A Minnesota mom’s TikTok is getting a lot of attention for her open discussions with her children on sex, masturbation, and healthy body discovery.
She goes by Shug — short for “sugar” — on social media as a way to retain some anonymity.
Shug has three kids and in order to protect their privacy, she refers to them as Bugga (14 years old), Turkey (seven years old) and Goo (three years old).
Shug’s direct approach to sex and parenting has received a lot of attention and praise for the way she has open conversations with her children about their bodies.
Take for instance, this recent TikTok, where Shug encourages masturbating with condoms.
It may seem a little pointless at first, but listen to Shug’s reasoning.
OK, Shug. You’ve got our attention.
We see where you’re going with this and we’re ready to hear what you have to say on the matter.
For those who have penises, masturbation is hella messy, which is why at least 20,000 local comedians have built their three-minute sets on this.
So, instead of viewing masturbation as messy and shameful, a condom helps normalize the act, normalize condom use and provide an easy cleanup method.
In addition to having a simple cleanup method, becoming comfortable with condoms at a young age helps set up healthy sexual practices when the time comes to be intimate with another person.
After hearing those reasons, the idea makes a lot of sense. Why isn’t this practice more widely taught and accepted?
“Often, our unwillingness to explain bodies and biological processes like sex, self-exploration, and childbirth to children leaves them with the impression that bodies are mystifying or shameful,” Shug told BuzzFeed. “Our avoidance of the topics — ‘I’ll tell you when you’re older,’ ‘We don’t talk about that stuff,’ or ‘That’s naughty’ — shuts down conversation and makes it difficult for children to approach their caregivers about their bodies.”
In her interview with BuzzFeed, Shug makes sure to give proper credit to her sister. Having children around similar ages has opened up an opportunity for them to have meaningful conversations on how to best address self-exploration in a healthy way.
“When it comes to the idea of encouraging condom use for self-exploration, I cannot take all the credit for thinking of the idea. My sister and I both have pubescent children and have spent time discussing the developmental and biological needs that they will face as they grow. We have talked at length about how to protect them emotionally and physically. By normalizing self-exploration and discussions about sex, children are less likely to get erroneous information from other sources and have a layer of protection against dangerous forms of exploration. The goal with providing condoms for use during their self-exploration is to help habituate the use of protection during pleasurable activities, to both protect themselves and others.”