Walked in on Daughter Masturbating with Older Female Friend

Betty Dodson's picture
Thu, 07/23/2009 - 17:12
Submitted by Betty Dodson

Dear Dr. Dodson,

I need your view on something. I am thinking about holding back my 15 yr old daughter, I'll call Sarah, from attending a 2 week summer camp because of something that recently happened between a friend and her. I recently walked into my daughters room while she was masturbating. Sarah was quite ashamed about it and started to unload. She confessed that an older girlfriend of 17 had just introduced her to her 1st real orgasm during several recent sleepovers.

To be honest, that did not surprise because I had been enjoying it occasionally for probably year by the time I was her age and I would have enjoyed it even more had I been encouraged instead of ashamed about it. What did surprise me, however, was that she has been unable to have them on her own. She is precocious and more developed than I was. Her mature body attracts much unwanted attention so I never would have guessed this of her. She seemed more ashamed that her friend could have them so easily and by herself than being caught.
Apparently, it wasn't until her friend started performing oral that she came. She had gotten together with her several times since because of this need. This was not the only friend either that she has done this with.

I know that you have advised mothers to talk to their daughters about masturbation and to even provide them with a vibrator. Dr. Laura Berman on Oprah Winfrey a couple months ago also recommended instructing teens on masturbation and suggested providing them with vibrators, "Having the Sex Talk with Your Kids".

I know that in Europe they openly encourage teens to masturbate at least daily as part of a sex positive health policy. I wish I had known all of this earlier for her benefit. She should not feel dependent on anyone, man or woman, for her pleasure and she should not feel ashamed. To make a long story short, I did buy her a combination of 3 cute introductory vibrators and encouraged her to explore herself and enjoy. I wish I had known earlier. They have enabled her to orgasm on her own and develop appreciation for its pleasures. She is every bit the masturbator I wish I had been and I'm sure that healthy habit will serve her well into her adult life.

She is scheduled to go away to a 2 week summer camp. Problem is, she will be sharing a small cabin with her friend I spoke of and another girl. I know that sending her to this summer camp now will mean they will engage in mutual masturbation if not more oral. I'm tempted to say, "What the heck, go for it and enjoy while you can. After all, I had similar experiences and wished I had felt permission to have more, but that's the past. But the mother part of me says "What the heck! No way. I don't want you to get hooked on this and you may get hurt. Stay in your room and masturbate all you like". Which is the good nurturing mother? Please give me your advice?

Sincerely, LT

Dear Mom,

Times have changed indeed. When I was growing up in Wichita, I'd never heard of oral sex! Although I hear your conflict, I would not prevent Sarah from going to camp. It would seem like a punishment and that might mean she would no longer feel free to confide in you. For me, that's the most important part, not that she's had oral sex with a girlfriend, but she can talk to you honestly about her sexlife.

Women are much more fluid in our sexual identities than men. Our teens are the perfect time for this kind of experimentation. A young friend of mine talked about being a LUG in college. It meant Lesbian Until Graduation. She got married and had a child. Her girlfriend became bisexual. Others went on to enjoy a lesbian lifestyle. It's no longer stigmatized like it used to be.

My advice would be, "What the heck, go for it and enjoy while you can." After all, you had similar experiences and wished you had felt permission to have more. I think you're a great nurturing sex positive mother, so relax and have some extra orgasms of your own.
Dr. Betty

Dear Dr. Betty,

How quickly you replied. Her camp is next week so the timing is perfect. You are great! I shared your reply with her and we talked about it. I've decided to encourage her to endulge but on the condition she be open with me and practice safe sex. As long as she practices good judgement and does it safely, exploring her needs like she is will only open doors, not close them. I would have loved that from my mother.

I never heard the term LUG but after you mentioned it I looked it up. It is very common- common enough even to have a term of its own and college kids cassually throw it around. Although, many are actually "bi" before graduation so I guess that would make them a "BUG". We both laughed about this. I think it is wonderful that girls now have an oportunity like this and without being judged harshly. College girls are open about it and even proud. The times have indeed changed and we both owe it to her to take advantage of it.

President Obama gave a speech on June 29 where he stressed the need for equality of bisexuals as well as for lesbians, gays, and transgender. Sarah may be bisexual so this was inspiring for me. If she is, I want her to have equal right to express herself, live her life, and satisfy her needs as anyone else and with respect. However, she can only discover this about herself through exploring.

Sincerely, LT

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THANK YOU!

Sat, 07/25/2009 - 23:41
Ani (not verified)

first let me say that i want to thank you both of you for giving such parenting advice!

now let me clarify why i say such, although no reasoning is needed it is AMAZING advice!

i am now 21 years old and it isn't until very recently that i have become "okay" with my femininity. it actually makes me cry a little. i didn't have a very good childhood and when i became that "age of exploration" as a child, where your hands wonder Whats this?!, my family freaked out!!! i remember i was very young and i really didnt understand, but because i was looking and curious i was screamed at and beaten and told how horrible it was! I NEVER LOOKED OR TOUCHED AGAIN.

when i reached my teens i slowly started to realized that i was solely attracted to women especially more androgynous/butch women, but i tried so horribly to fight it fearing my home life. but the female body and all of its beauty and amazement was heaven to me. and i became some what of a "stone" "femme" quotes because the term stone is so rarely used anymore and "femme" because i did dress as such then for lack of allowance to dress otherwise, but i have never been femme at heart. in fact the term in reference to me i have to say i truly hate!
but back to the point... i loved being with a woman and her body never bothered me at all, but the thought of me being pleased or still the thought of touching myself or having others touched me stroked fear and disgust from my pores.

About a year ago i had a girlfriend who was quite Feminist... one of the most influential relationships i have ever had. she touch me that there was nothing wrong with it and i came for the very first time where i didnt feel so shameful and tried to hold back. she made me comfortable to a point with my own body, the scents, the tastes, the effects, and even more comfortable with menstruation...

since having split i do feel myself sliding back into the shame at times, but i am able to enjoy myself at times which does relieve some violent stress against my body that would otherwise result in tension headaches and more back pain, and anxiety and many more.

i SO wish that my mother would have done the complete opposite of what she had done, i feel the suffering effects of low self esteem and insecurity with my body so strongly that, even though that one special woman who had entered my life for a short time truly made a major impact in my life, i dont know if i will ever be able to undo what was instilled in me as i was young. one can only hope. its not like there are feminism mentors! ha ha ... keep dreaming Ani. lol

but Thank you... Very Much you are a mother that should be cloned.

We suffer from mothers not moralities

Sat, 08/01/2009 - 10:38
Barbara (not verified)

Ani,
I couldn't agree more. We often mistake judgement of our mothers or fathers as morality. In the end, they know no more than we do. Then we feel shame for what we need and enjoy. It is convenient for them that the thing that gives them pleasure (sex between them in a married relationship) happens to be the norm in the last fleeting century or for them. That's great. But that does not give them license to prevent others from the same pleasures when those others cannot obtain it in the same way. No one has the right to keep life's pleasures from another, especially when they alreay got it for themselves.
You go ut and orgasm all you need and want and make sure you feel good about it. You have some catching up to do. You'll have my respect and you'll have the respect of any other thinking person. We all suffering under the human condition but we all have a right to our life and our pleasure. We only have one life, after all, and your mother has already gotten hers.

Barbara

I just wanted to thank you

Sun, 09/26/2010 - 18:54
thatonegirl (not verified)

I just wanted to thank you as well for being so supportive and understanding with your daughter. It is rare when a mother can view her daughter as a sexual being with needs. If more parents had the great attitude that you have the world would be a better place. Also, thanks for not making a big deal because her activities have been with people of the same sex. Some people would be quick to judge and label her even though she may not be as they believe or want to be labelled. Everything you wrote is true! She shouldn't have to depend on anyone male or female for pleasure but as long as she is being safe and wants the encounters it is okay for them to happen because they are not harmful.

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