Giant Cock Blocking

Is a tween-age Google search for “big boobs” any more terrifying than a fourth-grader sneaking peeks at Dad’s toilet-perched Playboys? This is the question I’m asking myself after an entire day spent disabling programs, changing passwords, enforcing restrictions, and downloading parental control apps on our too many devices. Attempting to block all inappropriate material from oozing through the interspaces is more exhausting than explaining the pornography they’re going to find, anyway. You win, naughty, naughty Internet… you win. I only hope that when my boys do, inevitably, browse across the filthy stuff… I will already have forced them into embarrassing discussions about the filthy stuff.

Until yesterday morning, we were parents who trusted our children on the Internet. Our kids ask to download things that are free, make compelling arguments for things that are not, are “caught” watching only super nerdy Minecraft videos on YouTube, and groan with wearied patience when I re-iterate don’t-chat-with-strangers edicts. We’ve had more than one discussion about why you should never SnapChat your butt, no matter how hilarious Teddy thinks this would be. But upon awakening, as we learned we were the unwitting owners of untold Clash of Clan riches, we knew it was going to be a long day re-inventing passcodes with one capital letter, a phonic symbol, three numbers, and whatever Prince used to be called. The boys’ answers to direct questioning– “Did you buy this virtual crap?”– were met with guilty, evasive answers and implications of “gliches” and “hacks” that sounded just like the lies I told my parents to justify a missed curfew.

Buying fake gems from a virtual world to buy an army of ogres and a pen of swine wasn’t the most egregious of Internet missteps. But after we ascertained it was inadvertent in-app clicking by our own children, and not our Amex card lifted by dorky thieves, we realized how poorly protected our web-connected lives have become. I took my 10 year old’s phone—programmed, I thought, to permit only PG content—and failed the Jenna Jamison Test, easily browsing right to eager mouth engulfing giant cock. Panic ensued. Will a quick check for bracket standings or Red Sox scores send him directly to Club Jenna due to my history-erasing incompetence? Will future Google searches aim him toward overblown implants traipsing through improbable scenarios involving repairmen? While I have no strong, political or religious opposition to pornography, I think small minds aren’t quite equipped to deal with circus sex of the Jamison variety. These boys still recoil in horror when animated Disney characters kiss. And we probably have a compelling parental duty spare our innocents eager mouths devouring giant cocks… especially since Teddy prefers to ask his unprompted questions loudly, and in public spaces.

Darling Bernie called midday to find me tethered to our devices attempting to disable all of our browsers and install protections that would probably prevent me from ordering a two-piece bathing suit. He suggested these endeavors might be futile, and quite possibly, a huge waste of time. What are we trying to prevent, exactly? Maybe we’re only trying to protect ourselves from talking to our kids about pornography and its utter distinction from sexuality. True. But I still need to prevent other people’s kids from voyaging through Giant Cock Territory in my home, on my watch. I think the only way to do this is to be home.

My friend April initiated a house rule, requiring surrendering of all electronics to the kitchen counter upon play date arrival. Automatic shutoffs at bedtime and restricted use in bedrooms can also curb sneaky peeks into Naughty Land. Because it is impossible to censor the Internet without driving ourselves bonkers, our best tact is to arrange our devices so that children can only Google search in our most public spaces. And then, when they inevitably wander into Jenna’s world of magnified parts and rhythmic gymnastics, we’ll need the talent and courage to explain that.

Recently, the school’s 5th graders viewed the sex education video. Because my younger boys had heard the whispered giggles on the bus and lame jokes in the cafeteria, our dinnertime discussion was all about sex for a couple of evenings. Exasperated and slightly embarrassed by my enthusiasm for the topic, Teddy complained,

“Why don’t you let us learn anything at school first?”

Well, because no one is learning everything from a 90-minute video, because your classmates are going to get it wrong, because this topic should be largely taught at home, because your parents are physicians, because I want you to be as smart about sex as you are about math, and because it’s my job. And if I can instill a few beautiful truths before they are exposed to the titillating confusion of pornography, then I win naughty, naughty Internet… I win.

PARENTAL CONTROL

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10 responses

  1. The girl sure knows how to write a title…I’m figuring the boys will have found and read Mom’s piece by bedtime. Love ya…and the post.

    • I now realize the title will bring more views to the site than “Jennifer Aniston’s ass” does daily. It’s true, the kiddos will be able to find these musings sooner than I think. I should probably quit embarrassing Teddy on here. But he’s hilarious.

  2. Ok, first of all, I agree with Teddy about the butt-snap-chatting. Second of all, this might be the best post of yours I’ve ever read. While I’m empathizing with you and Bernie about all the challenges you face, I’m gleefully laughing that I get to be audience for this one. I can’t wait to see how this turns out!

    • Thanks, Jason. Bernie really did encourage me to stop trying to make the Internet fringes disappear…. because we can’t. A good friend confided that her son downloaded a super-inappropriate movie recently. We decided that the appropriate punishment was having to discuss it… with his MOM. xoxo

  3. You had me at the title 🙂 …and then as I read, I couldn’t help but think about what I have ahead of me. My daughter is drawn to the computer at 5 and begs to play all the time. She is so damn smart and sneaky, it is only a matter of time before she goes snooping for lord knows what. I’ve realized since I started adding images to my posts, just how effed up people are. I search the craziest and mundane things and it seems like no matter what it is, at least one sexual image will be in front of me. Be it boobs, cock or cock in boobs.

    Good luck with all this! I know I will be “that Mom” when it comes to the topic of sex.

    I had to share with my FB peeps. You write on such relevant topics for all of us…and you do it so well!!!

    • Oh Dawn, thank you so much! Yesterday was a whirlwind of panic which settled into a more relaxed giggling about the unholy mess of the Internet. I am resigned to my inability to block giant cocks. The real work with be trying to keep these kids coming to me with questions, and having the straight face and bravery to answer them.

      • I have a friend who is a mother of a tween … listening to her tell me the questions her daughter asks her is terrifying. On the one hand, of course, she is glad that she asks HER that stuff but on the other she’s like “holy shit!” how do I answer this stuff!??? Yeah, I’m scared. My daughter ALWAYS has follow up questions.

  4. I think pornography is demeaning both to the participants and to the – er – viewer. But I recognise that I live in a culture that doesn’t share my views/values and if you asked me if just because I think it’s wrong it means it should not exist I may say no, providing those involved are choosing to be involved, though I am not convinced that the definition of choice doesn’t also cover coercion. Anyway, it’s not coming into my home and I can’t expect more than that.
    I winced my way through a very candid discussion with my then-12-year-old son after buying him a book. We took the general advice of only having internet access in the living room, with an adult nearby – and none of our kids own any devices with which they can access the internet in another way (well, they do, but we have a secret wifi password so they effectively can’t get online). Nonetheless my eight-year-old daughter, who still lisps and still charms people just by being cute, came home from school last week and announced, “Look at me, Mummy! I’m twerking!” I nearly choked. She’d learned it at school, she said. Hopefully not from the teachers o_O Thankfully her version of ‘twerking’ was nothing more than wiggling.
    However much I want to hide my head in the sand, or emigrate to the wilderness until the youngest is 30, it’s not a good way to teach my offspring. I decided a long time ago that honesty is the best policy and I will always be honest and open with them, even if they make decisions that I don’t like. But I’d still like to know who told them I am *not* the Ultimate Source of All Knowledge.

    • Sandy, I was probably a bit more relaxed about pornography in those paragraphs than I actually feel. I think the world would be a more loving place without it, but I would never deny consenting adults their enjoyment of it. But because it’s not only here to stay, but readily accessible to small children, we’ll all need to up our arsenal of explanations.

      I’ll never forget being asked by precocious boys on the boardwalk if I and my 13 year old friend “gave head” on a first date. We had absolutely no idea what that meant, and certainly would NEVER have gone to our parents to find out. (Instead we went to the girl rumored to have made it to third base. She totally knew.)

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