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From the South (as in CA)
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Sep 3 From the South (as in CA) commented on SL Letter of the Day: Hate the Game.
I am really surprised at the # of people supporting the "joker" and dismissing the overly sensitive "victim". Part of my job as a parent is to help my kids develop thick skins (play through tears, we say when it is in the context of a soccer or baseball field) so that they are not easily victimized - and that is how I'd handle the "victim" if she were my child (help her get over it, tell her it was a stupid joke, and get her to try to move on) BUT we also work on being good and decent people and treating folks respectfully. As I wrote, "adding 'LOL'" or saying, "I'm just joking" is not sufficient. And, in fact, it is the MO of a classic work-place bully, harasser. How many guys have said "frigid bitch" to someone who did not join in laughing about his advances or did not find his pick up line so endearing? My wife makes a living counseling businesses on how to avoid this type of stuff. And, in fact, if the "victim" was really traumatized and if the "joker" was actually more aggressive than the LW let on, maybe she (the "joker") was a really mean bully who got off on making the victim feel uncomfortable.

So if I hear my kid play this "game" with kids who do not want to play, I'd tell him or her to knock it off, to respect the other's space and to apologize. Said another way, as others have, if it is a boy (say a member the "Rape Posse" in the news a year or so ago) going around telling girls, "I want to fuck you" or "I want to have sex with you" and adding a "ha ha ha", we'd be stumbling all over ourselves to condemn the behavior.
Sep 2 From the South (as in CA) commented on SL Letter of the Day: Hate the Game.
Adding "LOL" to something hurtful, aggressive, intimidating does not make it OK and that seems to be the dad's attitude. Unless all participants in the "game" are willingly participating, this is off limits. If I work in an office and I learn that the woman 2 offices down is open about sex because my buddy and she fuck around, I don't have license to say to her, "let's play a game. I want to fuck you. LOL. It's a game!" The fact that she's "open" rather than conservative (even phobic) does not make this one "safe".

It is a stupid game and the girl who made the other uncomfortable should apologize. The father should explain to his daughter that you can't joke about certain things w/o being absolutely 100% certain you are speaking the same language and it does not make someone represesed or phobic because they don't want to play. Sometimes they don't want to play. And sometimes they don't want to play WITH YOU. That does not make them "wrong" in this scenario.
Aug 29 From the South (as in CA) commented on SL Letter of the Day: Shelfies.
I think that photo is pretty hot and if I were part of the online dating scene, I'd definitely do this and an interesting book shelf (nice rack!) or reading list would add to someone's attractiveness. And alphabetizing or grouping by topic? Well, for some, that is probably a turn on but I sort of like the disorganization. Matches my own shelf.
Aug 20 From the South (as in CA) commented on SL Letters of the Day: Who Am I Cuckolding Here?.
lots of good comments on warning signals and the fact that he may just be a manipulative asshole. But, taking this narrowly and assuming that it was all about the cuckolding fantasy . . .

fuck guys you are comfortable with and then tell him the stories. But, instead of talking about Joe, the barista who likes to flirt, make it be about Simon, the made-up hot waiter from the fake bistro where you had lunch. You can even make it clear to the husband (or boyfriend) - you won't do this with randoms but the stories will be.
Jul 8 From the South (as in CA) commented on SL Letter of the Day: Legal Highs.
The pot issue is a complicated one and I am guessing we just don't have enough information (as @4 and @6 have suggested). It may be the illegality thing - in which case, a change of venue can change that - but some people don't do well smoking weed (even if, in their minds, they are doing so recreationally) just like others don't do well drinking alcohol (even, again, recreationally). Immediately taking the position that she has the problem because he wants to smoke pot is overly simplistic.

I have a number of friends (all of us in our 40s) who smoke pot and I see that they have zero problems. I also have a child who smokes and there is no question in my mind (and that of his doctors) that it is not benign for him. We are in one of the most weed-friendly places in CA (including my son's docs) but just because one is weed-friendly does not mean that it is for everyone or that smoking makes you immune from being an asshole while high or that you can get away with smoking every day w/o consequences.
May 22 From the South (as in CA) commented on The Most Fundamental Truth About Sex.
the "big lie" is talking only about the mechanics of sex (pregnancy, STDs, what goes where) w/o talking about the feelings around sex (it feels good, it makes us jealous, it is funny/fun/interesting/emotional, etc.). It is not so much a "lie" but an incomplete truth. I think many parents feel that they are doing their job to talk about the "birds and the bees" but unless the parents only have sex for procreation (and not entertainment/recreation), the topic remains incompletely presented. That's all.

Using the word "lie" was hyperbolic. I did not intend it literally and did not think it would be taken as such.
May 21 From the South (as in CA) commented on The Most Fundamental Truth About Sex.
I don't do internet commentary well insofar as I don't engage in name-calling, petty insults, etc. But I do see what you are doing here, @41 - you are making shit up.

I did not "criticize the public school system for educating kids on a topic that they aren't responsible for". Or I am missing or forgetting how I did. I did mention sex ed and a diagram but that was not a criticism - it was an observation that a diagram was not the same of being with a real live girl and exploring each other's bodies.

I am writing about what I am doing - as a parent - to educate my kids. I am lucky that my son does have a great student heath center on his HS campus but I don't expect the school to talk with him about his sexuality. However, if he feels that he needs to talk to an adult who is not dad (or mom), he knows there are resources there (and we are not part of a church or synagogue so we are not looking there for guidance on morality).

And you may think it is exaggerated - it is not. But it is not perfect. We have some extreme struggles and HS/teenage years have been a major, major challenge for us in many ways. But I made a decision about how I was going to approach the Trifecta of Sex-Drugs-Alcohol (yes, you can treat the last 2 as part of the same). And that started early. But I am lucky because I had an amazing mom and amazing sisters and amazing girl/women friends and then amazing men friends (we share a lot of the challenges of parenting in this era). My wife is pretty great, too, but she was raised in a more socially conservative household and it is harder for her to join the discussion. So you may not believe me. You may think I am puffing. But I don't care all that much because I know. I know that if you asked my son, he'd tell you the truth but he'd also tell me he wish I'd back off on discussing schoolwork, social media, friends, etc. There is much I don't do right as a parent but I do think, generally, I am getting the sex stuff right.
May 21 From the South (as in CA) commented on The Most Fundamental Truth About Sex.
How do you know I don't do those things? How do you know I am American? I may be from a far away land finding myself in a strange land? Or I might be a born and raised Californian.

Look, I have never been afraid of talking about sex. I told my dad about going to planned parenthood with my HS girlfriend with whom I first had sex. My dad may have been mortified but I wanted to make sure he knew that I was taking a mature approach to life. My "sex/sexuality" conversations did not start when my son first started looking at girls but when he was a little guy at an age appropriate level (about his body and other humans). When I first discovered him looking at porn, I did not freak out and did not talk about it being disgusting. I talked about being attracted to images (I am visual, many men are, why wouldn't he be?) but how porn does not depict a realistic view of what much of sex is and, at the age he was, it was pretty hard to understand all the images he was seeing. (an aside, I weep for the younger generation in many ways: the discovery of partners' bodies has been ruined by so much access to sexual imagery; I can remember the first time trying to find a vagina and how I had to keep moving my hand down ("wow. It's really far down there") since I had not studied the naked pictures I had seen (and a diagram from sex ed does not really help) so assumed it was pretty much in the front since, well, that's how I'm built))

So you use words like "claim" as in you doubt that I have these conversations with my kids. And because you are not here, "claim" may be proper though it suggests doubt. And you need not doubt. You also need not worry about the conversations happening out of the blue for some half-hour period. Most of the time they are short but they don't just happen in a blue moon.

Everyone parents differently. I choose to be open with my kids. That does not mean they are coming into my bedroom to watch. It does not mean that I am drawing maps for them. But I am addressing the issues as I think I should. I only get one bite at the apple for each kid. And my kid's mom (my wife) may be having more conversations with our daughters (but I doubt it; I spend more time with the kids so, for example, with my 12-year-old, I am making sure she is prepared if I am the parent she's with when she gets her period - prepared to tell ol' dad and prepared with pads or tampons or whatever it is that girls use; I am also the one who is more comfortable with these topics). Do I like the idea of talking about sex and sexuality with my kids? No. Do I like the idea of paying my mortgage each month? No. I do both because that's what an adult/parent does.
May 20 From the South (as in CA) commented on The Most Fundamental Truth About Sex.
I am not from Southern California but from the Bay Area and I am not sure I really understand what you are getting at.

I will try to restate my point:

I have 4 kids (I think that was express @26), 1 boy, 3 girls (boy is a teenager, girls are not). Sex and sexuality are two sides of the same coin. Many parents choose only to look at the "sex" part - that is, the mechanics of how things work and how you avoid pregnancies and STDs. They don't talk about the sexuality part - how you feel emotionally, how interesting certain images might be to someone figuring things out, how things feel physically, how you should respect yourself and your partners, how love can be part of it but care is too (and many people have sex who are not in love but, as dad, I hope that my kids care about anyone with whom they are sexual (and vice versa)). Parents are squeamish about talking about sexuality - way more than just talking about the mechanics - and that is why I think of it as a "big lie". And if it is not a lie, it is leaving out a key component (in fact, the much bigger component in my view than the simple mechanics).

Would you say I am parenting wrong to discuss that with my kids? (I am not drawing road maps and telling them WHAT to do, mind you) That I should stick to birds and bees? If that is what you focus on with your kids, good for you. But I want my kids to have a good sense of what they are getting themselves into so they can make thoughtful and hopefully safe decisions (eg: I spoke with my son about "what do you do if there is a contraceptive failing? Have you spoken to your girlfriend? What are her thoughts on it?" and I finished with, "If you can't have these discussions, my view is your are not ready to be having sex. If you CAN, it still does not mean you are ready but it means you are being mature about it. Of course, you are going to make your choices. Just please be thoughtful." End result of THEIR decison-making: they are not sleeping together. Yet. (not based on what he says to me but based on what he says to a different confidant))
May 20 From the South (as in CA) commented on The Most Fundamental Truth About Sex.
I have written about this here and elsewhere: many parents do the "mechanics" of sex OK (pregnancy, STDs, where this goes or that goes) but completely fail when it comes to "sexuality" (or the "why?" or "what's the point?" of sex).

I have 4 kids - a son and three daughters - and the sexuality part is the most squeamish for all but it is the most necessary. Otherwise, the entire discussion is a big lie - parents leave out the BEST part of the fact that sex can/should be fun and feel good. It may not always but that is a goal. I also have spoken to my son (my oldest) about how you don't have to be in love to have sex but in my view you should care about your partner (and even if you don't, you should care about your partner enjoying him/herself, too). (all of that leads in to discussions about consent, choices (including choices when you really, really want to do THAT but you know you should do THIS), influence of drugs/alcohol on judgment, etc.)

My conversations with my daughters will be similar. As much as I don't want to really talk about sexuality with each of my daughters (not unlike discussing sexuality with my parents), it is a father's responsibility to do so.

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