Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Letters to mother and son about masturbation

Okay over the last few days I've been working on a post about mothers of sons and talking to them about masturbation for the Good Men Project. I think I finally have it polished up so now I wish to share the post with some folks for two reasons.

One I want to get some feed back on the content of the advice. Do you think it's fitting? Do you think what I say to the son is age appropriate. Am I not giving the mother enough help with how to talk to the son?

Two I want take any questions and experiences. Are there any moms out there that are looking for advice on how to talk to their sons about masturbation (and sex in general) but not quite sure how to bring it up? Are there any boys out there that had a particular experience they want to share about sex education with their mother? Feel free to chime in.

As for what I've been working on long story short the son is using towels to masturbate with and mother would like for him to stop. I write one letter to the mom warning her about trying to stop her son from masturbating by threatening with material that would be seen as homosexual and one letter to the son as to why he should respect his mom's wishes about the towels.

So please take a moment to give this rather long post a read and offer some feedback.


A few days ago I saw the following note on my Twitter feed. It was from a mother who has had enough of her son using the towels for some, "special time".



Okay as you see at the link there's really know way of telling how authentic this story is but for the sake of my point let's say it is completely true. Let's say somewhere out there there is a mom who is concerned for the safety (and appearance) of her bathroom towels as they are under siege by the youthful enthusiasm of her son's sexual experimentation.

One of the folks I was talking to about this on Twitter was a woman who has two sons and she expressed a little hesitation about when they get to that point in their lives. And then she asked me if I were up to writing a guide for moms with sons to give them a bit of a helping hand on this topic. I thought about how I felt when I was a young guy just learning about my body. And as such I think I may be of service to the moms and sons out there on this subject that can get quite touchy (yes that pun was totally intended).

But rather than a guide (sounds too preachy and authoritative) I think a letter may be more of a needed personal touch.


Dear Mom,

As he grows up your son will likely reach a point where he will begin to explore his body in various ways including sexually. Despite the attitudes around sex and masturbation I'm sure that you don't have a problem with him masturbating in and of itself and that's a good thing. I say that because even though you may think that male masturbation is seen as "funny" due to the way it is often depicted in movies and pop culture its still considered quite shameful. With that in mind I'm not trying to defend his behavior of using your towels for masturbation. That is something that he should be doing in such a way that it doesn't damage any property in the home. However I do take issue with what you threaten him with.

You say that if he doesn't stop using the towels to masturbate you would change towels to Justin Beiber and the decor to My Little Pony. Do you realize what you are doing here? You are threatening to do end his misuse of the towels by using decorations that would scare him out of masturbating on the premise that he would not want to do that with towels with Bieber on them in a bathroom with My Little Pony decor. I'm betting you don't mean to but that really comes off as saying that if he doesn't stop you're going to bombard with material that, if you uses, could point to him being gay.

Are you sure that that is the message that you want to send to him? Do you really want to say, "If you don't stop I'll bombard you with gay material."?

Mainly that's an insult to your son and to gay people. Secondly, in all honesty, how would you react if it turned out he was gay? And finally what if that change in decor has no effect regardless of his sexuality?

Perhaps a different approach may be in order. I'm going to go about this as if you haven't had a real sit down talk with him but that is what should happen. A chance for you to bring up your concerns and a chance for him to bring up his concerns.

Since you didn't grow up as a boy (and into a man) chances are you aren't well informed on what's running through his head (it's not quite the same as what was running through your head as a girl/woman). This can be a pretty embarrassing and confusing time for your son. This is a time where he's just learning what an erection is and probably doesn't know much more about sexual pleasure other than tugging on his penis will feel very good after a while, but there is this sticky mess that needs to be dealt with. He wants to feel good but he's not informed on what to do about the it.

Now as for those semen stains it could be that he knows masturbation feels good but he doesn't fully realize just what's going on with semen yet (while on the other hand you know full well what it can do so make sure you don't talk to him as if he knows as well). A talk with him would be an excellent time to inform him.

Of course I can't tell you exactly how far into details to go with him however you must bear in mind that semen is a part of sexual education and he is likely constantly surrounded by other influences that could sway his mind in unhealthy ways. Unless you inform him first and prepare him for when he encounters these influences.

One thing that may help is instilling in him the awareness that while there is nothing wrong with him masturbating that is something that he should keep private at this point in his life. He has to learn that there are some parts of a person's life that others may not want to know about him.

Finally there is one other thing you have to be prepared for. One thing that is likely to happen and if it does you may not get to engage in conversation with your son on this topic and thus not put any of the advice I offer to the test. There is a very real chance that by virtue of not being a man or boy he will not want to talk to you.  

Please do not take it as a personal slight. It doesn't necessarily mean that he doesn't like women or anything, just that he doesn't feel comfortable talking to them about this (as a counter example think about the prospect of talking to your father about sex from a female perspective when you've just barely started puberty). If this should come to pass please do not try to force the conversation on him. He may take it as being intrusive and close himself off on the subject. Should this happen you may need to make use of a male proxy.

This male proxy is going to be a older guy that you trust who has an understanding of what I'm going over with you. He may stand a better chance of having a conversation with your son on the grounds that they are both male. In fact it may help to talk to some of your male relatives before approaching your son just to get an idea of what you may face.

And if you are going to post a note as a warning try offering to talk things out with him or instructing him what is acceptable and not acceptable when it comes to masturbating in your house rather than threatening him with some sort of "punishment".

In closing just let me say that while there is nothing wrong with wanting to protect your towels please be mindful of what measures you take in order to do so. This is very sensitive time for him and also a golden opportunity to give him a head start on educating him about sex.


Now obviously the son is not innocent in this situation. Ejaculating on the family towels is really not cool. I think it might be worth the effort to reach out to him too with some advice.


Dear Son, First off let me say that your mom doesn't have a problem with the fact that you are masturbating. She seems to understand that that is just a fully natural way of pleasing yourself and exploring your body. What she does have a problem with is how you are doing it. She does not approve of how you use certain towels to masturbate with. And honestly her concerns are valid.

You may not have noticed but semen is quite unpleasant to most people. Firstly like other fluids you produce, semen is a part of your body. I'm sure you would not take kindly if someone were to go around spitting on and urinating on something that everyone uses would you? Now you may be thinking, "It will come off in the wash.".  Well secondly if your mom is doing your laundry then that means she is handling towels with your semen on them. That's not a pleasant thought is it? Also while it is mostly true that it will come off in the wash that is not 100% true.

Washing it off completely requires washing it off before it sets and stains the towel. If it's not washed in time it will leave an extremely unsightly yellow stain. A stain that will basically tell the rest of the family (and any visitors who see them) that you used that towel to masturbate with.

If you're going to masturbate may I recommend some alternatives to using the family towels?

Perhaps you could get some towels that are specifically for you and your masturbation (but if you go for this I think you should at minimum offer to wash them yourself as well)?

Maybe just use paper towels or toilet tissue, something that you can throw away after use so no one has to worry about cleaning it?

You could also masturbate in the shower, that way when you finish you are already in the shower and can just wash yourself off like you were going to anyway?

Also don't be scared of looking to your parents for advice on how to handle this. They are there to educate you and show you the ways of the world. I'm sure by now you have know there is a difference between males and females and with your mom being female and you being male you may not want to talk to her about this. She's just trying to help you so please don't take it as her trying to butt into your life. If you don't feel comfortable having this conversation with your mom try to reach out to an adult you would be comfortable talking about this with like your dad, uncle, or granddad.

In closing just let me remind you that while there is nothing wrong with masturbating you must be mindful how you do it and what you are using when live in shared spaces and share supplies with other people. Things can get very confusing and scary when it comes to sex. Don't be scared to look for guidance and help in order to navigate it properly.


What I'm trying to get at here is that the fact that on the son's part he is masturbating is not a problem, just that he is using shared property and with the mother the fact that she wants him to stop using shared property isn't a problem, just her strategy to get him to stop using said shared property.