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How judgemental should I be about my friend who is into dominance/submission and her being around kids?

(38 Posts)
TouTou Mon 09-Dec-13 17:26:14

Hi, (sorry, long!)
I'm bound to get this wrong and sound either too judgey or to be told to keep my beak out, but there are a few things my friend (who is in a BDSM relationship) is doing that is starting to make me feel uncomfortable for her, and my kids.

Background - I've known this friend for a couple of years. She's a single mum and is incredibly kind and generous. We often do things together with our kids ( she has one the same age as mine, although she also has a son who is 19 as well) like swimming, parks etc. She's the first person I would go to if I needed someone to have my kids if there was an emergency appointment etc.

I've always known she is into 'events' - lots of whipping, roleplay etc, but it's been 'each to his own' for me. She occasionally tells me details, but generally, we stick to ordinary 'friendshippy-kids stuff' But her most recent relationship is making me uncomfortable. I'll bullet point things:

-Her new "dominant" is 2 only years older than her son. Fair enough to have a younger boyfriend, but she now wants to get the family all together for jolly Christmastime. From what I get, this guy is purely there on a sexual basis, he's not really a boyfriend. Her son is a little off the rails already (recent arrests for criminal damage and drunkeness) and I just wonder what affect this will have on him, having this new guy around during the holidays.

- She is always, at the moment, covered in very obvious whip marks, up her legs and on her back and arms. Again, I wonder how that makes her sons feel, seeing that. When my own kids have asked, I said that she must be accident prone or has been sitting on garden chairs too long (biscuit) She tends to wear fairly skimpy clothes, even in winter. I feel really superficial about this, but I feel a little embarrassed to be around her when she is covered like this. I know it's my problem - isn't it?

-At the moment, she has this guys initials carved into her skin on her chest. Again, I just wish she'd cover it up a little as my daughter is kind of freaked out as I can't come up with a good explanation. This is my problem again, isn't it? I just don't know.

-She is leaving her 10 year old in the care of her 19 year old when she goes to London every other weekend to see her new 'dominant'. The 19 year old is not a reliable babysitter and she knows that the younger boy is being left till 2am often at night by himself. I've taken to having her son at mine instead and raised that the arrangement with her older son might not be safe, but she is adamant the younger DS is fine by himself in the house. In fairness, her 10YO is very street smart.

-I know she 'plays' alot of these 'games' with her dominant (by Skype) while the boys are in the house during the day. Sometimes, the dominant makes her kneel in the corner for 30 mins and he watches on a webcam etc. Is this any worse than having a fumble under the duvet on a sunday morning with your partner? I just don't know anymore, but I find it all a bit unsettling.

-She has to ask the dominant to do any smallest thing. So I spend so much of my time waiting for her to text him and waiting for his response while I'm with her. I kind of feel uncomfortable her carrying out her submissive role while I am there. But because I'm not part of this 'culture' I don't know if I'm being unreasonable or not.

I guess what I'm saying, is this is a good friend, who is in the flushes of a new relationship, but that I feel like I'm, my kids and her kids are being too much drawn into her sex life. Would you say anything? What would you say? Am I being too judgy? or am i putting up with too much from this friend? Mostly, I am worried about the younger DS.

Thank you for any input.

LaurieFairyCake Mon 09-Dec-13 17:32:52

The problem here is showing your sex life to your children.

I would report that to SS and let them deal with it. She doesn't appear to have appropriate boundaries - she shouldn't be having any sort of sex in front of them

That's nothing to do with judging her sex life but is simply about judging whether her parenting is adequate - and I'd leave that judgement to the professionals

Greensleeves Mon 09-Dec-13 17:36:11

Report to SS. Now.

TouTou Mon 09-Dec-13 17:37:38

Hi Laurie,
She's not having sex in front of them, I know that she did that kneeling in the corner thing with the door closed and the camera on in the afternoon though, in her bedroom, when her son was watching TV. Is that worse than having a quickie while the kids are distracted?

Is texting about being allowed to do stuff come under the heading of 'having sex'? Again, it seems like a grey area to me.

I don't think I'd report her to SS, honestly, she's a great mum otherwise, it just does seem like her sex life is a bit too...flaunted.

TouTou Mon 09-Dec-13 17:38:30

Thanks for replying greensleeves, which part of the above would concern you the most?

Rollermum Mon 09-Dec-13 17:41:08

I thought this would read as judgey but it really doesn't because as the poster above said she is very much bringing her sex life into normal family and social life. That would make me very uncomfortable.

The childcare issue with 19 year old is equally worrying but a sort if separate issue.

Can you talk to her?

TeamSouthfields Mon 09-Dec-13 17:41:09

I.would be very concerned about the 10 year old being left alone at night

Greensleeves Mon 09-Dec-13 17:43:15

Sorry I was a bit abrupt. I think what concerns me most is the casual attitude towards leaving the 10yo alone for long periods, especially at night, or leaving him with a carer who clearly isn't suitable and doesn't actually look after him.

Next most alarming thing is displaying wounds and mutilations acquired during sexual activity, which is disturbing for her children and sets a bloody awful example (I realise this is subjective)

and overall it sounds as though she is very cavalier with her own safety and is inviting people into the family who are not stable or suitable to be around children.

RedLondonBus Mon 09-Dec-13 17:43:43

Is this 'friend' really you op?

Lottiedoubtie Mon 09-Dec-13 17:43:58

Leaving a ten year old in the care of someone unreliable is the main problem here. That and allowing her children to see her injuries.

The kneeling thing- as to whether it's different or not depends I guess on what would happen if the child called out to her/Hurt himself. Would she feel 'allowed' to get up and go to him? If not then that's obviously a SS issue as well.

TondelayoSchwarzkopf Mon 09-Dec-13 17:44:05

I was going to say YABU as other people's sex lives are their own bsuiness and many people into BDSM are also wonderful parents and community members.

However if what you say is true it is clear she has issues with boundaries (ironically) and the 10 year old on his own until 2 would worry me greatly.

TouTou Mon 09-Dec-13 17:44:32

I agree with you both, Rollermum and Team, I think that is the part I am not happy about the most - the leaving a 10YO at night. But she does leave him with his brother, it's just that I think the brother tends to bugger off. I don't mind having the DS here, he is really a very sweet, well adjusted boy. But again, I do wonder how I would have felt seeing initials carved on my mums chest at that age, just when you are starting to reach adolescence.
I've brought up that I think the childcare is unreliable, but she genuinely seems unconcered.

Flossiechops Mon 09-Dec-13 17:44:36

What greensleeves said sums it up for me.

TouTou Mon 09-Dec-13 17:46:50

RedLondon - NO! Def not me. Sometimes I quite envy how happy she is with her sex life and how adventurous it is. It makes mine seem incredibly tame, which is why I can't work out whether to be shocked or try and be blasé about it all.

There is no way I'd leave my kids at that age. Probably not until they were 17 or 18!

TouTou Mon 09-Dec-13 17:50:44

And Schwartz - that is why I am struggling with this. It is not that I am judging her about her sex life, or her parenting, it's where the two collide and the grey area that I find it a little uncomfortable. That is why I'd love an opinion from someone who practices BDSM, to see if this is normal to have whipmarks all over for kids to see etc.
And as I said, if I am there and she is asking permission to go for a coffee with me and I know that her asking is giving them both a sexual thrill, I do feel a little hmm.

I think she's cavalier about leaving her DS because I think she is fooling herself that her 19YO DS is an okay babysitter.

IAmTheTwitch Mon 09-Dec-13 17:55:20

Sorry, she has initials carved into her chest? And she flaunts them?

She sounds as if her outlook o the world is skewed. Have you ever mentioned the obvious marks on her? Could her mentioning bit and bobs to you be her trying to open up to you about what is happening to her?

I am pretty openminded to this type of thing, but I would be worried about her.

TouTou Mon 09-Dec-13 18:00:49

Hi IAm
She is into 'knifeplay' at these 'events'. She has spoken about this to me, (although I often stop her an go 'lalalala okay, too much info!') as she really loves being a submissive and also seems very...controlled about it. She doesn't drink alcohol, doesn't do drugs, doesn't smoke, is very into consent - she talks about the fact that ultimately she has control over everything as she can always say stop.
I really have no concerns with her sexual/mental health in that way. If she didn't have kids I'd be saluting her for knowing what she likes. And in many ways,the markings on her chest are like a temporary tattoo, so it isn't that bad really. I just wonder why she needs to show the world. I did mention a few times about the whip marks and whether her kids mind and she said quite breezily that they don't notice stuff like that.

StealthPolarBear Mon 09-Dec-13 18:01:01

Nothing to do with bdsm that she is leaving her child withan unsuitable babysitter. ThT alone is bad

TouTou Mon 09-Dec-13 18:18:34

Thanks Stealth. I wasn't sure whether leaving a 10YO was a bad thing if there was a 'babysitter' there. She doesn't consider her older son to be unreliable.

MistAllChuckingFrighty Mon 09-Dec-13 18:24:26

She is displaying her sex life just as much as if she were shagging on a rug in front of the tv.

I think her boundaries are fucked around her children, and I do think it warrants a referral to SS.

nosleeptillbedtime Mon 09-Dec-13 18:26:25

I should think the kids do notice things like that!

LEDPenguin Mon 09-Dec-13 18:26:41

NC'd for response as I'm not comfortable talking about BDSM on my normal name. Firstly let me come right out and say here that I have been involved in BDSM myself, so there will be no judging of her preferences from me. However, I think you are right to be concerned here, and there are several separate issues.

First, there is the 10 year old being left on his own until 2am. He's too young for that, it's nothing to do with sex or BDSM or anything; he needs more supervision and I think there is a safeguarding issue you could, if you so chose, report. If you know the brother is unreliable, then presumably so does she, she's the mum, it's her responsibility and she cannot place the blame on her older child.

Then there is the issue of your friend exposing children - both her own and yours, as well as presumably other people's, to her BDSM lifestyle. This is obviously inappropriate. Is it reportable? I don't know, I'm not a social worker, I've no idea how they'd respond to it, but especially the carved initials is not something, in my opinion, she should be showing children. They are too young to understand it (it's not my kink and I wouldn't do it in a million years, but I get the thought process behind it; I, however, am an adult with sexual experience, people to talk to, BDSM tendencies and experiences, and accompanying insight) and it cannot be explained to them yet. The skype/webcam in her bedroom with the door closed is ok, I think, no different from any other couple having sex while DC are in the house. Yes, if one of them called for her, her dom said she couldn't get up and she actually didn't there would be an issue, but a. this hasn't actually happened, and b. that would be a different thing altogether, that would move him from dom to abuser in my eyes and those are very, very different things, and c. she has so far done things that are foolish, but not actually extremely awful like that? The final issue of her openly waiting for permission for text for minor things while she is with you is just plain rude and you should let her know you dislike it. She needs to work something out with her dom so they can make their 24/7 BDSM lifestyle (which it sounds like they're in) work without impacting on third parties like you.

Your friend need not be ashamed of what she does - there is nothing shameful about enjoying a BDSM lifestyle. This may be why she flaunts her marks, as a challenge to those in society who feel she ought to be ashamed; she may also like her marks or be turned on by them. But she does need to develop a sense of what is and isn't appropriate, and her ten year old does not need or want to see that. Have you tried being blunt with her? You have made it very clear in this thread that you are not judgmental about her actual sex life. Can you approach it like that? 'Dear friend, I think it's great that you're having so much fun, I'm actually a little jealous of all this thrilling stuff you're getting to do, but you know when I asked if your DC noticed? My DC have noticed, and they find it frightening; if my DC have noticed, yours will have too. You need to find a way to live your lifestyle without it affecting them, because otherwise you are letting them down.' I don't know your friend, so I don't know how she'd respond to that, of course.

nosleeptillbedtime Mon 09-Dec-13 18:28:49

I too would be grossed out by her asking permission to have a coffee with you. You are right that she is drawing you into her sex play like that and presumably you haven't been asked or consented to be part of that.

MonsterMunchMe Mon 09-Dec-13 18:31:29

I have been involved in a bdsm relationship. Not quite as extreme as your friend.

I would never ever ever have displayed marks/cuts/bruises to anyone let alone my DS. And I would never ever do it while he was in the house, or leave him over night to go and get my kicks. Sorry if I sound judgy I'm just genuinely shocked.

She sounds a bit teenagery in love, with the way she flaunts it. Is she trying to prove something. It doesn't sound healthy for her sons or her.

MonsterMunchMe Mon 09-Dec-13 18:32:26

And as PP said, her asking him about coffee etc infront of you is grim, she just has to text/be discret!!

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