Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Kaelah's Corner (Nov 2011):
Do You Want Kids With That?

From time to time someone will pop up online and accuse kinky people of being potential child abusers. Some weeks ago this happened for example on Amelia Jane Rutherford's blog, and she wrote a fantastic reply. Since I am sure that most of our readers know the difference between consensual adult play and child abuse, there is no reason to discuss that topic here. Drawing any connection between erotic kink and abusive behaviour is nonsense. Bottom line.

A while ago I had to face a quite different question, though, which had to do with kink and children as well. As I already mentioned in previous posts, many friends and several members of Ludwig's and my family know that we are kinky. The majority of them don't have any problems with that at all, and surely none of them would see us as potential child abusers. But a few people are struggling a bit with the concept of erotic spanking.

Among those who aren't really comfortable with the idea of erotic kink is a female relative aged around sixty, who is very close and dear to both Ludwig and me. I am going to call her Anne here. She learned about our erotic preferences in an unplanned situation. Anne doesn't judge us for who we are and she is still as caring and supportive as always. But deep inside she finds the idea of erotic spanking unsettling.

A while ago we talked about children, and Ludwig and I said that we are planning to have at least one or maybe two. Not in the near future, but in a few year's time. I have talked to Anne about children on other occasions, and she always told me she thought that Ludwig would be a good, loving daddy. That time she suddenly hesitated, though. Then she finally asked: “Are you sure that you want children? I mean, can you definitely make sure that they won't find out about your kink?”

Anne of course never intended to hurt us with her question. She loves children, and I am sure that she will be there to support us when we have a child one day. Her question expressed a real concern, though. Anne was seriously worried about our children-to-be's well-being, because in her opinion children can't deal with the knowledge that their parents are kinky.

I have to admit that I was puzzled by Anne's question. The idea of hiding our kink from our children never occurred to me (read: hiding = not telling them; of course they are not supposed to watch!). I am very convinced that children can deal with their parents being kinky, as long as they are told about it step by step in age-appropriate ways. To my mind the only thing that really scares children is the fear that their parents don't love them or each other any more. Or the feeling that there is some dark family secret, something horrible, something no one is allowed to talk about.

When I grew up, my parents always answered all the questions which I had about love and sex. They had been raised at a time where intimate topics weren't discussed openly, and that had led to rather unpleasant experiences. For example, my mum was very afraid when she got her menstruation for the first time because she thought she was ill. To ensure that I wouldn't make similar experiences, my parents encouraged me to ask all the questions I had and answered them as well as they could. Consequently, when I got my menstruation for the first time, I wasn't scared at all. Quite the contrary, I was very proud because it meant to me that I was becoming more adult.

I vaguely remember that I, like many children, also accidentally entered my parents' bedroom one time when they didn't expect it. I have been told that some children are shocked by that experience, but I wasn't. As far as I remember I asked one of them the next day whether they had been making love. I was confirmed that my assumption was right and the case was closed for me. From what my parents had taught me, sexuality was something positive, so there was nothing to worry about.

In my opinion the same is true for erotic kink or any other special situation. Before I met Ludwig, I had been in the process of becoming a single mother by choice. During that time I had thought and read a lot about how to raise a child under unusual conditions and how to ensure its well-being. My mum supported me in my plan, as she always did, being convinced that I would be a good mother and that I would always take good care of my child. The baby socks in the picture at the top of this post were a little present from my mum to show me her support.

When I was sitting at my mum's bed in her last hours, one thing I told her was that she would have grandchildren one day. My mum liked Ludwig very much, and she neither doubted his nor my ability to be a good parent. Our kink didn't make any difference for her. My mother would have been a wonderful grandma. I wished she could hold one of her grandchildren one day, at least a single time. When the day comes and I will be a mother myself, I hope that I will be at least half as good as her. Then I'm sure that our children will grow up to be happy adults, and it won't make any difference that their parents are kinky.

But what about kinky couples who can't have a baby and therefore want to adopt a child? I'm quite sure if that happened to Ludwig and me and if someone found out about our kink or, even worse, about this blog, the pictures and the clips, we wouldn't be allowed to become adoptive parents. That thought makes me very sad. I just hope that we will never depend on anyone else to decide whether we can have children or not.


Donpascual said...

A very necessary discussion, Kaelah!

I have been kinky since my teens and have raised a daughter without touching her except for three or four incidents, which would have blown any parent's top, kinky or not.

She knew about my passion already as a teen and accepted it. She simply never got turned on by the easy access to the spanking world out there.

She also acknowledged, that the few spankings she got were quite deserved and thank God (!) I did not learn about all the other "crimes" she confessed when we talked about these years.

Today, she is a mother with teenaged daughters and has never spanked them. That is by no means easy she tells me, but it was a basic decision, perhaps in accordance with today's climate of
liberal education, and had nothing to do with me and any adverse effects of my kink.

You see, Kaelah, you can raise kids without danger to have them acquire the kink, except they want it. After all, I don't know myself, how "I got it".

One day, It's there!

Have a good day

Pandora said...

This post was very moving. Like you, I intend to be a parent and I don't think being kinky will be an impediment to that. I even intend to continue my work as a sex worker/pornographer after becoming parent, which I'm aware is a controversial choice.

As far as I'm concerned as long as the boundaries are maintained sensibly, there's no problem. Like yours, my parents were relatively open about sex. I don't intend to expose my kids to anything too soon, but I certainly intend to provide age-relevant information and be prepared to answer their questions. I've been on a spanking shoot where I helped care for the producer's toddler inbetween takes and I see absolutely no ethical problem with this. As long as kids aren't forced to participate in anything, I don't see any harm in adults continuing to be comfortably sexual in the same house as their children. Any shame or discomfort on the adults' part will only transmit itself to the children to their detriment.

That said, I would be careful only to disclose sexual topics to my children in a very positive way which emphasised joy, intimacy and consent. I'd consider that sort of discussion far more appropriate than attempting to convey things like consensual adult discipline or non-consent fantasies until my kids were adolescent and asking those questions themselves. Although given I wouldn't expect a teenager to ask their mum about e.g. rape fantasies, I'd probably make sure there were some appropriate books discreetly placed within reach one they were of appropriate age, so they could do their own research!

You're correct that alternative sexuality and sex work are big impediments to adoption. However, since I'm also poly and a pagan, I reckon I'm screwed in that even before you bring in kink and pornography. It makes me angry that these hangovers from puritanism are limiting the numbers of available homes for children in care, but rather than tackle the issue directly, all I can do is work to make alternative sexualities and lifestyles more accepted and understood in general.

Ludwig said...

Obviously, I am mostly in agreement with Kaelah on this subject. We both want to raise our children-to-be in an environment where love and sex can be talked about openly. If you raise children with the understanding that sex is a natural and positive thing, they will likely grow up to be adults with a healthy and happy outlook on that subject. If you teach them that sex is dirty and shameful, they will likely grow up to be adults with a broken, unhealthy outlook. A lot of damage has been done by repressive puritanism over the centuries.

Where Kaelah's and my opinion differ somewhat is in regards to the appropriate age. I believe that children can and should be educated about sexual reproduction at a relatively early age (the "bees and flowers" talk), but that information about more unusual forms of sexuality, like BDSM, is better withheld until children are around 14 or older - mature enough, intellectually and emotionally, to understand such things. Actually, there are many adults who never reach the required intellectual and emotional maturity... So I feel that you have to be very circumspect with children. You have to take care not to overburden them with certain concepts too early.

Kaelah, on the other hand, is in favour of breaching even the subject of BDSM at a younger age, for fear of the children finding out by accident and then having no idea what is going on. You might remember the Bears Say It With A Slap... post she did a while ago, where she wondered whether this Disney clip might be a good analogy to explain to a child that mommy and daddy are into strange stuff. I think that she is over-optimistic, and that certain subjects should have to wait until children are out of the cutesy Disney age, anyway.

I also distinguish, more than Kaelah does, between 1) educating children about certain subjects, and 2) educating children about the fact that their parents are into certain subjects. These are two very different things. If my child-to-be, as an adolescent, finds out about the fact that there is such a thing as BDSM and that some people are into it, and if he / she breaches the subject, then I would talk openly about it. But do I feel an obligation to, out of my own initiative, tell my child that I am kinky? No, I don't. I think parents are entitled to have a private life as well.

I think the differences between Kaelah's outlook and mine are explained by our somewhat different family backgrounds. We both come from happy, loving families and we both have parents who were fairly open and liberal. However, they still had a slightly different style of doing things. I think that, with Kaelah, the emphasis was more on the community of the family while in my case the emphasis was more on individual freedom and leeway. My father, my mother and I were all loners to a degree, and happy with that. So I think that Kaelah and I, shaped by these experiences, have developed slightly different ideas about what an ideal childhood is like.

jimisim said...

tricipI think that when you have children your kink will become a very minor part of your lives to be enjoyed as and when the time allows.
I see absolutely no connection between enjoying spanking a mature consenting man or woman and a child, so I don't think that's a problem.
When they become sexually aware teenagers you will have either to be much more careful that they don't catch you-but you'll be a lot older by then.
Just go ahead, I'm sure from reading your column you'll make wonderful parents.

Steve from Kent said...

As far as I know, my Mum and Dad were not kinky, but being spanked as a child can turn on the kink in you.

Kaelah said...

@ Donpascual:
I've got the same attitude towards spanking in child education as your daughter. I guess I am even stricter against any form of CP in child education because of my kink and the awareness of the difference between adult consent and non-consent that comes with it. As you say, raising a child without CP isn't easy but it is definitely possible.

@ Pandora:
I think our points of view on this topic are very similar! Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts and your ideas how to handle certain questions.

@ Ludwig:
You are right about the differences in our families.

I think it is more than that, though. I guess that I am more afraid that our children could witness marks from our play or get to hear or see something they were not supposed to witness. My fear is that this could be very scary if they haven't got any idea where it comes from. I don't want to hide from our children (for example lock the door when changing clothes or refusing to come with them to the swimming pool), just because they might see any marks. And I don't want to reduce my kinky activities to a minimum, either, and hide the implements and everything else in a place the children are not allowed to go to, which would be another way of making sure that our children never come across any evidence.

But maybe it is all much less complicated than I expect it to be and there really is no necessity to tell our children anything about our kink. At least not until they are old enough to deal with it (although in my opinion children can generally deal with age-appropriate explanations about love and sex at a very early age already).

@ jimisim:
Thanks for sharing your thoughts! Maybe you are right and it is all much less complicated than I expect it to be. And of course priorities change with a child. But I have to admit I hope that having children and becoming older won't affect Ludwig's and my sex life too negatively. In my opinion sex is a wonderful part of a relationship between loving adults, and I would dearly miss it.

@ Steve from Kent:
I have to admit that I am very happy about not having been subjected to any CP as a child (apart from some slaps with the hand one single time, which I also don't find appropriate looking back as an adult). Every time I witnessed any kind of spanking as a child (and I'm talking about mild forms here), it scared me deeply. I am not sure whether I would be able to live out my kink today, had I been subjected to CP as a child.

Peter8862 said...

I think I am more with Ludwig than Kaelah on the intriguing subject of when and how much to tell a child. Adults do need their privacy and of course, this must mean a degree of subterfuge. I am reminded of that very amusingly titled book "You beat men up for a living, don't you mummy". Children can't be expected to have the necessary appreciation of social mores much before puberty, if then.

I think one just has to accept that the arrival of children imposes severe limits on social life in exchange for some very different satisfactions. And perhaps this is part of Nature's grand pattern for human reproduction and survival of the species. Only when the children leave home and the parents have reached their fifties can they fully indulge these fascinating by-ways. But I can assure you, with great authority, that the fun can then last another thirty years or more. As a nonagenarian, I know !
It's different of course, but for those of us who are non-smokers and have generally lived a sensible life style, it can be well worth looking forward to.

It follows from all this, and from accepted medical wisdom, that love of kink should not be a factor in delaying the optimum start of a family

Kaelah said...

@ Peter:
I know that you are rather with Ludwig about this topic!

I really guess it depends on the child's personality, though. My father just told me a story about me which made me smile and confirmed to me that I should better have a good answer ready, just in case one of our children asks any question about kink.

I was obviously only three years old when I suddenly asked my father: “I know that the babies come out of their mummy's womb, but how do they get in there?” My father hesitated for a moment to find the appropriate answer to that question for a child my age - which obviously made me suspicious right away. He told me that I started turning my head and he knew that the answer had already taken too long for my taste. Obviously he found an appropriate explanation and the case was solved.

I know that I asked many questions as a child and that I was very open about sexual topics as well. And I was always able to deal with every explanation I got. What I hated, though, was the thought that something might be horrible enough that one couldn't talk openly about it.

I don't want to impose anything on my children, and of course I would try to make sure that they don't witness any of our play. If they turn out to be like Ludwig, they might never ask any questions about kink. But I want to have an answer ready, just in case. Because if they ask, I don't want to give my children the impression that kink is something so horrible and wrong that one shouldn't talk about it.

It is good to have a living example that the fun doesn't stop at the age of fifty, though! Without any children at home, opportunities for some relaxed play are much less rare, and it's good to imagine that we can use our new found freedom then. :-)

Olivier said...

A great blog

Kaelah said...

@ Olivier:
Thank you and welcome! :-)