LaughLines: X-rated X-citement Is Cause for Discussion

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Our son Ben, barely 14 years old, has been caught viewing “inappropriate material” on the Internet. Translation: Ben has discovered porn.

Which means I have rediscovered porn.

When I was growing up, we’d see the occasional bare breast, but only by accident. No one we knew breast-fed in public, Playtex couldn’t air TV commercials with models wearing bras (for years, I thought I had to wear a turtleneck under my Maidenform), and my mom even painted a nail polish bra on my Barbie doll (only a bra – I guess Barbie’s nether regions were generic enough to not give anyone ideas). Sometimes our National Geographic magazine would have a photo spread (pardon the expression) about African tribes, but my mom usually snagged the copy before my brother could get to it.

I used to think “porn” was Playboy. When my mother discovered my brother’s stash of magazines under his mattress, it was a family scandal. The photos were pretty tame – just breasts and butts, with blurry shots of specifics – but Mom ordered him to run down the block to church and dive into the first confessional he came to to pray for forgiveness.

When I was dating Matt, we rented an X-rated movie (romantic, huh?), and I couldn’t tell you what all the excitement was about. There was no excitement, and no plot and no real acting, and all the, ahem, “actors” (male and female) looked like they needed a bath. The men had long sideburns and smirks; the women were half-asleep and looked, as my dad once described somebody, “used hard and put away wet.” (I’m not sure what that means exactly, but in this case, it fit.)

This skin flick wasn’t very sexy, since I wasn’t sure what I was looking at half the time – the camera close-ups were so close, all I saw were fleshy parts moving up and down or side to side, with lots of moaning in the background. And the sex lasted forever. The guys jumped up and down on the women and vice versa, but nothing ever happened. Who needs that?

Today’s porn is pretty action-packed by comparison, or so I’m told. I didn’t personally view the site Ben was visiting, but the name alone (and I can’t even bring myself to type it) made me blush. If we had a church down the street, yes, I probably would’ve told Ben to run down there and confess, too, but instead, I suggested he and I sit down at the computer and watch one of those films together, since he apparently didn’t think we’d object to his choice of websites.

His reaction was worth all those mom lessons: eyes wide in horror, lip quivering, face beet red. It was great. And it was enough to get him to swear he’d never watch a porn movie again, a promise he’ll keep, since I believe he’s truly repentant and since I put enough parental controls on his account to make even my mother proud.

We still get National Geographic, of course, and it sometimes includes bare-chested tribeswomen whooping it up. That’s okay with me – as long as I don’t spot any tribesmen with long sideburns and a smirk.

Read More of Cate Drew’s Laughlines

About Cate Drew

I’m on the high side of 40, with three dogs, two teens and one husband, living in a small New England town in a house that’s never quiet. Ever. It’s not that I have a really colorful life – I just tend to write colorfully about it. And there’s plenty of material: marriage to the Man of a Thousand Bad Ideas,.. my mom, who moved Dad’s coffin closer to the street six months after he died so she could visit his grave as a kind of drive-up window…our dog posse…our kids…lots of siblings and in-laws, former co-workers, old boyfriends -- they’re all here. Toss in 14 years of Catholic school and you’ve got a lot of guilt, too. Which reminds me: forget “high side of 40.” I’m 51, damnit.