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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 at 4:02 PM.

  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.
     
    Lynz likes this.
  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.