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Mother-Daughter Action

Emily Flake

By Mink Stole | Posted 12/25/2002

I am a 40-something, divorced, liberal mother with two daughters, 26 and 16, and a son, 18. I know, and have been accepting, of my older daughter's nude modeling in several men's magazines, but recently I discovered some Internet web sites that clearly show she has also been doing explicit sex films and maybe "more." I feel that if she had wanted me to know of this aspect of her life she would have told me, but since she has not how -- or should -- I approach her with my newfound knowledge? I love her unconditionally and I feel she might actually be relieved to know that I know. Also, what, if anything, should I say to my younger children, particularly my daughter? (I don't think she even knows about the nude modeling.) I will support any lifestyle decisions she eventually makes, but I'm not sure how this information about her sister may affect those decisions. Please help me out of this tough spot.

Knows Too Much

Dear KTM:
A look at the back pages of almost any alternative weekly newspaper (or my daily spam-mail) is proof that your daughter is not alone in her chosen field. She's part of what may be one of the few remaining growth industries left in this country. As such, it would make sense for it to be legalized, regulated, and taxed. It would help keep everyone involved safer and healthier, put a considerable amount of money towards the national debt, and leave law enforcement free to chase the real bad guys -- for example, the execs of Enron and Arthur Andersen. Perhaps if Ken Lay and his buddies had been discovered on Heidi Fleiss' client list a few years ago, a lot of hard-working people would still have their pensions. I love my country, but we have a way of getting our national priorities all screwed up sometimes.

You're obviously not a prude, but it's not judgmental to acknowledge that Daughter No. 1 is not going to be asked to speak at Daughter No. 2's high-school career day any time soon. I suggest approaching her as one adult to another. Tell her matter-of-factly what you have learned, and ask her what she would like you to tell her siblings. Or perhaps she might like to talk to them herself. That way she can decide how much she wants them to know and what kind of spin she wants to put on it. I used to tell my nieces and nephews that they could see any of my films they wanted--when they turned 18. Since you were able to find her on the Internet, it's completely possible that her brother and sister could, too. It would be a kindness for her to advise them about any specific magazines or Web sites that might embarrass them.

For two years now I've been in love with this girl at my high school. We've gotten very close at times, but it just never seems to go further than the point where you go on dates. I mean, yes, we have gone a little further, but only on the phone. Now we seem to be drifting apart, but I get the idea from the way she acts that she still wants to be with me. All that has happened in the last month between us has made me really shy. I don't know what to do. I love her very much and I see myself marrying her someday. I just don't know what to do right now. I fear that if I can't think of something soon I will lose her forever. Please help me.

Scared and Shy

Dear SAS
You didn't tell me exactly what went on in the last month, but my gut tells me is that you're moving towards sex a little faster than she, or you, or maybe even both of you may be ready for. That mouth you were born with is meant for more than just shoveling burgers and eating face, you know. And a real, honest conversation about feelings is something most of us gals go totally gaga over.

You should do this in person, though, not on the phone. Ask her to meet you after school to talk. Tell her you feel awkward and shy around her (we like this), but that you really like her and want to be with her. Tell her (and you have to really mean this) that you won't pressure her for sex, but you want to know if she likes you too. Then listen to what she says (we love that more than anything). It might just be that she needs to be reassured that you like her for herself, and not just because she might "go further." At any rate, whether you hear what you want or not, you'll both know where you stand. And you'll know that you didn't lose out because you were too chickenshit to ask for what you wanted.

If you do get together, when and if you both decide you're ready for sex, remember, it takes two to make a baby; birth control is the absolute responsibility of both of you.

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