First and foremost, I am a parent. I know many people like to think that their own person-hood comes before their children’s, but that line of thought for me can be dangerous. Thinking of my role as a parent being of greater significance, helps remind me that there are greater reasons for me to remain a part of the mortal coil. Sometimes only thinking about myself just isn’t enough.
With that in mind, here is an example of the randomness of my parent brain trying to figure out what is the best path to take with my children.
I have worked hard of the years to become sex positive, and I promise it did take work. I was orally raped by a family member several times as a child, with the certainty that eventually it would become PIV (penis in vagina) rape when, according to the perpetrator, “my body was ready.” Luckily I moved from that situation before it escalated.
That situation, caused me to blame myself to a certain degree. When I eventually started having consenting sex acts with partners, I did so looking for ways to punish myself. It took me a long time and meeting the person I am married to today to learn how to enjoy sex for what it is and what it can be, without blaming myself at all.
I don’t want my children to have to work that hard. I want them to feel as natural with sex as they do with hugging (meanwhile recognizing that not everyone does and respecting others boundaries and personal opinions regarding sex, much like hugging). Maybe it is an insurmountable task. Maybe they will have a boatload of hang-ups no matter how I try to help . Maybe my trying to help will just make the problem worse. Who knows? All I know is, as a parent, I have to try and be as open and communicative as possible about how very natural sex is.
Thinking it about it in these terms, makes me very aware that one of my children is approaching puberty. We have talked about sex. Mostly we have just explained what sex is, though not in great detail, as well as explaining masturbation. He isn’t interested yet, but we trudge on. I expect that eventually he will be, and if not, I can absolutely be a-sex positive as well. However, if and when he is, I imagine masturbation will be how it begins and I am perfectly fine with that. We are pretty damn pro-masturbation in our house. What I am not so sure about is masturbatory aids. I really don’t have a problem, per say, with my child using them. I mostly have a problem with him using certain types of them (internet porn for the most part). I don’t think I need to explain the various problems with internet porn out there, so I won’t waste my time trying. I will say that my dilemma lies in the fact that we have really nothing in my house that can be a substitute for pornography. I am a little worried that my child will turn to the internet because there is nothing else. That being said, I am not going to go out and buy a stack of magazines with naked people posed in implausible ways just to assuage my worries. I might however invest in some free underwear catalogs. Adolescent boys often don’t need much more than the suggestion of sexuality as a masturbatory aid. Buying underwear catalogs is a pretty safe compromise for me.
My other dilemma is whether or not I choose to assume the “default” sexuality. Do I just sign up for Victoria’s secret catalogs, or do I actually hunt down some scantily clad male figures as well? Am I being too over the top with sex positivity? Is that even possible? So help me out. What did you do or would you do as a parent?