Connect
To Top

Ask The Good Enough Guy: Our Son’s Been Downloading Porn!


Hello Will,

My wife and I have recently discovered that our 16-year-old son, Kyle, has been downloading porn on his computer.

My wife, Tina, is quite conservative in her views and thinks we should take away Kyle’s computer, whereas I think it’s a natural rite of passage for a young boy.

Who’s right, who’s wrong – and what do we do next?

Thanks

Michael, Mississippi

Hey Michael,

I knew it was only a matter of time before this question crossed my desk. First, a warning. For you, and the other dads out there, this will be old news, but for some moms out there who haven’t been down this road yet… this may be a bit traumatic.

This is the oldest one on the books. MAN LAW: Men like naked. Men think about naked a lot, and we try to see naked as often as we can. I’m not a doctor, but I believe this probably starts not long after we leave the crib and usually lasts until we leave the earth. Yes, Tina, this includes your son, your husband, your dad, and the guy writing this article. When I was a couple of years younger than Kyle, I would sneak into my brothers’ room and look at magazines that they kept hidden under their stereo speakers (back when a speaker was the size of refrigerator.) And I, like 99.99% of the rest of the men in the world, did not turn into Jack the Ripper, and your son won’t either. Here’s how I see it:

Why it’s probably no big deal– There are two kinds of men in the world, those who will tell you that they’ve looked at porn and those who will lie. And sorry moms, but ALL of these guys were probably masturbating while they were looking at it. Whether it disgusts you or not, it’s perfectly natural. Kyle is experiencing and exploring a whole bunch of new feelings, and he’s probably exploring his new teen-aged body as well, in the sexually safest way possible. No diseases, no pregnancies, no problems getting to sleep, and he’ll probably be in the shower a lot longer so he’ll be squeaky clean. Other than a grossed-out mom and a higher hot water bill, everybody wins.

When it may be a big deal- Here we go. Is porn addictive? It can be. And so can food, television, chocolate, video games, soda, eating chalk, sniffing gasoline, and a thousand other things that your son can become addicted to as a teenage boy. Will he become addicted? The chances are very, very slim, but if Kyle starts showing signs of being addicted to ANYTHING, then it’s time to call in the folks with the letters after their names. Is porn illegal? Downloading porn under the age of eighteen is like smoking under the age of eighteen; the kid won’t get in much trouble, but the folks that supplied it can. However, you didn’t supply it and you don’t really condone it. The problem is even if you take his PC, laptop, cable TV, iPad, and smart phone, if he wants to see it, he can still find a way. Don’t you just love the information age?

What you should do next- First, if you haven’t had “the talk” with Kyle by now; it’s high time you did. And I don’t mean the “If you touch it, you’ll go blind” conversation that your dad gave you. I mean the full-length, no holds barred, cornucopia of embarrassment. Explain his body to him, explain the things that he’s probably feeling and why he’s feeling them, explain the female body to him, explain what happens when two bodies get together, explain what you expect from him as far as his sexual responsibilities (both as a single player and in couple’s play later on). Then later, when you think of some other things you should have said, go back and explain those too. This conversation doesn’t end for you until his wife takes over.

– Next, explain to Kyle that, while you don’t mind him “exploring”, you don’t want him downloading porn or looking at it at all until he’s 18. Telling him that there are laws involved is a good cop-out, but just knowing that his parents know and are watching him will probably slow him down quite a bit. Will he still sneak a look on occasion? Well… didn’t you?

 – Finally, you may want to limit Kyle’s computer time a bit, but I wouldn’t bother taking away his computer. Even if you do, you can’t erase what’s stored in his memory banks anymore than you can stop the vivid imagination of a teenage boy. The best you can do is try to tamp down on it a bit. You don’t want the boy to hurt himself. I had a young friend in the military who had blood shot eyes, a limp, and a handshake that could crush a cue ball. They nick-named him Palm Pilot, but I never did see him with the device.

Sorry again moms, that last line was a joke for us dads.

Michael (and Tina) my final word is, while I wouldn’t condone it, I wouldn’t get too bent out of shape over it either. It’s just a phase boys go through.

He’ll grow out of it… kind of.

 Will Jones

William Jones is originally from the tiny town of Alton, Illinois, and now lives in the tinier town of Reisterstown, Maryland. He is a happy husband and a proud father of three, and writes as a hobby, in those few moments he finds between husbanding and daddy-ing.

 

5 Comments

  1. keith

    August 6, 2011 at 9:38 am

    What he said.

    And I promise not to show your son how to private browse, clear all of his cookies, cache AND images after each session, or format a partition on his hard drive and hide his new ” possessions” so you couldnt find it even if you wanted.

    One thing I will add, and this is coming from a tech guy:

    Make him buy his own computer if he does not already have one. Its one thing to destroy his machine with potential malware and viruses, its another to thing to do it to the family’s. Because he’ll get a virus eventually. I have worked on enough of them, and have even had to fix my own for the same reason (Im a man, too). I would go as far as to say, tell him he cannot surf for pr0n anymore until he has is own. And if he has his own, he needs some really good AV/Malware software…or become really savvy with computers.

  2. juli

    August 6, 2011 at 10:05 am

    I agree, boys and their visual toys; No big deal, except for the viirus risks. But one thing I would make sure is the type of porn (I’m guessing this would be dad’s job) There are some very ugly porn sites on the internet that show women and sex as something to be controlled and abused. I wouldn’t want my son’s curiosity tainted by some of those ugly sites or think it’s okay and normal to expect that from their partner.
    Good point about the addiction..I have heard from many a woman (I tend bar) who never get any because her man is more into porn than the real deal. OMG!
    I was able to shave a $200.00 pay per view off my cable bill by throwing the “are you selling porn to underaged children?” card on the table.
    I know, I know. We are parents and we are suppose to have the magic powers of knowing exactly what our children are doing at all times..Ya right. A parent has to sleep. There are worse things out there then a boy checking things out.

  3. Irene

    August 6, 2011 at 10:06 am

    Okay Good enough guy……let me be the 1st mom to go on the record…

    Yes, men like naked, all “palm pilot” joking aside I wouldn’t ground the kid over it….BUT….I think in this day and age I would encourage a magazine or a safe internet site….here is why…the internet is a swamp….what happens if this kid accidently clicks on a link that is considered “child porn” and the cybercrime division of homeland security or another keystone cop agency ends up at your home??? You could be in way more in legal fees, public ridicule, an episode of Nancy Grace then you bargained for…

    Yes, boys will be boys….but safety is important to!!

  4. Rose Jones

    August 6, 2011 at 11:30 am

    I have two boys now 19 & 24 and in their teens they both downloaded porn – the younger one more so then the older one. I found it because on their computer they saved it on the desktop under my login – lol. It was quite the collection – Larry Flynt would have been amazed.

    After finding it that gave us (I mean me )the perfect opportunity to have the “talk” with them – about sex, treatment of women etc.. I think porn for guys is a right of passage and a learning tool- its what guys do.

    The only one that was freaked out was their sister – she accidentally opened a movie lol.

    The bottom line is parents need to be open and honest about sex, drinking and drugs. Having the open dialect is the best thing a parent can do – raise an informed kid.

  5. Will Jones

    August 6, 2011 at 1:01 pm

    Keith- As tech-savvy as kids are these days, I’m surprized the parents found it in the first place. And even if he does end up with a virus, it’s far better than the viruses he could get experimenting in “other” places.

    Juli- Yeah, grown men O.D.ing on porn is a question for another day… and I’m sure it won’t be long! LOL

    Irene- If this kids is going to child porn sites, it’s not by accident, and the parents have a whole new set of problems. Most porn is run of the mill stuff, but the illegal stuff is like anything else illegal: you don’t find it by accident. You have to be looking for it, and even then you’d probably have to jump through hoops to get to it.

    Rose-Great points. You can always tell when a mom’s been through this phase and the others that come with raising boys. Not much shocks her anymore. Thanks for the great comments.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in Ask The Good Enough Guy

Combing the aisles at Target in search of the best deal on Cheerios, it hit Rene Syler like the stench of a dirty diaper on a hot summer’s day. Not only is perfection overrated its utterly impossible! Suddenly empowered, she figuratively donned her cape, scooped up another taco kit for dinner and Good Enough Mother was born.

Copyright © 2017 Good Enough Mother® Designed By ABlackWebDesign