Here is some sexual health information for your son who is interested in both girls and boys.
- Most sexual health information is aimed at boys who only have sex with girls. Recognize that your son might not feel like there’s health information out there for him.
- Guys get a lot of pressure to be a macho, lady-lovin’ bro. At the same time, bisexual teens often feel left out of both LGBTQ+ and non-LGBTQ+ spaces. Help him feel secure in his own skin.
- Help him find medical providers with whom he feels comfortable sharing his health information and needs.
- Remember that “sex” is bigger than penis-in-vagina sex, but health information and sex ed don’t always include other kinds of sex, like oral, anal, or any genital-to-genital contact.
- Focus on the positive! A lot of information for or about LGBTQ teens focuses on really serious, scary stuff! Let him know that working together to help them get the health stuff they need is a positive partnership.
STD Safety Tips
- Condoms! Condoms, condoms, condoms! Ask him to use a condom every time. Be sure he knows how to use them and where to find them.
- Condoms are the best bet for preventing STDs. Dental dams are also useful with helping your son prevent oral STDs. Get both items and show him how to use them during your conversation.
- Get an appointment for him to talk to a doctor. Whether it’s for STD testing or not, regular check-ups are important. Try one of these teen-friendly clinics.
- Tell him that even pre-ejaculate can spread STDs. A condom should be on the penis if he is participating in any sexual act.
- Have him read about the symptoms of STDs and how to prevent them. Here is a teen-friendly guide to share with him.
- Gay and bisexual men make up around 2% of the population, but they also account for 55% of people in the United States that live with HIV. This is not to worry you as parents but to make sure that your son is educated and knows to make smart decisions.
- If he’s HIV+ or at higher risk for HIV, talk about PrEP as a strategy for being sexually active and avoiding sharing HIV. Remind him that you are always here for questions, worries, or concerns. Offer that he can text you if that makes him feel more comfortable.
- Condoms, condoms, condoms! Ask him to use a condom every time. Show him how to use them on something like a banana and tell him where to find them.
- Talk about the “dual method” of using a condom plus birth control like an implant or the pill to help him and his partner prevent both pregnancy and STDs! Double bonus!
- Teens hear a lot of myths, so remind him that pre-ejaculate can lead to pregnancy, the pull-out method isn’t the most effective, and a girl can still get pregnant while she has her period. A condom should be on the penis if the penis comes into contact with the vagina, and should be on the penis with any oral, anal or genital contact to avoid STDs.
- Tell him that he can and should ask his partner about her plans for pregnancy prevention. His condom alone isn’t always the most effective way to prevent pregnancy. Make sure she’s using something like an implant or the pill before they have sex. Girls can get pregnant the first time they have intercourse.
- Make an appointment for him to talk to his doctor. Try one of these teen-friendly clinics.
- Tell him that no birth control is 100% effective – other than complete abstinence from penis- in-vagina sex. Help him learn how to be safe with his sexual health.
- Remind him that you are always here to address his questions, worries, or concerns. Offer him the option to text you if that makes him feel more comfortable.
- Share with him how important he is and that he should expect respect in relationships.
- Talk to him about how you knew that a person was a good choice for a partner. Talk about the qualities that make a good partner – respectful, honest, kind, funny, makes you feel good about yourself, share similar interests, etc.
- Help your child understand how important it is to know that when a partner says “No,” it means to stop the sexual activity immediately. Even if a partner has said yes in the past, no means to stop the activity immediately.
- Help him understand how important it is to speak up for himself and say “No” situation when he’s uncomfortable, no matter how much pressure he’s under. 18% of LGB teens report being physically forced to have sex versus 5% for their straight counterparts.
- Remind him that having sex isn’t a goal or a badge of honor. He should be ready to have sex when he’s ready, not when he feels like he should or he has to.
- Share with him this resource so he can read more about healthy relationships.
- Same-gender sleepovers may not have worried you until now, but the key is always openness and honestly. Ask him up front, “What kind of sleepover is this?” Don’t be shy about setting expectations. These may be uncharted waters for you, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t hold him to the same standards as you would if he was into girls.
- Refer him to this article about how to be smart at parties and gatherings to protect himself.
- Give him an out and explain that you are always there to pick him up – no questions asked – from a bad situation. Consider using “Plan X” in your family.
- Remind him that you are always here for questions, worries, or concerns. Offer that he can text you questions if that makes him feel more comfortable.
- Hear what bisexual teens have to say about common misperceptions about bisexuality so you can understand some of the negative message he might be hearing.
- Coming out as LGBT can often be challenging. If you suspect that your teen is not doing well or comes to you for help, here are some support hotlines that are amazing resources for the LGBTQ teens.
There are great resources out there for LGBTQ teen guys, many of which we’ve shared with you above, but don’t forget that teenplaybook.com has an entire guide devoted to LGBTQ teens that you can share with him!