Mrs. Robinson, I am trying to seduce you

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Question

I am the open-minded mom of a teenage boy. Arming myself with the best possible information about sex, I was both excited and beholden to pass this on to him. As it always goes with expectations and teenagers, I have been thrown a curveball.

I knew it was only a matter of time before I stumbled upon the porn sites he visits (though he has his own computer and I don't restrict his use of it, I do admit to snooping and any mother who says she doesn't is lying) but what I happened upon was something entirely unexpected. Mature "MILF" style stuff. Nothing fancy, just your average HOT MOM PORN.

I do not object to him looking at pornography but the conversation I expected to have was more along the lines of telling him that these representations of women (or men!) are often idealized, that women (or men!) come in much more variety and that he may run into much more pubic hair than he's accustomed to seeing online and it's perfectly normal. I did not expect things to get so... Freudian.

Needless to say, at this point I don't know whether to hand him The Good Vibrations Guide to Sex or Oedipus Rex. I think the word "help" is inadequate, but I ask for it anyway.

NO JOCASTA HERE, THANK YOU

Answer

Being writhingly new to my forties and on a bit of a lock-up-your-sons-and-daughters rampage, I hurled this one into Carlyle Jansen's lap like a hot potato. Jansen owns the sex shop Good For Her, spearheads the Sexual Health, Education and Pleasure Project and is the mom of two young boys. "Wow, interesting," she comments wryly. "I feel like it takes me 10 years into my possible future."

Jansen says she sees "a couple of things here. While it could be jarring to find out that he is looking at hot mamas in porn or watching porn period, it is probably not the case that her son is fantasizing about her per se, just as the "daddy" fantasy is not usually about wanting to have sex with your actual father. If he is indeed fantasizing about her, she might notice it more so in the way he interacts with her and the energy she feels from it—the way he touches her, looks at her and kisses her that can feel intimate in an uncomfortable way."

Judging by your complete surprise over the matter and no reference to awkward touching, it's more likely that your son just likes his babes ripe and one of the many positive things about Mrs. Robinson-style erotica (despite the fact that, like most porn, it generally plays out stereotypically and without nuance) is its intent. "The fantasy of MILFs is often about sex with someone who is sexually empowered, confident, knowledgeable and has experience and sometimes about being controlled by or being taken care of by a woman," says Jansen. "Some might say that MILF porn presents a more positive, empowered image of women, which she could interpret as better than finding other kinds of porn that reinforces only a submissive side of women.

"It could also be about eroticizing women other than his peers." I would consider this a triumph on your part as a parent, raising a boy with sexually divergent, and dare I say it, exceptional taste.

Jansen reinforces your desire to engage in a discussion about porn, despite the unexpected genre. "[Porn] is not how real sex usually happens, it is often a fantasy with people taking on roles, and does not always involve safer sex," she says. "If he wants to learn about sex, there are other resources like books, as she suggested. The Good Vibrations Guide to Sex or Guide to Getting it On are great books, the latter being an easier read, as well as age-appropriate workshops such as those offered by the Sexual Health, Education and Pleasure Project."

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