Whether you thought losing your virginity was beautiful and sentimental, or awkward and regrettable, it's an experience that few women forget. Over the years, sex gets better and somewhat less awkward and sentimental, but I can honestly say that one of the best things about getting my back blown out as an adult is the fact that I can openly talk to my mom about it. Now that may sound strange to some, but I'll give you some back story.
I lost my virginity to my high school sweetheart at 17 at The Mississipi River levee in Baton Rouge. While that may sound sweet and romantic, I can assure you that it absolutely was not. My first time wasn't about love or commitment, it was an act of rebellion that would ultimately send me and my mother's relationship into a downward spiral.
During my teenage years, I was constantly at odds with my family. My senior year, I discovered that I had gotten accepted to my dream college, and I was ready to let go of childish things, emancipate myself from all authority and finally become a woman (LOL). At the time, I thought sex would be my golden ticket into adulthood, but as that wildly horny teenager hoisted me on top of a dirty garbage can and thrusted to his heart's desire, I felt like anything but… a woman.
My mom didn't find out about my wildly regrettable lifestyle choice to become sexually active until months later at the doctor's office, who suspected I was having a miscarriage. My mom (understandably) lost her shit, and I felt like I had betrayed her on the deepest level possible.
While she was never the type of parent to preach that sex equals death, I knew that I violated her trust in me on so many levels that I wondered if she would ever look at me the same. Now, nine years later, I'm proud to say that my mom is my bestie. I seek her advice about everything, from bad sex to blowjobs, and she's even equipped me with some knowledge you won't find in a typical Google search.
While in the black community, talking about your sexuality with your mother may be taboo, writer/producer Keyaira Kelly and her mom, Tarawoner Kelly think these conversations are necessary and have launched a new podcast, Talk To Your Mom, which will feature intimate conversations between the mother-daughter duo about raw topics like love, trauma, healing, spirituality, and sex.
Keyaira explained that she and her mother created the show with hopes of challenging other women to have tough conversations with the women in their lives, even if they're a little bit uncomfortable at first.
"My goal is that these episodes will inspire other moms and their kids to get to know each other on a deeper level. I really feel where there is vulnerability, there is healing."
In the first episode, Keyaira and Mama Tarawoner jumped right into awkward waters with an emotional discussion about popping cherries, and with a more than 20-year age distance between the two women, it's safe to say that their experiences were worlds apart. While we now live in a world where sex education and preventative methods are passed out like candy, Tarawoner said that things were much different 30 years ago.
In the '70s, a time where sex before marriage was still considered gravely immoral, there were little to no resources for youth who decided to become sexually active. Today, we have organizations like planned parenthood that help women understand reproductive health, but Keyaira's mom explained that unlike her daughter, she went into her first sexual encounter with little to no information about how to protect herself. This lack of resources and sex education, Tarawoner explained, was what led to the conception of her first child the day she lost her virginity.
Keyaira, on the other hand, explained that growing up with mother who was real about vaginas, safe sex, and everything in between helped her navigate her own sexuality in a healthy way.
Although me and my mom's first version of "the talk" involved a whole lot of screaming (on her part, might I add), from that point on, our relationship would blossom into one based on truth and understanding; both factors that Tarawoner thought were imperative to instill in her relationship with her daughter:
"Shame is very powerful. Guilt is very powerful. It will keep you in bondage. I think it's important to talk. I think every woman should have a safe haven where they can feel like they can shed all the layers of bondage that's against them so they can be whole again."
In the podcast, Keyaira also dropped a few gems pertaining to selectivity and discernment, and lawd. 17-year-old me felt that in her spirit. According to her, one of a woman's biggest missteps can be falling for a f*ckboy in potential suitor's clothing. To remedy this easily-made mistake, Keyaira told her mother that she lives by this philosophy:
"Never f*ck anybody you wouldn't want to be. For me, if I look at a man and I would not feel comfortable being that man, walking this world and existing as that man, his energy can't be in my body."
Lovers of the millennial age have coined sex as something that can be deemed as strictly physical, but according to science, that's not true, sis. When a man is knee deep in your guts, that thang might just hit your spirit in a way you weren't prepared for and Keyaira challenges women to ask themselves a tough question. Is that man is someone who you'd wanna be, or is it just somebody that you're OK being with? She explained:
"I think it was just transforming the conversation in a way that resonated with my spirit. Just saying 'you gave yourself away' or 'you gave them something you can't get back,' all of that was so disempowering for me. And so I said okay, well how can I own this? Because at the end of the day it's my body my spirit. And when I started looking at who I wanted to exchange energy with, when I met a man who carried himself with dignity, self-love, power, gentleness, and patience. So I'm like okay if I can walk in this man's shoes then he can get it."
While Keyaira and Tarawoner had some key differences in their ideologies on sex, their conversation is proof that talking with your mom about navigating some of the more intimate moments in your life isn't as crazy as it sounds. If I could go back in time, would I have opened up to my mom about my curiosity concerning sex and told her about the day that I lost my virginity? No, probably not. But I know I'll use all the time I have now to learn everything she has to teach me, even if it makes me cringe sometimes.
Our devastating trip to the doctor's office may have temporarily strained our relationship, but now, my mother and I communicate better because of it.
Talk To Your Mom is the conversation most young women wish they could have with their mothers, and a necessary dialogue for women of color. To hear more, check out the full episode on Spotify or Apple and catch up with Keyaira on Instagram!
"Talk To Your Mom" Podcast Hosts Tarawoner & Keyaira Discuss The Purpose Of Their Platform www.youtube.com
Featured image by Keyaira Kelly/Instagram.