This letter was originally published on Apr 9, 2009.
I recently discovered, accidentally, while moving things out of my 16-year-old son's room prior to a renovation, a cache of my sex toys that had mysteriously disappeared over the past year. While I've wondered how it was possible to misplace a glow-in-the-dark crucifix-shaped dildo (complete with Jesus in relief), it never dawned on me that it might be an inside job.
This raises several issues. There's the you-stole-my-stuff problem, with responses available from the full range of the passive-aggressive scale. But the nature of the swag complicates matters. I kind of need to know whether he took them to snicker over with his friends or whether he has used them. I'm dead certain if he's used my insertables, that he did so without putting condoms on them first.
So it seems I need to force the you-stole-my-stuff conversation in order to have the safe-toy-use conversation. Suggestions?
Discomfited Aged Deviant
You're gonna have to have a long talk with the little shit, DAD.
First, apologize for snooping—accidentally, of course, during "a renovation." Uh-huh. Then bring up the sex toys. Be matter-of-fact about it, DAD, but firm enough to communicate a sense of violation: He violated your privacy and your glow-in-the-dark crucifix-shaped dildo, a sex toy that was consecrated to your orifice(s) and your orifice(s) alone. ("Your orifice(s)" refers to your own personal orifice, DAD, as well as the orifices of your chosen sex partners, a position that is not—one hopes—open to your 16-year-old son.) Don't let on that you're embarrassed, even if you are—force a smile, if you can.
Then turn the tables on your son and embarrass the shit out of the little shit: Ask him if he was penetrating himself with your crucidildo, and ask him if he has any questions about sex toys in general or butt toys in particular. He'll insist that he wasn't sticking that thing in his ass—although we both know he was—because he'll want to end this conversation as quickly as possible. Your job, DAD, is to drag... this... talk... out... to achieve maximum mortification.
Tell him that you're aware that he might be too shy to admit to using butt toys or to ask for info about the proper use of butt toys, so... you're going to walk him through butt-toy safety and etiquette just to be on the safe side. Then explain it all to him. Tell him about the importance of using lots of lube, of washing sex toys with hot water and a little soap after each use, of putting condoms over them for safety's sake—and tell him about how one preps an orifice to accept a glow-in-the-dark crucifix (and just how many "Our Fathers" one has to say for penance after doing such a thing). Conclude by pointing out that sex toys aren't something people share (particularly with their parents), so the one you'd been using, the one he stole and used himself, is going to have to be deconsecrated now, i.e., disposed of. Then offer to get him one of his own and a bottle of lube.
The point is to make him feel bad for invading your privacy and swiping your stuff, DAD, but not for whatever it was he might have done with your stuff. A nice long talk about butt toys—safe use, storage, ethical procurement—will make him realize that violating your privacy and stealing your sex toys invites conversations that he doesn't want to have with his dad.