When you are older, I'm not sure how much older, we'll end up having chats about sex. Just in case I lose my bottle, as I understand that such conversations can be difficult for parents to initiate, I'm going to get down some of my thoughts now, when you are but a year and a half old and thus much less blush-inducing to talk to. You are understanding more and more each day, like on Friday when I asked you to choose some toys to put in the bath, but I think it'll be a few years yet before any words I utter on this subject will be even remotely interesting to you.
Firstly, my disclaimers: I'm your mother, and I can't even see the sides of how that must be shaping my thinking towards your future sex life, and the way I'll be choosing my words around it.
I'm using "sex" as a broad term here that encompasses a whole range of activity, not just the penetrative act itself. Penetration is not the be all and end all of sex and don't let anyone tell you otherwise.
Also I'm not all that keen to write about my sex life, to you or anyone else. Of course my experiences do influence my ideas, but you don't have to get your cheek capillaries ready; this is not going to contain any salacious details of your mother's sexual history. Do be aware though that I am a bit vanilla and there are more opinions out there than mine. These are my views alone, and there's no harm in casting the net wider and testing what I think against the ideas of others.
Ok, enough procrastinating, let's take this point by point:
Point the First: Sex should be an enjoyable experience
All kinds of things can be enjoyable, and it'll take time and some experimentation to find out what that means for you. You might like some things that others don't. That's ok, see if you can find those who share your interests. I hope that by the time you're looking around there won't be the stupid social taboos around sex that currently exist, and that the judgements attached to various sexual activities will be historic. If not then let me just say the Internet is probably still your friend. Just keep it at home and not on any work-related computer please.
Point the Second: Actively seek consent, and actively give it
Contrary to popular opinion in my time, telling someone you want to have sex with them, in those words or others, is often a turn-on, not a turn-off. You might have to seek or give consent at various different points in a sexual encounter, and you should be ready to stop at any time if anyone else wants you to stop. Embrace the yes, and respect the no. Don't assume a physical sexual response means a yes. Uncertainty is much more likely to be a no than a yes, so treat it carefully and seek clarification.
Point the Third: Communicate
Whether there's one person you need to communicate with or six, no one can read minds and no one can make allowances for things they don't know about. If you're uncomfortable or don't like it, say so. If you like something, make that clear. Encourage others to do the same, and listen when they do. Words aren't the only way to communicate of course. However they are the clearest and least likely to be misunderstood, particularly when communicating with someone you don't know very well.
Don't be afraid to seek help or further information. If they're still around, Family Planning are a good non-judgemental place to start, and for all their failings magazines like Cosmo and Dolly, and their equivalents in your time do often have some helpful advice too. Read it with a critical eye and identify a trusted adult or two you can talk to *cough* your mother?*cough*
Point the Fourth: You don't have to love someone to make love with them
This goes back to the previous points really. Sex can just be about having some fun. As long as everyone involved knows where they stand you will avoid the awkwardness and potential heartbreak of a post-coital conversation along the lines of "would you like to have dinner with my parents next week" or "thanks for the shag, I'm back off to my partner's place now."
Don't let the Moral Police of the 1950s (and before) tell you when sex is ok and when it's not; as long as there's consent from all parties (and all parties can meaningfully give consent) then to my mind it's fine. In my humble opinion this applies to pornography/erotica too, but hopefully by the time you are reading this that industry will be unionised and exploitation-free and you'll wonder what on earth I am talking about.
Point the Fifth: Look out for yourself and others
Use condoms, birth control, safe words, whatever helps to keep sex what you want it to be. Respect that others will have their own rules and expectations that you'll need to take into account so they get what they want too. Read Point the Third again.
That's all I can think of right now. I hope it helps rather than hinders. No doubt more pearls of wisdom will come to me as we both age, and I may decide all or some of this is ridiculous. Time will tell!
Yours lovingly and with the best of intentions,