In this episode, creator of the Mother-Daughter Empowerment coaching program, Erin Delaney, joins Sex, Love and SuperPowers host Tatiana Berindei to discuss how allowing teen girls to embrace their sexuality can greatly improve their self worth. How (and WHEN?!) to talk to your kids about sex as well as common fears, myths and misconceptions are discussed in this interview. If you have kids, you don’t want to miss this one!
Hello everyone and welcome to the Sex, Love and SuperPowers podcast show. I’m your host Tatiana Berindei. Today I have with me Erin Delaney and we are going to be talking about teens, sex and self worth.
Let me tell you a little bit about Erin. She has worked with hundreds of women over the last 25 years, guiding them in the areas of self expression, empowerment and sexual integrity. With a background in dance, yoga and refined communication skills as well as an MA in the healing arts, she’s also worked with children and teens in schools, youth programs, camps and psychiatric hospitals throughout the U.S., in Europe and in Mexico. As an advocate for women and girls claiming their truth and sexual integrity, through her mother-daughter empowerment coaching, online courses and retreats, Erin focuses her attention on helping mothers celebrate and guide their daughters to be sexually empowered beings. Welcome to the show, Erin Delaney.
Thank you so very much. I’m very happy to be here.
Yeah. I’m really happy to have you. I’m excited to have this conversation. I feel like we don’t talk a lot about teens and sex in our culture other than to say don’t have it. Right?
Really happy that you’re doing the work that you’re doing and that you agreed to come on the show and talk about it. But before we launch into that, I would love it if you would tell us what your superpowers are.
My superpowers. That’s such a cool question. I don’t think I’ve ever been asked that before. One of my superpowers that I hear people say again and again is that I have an ability to be able to normalize their experiences. Whether it’s a teen or a woman or a man that I work with. I normalize who they are and let them know that there’s nothing wrong with them, they’re just human. Having a human experience, which includes a variety of wonderment and fascinations and complications and all of that.
So, I help calm anxiety just by normalizing where they are and then from there, guide them to take some powerful steps forward. A huge piece of that is I’ve been studying with a lot of spiritual teachers throughout my life, since my early twenties, and I’ve gained so many tools and so much deep knowledge of the higher vision of what’s potentially happening and different ways … I know I offer frames that are unique. They’re not unique to me or the people that I spend time with necessarily, but they’re unique to my clients and to people.
It feels like my experience is that it taps into some level of deep truth in them that no one gave them permission to see before or to view before because we’re so caught up in the outer I would say negative pulls of competition and differentiation and separation. It’s just like the game that’s played all around us from advertisements to social media to TV’s and movies and songs and all of that. It’s a game and from that perspective of seeing it as a game and then you choose which way you want to play it. That in and of itself is a superpower that people don’t often know that they hold.
Because we’ve not been taught. Yeah. So, I’d say that’s my biggest one.
I really love the question. It’s so powerful. Thank you.
Yeah. I get the great honor to ask some people that question for the first time. Like yourself, you’ve never been asked it before.
That’s one of the really fun parts about this gig here.
So, you know, working with teens and sex and mothers of teens, I’m sure at this point in your journey you’ve come across some really common threads. I would just love to hear from you, what’s one of the most common things that you run into? Maybe one of the most common myths that you find you have to bust when you start working with a mom of a teenage girl?
Awesome. So, one of the big myths is that moms often believe if they start talking to their daughter about … I work specifically at this point with moms of daughters though I want to move more into working with boys and fathers as well, but one of the typical things is they think if I talk about it then they’re going to go out and do it, so I don’t want to be the one to introduce them to things like sex or oral sex or all different kinds of things. Right? Or rape, or whatever it is. If they’re afraid to. So, they think I’m going to hold off until I feel like they’re ready to hold that, to understand that.
It is a myth because it’s not true or at least it’s not my experience of it being true that if we talk about it they’re going to go ahead and experiment with it and two, when they hold off they’ve already heard about it anyway from people that you probably would rather them not hear about it from for the first time. So, I come across this again and again and again and I was also one that held that experience with my own daughter who’s now 18. You know, I held that belief as well. I waited. I’m not going to say I waited too late. I did talk about it a little bit with her, for sure. But there’s so much more I could’ve shared with her and told her before she chose to be sexual, which in her case was at a very young age.
So, when is the right time to talk about it?
Oh, that’s such a great question. It’s not an easy answer ’cause I don’t think there is a right time necessarily, exactly. There’s one book called The Talk by Sharon Maxwell and she speaks of nine. With all that’s happening with social media, at least by nine is when we should start talking about practically all of it, like really opening up about many, many things. So, nine is really young for some people and some people start earlier. I mean, there’s ways of starting even earlier without talking about it bluntly and directly.
There’s ways of, you know, of in particular, when I used to talk about talking about it … Let’s just speak about what that is. People often think … Well number one, people often think it’s just one talk. That’s the way it used to be with most of us.
The talk. You know, the book The Talk is actually kind of a joke title,not at all what she recommends, which most people don’t. Now we know it’s an ongoing dialogue.
Then within it, people often think it’s just about sex, but … You know, let me just tell you about intercourse and then let’s not talk about it again. You know, maybe some people might include masturbation or things like that but that’s the way it used to be more. Now, we know it’s many conversations. It’s many different topics and the topics are becoming even more expansive than they were when we were young. Like sexual orientation. That was one that I don’t remember my parents speaking about ever.
And like consent, right? That’s a big one.
Consent is the biggest one. Consent is the biggest one and so when you speak of when do we start talking, the consent piece is actually something we need to teach by role modeling it. I’ll admit that I did not do that so well. In some ways we did, my husband and I did great. In other areas we didn’t. So, the whole piece of even asking if I can come up and hug my daughter as opposed to just assuming because I’m her mother I can hug her or kiss her whenever I want to. That’s not necessarily true at all. There’s a place of respectful asking.
You know, I missed that when she was younger. She didn’t push away. She was a child that happened to be super affectionate, which was great, but other children were not. So, it’s like I could’ve easily had a child that wasn’t and there were times, especially when she started getting into puberty that she didn’t want me to hug her anymore and I still broke that boundary. I didn’t honor it. Partly unconsciously just because I was used to cuddling and hugging and kissing like that, so sometimes it was unconscious and like, oh yeah, thank you. Sometimes I even caught myself doing it like out of the little … I’m embarrassed to say this. I remember hugging her goodbye at an airport and I went to hug her and she resisted it. I think she must’ve been like 10 or something. I did it anyway. It’s important for me to say that, to really knowledge … I mean, we laugh about a lot of the mistakes I made now. We’ve talked about it immensely. But that’s one of them, of wow I really … I know the place of I hugged her anyway even without her consent.
So, it was how I was raised, by the way. Not to put my parents down but there was definitely a lot of affection and yet sometimes unwanted affection. My father didn’t honor that. So, I have bits of that in me. So, the piece about how early, it’s like if we look first at the whole big picture of what does it mean to talk about sexuality it’s a broader picture in terms of when it starts, because also learning about them. Learning about all of their body including their vagina. Including their nipples. Including what’s even deeper behind their vagina. You know, when do you start talking about that? I don’t know the exact time, but at least by nine I think. The female anatomy is … You know, if we hold it as mothers, as parents, with utter fascination, which I hold it as that, and we get … You know, a lot of mothers have to get through their own discomfort of their own sexuality and their own body because we weren’t taught to honor it or to know about it. So, that’s a huge piece of it.
So, the place of learning about it ourselves, which is not always interesting thing to teach that we still have to learn ourselves as women about our own body, and as well as our own self pleasure or pleasure. Not even just self pleasure, but pleasure. And the different parts of the female anatomy including all of the different arousal zones, which is way more than we were ever even taught and even as women and adult women we still don’t all know our different pleasure zones.
Yeah. There’s so much. I’m really looking forward to launching into this with you. We do have to go to a quick break and when we get back we’re going to dive in ’cause there’s a lot to talk about here.
I know, we’re not going to cover it all in one interview but I’m really excited to dive in deeper. Before we go to break can you just tell our listeners where they can go to find out more about you and your work?
Sure. You can go to motherdaughterempowerment.com. Mother daughter empowerment. There’s a free article about how to avoid shaming your daughter when it comes to sexuality that you’re more than welcome to take and read. It’s got some really valuable pieces in it.
Beautiful. So, we’ve been talking with Erin Delaney about teens, sex and self worth. More when we get back. So, stay tuned.