A friend’s recent detailing on Twitter about catching her son masturbating in her room to her porn and the ensuing information shared between the two of them in casual conversation reminded me of another story from another friend. Now, the other friend is one from real life who is decidedly less “sexually open” but still in the more progressive camp. This friend, I’ll call her Donna, got pregnant at a very young age and so she’s 16 yrs older than her daughter who’s a freshman at college, and her son is coming of age at 17 yrs old. In a dual attempt at heading off unsafe sex and being a better parent, she made sure her kids always knew that if they needed birth control and condoms that she’d rather they come to her than hide it and get in trouble.
That openness led to her teenage son inappropriately oversharing one night to his mortified mother, telling her that him and his girl-0f-the-week had tried anal sex and hey mom have YOU tried it? After her shock wore off she told him that that was none of his business, nor was it any of hers. She would get him more condoms if need be, but didn’t want or need to hear personal details.To be clear, he wasn’t asking questions on “how” he was just relating his experience in a friendly “wow that was awesome” sort of way.
And I agree, but yet…..call it a double standard if you will, if that same information were being discussed with her daughter I think she would have freaked out a little bit less. And if it were her daughter sharing the info with her, I’d have been less squicked-by-proxy.As it is, I’m hoping I don’t have to see her son any time soon because I’ll have a bit of a hard time talking to him, knowing what I know now. What I wish I didn’t know.
Am I wrong? “unprogessive”? Closed-minded? I think that intimately personal information like that shouldn’t be shared between mother and son or father and daughter, no matter the intent and relationship. Between mother and daughter, and father and son? I feel differently about it. It can be discussed in a friend-yet-parental way. If you don’t agree with me, can you explain why?
I can recall a time in HS when I found condoms in my parents headboard. I was MORTIFIED. My father knew I’d seen them, as I was helping look for something and he’d said “no they’re not in there” but I opened the door before the message got to my brain. We didn’t speak of it. Neither of us wanted to. I can’t even imagine finding a sex toy or porn belonging to a parent and ugh no no especially not my father. My mother? Eh, we don’t have that sort of “my mother is my best friend so let’s help each other buy sex toys and shop for clothes and talk about our sex lives” relationship and we never, ever will.It was really fucking surreal and twilight-zone when my pot-noob mom asked me if I could get her some weed so she could try it. And oh yeah, something inconspicuous to smoke it out of. I spent my early 20’s HIDING my smoking (both kinds) habit from her….now she wants me to supply her and join in. I’m not sure I can cross that internal boundary.
This whole topic though is 100% different from the necessary sex ed talks that should be given by whatever parent is around and capable. It’s different, and a parental duty. Just wanted to make that point known.
As a bystander, I don’t even want YOU to tell ME about your teenage son or daughter and what they’ve done. To me that’s betraying a privacy and confidence, even if it’s just your kid and not a big deal to you. Your kid would be humiliated if they knew.
In a similar vein, I’m wondering if/when I should discreetly let my 17 yr old favorite cousin know that if she “needs anything” she can privately come to me. Her boyfriend and both families are fairly religious; he’s a missionary at only 19. But the moment I heard that he got her a webcam so they could see each other while chatting long distance? My “omg I was a teenager once and if we had webcams back then?!?!” reaction was “Oh hell NO they’re not just chitchatting!!”. But I hesitate to say anything to her. Does she need a “cool aunt”? Is it overstepping? Don’t I wish I’d known more my freshman year of college? But what if my assumptions are wrong and she’s really and truly a good girl and destined to be a virgin for at least 3 more years? But then I watch Gossip Girl (shut UP) and think “wow….are kids these days really this debaucherous? was I that innocent?” And I just don’t know the answers.