BDSM Dilemma – Should I Tell My Parents?

No matter how close children are to their parents there are some things that probably shouldn’t be shared – and sexual preferences is one of them.

Most of the time parents don’t really want to know about their children’s sex lives. Just like most people do almost anything in their power to avoid thinking about their own parents as sexual beings, parents balk at the very idea that their children have sex at all, even when those children are well into adulthood.

Add to this already existing unease an element of danger, perversion, or “evil” (as are often associated with the term BDSM), and it’s easy to see why having this discussion could do more damage than good.

Dear Dan and Jennifer,

A few of my very close friends know that I am into BDSM.

Because BDSM is so taboo, I could never tell my parents. My friends feel that I am lying to my parents because I tell them I am going to see someone else when I am actually going to see my Master. I am well over eighteen so I don’t feel that I am legally obligated to tell them.

– Amanda, Kentucky

Should I Tell My Parents I’m Into BDSM?

The Short Version Is – It’s None of Their Business

Really it’s not! As long as you’re an adult you’re entitled to make your own choices, including the choice to engage in and enjoy consensual BDSM sex play.

Unfortunately society hasn’t evolved enough yet to openly accept the fact that people derive pleasure from all sorts of sexual activities. Those that involve pain, bondage, and other “deviant” behaviors are especially persecuted.

Although this is slowly changing, and BDSM is moving into the mainstream, there’s still a good chance that those you do tell will look at you differently, and will disapprove of your lifestyle choices.

In general, people have a hard time accepting sexual preferences that differ from their own. Parents are no exception.

Unless your parents are also sexual explorers and have dabbled in BDSM themselves, the likelihood that they’ll understand why you would even consider engaging in those types of behaviors is very slim.

You are Still a Child to Your Parents

It’s important to remember that in your parents’ eyes, you are still a child in need of protection and guidance. Depending on the morals and values your parents tried to raise you with, telling them that you’re involved in BDSM could be a proverbial “slap in the face”.

They may interpret your choices as going directly against the very things they believe are good and right. As best, they may accept your differing morality, but at worst, they may denounce you completely as being an amoral or bad person.

They Will Probably Try to “Fix” You

If you decide to tell your parents about your BDSM adventures, don’t be surprised if their reaction is to try to “fix” you somehow. They will probably try talking you out of liking such activities or suggesting you see a psychologist to “get over” this issue.

Be prepared to spend a lot of time and effort explaining yourself and fielding their well-intended attempts to change you.

There is, of course, the possibility that your confession could make you closer to your parents if they are very open-minded people. But since these kinds of parents (and people) are rare, don’t count on a positive reaction!

Instead, weigh your decision carefully, keeping in mind that telling them could ruin the relationship you have with them now. Choose your words wisely, and know what you are going to say beforehand. This isn’t a conversation you’ll want to improvise on the spot.

Consider Getting Your Own Place

Although it’s understandable that you don’t want to continue lying to your parents, you shouldn’t feel like they have to know where you’re going every time you leave the house either.

You’re an adult, and as an adult you have the right to your privacy. Why not consider eliminating this problem completely by getting your own place?

One of the best things about being a “grown up” is you get to do your own thing without having to answer to anyone else. Getting your own place will give you that sense of freedom, and you won’t feel forced into lying to those you love anymore.

Keep Your BDSM Preference to Yourself

Whether or not you continue to live with your parents, our best advice is to keep your BDSM activities to yourself. Now that you’re an adult, you’ve earned the right to make your own sexual choices and to keep those choices private – use them!


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