Whether they’ve been asking questions or not, it’s time to talk with your kids about sexuality. That means talking about gender, reproduction, bodies, feelings, changes, and, of course, sex — with self or with a partner.

Regardless of their age, they’re ready. Are you?

When talking to your kids about sexuality, your goal should be far more ambitious than preventing premarital sex or pregnancy. Besides, it will be more difficult to get those messages across without first establishing values and ongoing communication.

Talking to your kids about sexuality prepares them for future relationships, and arms them with accurate information. It also allows you to help shape their sexual values and decision-making, encouraging them to think clearly about sexuality.

It’s not always easy, but it’s always worth it. Here are four ways to approach your kids about sex:

  1. Show you’re askable.
  2. Never punish them for asking questions. It’s fine to say, “I don’t know” or “That’s personal, I don’t like talking about that.” But angrily demanding, “Why do you want to know?” or declaring: “Only a bad girl asks questions like that,” sends a message that sexual concerns are unacceptable to you.

  3. Teach that sex is OK.
  4. Teaching kids to fear sex or its consequences creates adults who fear sex or its consequences. Besides, instilling guilt and shame in kids doesn’t reliably discourage behavior you disapprove of. On the other hand, teaching young people to treat sex with respect, and that their bodies are precious, encourages them to behave responsibly.

  5. Teach values.
  6. Don’t hesitate to share the principles by which you live — kids want that. Just make sure that you label them as values rather than fact. Talk about what you believe or what makes you feel good. Of course, this requires that you talk about sex as a normal part of life, perhaps the most important message of all.

  7. Teach decision-making skills.
  8. Regardless of their age, what kids need most of all is decision-making skills. This is especially true when they’re dealing with peer pressure, feeling they’re in love or have been using alcohol. When you aren’t there to tell them what to do, they need to know how to make healthy choices for themselves.

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When the study was published on the Internet, Beverly Whipple heard from many men claiming to share Richard Brent’s experience. Is he really that unique?

Sex Researcher Beverly Whipple

Although the subject is very unusual, I don’t think his experience is unique. Since the study, many men have contacted me asking if we’re looking for more research subjects. So, no, I don’t think it’s physiologically impossible.

Research Subject Richard Brent

I think women experience the same thing, and men just don’t understand what they’re talking about. A part of me wonders what it would be like to see how far and how high I could take it.

Sex Researcher Beverly Whipple

As far as I can tell, the research shows that men as well as women are capable of a variety of sexual responses. There isn’t just one way of responding. Another multiorgasmic man offered some advice to other men in an e-mail he sent me: There are a lot of psychological aspects to it. Men aren’t as tuned into their fantasies as women. Use your imagination to keep yourself turned on.

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Six ejaculations with the same erection.

Beverly Whipple is a professor of nursing at Rutgers University in New Jersey and president of the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT). She’s spent a good part of her career conducting research on sexual response.

In 1995, Richard Brent contacted Beverly Whipple at Rutgers about doing a scientific research study about his sexual experience.

Sex Researcher Beverly Whipple

I did the study simply to validate one person’s experience. In the past, my whole research program has been centered on validating a woman’s sexual experience. I’ve done studies on female ejaculation, orgasm from stimulation of the G spot. I’ve studied women who are able to orgasm through imagery. I thought it would be good to document a man’s experience as well.

The Parameters

The study was done in a laboratory at the College of Nursing at Rutgers University in New Jersey. Brent was hooked up to various devices such as a pupilometer, blood-pressure cuff and pulse monitor, in order to measure and record the physiological changes his body goes through from the arousal stage to orgasm. The diameter of Brent’s pupils was measured as he sat in a chair facing the pupilometer. This consists of an infared video close-up camera directed at Brent’s eye. He was instructed to look into the camera each time he had an orgasm, so that the changes in his pupil diameter could be recorded. The blood-pressure cuff on his left arm and pulse monitor attached to the big toe on his left foot collected individual data that was analyzed later.

A television and VCR with erotic material was operated via remote control. Alone in the room, Brent was observed through an observation window.

The Task at Hand

The blood-pressure cuff would inflate every two minutes. This was the signal for Brent to place his chin in the chin rest of the pupilometer. He was then required to remain still as his pupil diameter was recorded. Blood-pressure readings were recorded every two minutes throughout the experiment, and each time Brent reported he had had an orgasm. After orgasm, his pupil diameter was again recorded. During blood-pressure measurements, he was asked to rate his level of sexual arousal on a scale of 1-10. He was required to collect each ejaculation in a separate container for researchers.

The End Result

Thirty-six minutes elapsed between Brent’s first and last orgasm. Despite the distraction of the equipment and instructions, he maintained his erection throughout the experiment and achieved six orgasms with full ejaculations. The data collected displayed significant elevations of Brent’s blood pressure, heart rate and pupil diameter during orgasm.

Research subject Richard Brent:

All the books say it’s physiologically impossible. I’ve been called a liar, or a bragger. Everyone just says it’s impossible, but I know it’s not. If I could write a book, I’d be a millionaire, but there’s nothing I’ve found so far that I can attribute it to, so I figure it’s just something about me and my body that’s different.

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