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SS looking at porn

atxstepdad's picture

My spouse recently found explicit drawings made by my middle school aged stepson. She did not tell me about this incident and I did not get to see the drawings myself. All I know is they were pornographic in nature and depicted women in a degrading manner. I found out about the drawings through other channels so I didn't confront my spouse. I also learned that he merely explained the drawings away as a "dare by one of his friends from school" and my spouse took no further action. I trust my wife and do not believe she keeps things from me. However, in this particular case I know she was afraid I would make negative judgements about my stepson's behavior. I feel she is often overly protective of her son and tends to minimize things when he does something wrong. He often manipulates my spouse by lying his way out of any trouble. I don't know if she believes him or not but she often lets things pass either because she falls for his lies or doesn't want to confront him. This has come up in counseling and I have stated my feelings to her multiple times but nothing has changed. In addition to the drawings my stepson was caught looking at hardcore pornography via the internet on two separate occasions a few years ago. Given his history of viewing porn, plus the drawing incident I decided to investigate further by analyzing the website traffic on our family WIFI. I found evidence that he was again visiting porn sites. I immediately informed my spouse and we immediately put parental filters on the internet. She also informed his biological father who agreed to do the same. In hindsight we should have all done this a long time ago. My spouse confronted my stepson and after denying it several times he finally confessed. However, I was shocked to find out she plan to take any further steps and asked me not to say anything to him myself as it might "shame him". She dismissed it as him being a normal boy that is curious about sex and there is nothing for me to worry about. I also found out that his biological father brushed it off and didn't hold him accountable in any substantial way either. While I take my share of responsibility for not having the parental controls on the internet I do have to say there's a long track record of this child not being held accountable for is own actions. He knows he's not supposed to look at porn and when he was caught doing so he lied about it. I feel I'm much more concerned than my spouse and fear he may have an addiction. When I suggested the possibility of addiction to my spouse she was unwilling to consider it and brushed it off as me overreacting. We also have a biological daughter together who is much younger and it goes without saying that I do not want this kind of activity taking place in our household.

My question to the forum: Despite potentially causing a major stir should I make a stand with my spouse and insist that he be taken to a professional therapist to determine if he's got a problem or not?

Thumper's picture

He doesn't have a cell phone right/ Sure hope not. IF he does, time to remove it.

I will be blunt. Since bm and dad have decided to blow it off there is nothing you can do except tell your wife, "I believe ss would benefit from counseling. "I" realize that YOU and dad have decided to let this go. It is important to ME that YOU know my position because IF SS does this again and is caught in school I am effected.

Hope it helps a little.

Good Luck

beebeel's picture

As a mother of a young boy it is crazy to me that he was ever allowed unfiltered internet access. Yes, it is normal curiosity for kids to look at porn. The internet, however, contains WAY more than naked pictures and the degradation of women is rampant. He's drawing out these sick fantasies now. Just wait until he starts acting them out.

The main female in his life blew this off. And he's looking at degrading porn without having any kind of discussion, I'm sure, about consent and how women really want and deserve to be treated. Yeah, I'd be concerned.

I would be less worried about a porn addiction at this point than the affect of seeing images and actors doing things of which he has ZERO understanding and then expecting sex and girls to work like porn. And if his mom isn't going to have those tough conversations with him, then yeah, he needs counseling.

New_to_this's picture

I agree with beebeel. No one is talking to him about how porn is not how sex really is and he needs to have the conversation with someone. I agree with the therapist route for him.

I feel for you. I have a stepson who was also looking at porn back in elementary school before DH found out and started parental controls. DH looked into his browser history and found out he was looking at some sick stuff. So he had to have a long conversation with him about sex and porn. SS still tries to get past the parental controls and he lies constantly (he's a troubled kid). We found out because SD was sharing a room with him for a few nights and he was doing it when he thought she was asleep. So, I had to talk to her about the same things.

SonOfABrisketMaker's picture

I agree the kid shouldn't have unfiltered internet access. I think "confronting" him should be handled gently as he is clearly starting to explore sexuality. The worst thing would be to shame him or give him an unhealthy view of sex.

It seems you don't have a skid problem as much as you have a communication/expectation issue with your spouse. It might be time to disengage a bit for your own sanity.

Acratopotes's picture

:jawdrop: I'm lost for words.

You want to punish a kid who looks at porn? At the age he's currently at.... kids do this you know, hormones are kicking in, curiosity is the main problem here, This should be left to his bio parents to deal with, the only thing you can do is to make this a teaching moment.

When my son started with it, yeah caught him out, I did not do a thing, I simply changed my wifi and blocked most sites, then Instead of having an openly heart attack I asked him to re-open the page, I want to see what the fuss is about, Very shyly Deigma opened the page... I looked over his shoulder, poor kid did not know what to do... It was only naked girls doing funny moves and showing all,

I started talking to him, commenting on the fakeness of everything, the amount of make-up, I asked him would you like to marry a woman like that one day, Would you like it if I do that.... and eventually i asked him, now what do you think that woman's son are saying about his mother doing that....
He was shocked cause he realized, that woman might be some one's mother, wife, sister...

Then the mutt asked me about porn, guy porn, normal porn... I said, enough for one night, let's do this next week, by hell next week he called me and said a friend send him a porn movie clip, he showed me, on his phone.... (so much for blocking porn sites through wifi) Well we looked at it and I explained the whole having sex thing, pausing the clip... explaining, showing out the flaws and at the end he said, oh so you only have sex with your wife, I replied with YES.... not before you married, choose the right wife and you can have 20x a day sex, but it's private and out of love... he was 13....

Now he's 22, no interest in porn, yeah he might watch it when he's alone, I don't care, he's not a perv, he still beliefs in sex belongs in a relationship (not marriage only lol) and you do not do one night stands, Yes his friends still sends him disgusting clips and pictures, he looks and laughs, and deletes cause he knows, if he sends it to any one else he can be prosecuted for porn distribution, which is illegal in our country, He knows perfectly well if a friend sends him a funny clip about a naked kid (can be swimming, pee-ing or what ever, and yes there's clips like that parents put on internet) He simply deletes it and tells his friend, if you ever send kiddy porn to me again I will block you...

You can simply take your SS out for fishing and ask him, what did he learn from the porn site, tell him his mother told you and yes you get he's curious but it would be best to ask straight questions and share a bit, cause none of it is really real... use this as a teaching thing not a punishing thing

Tomatoe's picture

Did you ever look at nudie magazines? I did. I also drew transgender pictures of ny social studies teacher in class and got caught. Blum 3 I also have boys who have looked at porn. A simple converstaion from their parents is all that is needed. Butt out. You aren't dad.

atxstepdad's picture

You're right, I'm not dad but but I'd have to disagree with you that it's none of my business. There's a number or reasons I think it's my business. First, we're not talking nudie magazines here. We're talking first line XXX porn. I personally don't think a 12yo can process and internalize it any manner that's going to be positive for them. That being said, his own well being is my first and foremost concern. Legal responsibility or not he's going to be part of my family for life and at a minimum under my roof for the next 6 years. My second concern is for the other kids around him. It's not like 12yo's boys are the most responsible individuals. What if he thinks it'd be cool to show it to his younger sibling? What if he shows the neighbor's kid and I end up with irate parent knocking on my door? What if his best friend isn't allowed to hang out with him anymore because their mom found out SS was showing their kid porn? What if he takes it to school and gets expelled? The list goes on and on... I guarantee you he's not thinking about the kind of consequences that go with those things. So someone needs to do it for him - even if dad doesn't get it.

IslandGal's picture

Wow! I cant offer any advice, sorry. I have 3 Sons..35, 25 and 19..and I have never caught them with any porn..on internet or magazines. They mustve been geniuses at hiding it from me..li'l buggers..lol!

Rags's picture

Your SS is going through puberty and his behavior... while disturbing to you... may not be abnormal. Back in the day the massive amount of adult content (porn) was not available so the imagination had a whole lot more sway in puberty than actual images did.

I would suspect that your SS has seen if not frequents some of the volumes of online content that demonstrates the "degrading" images your SS seems to be creating.

Males are visual sexual creatures and back in the day sneaking a copy of a parents adult magazines or snaking a bodice ripper novel for consumption was the extent of the porn experience for most. That is no longer the case.

While concerning, your SS's art work is likely not a significant long term issue. I certainly advise you and his dad to keep an eye on this behavior but I also advise that the two of you approach SS to discuss it rather than over react and come down on him for what is likely just a boy growing up.

LakesideChill19's picture

Just went through this (and posted about it here).  My SO's son is 9!! I think that all sides of this topic are relevant, because yes, boys (and girls) are curious about changing bodies, words they hear, experiences that are talked, etc.  You've really done all that you can do right now.  You blocked it. You put on filters.  Be wary of pushing to the point where they get clever and really hide, AND still do it. Try and use it as an opportunity to teach him that real women are not like this and a real man doesn't treat a woman that way.  At the end of the day, your DW and BD are the parents and you've made your position clear.

That being said, you did say one thing that troubles me.  You said "She did not tell me about this incident and I did not get to see the drawings myself." and "I trust my wife and do not believe she keeps things from me.", but in this case... she did keep it from you.  If you are equity partners, raising a young daughter, then you aboslutely should have some input.  If your relationship is such that you aren't in that role with SS, then ok, but you are your daughters father.  The fact is that this isn't the first time and it was passed over as nothing Your SS lied about it several times before admitting it during the first go around.  You don't have to make up the truth.  If you have to lie, then you know you're wrong.

For your own sanity, I hope you have a talk with your DW about what the expectations are in regards to SS.  It could prove fruitful and informative to you and give you an outlet to express how you feel, how it pertains to your feelings with a young daughter.  Is is the end of the world, probably not, but it also shouldn't be ignored.

Good luck.