I'm a 23-year-old bi lady, who's currently working to get the certifications for her chosen career while living at home with her parents. About a month ago, I started a fwb situation with a good friend who had his marriage of several years end in divorce a few months ago. We've both been open and communicative about boundaries and what we want out of it. It's been a lot of fun and some much needed stress relief for us both. The casual sex isn't a problem for me. My mother's reaction to it, on the other hand...

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I hadn't told my mom about it because she was traveling and out of the house when it all started. But when she's home, she likes me to tell her where I'm going when I leave the house (which I won't argue with; it is her house). This weekend I told her I was heading to my partner's place and when she asked if we were dating, I honestly told her it was a FWB thing. She was upset, and scared for me, immediately calling my partner "flaky" and assuming that there was emotional cheating on our parts while he was still married, (there wasn't). She wanted to know why I wasn't dating "like a normal person."

I don't want to be dishonest with her, and even if I did... I'm a terrible liar, and I'm not ashamed of what I'm doing. What do you think I should/could do to best facilitate her coming to (neutral) terms with this aspect of my life? I know I can't change her opinion or her feelings on the matter, but I just don't want her to be scared for me, and there's a lot I'm willing to do to help with that, short of dissolving my FWB situation altogether.

Harping On My Experiences

There's a big difference between a minor child and an adult child—just like there's a big difference between, "I'm heading out with friends, Mom," and, "I'm heading out to fuck a friend, Mom."

Look, HOME, you're an adult—and, yes, you're living at home, it's mom's house, mom's rules, etc. But mom doesn't get to make rules for when you're outside of the house. She can tell you not to smoke in her house, for instance, but she can't tell you not to smoke at a friend's house. (Not that anyone should smoke anywhere or ever.) Likewise, HOME, your mom can tell you she doesn't want you fucking strange men and women under her roof—maybe she disapproves of premarital sex (eye-roll emoji here) or maybe she doesn't want to run into strange, half-naked people coming out of her bathroom in the middle of the night (totally legit concern)—but mom can't tell you not to fuck men and women, strange or otherwise, under their roofs.

When mom wants to know where you're going, HOME, simply say, "I'm meeting up with a friend." (The "with benefits" is silent.) And if mom insists on having another conversation about your sex life, let her know that informal hookups are how many-if-not-most "normal people" do things these days and informal arrangements sometimes lead to more formal ones.

And as a general note... you've reached the stage of life where mom should be run mom on a need-to-know basis. And mom doesn't need to know where you're going or who you're with or what you're doing at all times. Because that information will only worry and scare her and/or prompt her to shame or manipulate you. You're an adult, HOME, not a child, and she's your mom, not the NSA or Alexa, i.e. she doesn't get to hear everything. Be respectful of your mother's space and peace of mind, of course, and make sure she knows you're grateful for her financial support. But you're entitled to your privacy.


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