Parents and Kids and D/s
Standard disclaimer: The following is my NSHO... YMMV. All flames will probably be answered with really nasty e-mail.
Recently I have had several people ask me what/if to tell the kids about D/s. I have a teenager, and a six year old, and have put a lot of thought into the question. This is what I have come up with.
First of all, I want to say that I never practice D/s when my teen is in the house. Things just get too loud, and I wouldn't feel comfortable enough to let a scene happen. Occasionally, I will do a little D/s play if my younger child is in bed asleep... but only behind locked doors. I do believe that it is appropriate to share information on a maturity-appropriate level with older children. I do this regarding vanilla sex, drugs, alternative lifestyles... anything he comes to me and questions, or I think he needs information on.
Why tell my teen anything at all? There are several reasons, but the main one is because he came to me and asked. I don't want my son participating in D/s right now, but I also know that telling him "Just say no!" will not stop him from exploring this lovestyle anymore than it would stop him from smoking a joint or taking a pill. I explained to him what D/s was about, told him it was a meeting between two equals on the opposite ends of a spectrum, did my best to explain how sometimes pain was not really pain, and explained about Dominants, submissives, and switches. I stressed that, like vanilla sex, it was something best shared with two people who loved and respected each other.
While I did not feel it was appropriate to offer any tips on how to make it better, I did share some basic safety information such as the danger of metal cuffs and why you shouldn't put someone in strict bondage for long amounts of time. I did this because my son has a girlfriend and an active sex life, and it is entirely possible that they will play around with D/s. My final comments were strict instructions not to share this with his friends, or talk about it in school.
Another reason I was willing to share with him is the fact that this lovestyle is becoming more visible and accepted in our world, and I feel he should hear the facts from me rather than from his friends, who may have gotten their information from books such as the Beauty series or The Story of O. Just today, a friend of my son's came over. She was wearing a chain leash around her neck (it looked kinda cute) and had her eyebrow pierced. While this does not mean she is into D/s, it does mean that it is not something she has no knowledge of. I hope she has someone to share facts with her like my son does.
The final reason I discuss D/s with my son is because he knows of my involvement in it. How he originally found out, I am not sure. He may have accidentally opened some snail mail, or overheard me talking on the phone. He has an AOL account, and perhaps he discovered my name. Children are curious, and although I keep my toys and books well hidden, he may have been sneaking around where he shouldn't and discovered them. Although I do my best to supervise my children, I cannot spend 24 hours a day watching everything they explore. How he knows doesn't really matter. The fact is, he does.
Unfortunately, many people still feel that whoever practices this lifestyle is sick. Much of this stereotype comes from incorrect and uninformed images, literature, and thought. The only way for me to guard against this stupidity is to offer my son the correct information. I am not sick or weird, and I don't want my children to see me as being such.
While I was writing this, my son came in and was looking over my shoulder. I didn't try to stop him from reading. I feel everything I said in here was something he has already been told, or should know. His only question to me was, "Mom, when you write 'D/s', why do you use a big 'D' and little 's'? Both the Dom and sub are equally important." Gee, I must be doing something right ;)
K, struggling her way through single parenthood...
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