An information and support resource for families with children, teens and young adults who have a DSD
- Yes, I would like to know the sex of my baby - a short, but eternal, journey of sex assignment (June 2011)
- Eva’s birth story (January 2012)
- Turning a corner – or about the time when I explained to my 8 3/4 year old daughter that she would not be growing babies in her tummy (July 2012)
We are grateful to the mother who shared with us this story about introducing and ‘normalising’ dilation. Parents will recognise strategies of bringing up difficult subjects, reminding kids pro-actively of difficult conversations, etc.
Connecting dilation with female masturbation and pleasure is an empowering message that helps girls understand from early on that there is much more to sex than ‘just’ entry-sex. Some parents might wonder about the age at which one starts to talk about this with kids…Take it from us: they know much more than you think.
And the more comfortable and relaxed you are to talk about relationships, and intimacy and indeed pleasure, the easier it will be for them to come to you with questions.
(PS: If you want to copy the strategy below (and if you live in the UK) you can buy discrete little ‘pink sticks’ in Boots these days!)
I found out my daughter has CAIS a few months before she went to high school (secondary school) and I would like to tell you my story of the ‘pink stick’.
After finding out that CAIS girls could have smaller vagina’s I decided then and there to bring my daughters up in an environment where openness was paramount.
One evening I said to my husband I wanted a vibrator, a ‘pink stick’ – needless to say, he nearly choked on his cup of tea :-D! After that, and discussing the merits and fun of one, we both went on a commercial website to see what was available and to be honest had some fun in choosing the correct stick. We decided on a ‘pink stick’ similar to a lip stick or Vicks nasal spray in size, very discrete!
What did we do then? - after all, our daughters were children and this was a sex toy!
Well, I put it out of sight in my drawers at the side of my bed knowing that my daughters would eventually go in one of the drawers. It took 2 days, then I saw one daughter chasing the other around the house with it, thinking it was some sort of toy - buzzing away.
“That’s mine, get off it!” I said – “What is it mum!” they asked. “It’s my private stick and it’s not for you, put it back” “but what is it?” “Well, it’s a private stick for mum and dad and you are not supposed to see it” “but what is it?” (after various “leave it alone, put it back, what is it?”) I eventually responded “it’s mum and dad’s private toy that gives mum pleasure!”
“errrrrrrrrrrrrr” responded the older daughter, “Do you know what it is?” I said to the older daughter “yes and it’s disgusting!” she responded. “No, it’s not!” I said.
“What’s that?” asked the younger daughter and I said “You are too young to know, put it back in my drawer and leave it alone, it’s private”. The ‘pink stick’ was taken of them and put back in my drawer.
Over the next few weeks I would occasionally mention ‘Where is my pink stick?” just so they would remember it.
They would always respond “I don’t know, we’ve never touched it”. Our conversations then developed to ‘I know you have had my pink stick, where is it?” they were always adamant they never had it and the oldest daughter would say “errrrrrrr I would never want to touch it”.
As the weeks/months went by, surprise to surprise, the pink stick started going missing. Eventually after lots of missing ‘pink sticks’ and mysterious reappearances, my oldest daughter admitted she had been hiding it. “Why, it’s my pink stick” “It’s horrible, disgusting, why would you want to use that?” I responded “because I like it and there is nothing wrong with it, plenty of women have one” “ERRRRRRRRRR it’s horrible, why do you need one if you have dad?” “Well, dad likes playing with it to!” “ errrrrrrrrr” and off she went.
At the months went by and the 'pink stick' continued to go missing, my tactic changed slightly to “When you are older about 15/16 years I’ll get you one for your birthday!” “ERRRRRRR, I don’t want one” By this time my youngest daughter also knew what it was and I was able to promise both of them a ‘pink stick’ for their birthday when they were older. Again, as the months went by, the pink stick stopped going missing, and different tactics were used by my eldest daughter – she started to remove the batteries, especially as I told her she would lose her TV if she did not put my ‘pink stick’ back.
We have had conversations along the line of there is nothing wrong with a pink stick/vibrator and that I want a purple one for my birthday, I've told my daughter there are various sizes and some are too big for mum. She knows that many women use a vibrator and that it is normal to use one… there is nothing ‘wrong’ with it.
The ‘pink stick’ has allowed me to open the doors to discuss a difficult subject and to be honest, it has been quite fun! My youngest daughter does know what the ‘pink stick’ is but conversation with her has been very limited due to age appropriateness, however she is now undertaking sex education at school so she will shortly be able to be included in these conversations.
I hope this story helps you to have open communications with your children over a sensitive subject.