Parenting Book Review: Sex Positive Talks to Have With Kids by Melissa Pintor Carnagey, LBSW

An illustration of a parent and child sit together reading a book. The parent has their arm around the child and is pointing to something on the page of the book. The child is smiling an also pointing. The title of the book is above the picture and is surrounded by a speech bubble coming from the parent's mouth.
Image description: An illustration of a parent and child sit together reading a book. The parent has their arm around the child and is pointing to something on the page of the book. The child is smiling an also pointing. The title of the book is above the picture and is surrounded by a speech bubble coming from the parent’s mouth.

Sex Positive Talks to Have With Kids: A guide to raising sexually healthy, informed, empowered young people by Melissa Pintor Carnagey, LBSW

Book description: Sex Positive Talks to Have With Kids is your guide to creating an open, shame-free connection with the young people in your world. These talks will help caregivers create the kind of bond that keeps kids safer, empowered, and returning to you for support along their journey.

As with many self published and small press books, I found this one through social media. Say what you will about platforms like Instagram and Facebook, they have their benefits. I have been following Melissa Pinto Carnagey for at least a year now out of a desire to be a more sex positive parent to my own children. I was quite excited to see she had a book out and thought it would be a good one to read myself and one to share.

Sex Positive Talks is a slim, but helpful, volume of conversation starters for parents. Most of the topics do not deal directly with sex and sexuality despite the title. The book starts with a helpful introduction full of tips and tricks as well as reassurance about the subjects. This is especially helpful if you were not raised in an open, accepting, and empowered household.

Chapters on a variety of topics follow from body awareness to gender to sexual orientation to safety and consent to intimacy to media literacy. Within each of these broader topics are more specific ones. Pintor walks parents through discussion around the topic at hand then offers suggestions for things to say to children in a variety of age ranges. If you haven’t had these conversations yet, this is incredibly helpful for kickstarting them. Each conversation starter also offers the rationale behind why it’s phrased as it is. These are followed by thought/journal prompts for adults to assess their own comfort level with the topics and helps you dive into where your beliefs about these topics might come from.

As a parent the book was very reassuring that I have been approaching most of these topics already. I appreciate the journal prompts most because for the topics I can feel my discomfort around it is helpful to excavate where that comes from and root it out. I want my kids to be better prepared and way more empowered than I ever felt around sex, sexuality, gender. etc.

Now, I know in libraries books that have sex in the title and discuss sexuality can be controversial. But one of the purposes of the libraries is to make materials available to people. This is a really important resource for parents, especially those raising liberated and shame-free children. Many parents may be interested in this book, but won’t find it unless it’s in a library collection. Others may not be able to purchase their own copy despite needing and wanting the information in it. Allowing the boogey man of a disgruntled conservative patron keep you from putting this book proudly on your shelf should not deter you. Neither should your own discomfort with the subjects. This is a really important resource for parents and it needs to be and deserves to be on library shelves as well as personal shelves. School libraries should consider it they have collections for parents.

Purchase the book here (not affiliate links):

Final note: If you do purchase this book, please post a review of it on Amazon. This will help other folks find the book and know that it’s worth purchasing. If you use any other book services like GoodReads or your local library’s online catalog be sure to post a review there too! And if your local library doesn’t have a copy, request that they purchase one.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s