Guest blogger Margie: My daughter watched our sex tape last night. Not all of it, thankfully; I interrupted it before it got too ... shall we say, "interesting." But she saw enough to know what was on the screen: her parents about to DO IT.
After we had the "sex talk" earlier this year, I'd wondered when she would be exposed to porn. I knew it would happen eventually, but man! I was imagining that it would occur in college, when she was miles away from our watchfulness. Never did I think she'd get ahold of our porno -- the one that her father and I had made when the kids were at my mother's. I won't go into detail about what she saw, but it was enough to make me blush. (Or, more accurately, want to die of embarrassment.) She was innocently looking through "home movies" and was -- thank you, thank you, thank you -- just about 10 seconds past hitting "play" when I walked in. I calmly turned off the TV and explained that adults don't always make the right decisions, but that the tape had been made by two loving and consenting adults. Then I took the tape into the garage and smashed it with a hammer.
It's almost funny that this should happen, because my best friend, Jules, had told me how traumatized she had been as a kid after she found and watched (to completion, pardon the pun) her parents' sex tape. It's still burned into her memory. I can't imagine! I mean, I'm a 40-year-old woman, and while I know that my own parents "did it," it creeps me out to dwell on the fact -- even for a second. So now my 9-year-old will carry with her, for the rest of her life, something no person should: visual proof of her parents' sex life. I'm almost grossing out for her.
I didn't make a big deal of it, because I didn't want her to think it was a big deal. But still, I had to do some damage control before she made assumptions about the tape (such as, that it was OK to make one). We had an addition to our earlier sex talk, about how, nowadays (what with camera phones and YouTube), nothing is private anymore. I told her about Paris Hilton and how her private tape had been put on the Internet for the world to see. I thanked her for finding the tape, because we had misplaced it and had meant to destroy it (the truth, actually). I told her that it was best to never, ever make a sex tape -- or even take a provocative photo -- because if it got put on the Web, it would be out there forever. And finally, I said that I was sorry she'd had to see something that was never meant for her eyes. I am so very thankful that I caught it in time, before she got too deeply in (again, pardon the pun), and I hope that I haven't scarred her.
So go ahead, give it to me (ugh, another one -- sorry): You think I'm an irresponsible parent. And you're probably right. Something meant to be fun between my husband and me turned out to be the parenting mistake of the decade. Even though it could have been much worse, I'm kicking myself for being so stupid. Learn from our mistake, and DON'T make a sex tape! Having your kid watch it may not be as bad as having everyone on the Internet watching it, but it comes darn close.