My kid is fucking amazing! She is the most creative, passionate, empathetic, emotionally intelligent, beautiful teenager you will ever come across (yeah, yeah mother bias). And she is kinky!
Well her assumptions about sex certainly fit into the realm of kink – trust me I’ve seen the porn she watches and seen the Fanfic she reads! She has asked every question you can imagine – “what are safe words?”, “why do people get tied up?”, “how do you know that something is okay when it looks like it’s hurting?” “how would I know I’m doing something okay?”, how would I be able to say no?” “why does some pain feel good?” You name it we’ve talked about it!
(Keep in mind I’m writing this as a parent of a teenage girl, navigating the world of sexual literacy from a very feminist orientated position)
My approach to sex with her has been simple: I know she’s going to have sex, lots of it, good and bad. And as her mother it is my “job” to give her everything I can in order to, when the time comes, empower her to make the best decisions for her!
See, I’ve taught sex education to 15 to 18 year olds. It was my second job out of college. I was thrown into the deep in, Independent religious and private Christian schools, with know-it-all monsters who thought the world ended at their school yard fence! I had to explain, within the boundaries of “abstinence” focused education how the hell the human species fucked! It’s no wonder I lasted less than a year before I was moved into another position!
So when I read another Fet users post questioning how we “fit” exploring teenagers into BDSM I managed to get a third of the way through the replies before I was seeing red!
If you think “teaching” kink to teenagers is something that the “community” should get involved in – step away from the children! You’ve missed the point completely about how to engage teenagers with sex in a healthy, constructive way that enables them to make the best decisions for them!
A teenagers brain is A full of all these new feel good, make me horny chemicals and B so far underdeveloped that they cannot possibly ascertain the realities and consequences of their choices!
You & I have a very adult perception of the world build from real life experiences. We can see, feel, taste, hear and smell the world as it is for us because we’ve had enough experiences to understand the context of what it is we are encountering. Teenagers, even the most mature ones, do not have this lived experience. And it is because of this that adults, no matter how well-meaning your intention may be, have to stay away from teenagers! We cannot and do not experience the world in the way that they do. We cannot possibly create empathetic, authentic and safe spaces for these teenagers to experience the world as they need to. And the reality is they need to construct their own version of kink – however that eventuates, in order to construct the relevant knowledge base about themselves in order to make informed decisions about who they are, where they are going to position themselves in the wider social sexual landscape and how they are going to formulate the structure of their affectional and sexual relationships today, tomorrow and into their sexual experiences through their life span.
Our teenagers are information saturated, and yet they are, for the most part, digitally illiterate. We just do not teach our kids (especially our girls) how to navigate internet resources; heck I didn’t even learn how to do it until I began university! The internet, for all intents and purposes, is one big advertisement; a one stop shop of domains to sell us the way that we are meant to be. Once it was the creative genius of Coke-a-cola Amital who persuaded us that our identity was connected to the product we drank. Now it’s Facebook, Youtube and Google that are convincing us of who we are. We are not taught how to navigate the myriad of crap that constitutes information and advice. If we, as adults, find it difficult to navigate the web without being drawn into charlatans. Snake oil salesmen and down and out crackpots how do you expect kids to do it! They may have the information (can we please stop referring to Wikipedia as a value source) but do they know what to do with it? Nope!
“Adults need to provide information”. No! Just because you’ve reached a point in your life where the law considers you “an adult” does not mean you have automatically earned to right to do anything! And you certainly do not have the right to go anywhere near my daughter to tell her a damn thing about sex or kink! SSC, RACK, consent, safe words – for crying out loud! We can’t even come to a consensus about what these actually mean (meaning is not definition) but you think you can provide this as “information” to the next generation?
What we can do is VALIDATE and NORMALISE these teenager’s desires. We can acknowledge that, for some, intense sensation and structured relationships are normal. We can validate that there are genuine feelings of arousal when we encounter certain images or thoughts. But that is it!
We do not, ever, apply adult concepts into teenager’s stories. The stories they are telling us, the way that they are expressing their curiosity and arousal must be created by them. We cannot put our language into their stories because our language, often, has very different context for us than it does for them!
Sex, for the most part, is entirely abstract. Most teenagers start to explore their sexuality – their conceptualisation and performative narratives, well before their clothes come off! They may have very legitimate desires to experience rope or pain while they are tucked safely in their beds with their pyjamas on, but in real lived, highly sexual experiences with another person, maybe not so enthusiastic.
That is not to say our girls are fragile little flowers that need protecting! Take your paternalistic bull shit and shove it where the sun don’t shine! I don’t want to discount what I saw as very real concerns with positive intentions. But lets get honest here! Adults, for generations, have been hand ringing about what the youngers’ of the species are up to in the sack. It’s not new, it’s not going to stop and we are just the next lot of old farts creating the next lot of “won’t someone please think about the children”. Again, I accept that the intention was well meaning, but that doesn’t change the fact that adults telling kids how to fuck is so ingrained into us that we aren’t actually doing anything radical!
Our kids know what they are doing – they are just doing it their own way! My daughter and the teenagers like her do not need you to come in and “save” them. To protect them and to guide their sexual discoveries! Think back to when you were a teenager for a second. Would you have want adults your parents and grandparents age (my kids grandparents are only in their 50’s, so yes, we are talking their grandparents generation) doing what you’ve said you want to do? I’m guessing not!
How about this.
We clean up what constitutes kink, get rid of all the messed up adults who use kink as a cover for anti-social behaviour, misogynistic attitudes, fear of genuine intimacy, vile intentions and unhealthy sexual performances. How about we (those of us who are genuinely kinky) take back the idea and recreate it into something that is a legitimate representation of who we are.
That way, when sex, however that eventually manifests for my daughter & those teenage girls like her, becomes something which they begin to experience, when she has to start making decisions regarding how she is going to formulate her relationships, she wont have to navigate the same fucked up shit that we did?
You want to create a kink for teenagers? Try fixing your own adult world first!