Help! My Teen is Reading Erotica!
Dear Mouthy Housewives,
I recently caught my daughter reading erotica. She's 14. Advice?
Dear Not Ready,
In order for us to be able to offer you the best possible, premium advice, we are going to have to examine in detail the erotica in question. Please send it to us immediately if not sooner.
But until that happens, we'll tide over with some standard, run-of-the-mill advice. Personally, I am of the view that if the kids are reading, it's a good thing. Maybe not the Martha Stewart type of good thing where something delicious gets served for brunch in a seemingly effortless manner, but a good thing in the sense that their minds are engaged, they are quiet, and they leave you the hell alone. What more can a parent ask for?
Erotica is tricky. (And tricky erotica is trickier.) Because I am not sure how racy your daughter's erotica is. If you had a chance to read through it, you probably have an idea how many shades of crimson it made you turn. And while I think reading erotica is a healthy expression of sexuality, it may contain things that you are not comfortable your daughter being exposed to. But that is the reality of life in the 21st century. Our children have access to information, whether we like it or not, and as parents it's our job to make sure they have the tools to process that information.
Talk to your daughter. Tell her that her reading material is up to her and that you hope that if she ever comes across something that is confusing, scary or doesn't seem to be anatomically possible, she will talk to you. And that she should thank her lucky stars that she doesn't have to read erotica like we did back in the day -- in the snow, up the hill backwards. At least that's what it felt like to me as I looked through my mother's copy of Lady Chatterley's Lover.