I was 16 years old the first time my parents and I had "the talk," but it didn't go how most people imagine. It was a series of conversations around birth control, friendship, relationships and more. Rather than sitting me down once and making sure to hit all the 'points' to encourage safe sex, my parents created an environment where I wanted to talk about my relationships, my friends and everything else going on in my life.

Here we are years later, I'm 28, and my dad and I are the co-founders of a sexual wellness company, which means sex is not a taboo subject.

In the spirit of giving thanks over the holidays, I'd like to share what I am thankful for: parents who created an environment that enables me to understand the importance of birth control, healthy relationships and everything related. For me, these talks sparked—and continue to fuel—an entire career. For many others, these conversations can promote safe sex, prevent unplanned pregnancy and bolster healthy decision-making for life—all of which, I am grateful for.

According to a recent piece in the New York Times, "New research shows that adolescents who have talked to their parents about sex are more likely to use condoms and birth control." This finding rings true, and is by no means surprising. From an early age, I learned that communication is key, I learned about the importance of birth control and I learned how to take ownership in my decision-making, because I was educated and therefore knowledgable.

I appreciate my parents for creating ongoing, open lines of communication. And I"m happy to share how thankful I am for this in order to encourage others out there to go and do the same.

Happy Thanksgiving!

- Meika

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