As a mother of teens, I am diligent about staying abreast of current trends, and the Teen Vogue Anal Sex Guide is no exception. So, while I admit to cringing a little, I have to say that I do support the magazine in their publication of this article.

Let me start by saying that as a teen I was sexually active. The first time I had sex I wasn’t sure what I was doing. Why? Because I was ignorant. I was never taught what sex was. If you think that people just know about these things, well, I guess I was the exception. My experience, of being coerced into sex at a very young age has, of course, been very influential in my life and in my parenting style. I never want that to happen to my kids, and my ammunition for avoiding it is information.

By our very nature, parents want to protect our children, it is almost instinctual. However, I am of the opinion, that knowledge, even unseemly knowledge is protective. I believe that it is a parent’s right, responsibility and proper place to inform their children about sex, in fact I have often encouraged my mom friends to be more open about the topic with their children. Studies clearly show that open parental conversations about sex cause teens to be more likely to abstain, and more likely to use birth control and proper precautions if they do have sex. But, this study shows that many parents feel too uncomfortable and don’t actually have the necessary conversations about sex at all, leaving children vulnerable to misinformation or no information.

And if almost 30% of parents are not talking about sex at all, how many are talking about anal sex? My guess is that number is incredibly low.

This is hard, really hard stuff. It’s hard to be a parent, it’s hard to talk about things like sex, let alone anal sex, and it’s hard to admit that our teens might be interested in doing it. And if so, would they ever be able to ask us for safe direction? Even as an open-minded mom who believes wholeheartedly in being the source of information on this, and who wants to help my kids, I don’t see it happening.

So, with a deep sigh, I tend to believe that Teen Vogue is doing children a favor. Without ever suggesting that everyone should do it, they put out a simple guide to safe anal sex. Honestly, I hope my kids never look it up. We don’t subscribe to Teen Vogue and don’t plan to. However, if they need this information, I, for one, am thankful that it’s there, in black and white with anatomically correct pictures, to show them what they need to know.

Read an opposing view here. 

Alethea Mshar

Alethea Mshar is a mother of four children; an adult child who passed away of a drug overdose, one typical daughter and two sons who have Down syndrome, one of whom has autism spectrum disorder and complex medical needs. She has written "What Can I Do To Help", a guide to stepping into the gap when someone you know has a child diagnosed with cancer, which is available on Amazon, and is publishing a memoir titled, "Hope Deferred". She can be found on Twitter as leemshar, and blogs for The Mighty HuffPost as Alethea Mshar, as well as her own blog, Ben's Writing Running Mom on She is also on Facebook as Alethea Mshar, The Writing, Running Mom.