If you are a dog parent, or ever had a loving pet in your life, you already know how responsive they are to our emotions.
By Deborah Chilcoat, MEd
December 15, 2022
As I was passing my pups laying on the couch (spoiled), looking so carefree (except when they want a snack, take a walk, and chase a squirrel…all usually when I am on a Zoom meeting), I thought, dogs would be great listeners when preparing to talk to humans about sex.
Here are my 5 reasons why. Sit! Stay!
- Dogs are better than a mirror. Wouldn’t you rather practice talking about love and relationships looking into those puppy-dog-eyes than a toothpaste-splattered mirror in your bathroom? I mean, c’mon, those long eyelashes and expressive eyebrows evolved over centuries for this very task!
Wouldn’t you rather practice talking about love and relationships looking into those puppy-dog-eyes than a toothpaste-splattered mirror in your bathroom?
- Dogs are very patient. In fact, they are perfectly content for you to take as long as you need formulating the best way to explain sex, gender, and orientation…just don’t stop rubbing their belly.
- Dogs are forgiving. While you replay the scene and beat yourself up for messing up what you wanted to say to the other human, dogs will never judge you for choosing the wrong words.
- Dogs don’t (insert verb from the word bank below) when they hear you say penis or vagina. As long as you are snuggling with them, sharing your blanket, dropping a tortilla chip on the ground, or throwing a tennis ball, you can say penis, vagina, and a whole lot more!
Word bank: blush, freeze, giggle, look horrified, snicker, roll their eyes, bury their face in their paws
- Dogs can calm us. Not every human is comfortable talking about sex, especially to another human. Their throats tighten, their brain doesn’t cooperate…it can be a disaster! Running fingers through your dogs’ fur right before or during these conversations may be soothing, thus making the conversation not so awful.
If you are a dog parent, or ever had a loving pet in your life, you already know how responsive they are to our emotions. The point of all this though is just that practicing a tough conversation—like talking about sex—can help you feel more prepared.
Looking for more tips on preparing for these must-have convos about sex? Check out these resources:
- Lesson 4 – It’s Not Just What You Say: Techniques & Approaches for a Healthy Sex Ed Class
- Lesson 6: Responding with Confidence: Answering Sensitive Questions & Maintaining Boundaries
Deborah Chilcoat, MEd, is a Senior Manager for our Capacity Building and Evaluation Department at Healthy Teen Network and is nationally recognized as a seasoned trainer and adolescent sexual and reproductive health expert. When home, she is savoring every moment with her incredibly fun family and their lovable dogs. Read more about Deb.
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