I’m an intelligent, open-minded mom of a 13-year-old boy. Recently, I’ve found out that my son entered into an online Dom/sub relationship where he asked his “Mistress” to give him degrading tasks like consuming his own semen. Of course, his “Mistress” asked him to “prove his loyalty” by providing her with money in the form of gift cards. This is how I found out about this relationship. My Amazon account was suddenly filled with gift card purchases for this person signed from “Your Slave.” I immediately contacted this “Mistress” and advised her that she was engaged in an inappropriate relationship with an eighth grader. This kid hasn’t even had his first kiss, Dan, let alone a physical relationship with anyone. I don’t want to shame his kinks, but I’m also very concerned that this is far too advanced for a kid his age to even understand. Over the years, he’s had a fixation with women’s feet and giant women stomping on small figures (all of this in anime/manga). Again, I really want him to grow up with healthy attitudes towards sex — but this is parenting at a whole new level. Is it possible for me to dial back this very adult behavior? I’m overwhelmed already and puberty has just begun!

Mostly Understanding Mom

Oh, momma. You are in for an exhausting five years.

You’re gonna need to remain vigilant — monitoring your son’s online activities — while running gentle interference. You can’t prevent your son from getting online, but you can put filters on his devices, regularly check his browser history, and regularly remind him that you’re regularly checking his browser history. The goal isn’t to shame (not good) or rewire him (not possible), but to keep him safe from predators, scammers, and the kind of malicious sextortionists who’ve driven young people — particularly young boys — to suicide. The fact that your son likes following orders makes him particularly vulnerable to malicious actors who are tricking boys into sending them intimate pics and then blackmailing them with threats of sending their pics and videos to classmates and family members.

In addition to telling your son you’re monitoring his online activities to keep him safe, you should tell him that you understand that he thinks he’s ready… but he’s not. And anyone who would give him the time of day right now — much less dominate him — is by definition a terrible person who can’t be trusted. (And anyone who demands money and/or gift cards from him is only interested in money.) Let him know there are good people out there who enjoy all the same things he does but the good ones — the people he’ll be able to trust — won’t go near him until he’s an adult. So, for now he’ll just have to content himself with fantasizing about his kinks and masturbating to his part’s content.

And if you can get him safely through high school…

Your son can be a kinky adult and have a healthy attitude toward sex — those are not mutually exclusive phenomenon. The chief concern expressed to me by parents who’ve just learned their kid is kinky — when parents find the latex gloves or the diapers or the handcuffs — is that their kid will never find love. Pre-internet, being kinky complicated a person’s search for love; the kinky person had to meet people the normal way, e.g., at work, in bars, through friends, etc., and eventually disclose their kink. This often resulted in the kinky person getting dumped, being shamed and sometimes outed. Nowadays, kinky adults have the option of getting on kink dating and hookup sites and searching for partners who share their kinks. Dating and hookup apps have their downsides, for sure, but a lot of people have found the loves of their lives on them — and they’ve vastly improved relationship success rates for kinky adults.

P.S. I’m sure MUM would love to hear from some readers who once were kinky young people and who are now healthy and functional kinky adults. What did your parents — if they found out about your kinks — say or do? What was helpful? What was harmful? Jump into the comments and share some advice with MUM.

P.P.S. You can’t rewire your son’s erotic imagination, MUM, nor should you waste time trying. People don’t choose their kinks and can’t be shamed out of them; and most healthy, functional kinky adults became aware — sometimes painfully aware — of their kinks at the onset of puberty. If all goes well, one day your adult son will tell his girlfriend(s) story of that time his mom found out he’d been sending gift cards to some fake Dom he met online and be able to laugh about it.

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