Fifty Shades of Red

This is an opinion piece, rather than a Very Important Topic and I have a piece on caring for the homeless that I want to give air to in my “opinion”/current events blog, so here this is. Still, I’m not sure that this topic isn’t an eternal question — and that’s part of the problem.

Today, Valentine’s Day 2015, the sexually “kinky” movie “50 shades of Grey” comes out. Last night, my wife informed me that the kids in Middle School and High School are talking about the movie, that “fetish” is a “regular” word now but that kids mean something different than the clinical definition and more…

I wanted to put my fingers in my ears and say “la la la” loudly so that I didn’t have to think about it because we’re talking about my girls and sexual topics. I get that there’s a personal emotional side to this, as a Dad. I would expect myself to be queasy as my girls grow up and start talking about sexuality because I don’t think my brain should go there. I don’t want to be able to form mental pictures of my kids nude with somebody of their choosing doing sexual things, for the same reason I don’t read their journals. I believe in privacy. Their bodies, their lives, their decisions. Cross-generational sexual thoughts give me the heeby-jeebys and I think they should.

That said, I was mostly sad by the news that it’s a topic. Is there any place left in America where kids can just be kids anymore? Why do they need to know about BDSM? I remember the Clinton years and having to explain oral sex because it was in the news. I consider that to be a relatively normal topic in the adult world between partners or people at the age where sex is everything. Bondage/Domination/Sado-Masochism is, I think, at least a full standard deviation from the mean in terms of sexual expression. Why does any parent have to discuss it with kids who should thinking about the playground swing and finding the other genre “yucky”!if they think about them at all!?

Isn’t there kids world and adult world anymore? Why do kids need to know everything? Aren’t there things their little minds shouldn’t know about because they have no meaning to them? Does bondage really need to be on the Today show? Or the radio? Or the previews at the movies? In the Super Bowl commercials?

Isn’t sexuality a private, adult thing anymore? Is anything? Shouldn’t there be something? Maybe I’m just old and prudish. I’m certain that’s part of it and I know I don’t have any adult reason to dislike the topic. I just think it’s weird.

I get that sex is “natural”. I get that communication between parents and kids is important. I get that people do whatever they do and have the right to in private. If I wouldn’t let my kids in my bedroom in real life because it’s private, why would I let them into the virtual bedroom? More to the point, why would I move my sex life into their life at all?

I know how we got here, but really, did we need to go there?

Peace,

John

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