How young?

I like my women the way I like my coffee: strong, hot, and witty. That’s one of the reasons that I read Fern’s blog Domme Chronicles.

Her recent post “How Old?” has nothing to do with wit, though. Instead, it brings up a serious question: How do you deal with a young person with a sincere interest in BDSM? It’s already difficult enough to talk to young people about sex, because so many roadblocks are there, from religious and conservative groups who try to discourage it for moral reasons, to liberal and politically correct groups that try to discourage it because of the potential for power abuse.

But the inherent possibilities for a teen or very young adult to get sucked into a bad relationship with a jackass masquerading as a dominant may weigh – ethically speaking – on any one of us who is witness to such a situation.

Back when Usenet was a more frequented medium, I was a regular on the group soc.sexuality.general; it was a great place for adults to discuss various aspects of sexuality without (much) fear of judgment, and the group managed not to become a pickup dating site. Because of this, it had a large number of women regulars, so there was always a good mix of new and experienced people.

Once in a while, there would be a visitor who would ask questions, and who would reveal (as much as can be believed on the internet) to be considerably younger than the norm. Most of the group members would simply stop conversing with underaged teens for fear of the potential legal ramifications. And indeed, this was always a difficult decision because we’re so torn with wanting to be a good resource, but not wanting to be arrested for contributing to the delinquency of a minor (a legal issue here in the US).

Anyway, go visit Ferns, tell her I sent you, and then let’s have a discussion.

About Tom Allen

The Grey Geezer Dauntless defender of, um, something that needed dauntless defending. Dammit, I can't read this script without my glasses. Hey, you kids, get off my damn lawn!
This entry was posted in BDSM, coming out, D/s & BDSM, Fetish & Kink, Sexuality & Relationships. Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to How young?

  1. Ferns says:

    “I like my women the way I like my coffee: strong, hot, and witty. That’s one of the reasons that I read Fern’s blog”

    Thank you kindly, Tom!

    “And indeed, this was always a difficult decision because we’re so torn with wanting to be a good resource, but not wanting to be arrested for contributing to the delinquency of a minor (a legal issue here in the US).”

    That makes sense, and I’d say that it’s not *just* a legal issue. There’s a fear of being seen to be a creepy old buggar if you engage, and *how* to engage then becomes an issue. The villagers are ready with their burning torches and pitchforks at the mere hint of “OMG MINORS, YOU SICKO!” if the subject of sex, much less ‘deviant sex’, and youth comes up.



    • Tom Allen says:

      Over the years, I’ve had a number of “young” friends talk to me, mainly because I’m pretty approachable in real life. During the last ten years or so, I’ve become a little more hesitant to engage them personally, and instead have been sending them to web resources that I know are pretty decent. And yes, part of this is because I don’t want to look like “that old creeper guy.”


  2. slave_nemo says:

    I have, perhaps, a unique method of dealing this kind thing. Usually, when someone “new” to the lifestyle asks me questions about the lifestyle, I send them to various website (depending the information they need) and tell them they can find their answers there. That way, I feel I have done what I can and if the person happens to be a minor, I have done nothing illegal. If they return with more questions, I simply send them to more websites. It’s only when they show an interest in me, on a personal level, that I get into the age question.

    My point is, I try to guide them without “being” their guide, as it were. It is all too common for a young person to become “attached” to to the one who helps them. Something I became aware of early on and have tried to avoid ever since.


  3. Ayesha says:

    “… women…..”? How many do u have?

    As for the “age issue”? Like i always (well….um….mostly) do, i simply answer their questions, and go on doing so as long as i think they’re interested in my answers.

    In one of my blogs i once wrote: “I support youngsters to follow their instincts, dreams, and passions, without questioning them, without asking them for their reasons and motives, without making them answering to me, and without sanctioning them for any behavior. As a result of that, they r asking me questions instead, about my life, about what makes me tick, about my passions, sorrow, and thoughts, about what i think about their passions, sorrow, and thoughts, and about our interactions. Manipulation, coercion, dishonesty, righteousness, morals, and protocols, have no place in these encounters. It’s simply a meeting of genuine people, trying to understand each other, to be there for each other, and to enjoy each other, laughing, teasing, and showing true feelings about anything.”


  4. dishevelleddomina says:

    Ok, so Tom, tell me about this from the parenting angle.
    I am going to head of to Ferns to discuss it in light of being a community member, but how should you and I as parents be handling this?
    Does it need to be brought up at all? Should it be part of the birds and bees conversation?

    What do think?


    • Tom Allen says:

      Ok, so Tom, tell me about this from the parenting angle.

      Yeah, don’t think that hasn’t been on my mind. My DD is turning 16, and while she’s precocious in some ways, she’s not boy-crazy like some of her friends. She’s also very internet savvy, and I realized that it’s quite possible that she could well be reading some of the same websites that I do.

      I’ll address this one, though, because I think it’s relevant.


  5. Ayesha says:

    U must be a very brave man Tom. Or is it that u only would ask questions like that in Cyberspace?


  6. Celtic Queen says:

    I’m some way off my daughter getting anywhere near this but I do think about it. Without wishing to dive off on a tangent, of course parental guidance is wholly different to the original question of general minors asking questions of “community” members. My little ‘un is going to observe her parents’ relationship from her unique perspective and hopefully just see calm accord and Mummy’s cupboard with a padlock on it. I will be VERY careful when she wants to play dressing up too:-)) I don’t think a discussion of an FLR (as oppose to the kink components) is a difficult conversation to have anymore than any other topic really. Somethings Daddy is good at, somethings Mummy does and both are equal people sharing the parenting. Bedroom specifics have absolutely no business being discussed here and to be honest, what kid doesnt get absolutely grossed out at the thought of their folks getting down to it anyway?

    Advising other youngsters though? Man, that’s fraught. You run the risk of everything from accusations of grooming to painful and wholly inappropriate crushes. Send ’em links you approve of and let them on their way to make interesting mistakes to regret when they are our age.


    • dishevelleddomina says:

      I agree the specifics of mom and dad’s play would not need to be shared, and no child wants to deal with that.
      I was thinking more along the lines of…
      when we introduce our kids to the scope of human sexuality, in conversation, we are the ones who introduce them to attitudes about homosexuality, etc. and so is kink acceptance part of that conversation?


  7. Ayesha says:

    So, did i actually strike u as one who’s looking for a position Sir Tom?


  8. Jz says:

    I am so torn on this, much like the time I went into a Planned Parenthood and saw this *child* of 11, there to get her birth control.

    I wanted to smack her for even thinking about having sex yet…
    I wanted to hug her for having the brains to do it right, at least.
    And I was profoundly grateful that PP was there to help her.

    We cannot avoid the reality that kids are going to rush in where angels fear to tread. They deserve someone to address their questions but we don’t live in a world that thanks anyone who sticks a necks out for other people’s children…



  9. ptathuk says:


    This is a very touchy subject for many. However, it needs airing. Thank you.

    I remember seeing Bob Flanagan’s Super Masocist film, celebrating his life. In it he was approached by a girl of 17, with the same condition that was killing him. (I think he made it to 42?) However, her life expectancy was late twenties, which was more the norm for the condition. She was obviously trying to cram into her short life as much as possible, and so had a maturity well beyond her years. I found this section of the film both uplifting and heartbreaking at the same time. Bob’s help was wonderful and honest, as she was submisive too. The heartbreaking side was that having figured out what she liked, she wouldn’t have long to enjoy it.

    We all know that the law is an ass? It’s a pity that it doesn’t look at maturity and wisdom instead of just a birth date. If the question is sincere, I personally would try to respond in kind. If confronted with a giggly teenager, I’d give them a superman or X-men comic.

    Anyone who plays power exchange games must have developed a smarter sence of reading people. Trust that judgement. Remember, what was it like for you, when you first started to figure all this out for yourself?



  10. Pingback: BDSM resources for minors « Tales of a Domme

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