“Help: How much do I tell my mom about my sex life?

Dear Sarah,

I am a 15 year-old pansexual girl, and my mom knows this. She’s supportive of me and my girlfriend. My girlfriend and I kissed last week, and I’m over the moon about it, because it was my first kiss! I’ve just realized I have no idea what the social norm is—am I expected to tell my mom? Does she want to know?

I’m sure she wouldn’t be upset or anything, but would she as a parent have an issue with knowing that her little girl is growing up? I don’t want to force an uncomfortable conversation, but it’s something I am very happy about and I generally talk about things with her.

Thank you!

—Muddled in Maryland

Dear Muddled,

Wow, you and your mom are both so lucky to have such an open and supportive relationship. I don’t think there is any fixed rule about your question. If you want to share with her, go for it. She might feel a little bittersweet about you growing up (or even awkward thinking of you as a sexual being, as “cool” as she appears to be) but she can handle it. Part of parenting is letting your “babies” fly.

However, there is no law that you have to tell her about the intimate details of your relationship either. What you do with your girlfriend is private and you should only share what you want with whom you want. Mom probably already assumes you will have some sort of physical relationship.

As a general rule for any young person: if you feel confused about health issues, pressured to be sexual, upset about a relationship, or are in any other situation where you feel your body or emotions are at risk, then you should speak to a parent or another trusted adult.

Love, Sarah

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