent-child relationship, I can tell you that my students really speak highly of the parent they can confide in (those that have one). So follow joe’s advice in regard to if you bring it up, don’t use the information against her (unless you find out she’s totally whoring around, then put that tramp on lock down {I have a horrible sense of humor}).

    Ultimately, my suggestion is to talk to her like an adult and be honest. “Hey, obviously I’ve noticed you and Dick have been spending a lot of time together and I’m happy about that because I like Dick too. (Tee hee hee). I know I can’t make your decisions for you, and while I trust you, I want to be sure you have all the right information…” And go from there.

    Or just give her Joe’s email and run away.

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