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COLUMN

Savage Love

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I found porn on my kid's computer and I talked to him about being careful about spyware, the difference between actual intimacy and objectification, and that kind of thing. I don't have a problem with a 15-year-old boy looking at porn – so long as he's discreet and doesn't do it to excess. But what my kid was looking at was standard stuff, i.e., garden variety M/F porn and a touch of M/M porn. But a friend found a stash of really kinky violence-against-women stuff on her kid's computer. I'm thinking a parent can't let that go as easily. She's about to confront her kid. I don't think you can help her with what to say, since she'll already have said something, but what would you have advised her to say?
My Friend's Kinky Son

You meet two kinds of people at kink events and in kink spaces: people who've always known they were kinky – people who were jerking off to kinky fantasies and/or porn long before they were 15 – and people who got into kink after falling in love with someone who was kinky. Your friend's son sounds like one of the former.
It's important for your friend to bear in mind that her son, if he is indeed kinky, sought out kinky porn. Kinky porn didn't make him kinky. And being shamed by his mother for his porn preferences – or his kinks – isn't going to unmake his kinks.
That said, your friend should talk with her son about the difference between porn and real sex – kinky or vanilla – and the difference between erotic power exchange and violence. She should also talk to him about safety and misogyny, and she should encourage him to be thoughtful about his sexuality. And most importantly, she should emphasize the importance of meaningful and informed CONSENT.
Your friend's son isn't going to want to dialogue with his mom about his porn stash or his kinks, so she should go in prepared to monologue at him.
Finally, there's a chance that your friend's son isn't kinky and was just looking for the most appalling shit he could find on the Internet. Mom should acknowledge that as a possibility and her son, even if he is kinky, is likely to seize on that excuse. If he does claim that he was just looking for shocking video clips, she should say: "I believe you. But there's a small chance that you're saying that because you think it's what I want to hear. So I'm going to say everything I wanted to say about safety, misogyny and consent just in case. And all of it applies to vanilla sex, too."

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