Lesbian Teens and Sleepovers
Photo: Chris Wells
I was recently asked my opinion on a parenting quandary. A friend wanted to know: do you think it’s OK for my gay teenage daughter to have sleepovers with her girlfriend at my house? Would you allow it at yours?
My first response is, “Hell no, I’d be driving that girl home just like I would a boyfriend, and no hanging out in bedrooms either, even with the door open, and if they’re hanging out in our basement TV room, I have a moral obligation to walk through at least three times while they’re entwined on the sofa, to make sure the clothes stay on.”
Draconian, eh? Experienced, maybe. Though, by the time I brought a girl home and had sex with her in my mom’s house I was 19 (and in my third year at college), and had been having sex in boys’ bedrooms for three years.
Not coincidentally, most of the boys were living in the basements of their divorced dads. They tended to throw money at their sons to keep them out from under foot, and didn’t care how many girls traipsed up and down the stairs at all hours.
OK, so that was my first response, and the same one our own teenagers got during discussions of dating.
But my second response was more complicated. As a parent, I have a responsibility to not endorse teen sex (STDs, pregnancy, emotional complications getting in the way of school and a balanced life); as a parent living in 2010, I have to know sex is probably inevitable during high school. If not before for some kids.
Do I want kids having sex in the back of cars? Heck, no. Or at parties? No way. Or hide it from me because they know I’d prefer they not do it? Nope.
With teenage lesbians, it’s tougher. What we might call sex, they could call “hooking up” and in a heterosexual context wouldn’t even be considered “sex.” Or so I hear.
It’s that penis thing. Somehow that makes it “sex.” Silly me, I thought it involved pleasing each other genitally and maybe reaching orgasm, one of the two anyway. Both would be a little much to ask of teenage sex. The quality tends to be low.
And the girls are probably finding a way to get into each others’ pants if they really want to, but if they can’t do it at will whenever they want to, you might cut down on the quantity of encounters, the number of base runs, the distraction from schoolwork, and the chances they’ll run away together and do a re-enactment of The Incredibly True Adventures of Two Girls in Love which is an awesome movie, but not something you actually want to happen.
So my third response was to talk openly about it. Get a feel for both girls’ level of maturity. Urge dating instead of hopping into bed or renting a U-haul on the second date. Drive them to the movies. Take them bowling. Invite over their friends for dinner. And keep talking because things will change and rules may become outdated or moot.
Tell your teenager you love her. And show it by staying involved. You do want to be a shoulder to cry on if heartbreak happens, after all, no matter the gender of the dirty scoundrel who dumped your daughter.
But that’s my opinion.
Blogger Bio: Beren deMotier is a Carol Brady in Levis/tattooed lesbian mama in a mini-van, obsessed with safety, doing the right thing and the amount of dog hair on her wood floors. She is a regular contributor to both Curve and Black Lamb, and has written for Hip Mama, And Baby, Pride Parenting, ehow.com, and for her blog, “That Lesbian Mom Next Door.” Her multi-award-winning book, The Brides of March: Memoir of a Same-Sex Marriage, recounts her giddy leap through a legal window, straight onto the barbeque pit of public debate when she and her partner married in Oregon in 2004, their three children along for the raucous ride. (berendemotier.com)