Savage Love

Out Now


"Safeword" has been a generally recognized and accepted safeword in the Seattle BDSM community and elsewhere for at least two decades. Not everyone prefers that word or safewords in general, but it's usefully unambiguous particularly in semi-public spaces. Kinkifact says "pants on fire."
- Eddie
Following up on @1, I agree that many people are moving away from relying on safewords these days.

For play parties, there's no debate: all play parties I've been to this year had a default safeword of "Red" (or "safeword" would work too) -- that alerts the audience that you want to be rescued from the maniac beating the shit out of you.

But the problem with a safeword is that it can give the top a false sense of security (that is, the bottom can be in trouble and unable to say the safeword for physical or psychological reasons).

Also, a safeword can give the bottom a false sense of security -- after all, it won't, on its own, get you out of a dangerous situation.

So many people these days emphasize:
1) keeping the lines of communication open;
2) having frequent check-ins to make sure the bottom can communicate; and
3) speaking in ordinary English about the situation (Ow, I have a cramp; hey, that hit my face; etc.)

Also, realize that it's quite dangerous to play on the edge of nonconsent with people you don't know well and haven't played with much. I'm not saying don't do it, I'm just saying that you should be ready for the consequences if it goes bad (as it did for me last year).
Great column this week Dan!
EricaP, thanks for that comment. I've shied away from the BDSM community out of concern for the things you mention, and I appreciate your insight on the matter.
For the first LW, maybe the school, or your son, can point out an older 'mentor' student that can help him in the school.
I went to the same school from 6th to 12th and while the middle school didn't have a GSA, I was active in the high school GSA and president my final year. Teachers knew me well enough that they would ask me to talk to younger gay students having trouble and help them out. Sometimes just having an older accepting friend in the school is enough to help them feel comfortable, even if the friend (like me) is straight.
Excellent column this week. Great advice. For once I don't have a lot to add, but thanks to the dad in letter one for being so awesome.

Good points Erica @ 2, too.

I'd like to tip my hat to you, Dan, especially on calling out the smugness of YDIW people (another cute acronym!). It's fine to be informative & helpful, but as someone who's been a member of a whole pile of different "scenes" (local coffeehouse poetry club, fave bar, gaming, comics, LGBT clubs, on & on) there isn't much that gets on my nerves as much as the sanctimonious tone that folks in said club/scene/etc can use when delivering their opinions on the One True Way to enjoy the whateveritis. Sure, there are some things that are Rules, for good reasons, almost anywhere. But "safe word" not being an acceptable safe word? Puh-leaze. That doesn't make you a respected elder of your Hobbit S & M clan, or whatevah.

Plz be more welcoming to the noobs you meet on your travels, y'all. Sure they can be annoying, but new blood invigorates a place/group & being inclusive is more fun in the long term than showing off (IMO).
"Treat your son with the same awkwardness you would your other kids," says Byard. "I'm speaking as a mom myself now. Make sure he has access to all the health and safety information he needs. (Sitting down to watch reruns of Will & Grace together won't cut it.) I have two daughters and want to be absolutely sure they have access to all the information they need to make smart and healthy—and potentially life-saving!—decisions. Make yourself available to talk whenever he needs and welcome his boyfriends inside the house the same way you would if they were girlfriends."

Not to be horribly stereotypical, but shouldn't DSS be welcoming his kid's boyfriends as if they were boyfriends? That is, guys who may not have the best of intentions, who may be pressuring the kid for sex the kid is not ready to have, and who need to know that not respecting DSS's kid's boundaries would result in a swift and brutal ass-kicking.

In other words, if your kid (boy or girl) is into boys, then you should protect that kid from the kind of shit teenage boys pull. Just like if your kid (boy or girl) is into girls, you should protect that kid from the kind of shit teenage girls pull.
Hey DSS,

The downside of being "enlightened" and caring for your child, as opposed to the "You shall do it this way" that I got from my parents, is the constant nagging fear of "Am I doing this right?" and missing the smallest thing that might make everything go to shit. I have observed with my older and experienced sibs that being open and consistent is a large part of doing the right thing. Just do the quick "thought experiment" of what you yourself would need to reinforce yourself as you were at that age, and start with what helped (and avoid what hurt). Listen to your son and work with him.

The first 2 boyfriends that my oldest daughter brought home as a teenager came out within a year, the 3rd determined that he was bisexual. Her acceptance of them didnt change when their awareness and acknowledgement of their sexuality changed, these young men continued to be a presence in our home even after she left for college, up until we moved.

Since the girl has been at college, she's become a bit more comfortable in her own skin, and is able to acknowledge that no one's sexuality is completely black or white. During her last visit with us, we determined that she and her mother have similar taste in men, but our taste in women is completely different.

DSS has a handle on the most important thing: your child is your child, and nothing changes that. My view is that as parents, we act as advocates for our children. In everything. If they can't count on us, who can they count on?
I went to the same school from 6th to 12th
Glad I read that through one more time before nearly responding, "How do you know which school DSS's son goes to?"
Dan once gave great advice along the lines of I Hate Screen Names, basically said to protect gay sons, as you would straight daughters, recognizing that male sexuality can be powerful and sometimes destructive (or something along those lines).

Hey Dan, do you no longer believe that? I really loved that advice, it helped me as a straight-ish woman.
I don't like it when statistics like "9 out of 10 gay students were harassed in the past year" are whipped out. Haven't 9 out of 10 high school students been harassed in the past year?

People harass other people. Being harassed when you're young is valuable training in being able to handle harassment as an adult.

That's not to say any form or level of harassment is OK, but an environment with NO harassment (whether that be because you're fat, short, dumb, poor, gay, pale, goth, a redhead, acne-ridden, scrawny, clumsy, too tall, lanky, curly-haired, or whatever other excuse one kid will use to harass another kid) is not healthy either.

Kids have to learn how to handle it when other people are mean to them, EVEN if they are mean to them because they are gay. We should stop trying to eradicate harassment - it's not going to happen, and it wouldn't be healthy if it did.

What we need to do is teach kids how to cope with the harassment they will inevitably encounter in their lives, and provide them the support structure they need while they figure out how to do that.
@12, I think you don't know what the word "harassment" means.

It doesn't mean "occasionally poke fun at" or "moderately mocking". It refers to persistent, repeated hostility.
It's the kind of continuous abuse that doesn't make one better at "handling" it, but rather often results in lifelong issues and difficulty with relationships. The effects of actual harassment are more like PTSD.

You are probably right that some moderate teasing, etc. does help build resilience in kids, and might make them more resistant to harassment later. But harassment is not valuable training, it just makes people fucked up.

That said, the "9 out of 10" statistic seems high if we're talking about a persistent pattern of repeated behavior. Quite likely, the originators of that statistic are guilty of misusing the word as well. I don't doubt that gay teens are targets, but are 90% of them continually subjected to serious hostile treatment?
In so far as speaking the safeword should be the equivalent of interrupting the actors mid-sentence, stopping the play, turning up the house lights, and quite possibly sending everyone home for the evening, a safeword logically _shouldn't_ be something stylish or stylized. The only thing it needs to be is something that you wouldn't say as part of a scene, so as to not yank the emergency brake inadvertently. Beyond that, the idea that the safeword itself needs to conform to some sort of aesthetic ideal is stupid, counterproductive, possibly even dangerous.

I'd say that 'safeword' is a perfectly good one. It indicates beyond a shadow of a doubt "Okay, I'm done, NOW," while still not being mistaken for other protestations not intended to interrupt the action.

(Says the guy who knows nothing about BDSM, is pretty damned vanilla, but can recognize a logical inconsistency when he sees one)

Hmmmm... For what it's worth, "password" does make a lousy password, and having it as your password will indeed get you laughed at, if not disciplined for putting company assets at risk. Does your dickhead friend work in high-tech, perhaps? Maybe she has just confused the two concepts.
Hey, Dan!!! Everybody!!! I'm in a monogamous, loving relationship with a hot 38 year old!!! While we're both used to Pacific Northwest rain and gray days, when it's sunny, we hit the beach!!
@EricaP, since the little exploration I've done of BDSM was strictly outside of "communities" and solely with individuals (who I took time to get to know before actually trying anything out of the ordinary, and vice-versa), I'm sort of curious about what happens in the kind of situations you mention. What kinds of consequences does one have to accept when things "go bad", and what does one do when it happens -- assuming that the "going bad" was non-intentional, and the person is basically good and ethical? Does "going bad" usually come from not respecting accepted rules, or can it happen anywhere, anytime, no matter what ('shit happens')?
I play pretty rough, and I find safeword to be the best possible safeword. If I need it to STOP, I don't want to be trying to remember what the french word for grapefruit is. Per the "green, yellow, red" system, I also use "bad ow!" for when I need a specific activity to stop, but not the whole scene.
In the BDSM world, we sometimes call those who suffer from YDIW syndrome as "twue" in "there is one twue way to do this!" and pretty much everybody I know mocks the hell out of them.
@12 - Are you sure that an environment with no harassment is not healthy? How do you prove that? How do you explain it?

For years people said that kids who went to daycare/groupcare situations and came home with every illness going around the neighborhood were strengthening their immune systems, that there was an eventual benefit to being a kid who was constantly sniffling and frequently sick. I read a study some years ago that this popular theory was essentially bunk.

It's like saying that everyone needs to have a finger or two broken, and maybe a couple toes, so they'll be able to handle it when they get a broken arm or leg later in life. It's a ridiculous idea.

I agree that we need to teach kids how to deal with harassment and provide them with strong support structures, but that doesn't mean we need to legitimize abuse. Recognizing that it happens is a good thing; believing that it's healthy and beneficial is not.
@12, @18, I don't think it's quite right to say that harassment is normal and needs to be accepted. I think, more importantly than teaching our kids how to deal with the people who harass them, we should teach them not to harass others.

I think if even 9 out of 10 parents could successfully raise their teenagers to not be dickheads, we'd all be better off.
@12 (biggie)-- "Being harassed when you're young is valuable training in being able to handle harassment as an adult."

Yeah, this was my initial reaction to a lot of the anti-bullying work that's been going on in the last few years. After all, when it happened to me as a kid, I understood that this was just the way the world worked. I couldn't expect to go around being so weird and inept and not as good as the other kids and not expect to get hassled for it, right? It was just teaching me how to deal with the fact that people would naturally always dislike and despise me, wasn't it?

Yeah, so, no. People are very good at rationalizing bad things that happened to them as normal or even helpful-- it makes us feel better than just saying, "yes, that was a shit thing that happened to me, and it wouldn't have happened in a just universe." And sometimes these rationalizations get us through tough situations. But rationalizations are all they are, and we need to learn that before we allow other people to go through the same crap that we did.
Great topic! Just love your kid, support them *no matter what* (love, confidence, security, belief, empathy...) and instill in them that there's nothing anyone can't handle or deal with as long as you have the guts to be honest and live honestly.

Being openly gay (even in this day and age of uber-acceptability with LGBT stuff) is *still* one of the ballsiest, gutsiest moves *anyone* can make: it's taking back your life from the fuckheads in the name of *truth*!

Some people hate on and/or are envious of others' bravery. Good! May it inspire them to have the guts to live and walk it as they really are.

I had (and still have) great parents who get it ;) and love me as I am: an honest, openly-gay, hopefully-well-balanced male.

That, and I'm one of those types who doesn't give a shit what people think in the best possible way: when it matters most; being yourself and having the guts to do just that.

My kids could be aliens and omni-tri-polysexual and I would *still* do my very level best to guide them and love them to the best amount of self-acceptance and self-belief as I can.

Honesty is everything, man. *No one really gives a shit about anything as long as you have the common sense and the poise to just be honest, and keep it moving :-) *.

That, and if the kids at school are that unruly about everything (nothing's shocking anymore in the age of the internet, and what with it being 2012 already), then maybe change schools are consider home-schooling until the brouhaha about being newly-out dies down.

It's true: no one really cares what anyone is or isn't as long as people are forthcoming enough with honesty, with a minimum of drama and bullshit in serving up what is: the truth to silence those who don't dare to walk it as they talk it!

Great thread and topic! Cheers On Everyone!
I volunteer at the Citadel in San Francisco as a dungeon monitor . . . basically a hall monitor in sassier clothing. The "house" safeword is "safeword"--that way players can yell anything they want during a scene without triggering an interruption, but if I hear someone yell "safeword," I'll come over, stop the scene, and see if everyone's okay. (If I hear someone yell "red," or "stop," or "that's it you bastard, you're off my Christmas card list," I'll wander over and observe for a bit, make sure that this really is just part of the fun. We do everything possible to avoid interrupting a scene, but if it looks like the bottom is having a bad time, we'll politely interrupt and make sure everything's okay.)

@16 . . . I can answer a little bit of the "what happens when things go bad." I think like any nonideal situation it's very case by case . . . and the joke is "it's always the top's fault." Which is not to say that the bottom can't contribute to a bad scene, but the top does have greater responsibility, since many people go pretty deep into subspace and can lose some judgment as they let themselves get overwhelmed by sensation.

I have been in one scene that went badly--it was a negotiated resistance scene where the bottom was supposed to fight back, hard. Basically, a takedown by myself and another woman of a big, strong guy. And it went pretty much as we negotiated but, for various reasons, it turned out to be way more emotionally triggering than he expected and he ended up really devastated. I sat with him and held him for hours, and felt horribly guilty. It all worked out okay, and we all still play together, but it was pretty unpleasant, and now I would negotiate much, much more carefully and even if someone says they want a really intense, violent scene, I'd ramp up way, way more slowly and check in more, even though that's not what he thought he wanted.

Another friend of mine had a scene go badly because someone thought one of her hard limits was silly. Basically, she doesn't mind being beaten, whipped, fisted . . . but she hates getting water on her face. He thought that was funny, and splashed her with water. She ended the scene and never played with him again. Respect someone's hard limits even if they strike you as weird.

FInally, I had a friend whose "scene gone badly" story involved someone having an asthma attack while in bondage. He got her untied, got her inhaler, and she was okay but it was really harrowing and scary for both of them. Lesson there? Be sure to tell your top about any physical conditions that might come up . . . if he'd known, he could have done different bondage and had the inhaler handy.

Without working from a very specific definition of harrasment as @13 has pointed out, kids need to grow some thicker skin and deal with things outside of the warm and fuzzy environment, which I think was @12's point. One of my biggest concerns is that kids getting out of school over the past 25 years have gotten progressively harder to have as employees, because someone at work (God forbid maybe even their boss) wasn't nice to them and didn't respect their feelings. Unfortunately that is the real world, and they need to work within it. Lots of pampered kids whose parents wouldn't let suffer the consequences of their actions have a lot tougher time in the big bad world.
This in no way condones abusive behaviour, and @19 makes the best point...parents need to teach their kids both how to deal with real life, and how not to be a dickhead. I don't think that it is too Mayberry, but kids in the 70's took shit and gave shit, but generally weren't damaging others. Their were always exceptions, and adults seemed to be more willing to step in the middle of those cases. Agree that LGBT youth were certainly less visible then, and that was a challenge we may not have addressed as well as it should be addressed now.
@ 24; BTR: I'm with you. One of the most important steps in coming out (which I myself did when I was 27 {I'm 42 now}) is *knowing* you can handle what may or may not come your way by way of others' intolerance, harrassment and/or bullshit.

Know yourself, your attributes, as well as your limitations, and go from there.

No one has power over you anymore once you take it all back for yourself, the way anyone deserves: gay, straight or fucking alien lol.

Argh! Phones await! Come to Pigeon Park: they await you ;-D +~+
I think a column devoted to monogamous couples is on par with having a straight pride parade.
@ 26; sadinoe: Monogamy's only boring when you're with the wrong person altogether. Get back to me when you happen to walk into true love (sixteen+years and counting!) and you find you've found *everything* you ever wanted and/or needed in one person.

One of My True Love is better than 1,000 of anyone else! That, and My Babe Gets Me Hot in the sack and in the mind (the heart, too <3 :-) ).

I'd have a straight pride parade just to watch the horses take a dump in the middle of the street lol ;-D.
Did this Eliza Byard get the majority of Dan's salary this week, since the entire response to the first question was all from her & not him?

Pretty sweet racket, pretending to write an advice column that occasionally gets passed over to someone else to do the work!
@ 27 (pigeon park)

I don't think sadinoe was saying monogamy was boring; I think they were saying it was the norm, and totally accepted and acknowledged, and didn't need any encouragement. Monogamists are not a persecuted minority, and giving them a lot of extra support and visibility is kind of coals to Newcastle.

That said, it's always nice to hear about a working alternative lifestyle, and monogamy is one of those. But it's not exactly lacking in social approval.
@16, for me what happened was that I discovered that apparently some people use the negotiation system differently. When they say "this is a hard limit, I don't want this," they mean -- "this is what I really fantasize about, but can't ask for."

That's not how I use it (and I think they're out of their minds, personally), but I ran into a top who was (a) inexperienced overall, and (b) the experience he had was with people who negotiated that crazy way.

So when I took rough anal off the table, he heard me saying that's what I really wanted more than anything.

At the time, I just thought he was an asshole who ignored hard limits, but I've run into tops & bottoms since then who see the scenario from his perspective, so now I see him as clueless, not an asshole.

So, yeah, bad can mean a lot of different things. Talk to people about their worst scenes, to get some insight into what to watch out for, but realize that you can't plan for everything...
Sorry about the stupid lawyer, Dan. The most bizarre thing to come out of that story is the our useless excuse for a government actually did the right thing shortly afterwards and made it clear that all marriages were indeed legal in Canada. I've never agreed with them before... and probably won't again.
@ 29, Gaudior: Thanks for clarifying what I couldn't at the time.

I'm beginning to think that just having a solid, rewarding, fulLfilling relationship *is* the minority after all!

Anyone can love or do what they want. I rarely ever get caught up in the "ism"s, or the catch-phrases, buzzwords; all of that bullshit.

I never thought I would be as monogamous as I am, and I'm gay! Who thought that shit was even still possible anymore?


(Blessed Am I, Blessed Go I, and all that good :-) stuff ;) ) +~+
@ 30, Hi EricaP. I have read in here for quite some time, and I enjoy what you have to say and share in here, so *thanks* :-) .

It is sometimes hard enough to establish openness and intimacy to be able to say what you are into...and to making your wishes and dreams become a reality.

*Talking about* what gets either of us hot is what gets me hot. ALL a precursor and foreplay, if you will... But then, I'm still hot as fuck for The Love Of My Life 16+Years On!

Pretty wild, man.

But Moreover...

Beautiful :-) .

Mr Park - I've observed that most people don't have the capacity to find *everything* they ever wanted or needed in one person; that requires a unique practitioner. Good for you.

And I never expected to *attract* monogamous partners who would match my own tendencies, but did. Who knew? All that time I spent preparing to accommodate non-monogamy - wasted, when I could have been mastering Swedish. (I'd never dare attempt Latvian, as then Mrs Ank would deliberately reinforce and expand Miss Ank's homophobia by way of revenge.)
DSS-- Advice for when he starts dating-- Give your son a huge number of reminders that sex and emotion go hand and hand. Logically they don't have to. Possibly they won't for some one at some time. But they will go together enough of the time that he should be prepared to accept responsibility for that. In other words, he's going to experiment; he's going to get his heart broken, and he's going to break someone's heart. That doesn't mean that he shouldn't experiment. It means that he should proceed with caution.

Encourage him to keep a harassment/teasing diary. Others have noticed that there's no clear line between the sort of insult that kids should learn to brush off and deal with (yo-mama jokes that go both ways for instance) and targeted harassment that no one should have to endure. Since it can be hard to know when one turns into the other, a diary can help identify.

Make sure he has friends! A single friend can make all the difference. In order to make sure he has friends without getting too intrusive into his life, you have to be perfect hosts. Offer to do the driving when the young teens want to do something like go to the mall or the park or whatever teens do in your part of the world. Make your home the hang out where kids want to be. I don't know if that means ping pong or a trampoline or the best video games or great cookies and milk. (Obviously it's not enticing the kids over with alcohol or porn, but you knew that.)

Know your son's friends' parents before problems arise. If they don't arise, no problem with knowing a few more adults. If they do, you'll be calling someone you have a previous relationship with, not calling to complain out of the blue.

Can you think of a role model/mentor? No matter how great your communication with your son is, he may have some question or concern he'd rather talk to a gay adult about rather than his straight parents. Is there anyone in your community you could introduce him to? Someone with a sterling reputation who wouldn't mind being called in for the role? Be upfront about what you're doing. "My gay son may want a gay adult to talk to some time, so I thought I'd introduce the two of you now." Then, as with all of your son's friends, you keep track of the relationship so your son still knows he can come to you if something disturbs him.
I thought "cacao" was the standard safe word to be used in all BDSM situations. Hunh. Guess Portlandia isn't as reliable as I thought for information about kink.
auntie grizelda@15 (h/t Hunter @36) - I thought you were kidding when I saw your post, but are you in fact dating now? Either way, sending warm hugs your way.

@4/33 - thanks for the kind words!
@7, I don't think the advice was stereotypical; in general it would be, but to treat a gay kid's boyfriend the way you would a girlfriend is good advice for a parent who had the preconceived notion that they would need to be welcoming to a girl. Of course, the preconceived notion isn't ideal, but it probably isn't bigotry in this case. I'm as supportive of the gay community as the next person but the fact is that we live in a heteronormative society. Most people are straight, and I don't think this parent who is clearly trying to do the right thing can be faulted for not knowing what exactly to do with a boyfriend instead of a girlfriend.
@7, In this case it's good advice to treat the boyfriends like the parents would if they were girlfriends. DSS is the product of a heteronormative society where the vast majority of people are straight and he and his partner are clearly trying to do what is best for their kid and they needed advice. The simile was a succinct way to communicate to them how boyfriends of their gay child should be treated.
I'm having a hard time picturing someone getting laughed out of a BDSM community for using "safeword" as a safeword. Let's try it on for size:

"You know that scene was really hot until you used 'safeword' as a safeword. Don't you know scene etiquette requires you to use some cryptic word like 'grapefruit'? Seriously, get the hell out of my club and don't come back again."

Nope. Not seeing that happening. But if you want to get a few chuckles, use "aardvark" or something like that. Not because it's poor form or anything; it's just because "aardvark" is a really funny word.


+1 for reinforcing gender role stereotypes of males being sexual predators and females hapless victims with no desire or agency of their own. Keep up the good work.
The parent who "doesn't care about [their son's] sexuality" might need to rethink that phrasing. ("I don't care" sounds a bit hostile.)

I care about my kids' sexuality, and I'm sure that this person cares about their kids' as well. I think what the LW means to say is that "I am neutral about my son's sexual orientation, but want to support his developing sexuality so that it becomes a source of joy, inspiration and love for his lifetime."

Also, the bit about how the letter writer is still waiting for the good feelings of being special and different also deserve discussion. It's probably totally normal for this parent to have mixed feelings, and right now it's probably anxiety for their son's peer experience (which Dan handles really well) that is overwhelming them. I'm sure they are also deeply proud of their son's bravery and his honesty, and - every parent's favorite! - that he came to them and talked to them directly about an extremely vulnerable topic. Well done, parents! : )
Between 7 and 43, I'm putting my vote with 7. Sure, maybe it is stereotypical, but it's not harmfully stereotypical. Treat your son's boyfriends the way you would treat your daughter's boyfriends. That is, encourage friendship, caution, care, caution, laughs, caution, things in common, and caution. Don't forget caution. That's not accusing all boys of being sexual predators, a sexual stereotype that they will somehow grow into. Nor is it insuring that girls have no agency. It's acknowledging a potential and using --- caution.
@ 34: Hi Venominnon (reads like phenomenon with a 'v'! That's crafty! Good one.)

And Thank You for addressing me as Mr. Park lol. Pidge, or Didgey: any addressed name aside from a'hole is kosher with me ;).

But I mercifully digress...

I suppose what it is, Ven (if I may call you that :) ), is that I only ever wanted to find someone who clicked with me, got and was quick to reciprocate on the wavelength, and the fact that they're gorgeous, smart and strong is an additional bonus.

He's my best friend, and I lucked out beyond a beyond to have run into him so many years ago, and now we are still here: hard-won, happy and proud for the work and the faith, you know?

Life could be worse! Thanks for the feedback and rock on with your bad self!

Graciously Yours,
Mr. Park

@AuntieGrizelda, congrats also from my neck of the woods! Enjoy!

@EricaP, when I saw you referring both AuntieGrizelda and Hunter78 in your post congratulating her, my neurons got crossed and I somehow interpreted it as you saying Griz and Hunt were going out together. I was about to say, and do they know each other in a non-www way?
(Sorry to visibly hog airtime here, but if I may...)

For D.S.S.: It already seems like you've got it together in how to be there for your son. It's sooooooooo a whole 'nother universe (really) since when I came out fifteen years ago: at age twenty-seven. Here it all is in 2012, the internet, shows like 'Glee' making gay as offensive as a handshake: kids today have so much information (good and bad) to draw upon, to find themselves much quicker than I ever would have back in 'my' day.

13, man: my one nephew came out at 16 (about seven years ago). He's a successful graphic artist for Walt Disney World imagery in Florida now.. Hard-working, healthy, focused, successful.. Everyone grows up so damn fast nowadays..

Your son should be applauded for such a strong, keen sense of self at such a young age. It's a testament to your love and good parenting that he's able to take such a bold, self-assured, strong step into his own life.


Dan's words and resources likewise are awesome.
Thanks for that.

@ L2: There has to be some sort of safe-word, unless yer both mutual masochists or something lol. I kinda like "safe word" as the safe word.

It's a bit like the goof of getting a tattoo that just says "tattoo"! :-D Nice! (And Effective.)

@ L3: Couple Of Compatible Keepers/C.O.C.K.: I relate. Hey, I too expected I would wind up going through the run-of-the-mill motions of several partners in my lifetime.. Somehow, love ran into me and took over from there.. That's pretty much it in a peanut shell. A lot of hard work and solid love for the hanging on, but there you go. It can still happen. It happened to me and I didn't even look!

@ 47, Ankylosaur: If I may...

Yes. The Grizmeister and Great #78 met in the market.. I think it had something to do with frozen spinach falling on top of one's head, if memory serves (and it tends to serve well :-) ).

At any rate, greetings and bonhomie from upstate New York, my neurons get crossed and refracted all of the time and that all is just part of the ride, man lol ;) .

@ That silly, disturbingly-ugly mug of Rick Santorum's in that ad above: I hereby rename it "Rick Santorum For 2012 Slaps Upside The Head".

Slap, knuckle-punch, it's up to you lol.
re: safeword. Did anybody see House of Lies on Sunday (super funny, I love Don Cheadle). Anyway, there's a sex scene where she's protesting, and he keeps saying say the safeword, say the safeword.
So I guess my point is, by #23's definition of safeword (which I think is very good) safeword as a safeword could be confusing because you could use it playing but not mean it as a safeword.
just say popcorn and KISS.
Fine, in the interests of fair and equal representation I guess we can print some monogamous letters like COCK wants. Sounds pretty fucking boring to me, though. "Hey, Dan! We have a normal relationship! It's normal!"

A special column for monogamous couples sounds to me kinda like when clueless white people ask why there's a special Black Entertainment Television: it's because every single other channel is White Entertainment Television, dummy.

Anyway, I guess let's try to be open-minded and run it. That doesn't mean I have to like it, though.
@39/41: The idea of "treating your son's boyfriends like they're his girlfriends" is good intro-level advice, for parents who are not quite comfortable with their son's homosexuality. But DSS does not need the intro advice: he seems fully accepting of his son and loves him unconditionally. So for gay-friendly parents, I think the better advice is to treat your son's gentleman callers as if they were courting your daughter.

@43: You might want to keep in mind that 13-year-olds are not 30-year-olds, and that junior high / high-schoolers are much more influenced by social roles and expectations than adults are. Our society characterizes men as sexual aggressors and women as hard-to-get, so it's hardly surprising that young adults, struggling to define their own identities and understand their own sexuality, might latch on to the "expected" roles.

As @45 said, there's a difference between promoting a viewpoint and being cautious of it.
I would love to say that I have *a lot* of fun in here, enjoying you all. You all f***ing Rock!

Please Take Your Bows: Individually As Well As Collectively :-) .

Props of course to Mssr. Dan and to his cohort, the most-mysterious and enigmatic "@fakedansavage" courtesy of twitter.

Peace Y'All :-) .

p.s.: I now rescind my offer for physical retaliation for the futile exercise of giving Santorum a sound palm-to-noggin thrashing. It wouldn't improve anything: it would only stir about, splash and leak from his orifices the vile, noxious waste product that begs to seep from his orifices and pores: the emulsified remnants of he and his poopy-headed idealogies. Not to worry; his tent will be packed, folded and shop closed down by no later than a month.

No one gives a shit: he's just the last one to know, as usual lol.

Rick Santorum For The Bathouse 2012!
@ 35, Crinoline: Awesome advice, this following bit, if I may quote you:

"Encourage him to keep a harassment/teasing diary."

That *Is* Brilliant as an idea. It helps you to understand and absorb stuff quicker when you write it down sometimes. It helps you to gain a better, more well-rounded perspective, so you can be armed with as much poise, street smarts and cool as you can.

P.S.: I meant to say Bath House, not Bathouse.
My condolences to the Wayne family as well as Batman(tm) ;) .
@ 52, Not normal, just happy. I'll never be normal lol, but I'm rather happy. Never really was, until... :-) .
@30 - can you imagine what these people would be like if they negotiated like that in other aspects of life? "No, I don't want an interest rate of 4.25%, it's too low." "I'd love to hear about your time-share proposal - please, tell me more!" "No, please keep my account open and continue to charge me interest, fees, and penalties!" It's like living in Oppositeville. I think you're too kind in calling that person simply clueless, and I hope you came out of it okay.
I don't know if I'll need this advice or not (2 kids with orientation so far undetermined), but I'm wondering how parents of gay kids handle sleepovers. It's pretty straightforward with hetero kids, like my oldest. Same sex sleepovers are just dependent on if you want to allow that kid to stay over. Opposite sex (until you decide it's okay for your kid to have sex in your house) are not allowed or require some kind of enforced separation. So with gay kids, do you just do vice versa, allow sleepovers with opposite gender friends but not with same gender?
@ 58, snoozn: Good question. Sometimes though, there's friends that anyone has, even if you're both gay or lesbian, etc., where there's no overt sexual tension, so therefore, it would be like a regular sleepover...

It all depends on the age, too, of course... I pretty much knew myself that I was probably going to be gay when I was like three years-old.. I Just Knew. Very strange to think about, even now..

I never had sleepovers with any gay friends, etc.. Shit, I barely even had gay friends until well into my early 20's (late bloomer, here).

I think the same set of standards and rules should apply to any childhood couple: gay, straight, lesbian, bi, transgendered.. Why should the general rules be any different, especially when it's all basically young kids living under your roof during that time? It *is* a tough call on one hand..

You wanna be cool parents, but you also have to be *parents* at the end of the day.

If you think Johnny's little friend is going to befriend Johnny while they sleep upstairs in the fort that built out of blankets and furniture...then well, maybe getting to know your own kids and their friends is the best medicine of all.

Sounds plausible :-) lol.
GAG, "safeword" is arguably the best safeword. It's unambiguous and attracts the attention of other players in a group setting. Don't play with someone who has issues with it. It is for YOUR security, not their ego (and the person who put you down for using it is not someone you need to form a relationship with).

DSS, thank you. You've already done a lot more than far too many fathers in my parents' generation did to make your son's life better. That's not a reason to stop. In dealing with the inevitable issues, keep your sense of scale. Is the situation something that a teenager should be learning to handle on his own? Is it something that it is within his capability to handle on his own? (Single other kid calling him "Fag!" in the hall--yeah, sort of on his own on that one; teacher telling the class that homosexuals are destined to unhappiness, early death, and an eternal lake of fire in Algebra--make the first visit to the principal with your wife and without your lawyer as a sign that you have confidence in his ability to manage his faculty & if the response is remotely mushy, make clear you will release the hounds of hell and then do so if necessary.)

PFLAG: Even if you're not much of a joiner, they're worth having in your bookmarks. Who knows? You could end up chapter president.
@ 44, hrchick: Well said. To quote you:

"The parent who "doesn't care about [their son's] sexuality" might need to rethink that phrasing. ("I don't care" sounds a bit hostile.)

I care about my kids' sexuality, and I'm sure that this person cares about their kids' as well. I think what the LW means to say is that "I am neutral about my son's sexual orientation, but want to support his developing sexuality so that it becomes a source of joy, inspiration and love for his lifetime."

Exactly. I just want my kids to be happy, healthy and as well-adjusted as I can provide. Loving your kids unconditionally: it's what you do. No one really has a choice about what their sexual orientation is gonna be: only a choice to not suffer for it with abuse, silence or denial.

It takes guts to stand up for yourself honestly: LGBT or not. Love and support, man: it goes a long way.

I'd go one better than saying "neutral," even. Neutrality or indifference suggests that there is a preferred orientation, but you're putting up with the alternative because you're a supportive person. Can't you just be happy that your kid knows who he is?
It occurs to me that age 13 maybe a little early for any hard and fast pronouncements of what a teen's orientation is. But, given that I'm not familar with either the teen in question, the family, nor the process of coming out, perhaps it isn't too soon.

I would have counseled that the teen should keep it to themself for now, and see if they still feel that way later...but that the parents still love and support them. (I know some will rally at the thought of having to keep one's orientation quiet... but it's just a bit early to be making permanent statements, in my book.
Some people change their minds. Some experiment later and modify their lifestyles both ways. I just think 13 is a bit young.... for everything.
@59, thanks for the input. I agree that mostly I'd want to be fair about it. I want all my kids to feel like they're living with the same set of rules, even when those rules may be different from other households. Which means that by about puberty, no sleepovers with whatever gender he/she is attracted to. At least not until he/she is mature enough and has a partner who I trust enough to allow for "that kind of sleepover."

Of course I'm still stuck because my two near- or at-puberty kids don't seem to be attracted to either gender as far as I can tell. At least neither is too big on sleepovers at the moment either!
@57 and 30, about "Oppositeville" negotiating... my very abusive ex was like that in 'negotiation'. We went through a phase of telling each other what we liked and disliked, loved and couldn't stand. He did what I liked a few times before it clearly bored him, but he would not stop with doing what I didn't like. It was like I'd given him a shopping list of how to harass me and he couldn't stop trying to check those boxes off.

But he was a complete asshole, not clueless.
@63: no, absolutely not. You are correct that 13 is much to young to be making set-in-stone statements about one's identity. My experience of my sexuality has changed in major ways since I was 13.

That said, you can be "out" at 13 and change later, I know people who have done it, I know people who have been "out" as questioning as well. Kids and teens need to have space to explore themselves and their identity OPENLY without fear of judgement or censure (especially from parents). "Keeping it to himself" would have meant hiding what he was going through. One can speak about things without them being "permanent statements" and sexuality doesn't have to be a permanent statement to be a valid discussion.

I think the idea that being out means making a serious and non-voidable declaration is a bit dangerous. I've had bi friends who came out as gay first and changed later, and OH! the vilification and unpleasantness from people. What we need is to give people space to explore, expecting a 13 year old to hold true to the things they say about themselves for ever is just as dumb as asking them to clam up about it until they are 100% sure.
@63: At 13, I knew I liked girls. Not only did I have a long and glorious tradition of getting a new crush on a girl each school year, but by 13 I was having (literal) dreams about fucking girls, usually one or two nights per week.

So I can easily imagine a 13-year-old knowing exactly whom he wants to kiss/love/fuck, as much as that squicks me out today. They're just kids, for gawd's sake!
@63: no, absolutely not. You are correct that 13 is much to young to be making set-in-stone statements about one's identity. My experience of my sexuality has changed in major ways since I was 13.

That said, you can be "out" at 13 and change later, I know people who have done it, I know people who have been "out" as questioning as well. Kids and teens need to have space to explore themselves and their identity OPENLY without fear of judgement or censure (especially from parents). "Keeping it to himself" would have meant hiding what he was going through. One can speak about things without them being "permanent statements" and sexuality doesn't have to be a permanent statement to be a valid discussion.

I think the idea that being out means making a serious and non-voidable declaration is a bit dangerous. I've had bi friends who came out as gay first and changed later, and OH! the vilification and unpleasantness from people. What we need is to give people space to explore, expecting a 13 year old to hold true to the things they say about themselves for ever is just as dumb as asking them to clam up about it until they are 100% sure.

Classic parental leotardation.

I don't know what's worse. The idea that you can stop your kids from having sex via any control mechanism? That it's somehow better if they have sex in a park somewhere? Or the idea that you cannot share a room with someone of the sex you're attracted to without fucking?

Or maybe just try bundling bags.
@58: If you have a gay child, then sleepovers with anyone are ok, because nobody can get pregnant, which is the big life-ruining consequence of teenagers of opposite genders associating.

Um, no.
Pregnancy is not the worst consequence of sex. Think harder.

You're sixteen, aren't you? ;)
I don't know that the hard-and-fast rule of "no sleepovers with people of the gender to whom you're attracted" is always necessary. Some of my fondest memories were of mixed-sex sleepovers as a teen. Here are some of the factors that kept them (as far as I know) sexless:
1) large, group sleepovers--wall-to-wall kids on the living room floor. No privacy, which meant much less opportunity for sex, unless you were pretty immodest, and teens are often modest.
2) I am a straight female, and as a teen had lots of straight male friends that were just friends. There was never a sexual tinge to those sleepovers, and I'm glad that my parents just went ahead and let us have them.

1) When I was a teen I definitely (on more than one occasion) got very frisky with several other people in the room. It wasn't a sleepover either. When were you a teenager?

2) My parents were strict so I wasn't allowed to go to mixed gender sleepovers. It would've been no problem though since I wasn't interested in any of the guys at any of those sleepovers. Once you're a teenager sleepovers are kind of a nerdy thing, especially group/mixed gender ones. Not to diss on nerds, a good chunk of my friends from highschool were nerds and most of my friends now are from that group - but... they generally aren't the friends you want to have sex with.

I don't know. Have the rule, don't have the rule, whatever makes you comfortable. The teen years are short anyway. If they think it's unfair, they'll get over it.
@69 Bundling why didn't I think of that! But really, I know I can't "stop my kids from having sex" nor do I wish to as long as they are mature and make good decisions. I talk to them about trust and about good and bad reasons for having sex, etc. As far as enforcing rules, well I grew up in a pretty lenient household. So I see the positive side of having parents make rules so that kids don't act completely on impulse. If my kid thinks they are ready for a sleepover with someone they actually want to sleep with, I'd like them to discuss it with me and spend some time thinking about whether it is really a good idea, which leads me to why I disagree with...

@70, because I definitely don't see pregnancy as the main downside of having sex. There are plenty of risks, both physical and emotional, associated with sex. Teens and young adults are vulnerable and I want my kids to go down the path of having positive sex rather than negative sex, whatever their orientation.

@73 and @74, yep my oldest had a few of those group sleepovers with everyone in the living room where parents could theoretically pop in at any time. Is it a nerdy thing? Maybe -- my oldest is a nerd!

Whatever I do and whatever my kids' orientations end up being, I'm sure I'll screw up somewhere. Ah well, I never expected to go through life without doing leotarded things now and again.

I'm probably too old to be able to accurately comment on what the kids are doing these days.

Nerds are rad though, so hopefully he is!

Sounds to me like you're on the right track anyway.
@74 mydriasis,

@74 #2: You're the nerd dream that breaks their hearts. (Dramatic sigh)

@36 Hunt: Actually, my babe and I have known each other since we were kids. He has been around all along. And then one day we shared a long, smoldering kiss, and----WOW!!!! He's especially great for hugs, someone to talk to and snuggling. Does 28 years count as monogamy?

@38 EricaP: I don't know if what I'm so lucky to have is really dating (we don't go to bars), but thanks for the warm hugs!! Right back atcha!!!

@47 anklosaur: Thanks! Actually, I never have met Hunter78 in person, face-to-face. We just blog each other.

@49 pigeon park: Unless you're just being sarcastic, please see my response to anklosaur, posted above.

XOXO, everybody!!
@ 64, snoozn: You're welcome! It's a wistful age, isn't it? When your kids are still kids :-) , before puberty and everything kicks in. I love children. I hope to have some more :-) some day.

@ 78, ankylosaur: Totally in jest about you and Hunter78 being anything more than you who you are to one another. Forgive me: I sometimes wing it and say stuff that isn't meant to be taken with any offense or anything. It's not sarcasm (I apologize if you registered my bits as that): it's just playfulness :-) . XOXO Likewise, Everyone!


@78(auntie grizelda), clearly you're having a lot of fun, which is something the doctor always recommends. Enjoy! (I just hope your beau won't distract you from that opera buffa and from your symphony. Music also needs you ;-)
Ha, my safe word with my ex was "Bazinga!" (yes, from "The Big Bang Theory").
No... Sorry but this is the second in a row of quite a few lazy and boring columns...
As an American who has a (traditional) marriage and a Canadian marriage license, I'm a little upset about Canada's antics.…
After a lot of years experimenting with various forms of non-monogamy, Mr and I decided (and it was more his preference than mine, and no he wasn't jealous because I wasn't seeing or interested in other men and he doesn't care about other women) monogamy was more appropriate for us. We may have the desire to not be at some other time, but the last two years of our 10 year union have been monogamous and we're relieved, frankly. That said, we both agree if either of us were unsatisfying sexual partners for us, being happy in monogamy would be extremely difficult. As such there's no sexual activities either of us want that the other objects to, we're both very competent in performing those activities in a way that pleases the other, and we've done enough threesomes and more to be "eh, BTDT" about it.

We quit because managing our two personalities and desires and needs and wants in our relationship was difficult enough without adding more people and their desires, needs, wants, and issues. Not to mention scheduling. No really, it's an issue.

Erica P, I can't help but feel so much of your experiences have been other people minimizing your feelings. From your husband convincing you it's perfectly normal to be non-monogamous and you were just being silly to object, to now BDSM people claiming this guy was just clueless and not an asshole. As a retired BDSM'er, I strongly disagree. He was indeed cluless, and this is precisely what made him an asshole. Doing that to you was horrible and shame on him for not getting out of his own aggressive asshole headspace to notice he was actually hurting you. If he wasn't sure or aware that yes, some people actually want that as a hard limit, he had NO BUSINESS doing that scene with you. Do not minimize his crime, which is precisely what it is to perform rough anal on someone who says NO. He had no business presenting himself as a top if he didn't know this shit, and yes, that does indeed make him an asshole at best and a rapist at worst.
@wendykh, but if being clueless makes you an asshole, why the two words? Isn't there a difference?

I'm glad you've found out monogamy works best for you. Please enjoy. But, as Dan said elsewhere, there's no reason do YDIW. Everybody gets to discover for themselves what works (or doesn't work) for them.
Quoth @85 (ankylosaur):
@wendykh, but if being clueless makes you an asshole, why the two words? Isn't there a difference?
I would hazard that being clueless in some circumstances makes you an asshole. The two are not mutually exclusive. For instance: I'm clueless about 19th century Russian literature. I maintain that does not make me an asshole. If I were clueless about the needs and wants of my fiance, that would make me an asshole.

Put more simply: for the important stuff, we have an obligation to know our shit. You don't get to make the six-year-old's excuse of "I didn't knooooow better."

Now does knowing a BDSM partner's hard stops qualify as "important stuff"? I would venture yes, but I have no experience with that scene. Maybe miscommunications are common enough that they can be forgiven or at least excused? I dunno.
@84, @86, et al non-monogamous persons,

It just seems so convoluted and confusing sometimes when I read your posts.

Best wishes though.

@87: FWIW, I'm currently in a monogamous relationship, and that relationship has always been monogamous (once we got past the initial "dating" stage).

Both my fiance and I have been in non-monogamous relationships before (not with each other), and I enjoyed them immensely, but these days I just don't have the time or the energy to navigate all the feelings, communications, and scheduling involved. For me, the "cost" of maintaining non-monogamous relationships is no longer worth the "return."

Which isn't to say the cost would NEVER be worth the return again. If for some reason we couldn't have sex with each other, I can see us deciding that the benefits of non-monogamy are worth the costs. Same if we're forced to live in different countries for a long time. And I can certainly understand how someone with more relationship needs, or with more available time/energy, might decide that non-monogamy made more sense for them. I'm just not that person right now.
Why not a safe word of "safe word"? One of the most common passwords is "password." And safe word is a hell of a lot better than "abc123."

@79 pigeon park: No sweat. It's all good.
@80 anklosaur: No worries---he's as much into music as I am!
While snow & ice are still on the ground, there's a lot of time for practicing, playing, composing, and....well, you know.
@ Kinky Ana & EricaP - thanks for your anecdotes and advices. Really enjoyed reading them!

Safewords: good to negotiate a safeword for a new play partner, but with people I trust, safewords don't really get used, it's usually the plain English communication method. I also like having the option to signal "go slow/yellow lights", rather than a stop-the-scene red light, it's been far more useful for me than the actual safeword.
@84, you may be right. I liked him, before the assault, so I prefer to think of him as woefully uninformed about how to run a scene rather than scheming villain. But I'm attracted to "bad boys" and he came across that way, so there is a part of my brain that says this was a useful lesson about the possible consequences of fucking "bad boys." The goal is to tell the lightly bad boys from the serious bad boys... but if I were sure, then I'd be less attracted... My reptile brain is unhelpful to me, sometimes.

@91, agreed - phrases that serve to slow down the scene are generally more useful to me than ones that threaten to end the scene. In particular, because the top can then purposefully drive the scene to a 'yellow,' to verify that the bottom will communicate when unhappy or in serious pain.
@ YOU ;-) : +~+~+~+~+I Love You! Wanna? ;-)xoxoxoxox+~+~+~+~+
Nearing The Beginning :-) .....
:-D Of The Beginning, Of The Beginning, Of The Beginning, Of The Beginning..... :-)+~+~+~+~+

"Tomorrow Never Knows": The Beatles: 'Revolver': 1966 Through To Immortality.

True Love ;) .

I can't be bothered to write a letter, but am happy in my 10 year monogamous relationship and don't give a rat's posterior what other people do with their relationships as long as they don't make drama that propagates into my or their kids' lives. (I care about their kids because emotionally damaged kids grow into emotionally damaged adults who live in our society).
@ 96: GG1000;), You Are A Soul After My Very Own!

Well. Fucking. Said.



I could totally quote you for what you wrote, for I agree a zillion % over: zenith;) percent to my bones :-) .

Monogamy, schlagogamy, polygamy, whatever:

Are ya happy? What makes ya happy? Whatever works for you and doesn't harm, hurt or damage anyone involved (especially children), then who would care who is or isn't this, that or the other thing?

#95;-)+~+~+~+~+ Sends Their Love ;-+-;+~+~+~+~+
@ 93 & @ 94 Also Love Ya Immensely, For The Record :-) +~+~+~+~+~+~+~+
55 pigeon park-- Thanks for the compliment. Here's the down side to keeping a teasing/harassment diary. It forces you to focus on the negative. Let's take it as a given that a 13 year old will, at some point and probably at many points, do something stupid and that his friends will call him on it probably in the form of teasing. He'll say something dumb in class, and his buddies will call him a dumbkopf. If he's out, they may call him a sissy dumbkopf. If he's smart beyond the idiot thing he said in class, he'll call them weirdos; they'll all make fart noises, punch each other on the shoulder, and all will be right with the world.

If he keeps the diary, he should note when the kids and/or teachers are picking on him, but he should also note when they come to his defence. Maybe the teacher handled the stupid comment well by making it clear that her class is one where people should feel free to think out loud even if it means getting it wrong sometimes. Maybe his buddies won't punch him too hard on the shoulder or will accept the dumbkopf/weirdo designation with good grace.

My idea with the diary is to be able to notice trends. Maybe one kid is turning into a bully. Maybe sissy is starting to go along with dumbkopf a little too often. Maybe he's getting a few too many insults, or he's getting the sense that kids are keeping away from him. He needs to be able to go back and see when it started and what the general direction is.
I am highly involved in my local BDSM community and have to agree with those here who say using "Safeword" as a safeword would not be laughable at all. In the really real world where flesh and blood people meet to get their kinks on, we tend to be pretty supportive when people make an honest attempt at clear communication.

We use the universal "red" but most players I know also use checkins (squeezing a partner's hand is a wonderful non-verbal cue) and just plain English (I'm much more likely to call FOOT CRAMP! than red).
@ 99, Crinoline :) : If I may quote you kindly...

"If he keeps the diary, he should note when the kids and/or teachers are picking on him, but he should also note when they come to his defence."

Absolutely :-). There may be a lot of idiots, cretins, cruel fucks and/or ignoramus' running rampant in this world, but there *also* are people who care, who get it, who are supportive and can *applaud the courage* it takes for *anyone* to say, "This is who I am: this is the truth. Don't like it? Well, have a nice day then, 'cos I don't really need to give a shit anymore about whether or not assholes think well of me or not, 'cos, well, they'd be assholes then!" LOL It *IS* That Simple! Maybe not in the application (until you get the hang of it), but it *is effective*.

For a child of 13 to know that they are truly homosexual (or lesbian, etc.) and to have THE GUTS to do what many people three or four times his age probably will never have the courage to do: BEING YOURSELF DESPITE ANY NAYSAYERS, SCUMBAGS, ABUSE FUCKS AND/OR DOUCHEBAGS (LOL Sorry to scream in caps! ;-) ).

The thing is though, is that if a 13-year-old already has the fortitude and focus to know the difference that living truthfully is the only way to go: that kid must be the product of parents who truly love him unconditionally, and who would never turn their backs on him for something that commands immense respect: living honestly within his own skin.

Anticipate on occasion the likelihood of the negative, focus on the positive (but moreover, *the constuctive*) and *trust yourself* to be able to feel/gauge your way through (and around) people who help you and love you.....and phasing out or more or less steering clear of negative, toxic, abusive people. It may not happen all of the time, or even for a long time (it took me ages to learn to love myself enough to finally say, "fuck it and fuck you!" insomuch to the world when I came out at 27 years-old.

A family's love, unconditional support and empathy does more than any of us can imagine sometimes. Family could come in any bloodline shape or form: *people who truly love you and who would have your back until the very end*: THAT'S the kind of truly-loving parent I want to be!

If you screw up raising your kids, what else woudl anyone else honestly have to show for their time on Earth, you know (unless you opt to not have kids, which is also to be applauded: knowing yourself enough to know kids would be cool or that kids wouldn't be in your plan, or something).

(deep sigh...)

To bolster what you shared, Crinoline, I'd would offer that maybe the parents can have a great heart-to-heart with their 13-year-old and to teach them a very universally-recognized practice: if people aren't there for you and like/love/respect you for who you really are, then steer clear of them whenever possible! Life's too short to suffer other people's ignorance. Fuck that, and fuck them! Fuck 'em all! ;-D LOL

Living as honestly as you can is the most-rewarding, hard-won, clear-as-a-bell fuck you to anyone who tries to diminish you for having the guts to be yourself, and to thy self be true, and all that stuff;) .

The diary thing can shed *so much insight* into your own condition: often enough by your own words helping your own self to get through, heal and improve.

I actually have been writing heavily in diary form these past four+years;) in particular.

I get your drift;) .

Thanks, Crinoline.



As well as...

"My idea with the diary is to be able to notice trends. Maybe one kid is turning into a bully. Maybe sissy is starting to go along with dumbkopf a little too often. Maybe he's getting a few too many insults, or he's getting the sense that kids are keeping away from him. He needs to be able to go back and see when it started and what the general direction is."

I appreciate that you mentioned not dwelling on the negative, which could happen if the teasing/harassment diary is solely about that.

As you've mentioned, it should be about noticing patterns, trends and/or certain repetitive behaviors: either within the one writing the diary as well as the people who inspire him to want to write a diary in the first place.

@ 100: Anything verbal (if you intonate it loudly and emphatically enough) can serve as a safe word. Or a safe phrase, like, "get these fucking nipple clamps off of my pecker, pronto!"

"Safe word!" or "ABC123" could work, too.

I haven't had to use safe words yet. That, and I'm not quite ready for the torture wheel in the basement with the flogging as well as having a master step on my ball sac with his steel-toe boots.

Eh, maybe tomorrow ;-D LOL.