When May tweeted this 4Thoughts prompt I was chuffed that she thought I would have something valuable to add. I don’t consider myself a kinkster per se but some friends have convinced me recently that the delineation between kink and swinging is old fashioned and not valid. If it isn’t vanilla it is kink. Bearing that in mind my kink is non-monogamy with some other sprinkles added when the mood takes me. Mr Jones and I have been non-monogamous for more than ten years. I would consider us successful so logically it would seem we are in a good position to give advice.
Not really. Well, maybe, if a specific person asked a specific question about their specific set of circumstances, then we might chat with them but general advice for people starting out? It is too broad. There are too many variables. Don’t get me wrong, I wanted to write something profound and life changing but it all just came out sounding like I was a mother giving a lecture to her child. Besides there are any number of websites, podcasts, blogs, videos and other sources of information out there. Who am I to add more to that?
Something that HAS happened that I feel is a bit more unique is my experience as a parent. I want to preface the next five hundred words or so by saying that I am not a parenting expert. I am just telling my story.
Mr Jones and I have never shoved our lifestyle in our children’s faces but we have not hidden it either. For most of their teenage lives they have been aware at some level that some of our friends are more than just dinner and games night companions. As they got older that level of knowledge got deeper. Gemma Jones has been an identity in our household since we named a boat after her about eight years ago. No questions were asked that couldn’t be answered honestly and matter of factly. Assumptions were probably made but I did my best to make sure there were no completely wild ones.
#1 Son is reserved. He doesn’t do public nudity (unlike the rest of us), he doesn’t discuss his sex life and from what I have observed said sex life is fairly vanilla. Or rather, like most late teenage / early twenties males, any sex is better than none. The Unicorn however is completely different. She is much more open and as she grows up our relationship is morphing into more of a friendship. An example of these changes is a recent facetime conversation during which she modelled her new bra and harness set. I must say I am slightly envious that she has better play clothing than me.
You read that right, play clothing. A couple of weeks before we departed on our voyage, she revealed that she is embarking on an exploratory journey into kink. My brain exploded. With the assistance of the internet, she found a man to help her with this exploration. He is considerably older than her and five months later I have not met him. At the time I was worried. She identifies as a submissive. I KNOW from experience that many men professing to be dominants are complete twats. And that is putting it politely. My parent brain went completely off the rails thinking about how a man like that would deal with a young, naïve, and inexperienced girl taking her first steps into kink at the same time as she takes her first steps into sex in general.
Over the years I have not shied away from talking about sex with my children. I have answered their questions and I have done my best to make sure they are informed. I have explicitly lectured #1 Son about the complications of fathering children with women who are probably not going to be long term partners. I have berated him about taking responsibility for his fertility and being careful about where he sticks his penis. I have made sure The Unicorn is aware of similar issues. Her openness allowed me to see that she seeks information and takes advice on board. I am confident that both of them are sure of themselves as people and while they will undoubtedly have relationships with people who are not right for them, they will navigate sex in general quite safely.
But kink? This was not something I never thought I would have to consider. I was well into my thirties before I thought about anything non-vanilla. I was grown up enough to get my own information and parental supervision was a very long way behind me. I had a husband to be my safety monitor, I wasn’t navigating this world as a single person. There is nothing in the parenting manuals that could prepare me for this one.
In then end the only thing I could really advise about is safety. All I could do was share my own experiences and express my concerns. She is too old for me to ban her exploration or ground her to prevent her from going out. It is irrelevant if I think it is a good idea or not really. My feelings about its suitability will not change her path. She is going to do what she is going to do. If I make too much fuss, then she will simply hide that part of her life from me, and I will have no input.
I reached out to other kinksters that I knew and talked to them about what was happening. For the most part they were reassuring. Those that had met my child assured me that she was a sensible being and is unlikely to get into a situation that is too out of control. They recognised my worry and reassured me that I had done all I could. Mr Jones is being careful not to say the wrong thing. He isn’t entirely happy about this, but he knows that opposing the situation won’t prevent it. Rather it will just mean he will no longer be able to talk to her about it.
The process is ongoing. Since April I have been absent from home. The Unicorn has gotten used to being able to have people over in relative privacy. Our voyage is coming to an end. We will be moving back into our house in four weeks’ time. The next few months will mean adjustments for all of us. Mr Jones and I will have to wear pants more often, The Unicorn and #1 Son will have to consider who they bring home and what they do with those people because the parents might be around. I will meet some of the new friends. That will be interesting. I am guessing meeting and interacting with parents who are also part of their world is something a lot of them have had to deal with. There are going to be some adjustments.
So that is my story. Do I have advice for any parents in the same situation? Not really. I will not presume to tell anyone how to raise their child. But I do believe that sharing stories and experiences can be a great way to gain insight. So, I hope by sharing I have given someone somewhere something.