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Teenage boys watching gay porn, advice please

Discussion in 'For Parents and Family Members of LGBT People' started by Puckering3784, Jul 17, 2017.

  1. Puckering3784

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    Hi, I am a mother of a 14 year old son. I know he has watched porn due to the times he forgets to delete the Internet history, which was m/f porn but recently there has also been some very graphic gay porn on there too.

    A bit of background: I worked within the sexual health service for many years and was a very tearaway rebel growing up. Therefore my son is very open about most things (talking about sex, drugs, alcohol, health concerns) as he knows I've either been there and done it, have knowledge or know someone who has. We have a rule in my house whereby telling the truth never leads to being in trouble and never judge one another.

    He has the most diverse set of friends I've ever seen: kids from every country, religion, disability, lesbian, transgender, poor and well-off etc so he has been brought up to accept everyone for who they are.

    He has had girlfriends (lots and lots of them) but I know he's never had sex as yet.

    I approached him about it and he denied that he had been looking at it and his eyes welled up so I left it at that and just told him I'm always there if he needs to talk.

    So I'm left with lots of questions and in need of advice.
    1) is it normal for a straight teenage boys to be watching graphic gay porn?
    2) how do I approach this
    3) could he just be confused/experimenting

    I'm absolutely petrified if I'm honest but not for the reasons people would think. I really couldn't give 2 hoots what sexual preferences he has, I honestly wouldn't bat an eyelid. I'm frightened because if he's just a bit curious I don't want to make him feel embarrassed or like it's not normal but if he's bi or gay I don't want to make any sort of mistake that stops him coming out. Also what if he doesn't know himself? I always thought as a mother I would have some sort of 'feeling' or 'inclination' if any of my kids were bi or gay but I've had none and I'd of put my life savings on him being heterosexual as there has never been a single thing pointing to any other. So if he is gay/bi I'm praying that my assumption of his sexuality hasn't made things more difficult. Or I could just be worrying over nothing as I said and he's just experimenting??!!

    It's so hard, the not knowing, it's easier when you can think right they are straight, or they are gay and you deal with it from there but all the uncertainty makes it so hard to approach as a mother. And if all this is messing with my head so much, I can't bear to imagine the shear hell a confused teenager has to go through.

    Thank you for listening!
     
  2. Quantumreality

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    Hello Puckering3784! Welcome to EC!:slight_smile:

    Pornography is made to be sexually stimulating, but it's fantasy, not reality. So it is generally a poor indicator of someone's sexual orientation. Some straight guys enjoy watching gay porn - or at least certain genres of gay porn. Even some lesbians prefer to watch gay male porn because it tends to be more realistic (in terms of feelings, etc) than lesbian porn (which they see as artificial and basically emotionless sex and, since lesbian porn is usually made for straight men, that's not really surprising).

    As far as your son goes, it is always a bad idea to confront someone about their sexuality. If he is truly other-than-heterosexual, he will Come Out to you when he feels ready to do so. Forcing him Out could cause him mental anguish and possibly damage your relationship with him. What you CAN do in the meantime is to quietly, but consistently demonstrate that you are an LGBTQ Ally and that you always open to talking to your son about whatever he wants to talk about. Perhaps you could make a point of saying something positive or supportive any time an LGBTQ person or issue is in the news when your son happens to be around. And if he brings up LGBTQ issues, he may be trying to gauge your views, so be open and honest with him.

    There is little you can do beyond making sure that he can feel confident in your support should be turn out to be gay or bi. Part of what leads to a comfort level which sets the stage for Coming Out is, as you indicated, the fact that we really need to understand and accept our own sexuality first. He may very well be in a questioning stage. But you can't help him along this journey of self-discovery. It is his journey alone. You can just make sure that he knows that he has your unwavering support and unconditional love.

    You may find some use in downloading and reading the Our Children pamphlet published by PFLAG. There are also similar resources on the UK-based FFLAG site.

    I hope some of that helps.
     
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  3. Myclosetisfull

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    If you feel like you have to do something, you could slip him a short note that just reassures him that you love him regardless of who he loves etc, etc...
     
  4. Chip

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    Hi, and welcome to EC. It sounds like you've worked hard to cultivate a safe and supportive environment for your son, and it has paid off in encouraging him to cultivate a diverse and interesting group of friends.

    I don't think that watching porn is the best thing for a 14 year old, but the reality is, pretty much every 14 year old has access to, and likely watches, porn, so there isn't much we can really do about it other than try to educate our children about the difference between porn and authentic sexual interaction... and that in itself is often a mortifying conversation both for parent and child.

    There are definitely kids who simply explore different types of porn and are curious, but the fact that he was starting to cry would indicate to me that he probably is either questioning or somewhat certain that he's attracted to guys... but isn't ready to share that yet. In spite of the culture of acceptance and nonjudgment you've created, it would be almost impossible for a teen boy to not feel embarrassment, shame, and discomfort revealing that he's gay, because there is so much in our society, culture, and media that devalues and stigmatizes being gay, and that imagery isn't lost on our kids.

    So I'd concur that simply leaving things be is a wise thing for now. A note would be helpful saying that you love him no matter what, and that he doesn't need to worry about being loved and supported, regardless of whether he's gay, straight, bi, or wherever on the spectrum. If it feels like he might want to explore this further, you can point him here and he can discuss with the community what he's feeling.

    And... please keep in touch here and let us know how things are going.
     
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  5. brainwashed

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    I'm going to take the liberal side of this argument.
    Questions 1). My response. How do you know "boys" are straight? To me it sounds normal when one is in their mid teens to be trying to figure out who they are. Where do they fit in the spectrum. Is gay porn definitive? No. But curiosity rules us humans and thus we must be allowed to explore. Explore the full spectrum.

    Question 2) My response. I'd have a sit down talk with your son. It's important to communicate, in this case via actions, that it's ok to talk about what he is curious about. Maybe he'll even open up about his feelings - boy wouldn't that be something. The indirect message received by not talking about, in this case gay porn, is shame. Shame being communicated means he will not come to you in the future when he really needs to be talking to you. Try to find something in the gay porn to laugh about - ~"man some of that stuff is darn right raunchy." Tell him, if you want correct, respectful, healthy gay sex then check out this sight, xzy. See where I'm going with this?

    Question 3) My response. Confusion comes from not having enough information. Confusion comes from not knowing. Shame can generate confusion. Shame sustains and nourishes confusion. Find a good healthy web sight on gay sex, tag it in the browser and have a sit down talk with your son. Point out the tab. Visit the tab.

    And yes experimenting is how we learn and how we humans squash confusion.

    You mom are at the threshold of the next step in your son's life. He is becoming a sexual being. Being open and helpful allows him to have someone he can come and talk to when the next thing comes up.
     
    #5 brainwashed, Jul 24, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2017
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  6. brainwashed

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    There was a gang of us guys who hung out together in college. (Important fact: pre internet & pre Viagra folks) Of course being guys, we all bragged about female conquest. Well not me, I was gay, did not know it, not interested in females. One time one of the guys came to "the gang" and said he was naked with a girl and could not get it up - could not get an erection. We all teased him just a bit, his inner circle of guys, but non the less were each curious as to why and what happened.

    Well what did you do? All of us were curious less something so devastating happen to us. The reply, " I called my dad and talked about it." "You called your dad! Like WTF!" Each of us privately thinking our dads would kill us for being sexually active. My erectionless friend went on to say....all us guys were all ears.

    See the special relationship this dad had with his son? The son who could not get it up. Why shouldn't an offspring not be able to call a parent and talk about such matters? After mush reflection I was sad I didn't have anyone to talk to about me. I was envious of my friend and one day I let him know he had a pretty cool dad.
     
  7. Barbatus

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    @Puckering3784 Hope things are going well. I'd agree with the others that showing support for your son (both generally and specifically about LGBTQ issues) is probably best. You could also apologise to him for asking him about it when it's something for him to approach you about. Might just help clear up what you meant. Best of luck.
     
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  8. Sadmama

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    Hi,
    I recently found out my 14 year old son was watching pornography too. It was gay porn and actually led to him coming out and explaining some things about his recent loss of a lifelong friend that had us really concerned. (Basically, the boys were kind of dating and my son got dumped. Poor kid was dealing with it all alone and we thought he might be severely depressed or on drugs). In spite of the fact that we are liberal, accepting people who have close friends and family members who are married gay men, we were reeling for a while and are still processing this news.

    We started with of course reassuring him that we love and accept him exactly as he is-forever.

    Then, we clearly expressed to our son our views on pronography. Our family believes that pornogrpahy is for adults not teenagers, and that teenagers need to go into their first sexual experiences without the unrealistic expectations of sex that often comes from watching pornography. We talked to him about it and told him that when he is an adult he may choose to watch pornography and there's nothing wrong with that, but right now, we upped our filters. We also took the opportunity to express our views on sex as a physical expression of an emotional connection. And we talked about safe gay sex.

    All of this was A LOT to deal with. I swear he went from playing Minecraft to watching porn and having his first crush and broken heart overnight. Plus a whole lot of drama at school that I could not figure out what it was about. I wasn't ready, but it's my job to parent him. And part of parenting is teaching your kid about sex.

    I think you need to address your son's pornography viewing in line with your views on it. If you don't think straight porn is a big deal, then neither is gay porn. If you disapprove of all porn, then tell him why and up you parental controls. You've got four more years with before he's grown. Think about what you want him to know.

    And as a side note, my son's browser history shows that he now spends a lot of time looking at Andrew Christian underwear on Amazon:wink:. We're letting that slide. My husband apparently had a fondness of his own for his mom's Cosmo magazines in the eighties...
     
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  9. Quantumreality

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    Hello Sadmama! Welcome to EC!:slight_smile:

    We'd be more than happy to help address your issues/provide advice, but it would work best if you created your own thread here on EC. We wouldn't want to hijack Puckering3784's thread, would we?
     
  10. brainwashed

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    I do like the approach as stated above. Limits are set, the adults view is expressed, and shame is not taught.

    Perhaps you need to go to a few high end art museums to help teach about what it is to be human.

    You have the right approach. You've stated what the limits are and your views and it appears you've done this without shame.

    I kind of have to laugh, about four more years before he's grown. By 16 generally European kids are on their own. They pretty much have been taught social norms and about their bodies. They have a less high teen pregnancy rate than respective teens in the States. Their maturity level far exceeds their counterparts in the States.
     
    #10 brainwashed, Jul 31, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2017
  11. starlightonmars

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    I'm sorry but I just have to say I find the replies to sadmama really patronising. She clearly wasn't asking for advice, just giving her experience as a mom in the same situation as the original poster. "We wouldn't want to hijack Puckering3784's thread, would we?" is completely patronising in tone and clearly shows you didn't read her post since she was giving advice, not asking for any. I'm also not sure what "Perhaps you need to go to a few high end art museums to help teach about what it is to be human" is supposed to mean, but I'm also weary of the tone here. Sadmama came in to offer advice and experience on something she has experience with and was met with some weird replies which seem kind of unnecessary to me as it seemed like good advice. I do think it's natural for teenagers to watch pornography before they are 18. You can up the filters but if they want to access it, they will. I think just going off what was already happening - conversations about how pornography is a fantasy and real sex does not truly resemble pornography - is a good way to go.
     
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  12. Creativemind

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    Did you read her post? It doesn't sound like she's looking for advice, she's just sharing a similar experience in case it helps the OP figure out what to do with her own children. I usually share my stories when I give advice too as it adds credibility and shows the OP a different side.
     
    #12 Creativemind, Sep 17, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2017