Last year, actress and activist Jane Fonda, who has a (famously, oft-self-referenced) fantastic sex life at 74, penned a book about reaching her sexual peak as a post-hip replacement septuagenarian. Now, she is planning to write a sex ed book for teenagers as a way to help other parents avoid the mistake she made with her own kids: beating around the bush with her own birds-and-bees talk:
I did very badly as a parent. I was not good. I think I was a few years too late. But I didn't know enough at the time - that it's not about waiting and then having the quote-unquote big talk. You have to start young, when they're young, and in an age-appropriate way to begin to talk about things sexual so it's no big deal.
Explaining that if the parent seems nervous and delays the conversation, the kids will sense it and feel unable to come to him/her for advice, Fonda advocates what she calls "askable parenting."
I've spent a lot of time with kids and with parents and it's just stunning how little they know and how nervous parents are about talking. There's a lot of books about plumbing and how everything works, but ... I talk about sexuality in the context of identity. That it isn't just about intercourse, that to be human is to be sexual. There's nothing dirty or weird about it, and it's important to understand it very deeply.
'Jane Fonda To Write Kids Book About Sex' [Limelife]