Last night I was searching around for good forum software to use for my other site. I’m considering Google Groups but wanted to see it in action to make sure it fits my needs. So I went to one of the big parenting forums and just picked the first link I came across and clicked on it. To my great surprise, I stumbled across an exchange that perfectly encapsulates what is wrong with our society. Behold:
A parent writes in for advice on the following scenario [I’ve edited the language to prevent unwanted Google traffic, and for those of you reading at work, on a family computer, or who don’t want your eyes to catch on fire]:
I have a 10 1/2 year old boy who is getting obcessed with s-x DVDs. I have no idea where he is getting them, but I have found 2 in his room within the last 6 mos. I am not sure how to handle this at all.
He spends a lot of time in his room…I was thinking he was experimenting with m—–bation…I know its probably normal for him to experiment with m—–bation…but what about adult s-x DVD’s? What do I say to him…how do I stop this? I want him to have a healthy normal understanding of s-x….but at 10 1/2 years old?
The first time I found him with the other s-x dvd, I asked him where he got it and tried to explain that s-x is between married grown-ups (trying to make him understand that s-x is not a casual thing). He gave me a lame story about getting it at a friends house. I also tried to explain that s-x is not like those videos, those videos are somewhat preverted…and those types of videos are NOT for children. Now I have found another one…I am worried that he has a unnatural fixation with those videos.
Wow, sounds like she has a problem on her hands. Here’s an excerpt of the advice she gets:
I’d advise keeping an open mind, and also keeping in mind that he is developing into his own person, with his own identity, which might not align exactly with what you would like.
> The first time I found him with the other sex dvd, I asked him where he got
> it […] He gave me a lame story about getting it at a friends house.
Extremely normal, and almost trivially expected – take it as a demonstration of reality. There is absolutely NO WAY you will ever be able to control this aspect of his life/choices/personality. If he wants to view s-xually explicit material, he will – period. If you want him to be honest about how he gets access, the only way to achieve that is to make him feel comfortable in telling you, which implies acceptance of the activity on your part. Basically, if you’re not going to approve, he will have every motivation to hide as much as he can from you…
It is impossible for a boy to have an “unnatural” fixation about s-x – for adolescent boys, s-x is OVERWHELMINGLY COMPULSORY! There is NO other priority whatsoever. It is abnormal if an adolescent boy is NOT completely preoccupied with sex. Videos are the next-best-thing to the real thing, so the appeal is obvious. The only thing you should be concerned about is that your son possibly shows signs of defiance…
I would suggest that you NOT think about it in terms of “stopping it”. You can’t, and even if you could, it would be pointless and even harmful. Your son’s m—–bation is literally your best friend in this – its healthy, normal, makes him happy, and provides satisfaction/ relief without having to actually have risky s-x. In a way, the videos aid in this regard by increasing the effectiveness/satisfaction of the m—–bation. If you make sure that he is comfortable with the fact that you know and understand (most likely this will require approval on your part), you might have a shot at having your words and feelings about the issue heard by him…
Here’s an idea: go and find some very s-xually explicit videos that you think reflect the respect and beauty of loving sex (make sure they are still explicit enough to satisfy his sexual desires), and provide them to him as a replacement, requesting that he stick with them.
So at this point I’m thinking that the original poster is going to write in and ask the advice-giver to please never use the internet again. But instead, she thanks him:
Thank you for all the great advice…I guess maybe I just needed to hear that it is normal…and to learn to deal with it…
And here’s his “aww, shucks, glad I could help” reply:
No problem – hopefully my advice will deserve your appreciation – I hope things go well for you 🙂 To me, its always a great help to hear how other people see things. Also, keep in mind that “normal” isn’t always correct or healthy – sometimes “normal” is actually undesirable, because there are some problems that are “epidemic” amongst typical people.
You can see this collection of timeless wisdom for yourself here. It seems to me like any intellectually honest person would say that their gut tells them a 10-year-old child constantly watching sexually explicit videos is a “bad thing”. Objectively. Not in some cases, not depending on your values or beliefs, it’s just not good. Ever. But, alas, we can’t admit to objective right and wrong, especially in matters of sex, so we have people giving advice like “you need to buy your son some better porn.” Greeeeeeat.
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