Columns Apr 24, 2013 at 4:00 am

No Problem

Comments

1
Used to when I was a student, I would get incredibly horny whenever I would study, too. Turns out, I wasn't turned on by studying. I just needed a relief from the stress.
2
TIA should talk more to her girlfriend about what aspect of the latex turns her on. Vinyl/PVC might work, or even just super tight clothes and corsets...
3
Thanks for the smiles after a crappy week.
4
Great letter - but what about about the latex substitute for Thanks in Advance?
5
I'm a 19-year-old newbie lesbian Dom starting a relationship with a smart, sexy, wildly kinky 22-year-old. Our relationship so far could not be better. One issue: She's into latex clothes. I have a severe latex allergy, to the point where I would need to be hospitalized if she wore latex clothing. She was GGG about anal, which was something I wanted to explore. I want to do this for her. Is there a good alternative to latex?
Wait. Wait, wait, wait. Lesbians have anuses?
6
I imagine matte PVC would work nicely as a vinyl substitute.
7
Thanks, Dan!
8
As usual, EricaP has nailed this one.

But I'm hoping Dan's just assuming that adults are capable of finding out about substitutes?
9
As a tattooist, I know you can get Nitrile Gloves, as an alternative to Latex ones, used by the medical industry. There is probably clothing made out of the stuff. that's why god invented google.
10
There is an explanation for the female college student's urge to masturbate during long periods of studying.

It's called procrasturbation.

I think it's pretty common.
11
@10: Exactly. Every all-nighter, every two hours or so, clears the mind and breaks up the monotony. Actually pretty essential in getting through those finals/long papers. College was a hornier time...
13
TIA, try Nasty Pig rubber clothing. It's non-latex and machine washable.
14
I agree with the earlier comments. I don't think that the need to masturbate while studying is that she's turned on by studying. When I was a university student this would happen to me too. I think I just needed a break.
15
Just kind of want to hug all of you.
16
I'm torn between my dislike of the idea that I can't start changing you for a few dates yet vs. my disgust at a mouth bouquet of ass hair.
17
@16 omg I love the phrase mouth bouquet of ass hair
18
Um. Why is a 16-yr-old not allowed to have sleepovers with another 16-yr-old? It's a perfectly acceptable age to start experimenting with sex in my book. Why are parents expected to try to stop their teenagers from having sex? Teens will have sex anyway, surely educating them about ways to have safer sex and generally being relaxed about it is a better way to not fuck them up the way so many generations before them were by a society that treats sex as something strange, icky and possibly dangerous (but at the same time titillating)?
19
Yes, there are many heartwrenching problems, but there are some advances as well.

I was hoping on a Dan Savage post on how France has yesterday made same-sex marriage and adoption by same-sex couples legal...

It's official, guys. Despite the far-right and religious idiots that represent about 20% of the French population, EQUALITY WON !

Now what's left is to prosecute the homophobes to the full extent of their violence. They're toast, and they know it, thus their violent last stands.

So are religious idiots, who are now even more despised by non-religious than they were previously... The Great Rabbi of France, who was at the head of the anti-gay movement, just resigned on accounts of plagiarism, and of having faked having a philosophy degree. Sic transit gloria mundi !
20
@18, we have not established whether the friend is gay, too. The sleepovers could be more than awkward. But to answer your question, most parents won't try and stop kids having sex.
21
@18 No heterosexual sleepovers before 18 in my household, not on accounts of sex, but on accounts of babies.

I would tend to agree to homosexual ones, but then, there's still the issue of rape.

Can a 16-year-old be assertive enough not to be pressured into sex by a fellow 16-year-old, whose home he/she's in, knowing that all parents have agreed to the sleepover ? Can a 16-year-old be educated enough not to pressure a fellow 16-year-old into sex, and take "no" for an answer ? I don't think so.

Young humans should seek sex for themselves, by themselves, and against society and their parents' light disapproval. I think it's a rite of passage ; if they manage to agree beforehand to have sex together, and manage to find a place and a time and do it on their own, it shows that they're resourceful enough to hopefully manage the issues surrounding sex itself.

Parents must stand aside and shouldn't help.
22
Does LHTB study math or something else requiring rational abstract thought (like philosophy)? In that case, she's not alone. I've shared this with a lot of people and something in the way the brain is wired matches the two. I've even found myself smiling and panting after solving a particularly complex and exciting problem.
23
Dan, you missed the boat in your letter to TIA. The new girlfriend can try PVC or rubber instead of latex.
24
"We just got back from a trip to see a safe and trustworthy friend in Los Angeles who "paid" me to have sex with my wife."

Strange sentence. I know what LW means, but it reads like the friend paid LW to have sex with his own wife.
25
If you have ever shaved or trimmed your butt crack, you will know this is like putting a handful of little needles between your cheeks for several days until the hair tips get worn down by your tender bum skin. I can understand perfectly why he stops the clippers at the top of his thighs.
The only real solution to this is waxing, which when done for the first time feels like having your beard ripped out of your face (but gets easier with each successive removal), as the hair tips emerge soft and fine. But after the shock wears off, the feeling of having a baby's bum smooth derriere, and how clean it feels, has no comparison. However, due to the loss of the muffling effect of butt hair, your farts will be louder and sound much more 'wet'.
26
As others have mentioned, there's no problem with LHTB taking breaks to masturbate, surely healthier than getting a snack, but she asked for a physiological explanation so I would like to throw out a possibility.

I wonder if she studies in a particular position, if maybe she leans forward in a chair leaning against a desk or if she leans back against a wall with her feet propped up on a pillow with her book on lap, something that she does while studying that she doesn't do for any length of time otherwise. I know I can get turned on just lying down reading if my hips are positioned to put pressure on my pelvis just so. Add a sense of constriction that appeals to bondage fantasies, and I can get turned on in that otherwise non-sexual situation.

There's also the problem of trying not to think about sex. You sit down to study with the idea that you're really going to concentrate and get schoolwork done, that you're going to avoid anything sexy and just think about chemistry. The next thing you know, your mind turns all its attention to the very thing you're trying to avoid. Suppression often has a very opposite effect.

LHTB does say that the need to masturbate has a negative effect on her productivity. It doesn't sound like a huge problem but if she needs someone to state the obvious for her, it's this: You're going to have to plan study around time for the breaks. Think of it as no different from someone who has to plan around time to cook meals if that person has a special diet or time to find transportation if that person needs a wheelchair. If you were dyslexic, you'd plan to spend extra time on the reading. I sometimes think that ability to gauge how much time something is going to take is the real takeaway from college and that everything else, all the coursework in deconstructionism is just a distraction from the real lesson.
27
I've made awesome and very sexy outfits from Glad trash bags and duct tape(instead of vinyl). It's cheap, different every time, easy, and insanely provocative. Also easy to tear it off when needed...
28
There's actually something to be said for letting your son's crush/boyfriend/girlfriend/partner/SO spend the night. Dan (and everyone, really) should read Amy Schalet's "Not Under My Roof: Parents, Teens, and the Culture of Sex."

It's her doctoral dissertation, and totally reads like it, but it proposes such a healthy and productive alternative to the dramatic way we treat adolescent sexuality here in the US.

http://www.amazon.com/Not-Under-My-Roof-…
29
@27 now I know what I'm doing Saturday night!
30
Wow---Dan and everybody---thanks for additional sunshine and smiles!!

My love and I just got back from San Juan Island. Our vacation kicked ass, and the sun is out!!!! YAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!
31
When I was 16 and sexually active, my mom let me have my boyfriend over with my door closed. She had educated me about safer sex practices, and she knew where I was and who I was with. As long as a parent feels okay about their kid's level of maturity and who the partner is, I think this could be fine. Of course, I will probably be put to the test on this in about four years, so we'll see what I say then. :-)
32
re: RIMS, depending on how flexible the guy is he may have a hard time finding an angle at which he can see and shave his butt. He might just need the assist on that one.
33
re: @12

Procrasturbation! Hahahahahahaaa! I love it!
34
Nothing like having something important to do to make you suddenly realize you have a bunch of other less important stuff that must be done first.
35
Regardless of the sex, I'm just not interested in having someone stay the night with my kids. I also have kids who - hold your breath - have to share a room. But even if I didn't, I'd rather they work on that after leaving home for college or their own apt. This may also be good motivation for taking the next step in life.
36
@21 very well said.
37
I need to get off when doing important studying and writing, too, and I think it mostly has to do with killing anxiety. The anxiety centers in your brain have to shut off to reach orgasm, which is why so many people with anxiety disorders have sexual dysfunction. For the rest of us, I think that urge to get off is actually a healthy response prompting you to short-circuit your anxiety during a highly stressful time.
38
WRT LW2: While it may be too soon in this relationship, I have always found intimate area grooming/trimming to be something to do with a partner. It is by definition intimate [bonding], and kind of a collaboration that rewards all parties involved.
39
First on sleepovers and teens having sex: It doesn't need to be night-time for the sex to be happening!

Nights can be a really bad time for teen sex: the parents sleep right in the next room, the walls are paper thin and every little sound carries, and the parents are, you know, right THERE, in the same building (totally a buzzkill, even with a lock on your bedroom door). I was having sexytimes at 16 at home with my then 21yo boyfriend when the house was empty in daytime.

So if there are parents out there who think banning all sleepovers is the best contraceptive for teens and then don't educate their children about the real stuff, don't be surprised to become grandparents soon or try to find that lone abortion clinic still somehow existing in your area on short notice.

@25 that's what I've been trying to tell my girlfriend about me not wanting to shave my ladybits. It's fucking uncomfortable, I can't even walk straight, every nerve-ending is tingling, can't focus on anything else, can only wear tight pants and stuff that separates all the bits so they don't rub against each other. and then the razor burn and bumps and stuff.
Now I use some depilatory cream and also lots of mild antibacterial soap and moisturizing stuff. And I survived the short uncomfortable period. But no matter how much I take care of the area it's stll a bit pimply somewhere. And she still won't go down on me. why do I even bother..
40
I still masturbate when I am alone at home and should be doing other stuff like writing or housecleaning or whatever. I call it "procrasturbating." :-)
41
Working in the medical field where we commonly use latex, and where lots of people have latex allergies, I know there are a lot of alternatives to latex! Nitrile and neolon being a couple of the different types of latex alternatives that we use in our gloves. There are tons of ppl with latex allergies so im sure that somewhere on the Internet you could find products that are latex free that your g/f could wear, but that still resemble the look and feel of latex.
42
As far as getting horny while studying, that happened to me all the time in college. But it had nothing to do with studying. It had to do with being in college.

For the first time I was surrounded by mass numbers of young people my own age, and finally in a situation where it might actually be more easy and upfront to get someone into bed.

A college campus is an incredibly sexually charged environment. If you could harness that sexual energy you could run NYC indefinitely on it. As I recall pretty much everyone in college was perpetually horny. Hell, I used to get a hardon walking into the dinning hall at dinner time.

So yeah, I jerked off after a few hours studying. But I jerked off anytime I was alone for more than a few hours.

And as for sleepovers, I think that if I had both straight and gay kids and decided to have a no sex rule for one I would have the "no sleepovers with romantic interests" rule across the board because you can't really justify letting one do it and not the others. If you are going to take the "no sex route at all" (personally I wouldn't have such a rule at all so long as I was convinced my kids were responsible and knew how to take proper precautions against pregnancy).

I do think there is more reason to let gay kids have sex at home however.

But ultimately Keksutaja hits the nail on the head.

When I was a teen and having sex at home it wasn't at night when I had someone sleep over. Even when someone I was having sex with slept over we pretty much never had sex at night.

Thin walls.

No. Sex time was between 3 and 6, after we were out of school but before mom and dad got home from work.

The only time I had sex at night at that age was when I was sleeping over someone else's house where there was more privacy.

In the end, kids will have sex, and not allowing kids to have sex at home just means they will have sex someplace else. And while that can actually be fun and exciting, it is one thing when getting caught means just getting a stern talking to and another when getting caught means having legal action taken against you and having the fact that you are gay become public knowledge and make your life in high school miserable.

Straight kids get a stern talking to and a pat on their backs from their friends in school. Gay kids get legal problems and picked on for the rest of their school career.

43
I know 3 people died in Boston, but that's no reason to not have highly amusing and interesting letters from people with problems. By that metric you should never do a column, as there are always serious tragic events in the world (they just don't usually impact directly on Americans).
44
I recently started dating a guy who shaves almost every where but I recently told him that I like hair in certain areas of the body (including ass crack ), he said he would let it grow in those areas and since he can't see his own ass anyway he didn't care to let grow there lol.

I am sure RIMS can bring that up to the guy he's dating, it wasn't such a big deal to me (I like smooth as well) so that might have been the reason why it was easier to bring it up to the guy I'm dating. I can't even remember how I brought it up actually but I think you should start by saying something like, "You know what would really turn me on..."
45
@39 that's sad. My gf and I go down on each other like mad and neither of us is particularly inclined to shave our ladybits. If she loves making you happy she'll put up with the discomfort of the occasional stray hair in the throat. I doubt everything you do for her is perfectly comfortable for you in return
46
Well, at least No Romantic Interest sleepovers are an improvement over the way the last similar thread went.
48
No parents(ok no parents who read this column) think the kids aren't going to have sex so the point is not when where how or on whom the rules are made there just has to be rules. And when they aren't followed there has to be consequences. And not in some crazy strict insane way. No sleepovers with possible sex partners is not unreasonable at all. It sets a limit while leaving room for a normal teen sex life. The kind where maybe they sneak around a little because that's what teenagers do. Bottom line too many rules: freaky/out of control kid, not enough rules: entitled,rude/out of control kid. Go Proud Mom.
49
Catholic League of America got your brain, Dan? @48 too.

Go read the Amy Shalet's book on cultural differences in how parents handle their teens' sex lives, or just a summary of it at:
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/24/opinio…
http://parenting.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/…

Amy's book also talked about some Dutch families where the teens had first sex while parents were home, pre-planned, and everyone had a family breakfast together the next morning.

It is *normal* in some countries for teens to talk about their sex lives with their parents, have sex at home, and make wiser choices because of it (lower STI rates, fewer teen pregnancies in Netherlands). WAKE UP PEOPLE!! Especially Dan. Shame on you. In your dotage you're becoming a closet Catholic. Where do you think gay teens are more likely to use condoms, plenty of lube so the condoms don't break, and not risk STIs? If having sex at 16 under parents' roof on a supervised sleepover with no drugs or booze, or if forced to sneak around in the back of a car or at a friend's house while parents are away where there are drugs and booze. Sheesh.
50
@39 so you dated a guy who was far too old for you (5yrs is a lot when your 16 and I'm in Washington where it would also be illegal)and now you are dating a woman who it sounds like requires you to alter yourself and still won't go DOWN on you, and you have parenting advice you think Proud Mom should heed? Really? How about let's not give advice on stuff we don't know about especially when our own life is clearly a hot mess.
51
@delta35 I don't really have time to read because I am an actual parent(by this I mean I only have time to read things in four minute chunks)but my son is seven so I still have a few years. Did you actually read what I said? I certainly didn't say if allowing your kid sleepovers works for you and your kid or some Dutch people they shouldn't do it. I think Proud Mom's way works for Proud Mom in this case. She clearly has a great relationship with her son I'm going to assume since she's a reader of Dan's she's prepared the boy in most other ways. The rules thing applies no matter what but all households and people are different. Where you wish to make rules as a parent fits for you and your kids. I might be ok with the sleepover thing but I might not. I won't know till that happens. Because that's how parenting works. You just don't know how to deal with stuff till you have to deal with it. But either way, I won't read this book unless the author is a parent. And you are being dramatic. Most parents work. Empty houses all day long. Drunken car sex is for fun not because you don't have anywhere safe to go. Sheesh.
52
Bummer I wish we could reply to commenters. I tend to get a bit aroused when studying, but I saw it as procrastination an excuse to not study, but the first commenter mentioned stress which is similar or a form of anxiety. I would say that I do get anxious when studying and I seek relief from the feeling of scholastic failure.I love Savage Love.
53
"Amy's book also talked about some Dutch families where the teens had first sex while parents were home pre-planned,and everyone had a family breakfast together the next morning" Am I really supposed to take this seriously?
54
@53:
I think delta meant
"Dutch teens plan having their first sex at home during a sleep-over. This means the parents likely are home as well. While they don't know explicitly what their child did with her/his gf/bf last night, they know sex is a possibility. They are cool with that, and everyone is having breakfast together without feeling awkward."

While the Dutch are not necessarily discussing their sex lifes publicly, they can be surprisingly frank. When I worked in the NL, I told my work supervisor about my weekend and that I had had breakfast with a new colleague. She just looked at me and asked matter-of-factly: "Did you sleep with him?"
55
One way of looking at parent condoned sexual sleepovers: The parents are fine with their teenagers having sex and are on hand to give advice and make sure everything and everyone is safe.

Another way of looking at parent condoned sexual sleepovers: The parents are way too involved with their teenagers' sex lives, are insinuating themselves on the teens' privacy, are making up for their own diminishing sex lives, and are one step away from sitting on the headboard to watch.

I immediately think it's the latter. While the implication is that those family breakfasts are festive and comfortable, I rather think the teens will come to the conclusion after a while that they've become the unwilling stars in their parents' porn movies.
56
I've said it before and I'll say it again - sneaking around is the joy of teenage sex. I have so many fond memories. If I'm ever blessed enough to have children I will definitely not rob them of that.

Besides I don't like being around anyone having sex, so I doubt I'd make an exception for my kids.
57
@Crinoline:

My sister's boyfriend wasn't even allowed to stay over when they got together, he just did (or my sister just made him stay). It wasn't a big discussion with my parents. But then my sis and her BF didn't announce if they were having sex or if they were just sleeping off their hang-over. (They were 19 at the time.)

On the other hand, when I was 17 I stayed at a male friend's over night. When we got back from the club we'd been to, his parents had left a big note that I was to sleep in his sister's room. He woke his parents up to tell them that I wasn't his girlfriend, and voila, I was allowed to sleep in his room. (We never had sex and he did have a girlfriend who was not me.)

@mydriasis:
Do you prohibit overnight guests to have sex? I bet you don't even ask them if they have it. Why not use the same approach with teenagers?
58
Sometimes Parenting is projecting what you wish your childhood could've been like. I had sex when I was 17; I wish I'd waited till I was mature enough to deal with the person I was having it with (like my very sensible wife chose in waiting till she did). While for some people having sex before being emotionally mature isn't a problem, I'm not sure it isn't for many.

My daughter has said she's Bi, and I very clearly stated I'm fine with that. BUT, I'd like her to wait until after she graduates from high school before she becomes sexually active. That doesn't mean she won't, or hasn't done it already, it simply is MY preference as her father. If I someday accidentally surprise her, I'm sure I'll be upset but I won't be quasi-homicidal like my parents generation and that's as good as it's going to get at least until her emotional maturity catches up with her body.

No matter what, I shall be my children's parent, not their buddy, not their enabler. My role is to protect them till they're mature enough to stand on their own, and then get the fuck out of their way. Meanwhile, I get to show them that even when they're geezers they can still look forward to an active sex life. And, in my wife's case, waiting doesn't mean you won't get into the game with a vengeance.

Peace
59
@58:
"Meanwhile, I get to show them that even when they're geezers they can still look forward to an active sex life."

Noooooooooooooooooooo! Just as teenagers shouldn't overwhelm their parents with displays of their developing sexuality, parents should keep their sex life private!
60
@LHTB: "I am not bored sexually or mentally!"

Studying's tough, the mind tries to trick the body into distraction, and masturbation is a huge distraction. You're not ~bored~, but this is definitely unproductive. And, I'm sure, not uncommon.
61
@59
Not necessarily. Yes I would have been mortified to walk in on my parents having sex, but little comments and conversations growing up are a good thing. I don't think kids should get details, but if parents are open from the beginning that they are still sexual beings it is beneficial. As a teenager, I knew my parents were still having sex (I came across various types of evidence), and sure, there was a bit of an ick factor, but I would be far more concerned if they weren't.

I will say, on the other hand, my father and I have a running bit where he'll occasionally throw out a bit too much detail to try to weird me out, which is usually followed by me saying, "You start giving details, I start giving details." So it shouldn't necessarily be advertised, but it also shoudn't be hidden.
62
@59 Private is different from secret. The benefit of being the one who pays the rent/mortgage, is that one can have sex when one wants to, rather than sneaking around. For daytime sex, we lock our door, and try to consider if the kids are on the other side of the house rather than right outside the door, but we don't obsess about keeping them from hearing us.
63
edit: lock our bedroom door.
64
@migrationist: parents should keep their sex life private!

Totally disagree.

Kids certainly don't need to know the details, but parents should teach kids by their example that sex is a critical component of healthy, happy adult relationships, and that it's nothing to be ashamed of.

In other words, the bedroom door should be locked, but it shouldn't be a shameful secret as to why it's locked.
65
@EricaP and KateRose:
I didn't mean that parents should hide that they still have sex. Just how Maaried in MA phrased it ("I get to show") squeaked me out.
66
@seandr:
I meant private not secret. See @65.
67
@migrationist: "I get to show"

As parents, it's your duty to "show" (or "model" if you prefer) what a healthy relationship looks like, so why does this squeak you out? IMHO, the whole "omg!! parents sex icky!!" thing is immature and pathetic.

At age 17, I lived with a German family through an exchange program for 3 months. The mom and dad spent every Sunday morning holed away in their bedroom having sex and generally relaxing. Everyone in the house knew the ritual (myself included), and no one gave enough of a shit about it to be squeaked out or even snicker about it.
68
@migrationist: I can't speak for Married in MA, and he seems to do an excellent job of expressing himself (btw, hi, Married in MA! I feel like I haven't seen you in a while), but I think what he was saying when he wrote "Meanwhile, I get to show them that even when they're geezers they can still look forward to an active sex life" is that his kids can tell, from the occasionally locked bedroom door, or the meaningful glance that passes between their parents, or the obvious pleasure they take in each other, that they are having a vibrant, private sex life.
69
@65 migrationist:

Well, if cuddling on the couch, walking hand in hand, and the occasional lip locking clinch won't do it, my glazy eyed Sat. afternoons should do the trick. All anyone has to do is see someone sporting that looked of "well fucked freshness" a few hundred times to get the idea that something is going right in geezertown.

Peace
70
Several people already mentioned PVC, but much of what is marketed and sold as "latex" clothes are actually made out of PVC, so it's worth checking some labels.
71
ATTENTION DAN FANS!
I've have this quotation from Dan written on a scrap of paper for easily a year.
It is from one of his podcasts and he is being really thoughtful while talking about a boy who got his heart crushed (if I remember correctly). What was said was:
"you'll know that you never missed out on anything, because if all you wanted was her - and you had her - you weren't cheated".
Not sure what it is about it that I find so wonderful, but i'd love to find that podcast again and re-listen... any ideas for episode #?
72
I'm glad a few people pointed out that it is physically possible to have sex during the hours of daylight. However, I think that's a reason for kids to discreetly have sex at home in the afternoon, if they're going to, rather than asking their parents to help arrange the sleepover.

I want to point out that *some* kids will have sex. Not all kids. Just like not all kids will drink, use drugs, or eat chocolate-covered bacon. It's dumb to assume that all the kids you know personally are the ones not doing any of those things, but it's wildly frustrating to have someone announce "You may not think you're going to do X, but I know you young people!!! You're totally going to do it! In exactly this one way, the one I did! So let you me tell ya what..." That's not really a helpful conversation. Or a conversation.

For me, the correct parental attitude hits something like: 1) Provide information, be willing to provide birth control; 2) Act like 18 and living out of your house is a logical time to consider sex. Mostly due to emotional consequences, their own and their partners', and allowing a little more maturing so people are better with empathy and enforcing/respecting boundaries.
73
Mr Married - Cuddling in front of others? I'm no Brian Kinney, but that makes the LMB list. Still, FTWLTSOTTITSOTTL, as Dame Maggie said in such a telling accent.

As we are not acquainted with Mrs Married, I shall forego unseemly inquiries into details and assume only that her wait was not of Biblical proportions.

More importantly, is your bisexual daughter permitted sleepovers? On the way the previous thread was going, nobody pointed it out, but the logical extension of the way all the straight Equality Sharks were crowing (I don't think you were among them) would lead to there being no sleepovers whatsoever for the beleaguered bi teens.

That actually reminds me of a rather annoying poem I read about two or three months ago, written by someone for whom L, B, G or T simply weren't edgy enough. The couplet that stuck in memory (and I'd like to forget it even more than I'd like to forget that VILE phrase "outkicking his coverage"):

"Bisexuals only like boys and girls
But queers give everyone a try."

That gets a bigger LMB than Cuddling in Company.
74
Kids 15, 16, 17 can be having sex with no huge consequences. Sometimes, and dependent on kid, circumstances, and luck. Because kids this age can give meaningful consent to sex with their age mates (if not their spiritual advisors or step-fathers), I think laws and social attitudes should reflect this.

On the other hand, there is something really off about a 16 year old asking, "Mom, can I stay out late on Friday and rent an R-rated movie? And then have a three-way?" Adulthood is a combination of time plowed through, brain development, and experience making and abiding by your own decisions. I am a strong advocate of the idea that 18 year olds who have finished high school should expect to act as and be considered adults--you bear the consequences of your decisions, and neither parents nor society should bail you out because you're just a widdle kiddie when it pleases you to be. And I think people make better decisions about sex when they're older--that even people who were careful, responsible 16 year olds would look back and agree they made more mature decisions at 19 or 20. The pre-18 years have too much not-really-responsible-for-yourself built in to expect fully adult behavior, on top of the brain development issues.

Sex can result in babies... but not if you're gay. Sex can result in STDs... but not if you're both genuine virgins. So set those aside, and I still think the emotional consequences of sex (for yourself and partners) are a big thing, and better handled with more maturity. A while back there was a letter from a girl of 17 or so, who'd had sex with her deeply troubled friend. (Friend's home life falling apart.) And afterward the friend was ecstatic, they had this special wonderful bond between them and it was all going to be wonderful from here forward, and the letter writer just felt awful. About the sex, the friendship, everything. Even though everything was consensual, she was too young to have a good sense of her boundaries, how to navigate them, how this would affect both of them after, and a dozen other things she might have navigated a little better if she were 19 or so instead.

I think it makes sense to assume that some 16 year olds are having sex, and not freak out about it. But I also think there are strong reasons to treat 18 as a more logical age (the age of first intercourse has in fact been going up) and have 18 or 19 be the norm, pulling up the lower half of the bell curve with it. And if you decide you're mature enough at under 18, work out the details without involving anyone but your partner. Like a grown-up. (With birth control caveat, since reality says we don't live in a world where that's readily and discreetly available to everyone.)
75
@73 vennominion:
My wife to be made it to graduate school a virgin. We had been sleeping together for over 7 months (and been going out for about a year) before she decided she was ready for intercourse. In that period we both went through terrible events in both our families, and were pretty emotionally battered. Coming through to normalcy, still together, and then going on to a full sexual relationship when we weren't under pressure just worked. One of my favorite memories (during our time) together was when she woke me for the first time with a "are you awake yet?". That was my first awesome sex experience with her (though certainly not the last. As for the first time, like most events that cause my wife pain, I prefer not to think about it).

As for my daughter, sleepovers are OK with females, but only in a group. The only exception being my daughter's BFF. That being said, she hasn't "brought anyone home" yet.

As for my eldest, he's in college now...

Peace
76
I thank my lucky stars that my parents either never had sex* or had it so privately that I'd never know. Most people, especially teenagers don't really want to have to think about their parent's sexuality - that's why "your mom" jokes exist.

re: overnight guests. I've never had a couple as overnight guests... and I've rarely been in the overnight guest couple myself. Last time I was though, we didn't have sex at her place. Lots of people consider it kind of rude.

I'm really not a fan of being forced into a voyeuristic position, so... golden rule.

*Obviously they had to have at some point but they had the appearance of a sexless marriage when I was growing up.
78
Mr Married - I deliberately made a point of NOT inquiring about Mrs M because even your most sincere answer (and I don't at all doubt your sincerity) can only be hearsay evidence. Except for occasionally not thinking very highly of Mr Erica and Mrs Ank, I try to avoid secondhand opinions.

I commend you for permitting Miss M some form of sleepover. You appear to expect a girlfriend rather than a boyfriend (bi is, after all, not a very specifying presentation), which may complicate the issue somewhat.

Mostly, though, I thank you for reminding me of the best point Guthrie Featherstone ever made in Court. In Rumpole's one venture into the Chancery Division, his client was the matron of a nursing home and an ardent spiritualist who claimed on the stand to have been conversing only the evening before with the deceased gentleman whose will was being disputed. When Matey claimed that the Dear Departed thought the trial a disgrace and added that she wouldn't like to repeat what he'd told her about his brother, Guthrie, rarely so quick off the mark, informed her that she'd better not tell them that, as it would be hearsay evidence, and they would have to wait and see whether his learned friend called the deceased gentleman as a witness.
79
Here's Amy's website:

http://www.amyschalet.com

If you don't have time to read her book, watch the short video. She's not telling anyone what to do just that there are far more options than most American parents consider normal in terms of how to handle your kids becoming sexually active -- >50% of whom become sexually active before 18 in ALL countries.

Her book is based on RESEARCH, real experience of many parents, cross-national teen pregnancy rates, facts.
80
It's finals week and I've been super-horny for the last few days. I don't think it's being turned on by studying per se (although that would be an awesome kink to have!), I just think I'm stressed out and probably ovulating too.
81
Personally, I'm grateful my parents never made any effort to explicitly condone my sex life. It's none of their goddamn business and I never liked the idea of them thinking about it much. The idea of an openly sexual sleepover followed by a cheerful breakfast with the folks is off-putting in the extreme. This might just be me (my mother has some issues with respecting her children's boundaries), but I think a lot of people feel the same way I do. My parents didn't do anything to stop me from having a sex life, and that suited all of us just fine.
82
@10 & @12: hahahahahahaha LOL!!!
HOW did I miss that??
83
Hi Dan. Please tell your reader with the severe Latex allergy that she can eliminate the allergy with a single visit to an acupuncturist. It has to be an NAET acupuncturist though. I have had many allergies permanently eliminated using this technique including a sever allergy to bee stings that landed me in the hospital a few times. After being cleared I got stung by a yellow jacket (same as the previous three times) and it was just like a mosquito bite and hardly bothered me at all.
84
A yellow jacket is a wasp, not a bee.

Also, telling someone acupuncture will cure their allergy? Shame on you.
85
Yes. In American suburbia, no romantic sleepovers for teens. Gender and sexual identity ideally shouldn't matter. Everybody who pays attention knows that the Dutch (and most Western Europeans) are far more sensible about sex and for that matter most everything else cultural than Americans. Knowing that hasn't made American society more sensible about sex, though. If that's the society in which you live, teen romantic sleepovers are going to raise eyebrows big time.

There's nothing at all wrong with the idea that the privilege to have sex in your own place is something you have to work for, not have handed to you. It's a rite of passage, or maturity, or something.
86
"My parents didn't do anything to stop me from having a sex life, and that suited all of us just fine."

I think that is what it really comes down to. I don't think parents have to invite their kids to have sex in the house, or make some kind of declaration of approval.

All they have to do is not outright forbid it or try to prevent it.

In this case gay son asks mom and dad, "can Joe stay over Friday night?"

Mom and Dad only have to say, "sure", and then when Joe comes over they refrain from barging into the room to try to catch them at something.

It's more about what parents don't do rather than what they do. Don't forbid sleepovers. Don't outright forbid sex, or sex in the house. Don't insist that anytime someone is over the doors stay open, or try to barge in to catch the kids doing something.

Nothing encouraging or promoting of sexual activity needs to be expressed. All that needs to be done to create a healthy and safe environment for kids to explore their sexuality is for the parents to not try to interfere.
87
@Fortunte

The point is that forbidding sleepovers is not the same as forbidding sex. Hell, even forbidding your children from having sex in your presence isn't forbidding sex. I was sexually active for several years before I moved out of my parents house and never once had sex in their house. It's not that hard.
89
@64 @67 seandr -- great examples! well said!

@85 paragraph 1 -- i think many americans don't realize it's different elsewhere and even the ones that do say "the way i did it was best so that's how my kids are going to do it" without really opening up their minds to what they're risking

interestingly europe was very different 50 or 60 years ago. so culture can change.

bottom line, the age at which most kids (>50%) have sex is 16 to 18, ages when their impulse control is still developing -- so they are less likely to make wise decisions on condoms and booze and need HELP from their parents to make sure an adequate supply of condoms are on hand. kids are also less likely to get sexually assaulted if the only time they expect to have sex is when their parents are in the house. win-win if parents changed the norm as Amy suggests in her excellent book, from "not under my roof earn your own rent first" to "OK under my roof only when we're in and you have a BF/GF we approve of and are using protection"
90
@89 myself --some teens will ignore it and be reckless but the facts from Europe are that teens (same age for having sex as USA) can be a lot more responsible than in the USA (400% more pregnancy rate in USA than Netherlands or something like that) -- part of the problem is parents in USA insisting on this "not under my roof - earn your own rent money first" BS; sex education is part of it too, of course, it's not one thing
91
"OK under my roof only when we're in and you have a BF/GF we approve of and are using protection"

See, that's a little creepy to me. Parents vetting your sex partners? Parents knowing when you're having sex? Can't you just make sure your kid knows how to protect themselves, maybe going so far as to buy contraceptives, and encourage healthy relationships in general? I've never wanted my parents more involved than that in my sex life, and I don't think I've ever known anyone who wouldn't be squicked out by the idea of their parents making sure to be at home while their kid gets laid. I'm sure European kids are better off in general with regard to sex, but Amy's suggestions go a little too far, in my opinion.
92
@87, "It's not that hard. "

No, but it's stupid.

And it doesn't change the fact that having sex outside the home is far more dangerous for gay kids than straight ones in most of the US.

Straight kids who get caught screwing in a car on some back road are most likely going to get a slap on the wrist.

Gay kids who get caught screwing in a car on some back road are more likely going to get arrested, outed to everyone against their will, and have to register as sex offenders.

You can't ignore that the punitive attitude towards sex is much harsher when the people involved are gay rather than straight.
93
1. I don't live in the US, I also don't live in the UAE, so I don't make choices based on the state of human rights there.

2. I'm pretty sure you can't register a minor as a sex offender? Can you?

3. Not having sex in the presence of your parents doesn't restrict you to car sex, it just restricts you to waiting for your parents to go away for the weekend, or go out for dinner, or coffee... or walk the dog.
94
Ms Driasis - There are well-known cases that for young opposite-sex couples would be covered by Romeo and Juliet laws. Mr Fortunate didn't specify minors, but even a 17-year-old with a 15-year-old runs risks. And as for 18/15, there was a couple in Kansas a few years ago who had about a one month window of being 18 and 15, and the older boy was prosecuted with the enthusiastic cooperation of the younger boy's parents and given a lengthy prison sentence. If Canada is more sensible about this, maybe we should send all young same-sexers to Toronto.

And pretending that the parents of same-sexer teens will be as obliging about going away for the weekend or out to dinner or for coffee as the parents of straight teens are even if the nudge, nudge, wink, wink is unspoken is about as disingenuous as pretending that women face no discrimination, disadvantage or underpayment in the workplace. You seem to be verging on bad faith.
95
@ven

Okay I think you've lost track of what we're talking about.

"I've said it before and I'll say it again - sneaking around is the joy of teenage sex. I have so many fond memories. If I'm ever blessed enough to have children I will definitely not rob them of that.

Besides I don't like being around anyone having sex, so I doubt I'd make an exception for my kids."

I wasn't talking about what "parents of same-sexer teens" do, I was talking about what I would hypothetically do as a parent. And pointing out there's a non-creepy middle ground between trying to enforce chastity and being your teenager's sex-chaperone.
96
@mydriasis: So you're a better and happier person because your parents had a sexless marriage, or at least seemed to?

97
@93, " I'm pretty sure you can't register a minor as a sex offender? Can you?"

Yes, you can. It's stupid, but kids have been registered as sex offenders for even things like sexting.

"Not having sex in the presence of your parents doesn't restrict you to car sex, it just restricts you to waiting for your parents to go away for the weekend, or go out for dinner, or coffee... or walk the dog."

Who said anything in the presence of parents? There is a difference between "presence" and in the same building. Fooling around behind a closed door with someone who is staying over the night and being reasonably discreet about it isn't the same thing as fucking in front of your parents.

As for the "joy" of sneaking around, that's what I had to do too, and sorry, it wasn't a joy. That you found it so is great for you, but it isn't inherently joyful for all or most kids.

"And pointing out there's a non-creepy middle ground between trying to enforce chastity and being your teenager's sex-chaperone."

Yes, and that's what I was describing. The parents don't try to forbid it or make it hard. They don't encourage it. They just stay out of it. That's the middle ground. The kids go off and discreetly do what they do behind closed doors and the parents pretend they don't know what is going on and turn the TV up a little just to be sure they don't hear anything, and everyone pretend that the parents don't get it.

Not forbidding kids from having sex in the house and not trying to make it hard for them isn't creepy. It reasonable.
98
I am so very grateful than when I was 15 and wanted to have a boy sleep over my mothers only response was "be sure to use a condom". We didn't actually have sex, but it was nice to know that the decision was completely up to me. But then again age of consent is 15 here in Sweden so whether they were OK with it or not it was still my decision.
99
@seandr

Most kids don't want to think about their parents having sex. I'm glad I never had to.

@Fortunate

I guess you're just presuming that all families live in big spacious buildings where sound doesn't carry. There's a lot of places (urban living, especially) where having sex in the building is pretty damn near having sex in the same room. Especially with certain layouts.

So I'm sorry, but I still don't think "not when I'm home" is that unreasonable of a constraint.

I know I wouldn't want to have sex in a building my parents were currently in.
100
Here's a nice French film:
Chroniques sexuelles d'une famille d'aujourd'hui (2012)
Sexual Chronicles of a French Family
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1753584/

It's a made-for-TV type of film, low budget. IMDB rates it low but it's kind of cutesy and shows old people, young people, middle aged people living normal lives today. Catch it on Netflix. French are *still* shy about sex especially talking with their parents, of course. Parents aren't "chaperones" listening in -- just a slight change of paradigm from "not under my roof."

Just like you monitor who your *teen* is hanging out with as friends -- do you really want your teen hanging with neo Nazis? You should monitor who your teen is having close relationships with of all types. You can't control them a good parent *should* be trying to shape / monitor their choices in sex partners. You have a 16 year old (boy, girl, gay, straight, doesn't matter). Similar age BF / GF? Good. 30 year old, not good! If you aren't acknowledging they are sexual and talking about their relationships -- and are holding your hands over your ears, those types of conversations are *not* going to happen.

Of course, the above is just a film but rings true to what I've seen in France. Also good because it shows a teen making a really stupid choice (masturbating in class on a dare and recording it on his cell phone) and his school does a sensible thing -- suspends him, investigates situation, and when they find out everyone was taking turns doing the same, reinstates him. In America he'd have been arrested, maybe sent to jail, and listed as a life-long sex offender.
101
SPOILER ALERT about the film Chroniques sexuelles (sorry I should have had a spoiler alert in my @100 too).

The film is also pro REAL family values: 3 generations of a family together, sharing life, helping each other out -- grandparents helping raise adult grandkids, not flown off to Miama living in a 55+ community. The film is also pro-sex worker. Grandad loved his dead wife so much he doesn't want an emotional relationship with anyone else but still has sexual desires which he fulfills with a sex worker. MAJOR SPOILER BELOW
.
.
.
.
MAJOR SPOILER: The sex worker is not exploited, and she likes her job. When grandad dies his daughter invites the sex worker to the funeral.

C'est très raisonnable, n'est-ce pas?
102
@ vennominon - For the love of fluffy puppies, why do you have a 16 letter acronym? And what does it mean? And as a tangential aside, according to Urban Dictionary, LMB is short for Lick My Balls. I'm guessing that's not what you meant.
103
@100 It's perfectly normal for parents, sex positive or not, to pay attention to their kid's friends. I still don't think parents need to know if their child is actually fucking their gf/bf so long as they're certain the kid knows about and has access to protection. Your sex life is private no matter what age you are, and teens aren't exactly known for wanting their parents to be a big part of their more intimate concerns. And saying your kids can only have sex under your roof while you're at home is pretty damn close to listening in. You don't have to choose between denying that your child is of an age to be having sex and openly discussing your kid's sex life; there's plenty of middle ground. Educate your kids, let them know you're there for them if they do want to talk about it, and then leave them alone. It's their life, and you just don't need to know exactly what they're doing.
104
@MiscKitty, I asked Mr. Ven. about LMB once and it means "Make Me Barf" (in combination French and English). I am going to guess that when he references Maggie Smith and writes: FTWLTSOTTITSOTTL, he is quoting her performance as the title character in "The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie." The phrase is: "For those who like that sort of thing, that is the sort of thing they like."
It is said in a very withering accent, and serves as the ultimate non-committal disparagement.

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