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My family won't accept my sex life

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
I'm single and enjoy frequent casual sex. I'm very happy with that because I love sex and I don't want a relationship. I usually keep my sex life private, but recently my parents asked me about it. I have sex at the girls' places, at my flat or in my car. I have never introduced girls to my parents or brought them to my parents' house - due to my family's old-fashioned, conservative attitude to sex. Until they said so recently, I didn't realise that they'd wrongly assumed I'm celibate and asked me why I don't seem to show an interest in girls. I corrected them and told them I'm very interested in girls and have a sex buddy, as well as flings and one-night stands. They're so naive that I had to explain to them what those terms mean. They were shocked, horrified and angry with me. They believe that people should know each other for a long time before they even kiss, let alone have sex. They also think that sex must always be confined to long-term monogamous relationships, preferably marriage. I've told them that I don't want that, to which my mother said: "you shouldn't be having sex then - stay away from girls until you're ready to commit to one - single people shouldn't have sex." They've told me that they're very disappointed in me and that they didn't raise me to be the way I am. They've told the rest of the family, who've reacted likewise. I used to get on well with my family, but now I've almost been disowned by them. Everyone in my family now views me with contempt, even though I'm not doing anything wrong. I use a condom every time, I don't mislead anyone, everyone consents, is old enough, I'm not breaking any laws or doing any harm. I live and let live - I don't mind anyone having whatever opinions and beliefs they choose. However, I don't share my family's sex-negative attitude; I don't want it imposed on me, nor do I want to be rejected by them because I choose to be a sexually-active, young, free and single man. Please advise me how I can persuade my family, especially my parents, to accept me living the way I choose to. Sadly, my parents are both seriously ill, so there can't be years to allow them to gradually accept my sex life. I need to know what to say to them so that, before they die, they will stop resenting me for my lifestyle choice. I couldn't stand becoming monogamous or celibate and I don't want my dying parents to hate me.

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hi Steve_ Welcome to the boards *hug*

    Your post is very heart-warming Steve_…So sorry to hear about your parents being so ill :(

    It seems like there is an internal battle inside you - one part of you really wants to follow what you believe in and fight for that, which is completely understandable, and the other part wants to be accepted by your family and make them understand you.

    You say this powerful statement;
    Steve_ wrote: »
    I don't mind anyone having whatever opinions and beliefs they choose. However, I don't share my family's sex-negative attitude; I don't want it imposed on me, nor do I want to be rejected by them because I choose to be a sexually-active, young, free and single man.

    You definitely don't deserve to feel rejected by them just because you have chosen this for yourself, and as you say, you are not hurting anyone. Unfortunately it seems that their "old-fashioned and conservative" way of thinking is causing this rift, and it would be hard to know if they truly will ever understand. You mention the rest of your family has also "disowned you" - what about any siblings or cousins etc? It seems like their generation may think this way, but if you are maybe able to show that your generation is different, then it could give them a new perspective.

    It does seem like there is a lot of pressure on you concerning this - especially as you feel there is a time limit for them to not to "resent" you - and this must be very hard. It might sound easy to say, but it's important to remember that this is more about THEIR beliefs then their actual rejection of you as a person.

    Do you have friends who you can also speak to about this?

    Do keep posting and letting us know how you're doing *hug*


  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    If I'd known that my parents would react so badly, I'd not have told them about my sex life. I love my parents and used to get on well with them. I'm an only child and until recently I was close to them. To be rejected by them feels horrible. It sounds like you're saying that it's just my sex life they dislike but they certainly have a dim view of me as a person. They're rather judgmental people. They don't actually need me (because they're regularly visited by nurses and carers), so they don't feel a sense of loss like I do.

    There's no-one who can act as a negotiator because my aunts and uncles are likewise horrified by my sexual lifestyle and all my grandparents are dead. The only family members of my generation are my cousins, but I've had no contact with them for years. My friends have said that I shouldn't let what my parents think and say bother me. They've said it's my life and is none of my parents' business. My friends' parents are very different to my parents - perhaps because mine are significantly older than theirs.

    I've never had a problem with anyone else's lifestyle (providing they're not hurting anyone), so I have difficulty understanding my parents' viewpoint. They psychologically live in the distant past. For them, the 21st century is a place they don't understand and don't want to know. Their house is like a museum exhibit, frozen in time: 1970s-patterned wallpaper and carpets, avocado-coloured bathroom fixtures, no car, no computer, no microwave, They're unaware of popular culture, to the extent that they haven't heard of some of the most famous people in the world, such as Katy Perry. Until very recently, when I corrected them, they thought that most brides and grooms in this country are virgins. Likewise, they hadn't heard of terms such as one-night stand, sex buddy, swinging etc. They refuse to modernise, still using terms which have not been considered acceptable to use for years. For example, my father routinely uses 'coloured' to refer to non-white people. They don't understand or accept anything other than monogamy. It's probably the case that neither of them have ever had sex with anyone other than each other. They're puzzled that I don't want a wife or children. They think it impossible to be single and happy. They also think that by having sex whilst single, I'm somehow 'cheating the system'. They think I'm violating some unwritten societal rule by enjoying something (sex) that I shouldn't have access to (because I'm single).

    My parents aren't bad people - they just have a fixed, outdated, conservative way of thinking which isn't shared by most people. However, their friends are similar to them, so they're content to live in yesteryear.

    It's true that there's a time limit: my mother will certainly die this year. My father's life expectancy is more uncertain, but he's definitely dying as well. I don't want them to die whilst still resenting me.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Has anyone else here suffered disapproval of their sex life from their family? If so, how did you deal with it?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I have to say I did not suffer disapproval from my family for my sex life, because frankly I never talked to them about it and they did not care. They knew (or at least strongly suspect) I was having sex by the age of 15 though, so I guess they were fine with it. You cannot change old-fashioned people's minds that way. They don't respond to a rational explanation or that two agreeing, consenting adults can do what feels good to them. They only accept the way that was indoctrinated into them.

    I this case I might even go as far and suggest lying to them. At least by omission. Keep your sex life completely private and don't engage them in discussions when they probe into your intimate life details.

    They might come to regret forcing their view onto you when they realize you are isolating yourself from them. At least that's the only way I see them come around.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    How did they know/suspect that you were having sex when you were 15 if you never talked about it with them?

    They already know that I frequently have casual sex - I can't 'unsay' that.

    I'm not isolating myself from them - they're doing that to me.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    My girlfriend of that time slept over in my bed. It was a squeaky pull-out couch.

    Does not matter, maybe they "forget" or pretend it has stopped when they are not reminded of it.

    If there is anything I have gathered from about a decade of giving advice on relationship issue boards, is that parents come around to accept their children after they have cast them out because of differing point of views. The question is if you still want to have a relationship with such narrow-minded people? Just do your thing, I am sure they will be in touch eventually.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Your parents allowed you to have your gf stay overnight in your bedroom - so they must have been OK with you having sex with her. When I lived with my parents, they never allowed me to have girls in my room - let alone stay overnight.

    My parents aren't going to forget what I told them last month - they're shocked and horrified. They didn't know that sex buddies exist - I had to explain the term to them. They're not going to forget because they're nearing the end of their lives.

    There isn't an 'eventually' - they're terminally ill. I don't have several years for them to gradually accept things. My mother will definitely die this year. I don't want to be the 'black sheep' of the family. I want to get on well with them.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Regardless of their narrow-mindedness, they're my parents, my closest family members - and they'll soon be gone forever. My friends can't relate to this, because their parents are younger and healthy - some of them have living grandparents - so they don't even think about their parents' deaths.

    They're not bad people; they're not malicious - they just have dogmatic beliefs and they live in the past.

    How did you persuade your parents to agree to allowing your gf to stay overnight in your room when you were 15? What did you say to them?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Yes, they were OK with it. I just preambled with that to tell you I am not in your position and therefor cannot speak from a position of personal experience. Sorry, if this sounds morbid, but if your parents die this year going to great lengths to win their approval back might be pointless. Let my advice stand for the rest of your extended family.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    My reason for asking you about the situation you were in was that you managed to persuade your parents to allow you to have a girl stay overnight in your room. In comparison, I was never allowed girls in my room at all when I lived with my parents. I thought that if I knew how you managed to talk them round, it might give me a clue about how I might encourage my parents to be less prudish.

    You seem to be saying that I can't repair the newly-opened gulf between my parents and myself. I've never previously had a major falling-out with them (just occasional petty differences that were quickly forgotten), so I've no way of working out a way forward there. I don't want them to die whilst I'm still on bad terms with them.

    I used to get on well with my parents, but they've said that they no longer understand me, nor can they relate to me. I've pointed out to them that I'm still the same person - but they think that monogamy is compulsory and they deem that I'm violating an important rule of society. They said that they can't understand why any girl would agree to having sex with someone without first being in a committed, monogamous, long-term relationship with him. They said that she must have been brought up very badly and that they don't ever want to meet her.

    I've never been close to my extended family, so for my aunts and uncles to find out about my sex life has slammed the door shut on the previously slim chance of getting on good terms with them. I've not seen my cousins for years and they live thousands of miles away - so there's no link there any more.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    It's just that my parents are more open about this in general. My little sister had her boyfriend sleep in her room when she was 13. There was no convincing involved. It was clear ro me that my gf - like any other guest of mine - would stay in my room.

    I don't know what to tell you. You most certainly won't convince your parents about modern sexuality of young people. They are in stuck in their prudish world view and are not ready to consider something else. Best you can do is reach out to them and talk about entirely unrelated things. There is no way imho to have your parents overlook your sexuality short of you lying and telling them that you found Jesus and he told you that premarital sex is a sin. If your parents think that the better party of society eschews sex outside of wedlock than they have their heads in the sand. They probably believe the moon is made of cheese too.

    Arguing with your parents about this is pointless in my opinion. Idk what your your parents jobs/interests were, but to get good with them the only thing I see is calling them up and asking about something they know about. Like asking your mum about a recipe to cook and your dad how to fix a leaky faucet or god knows what. The topic of sexuality has to be completely off limits. If they don't even pick up the phone and ignore you then Idk what else you can do.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Until last month, when I corrected them, my parents thought that the vast majority of brides and grooms are virgins, that cohabiting is rare and that most young single mothers are widows. They also thought that everyone wanted marriage, monogamy and children. Even now, they think that casual sex is rare and that I must be part of some bizarre subculture to even find a girl who's into casual sex. They've told me that I should stop having casual sex, find a virgin, marry her and be monogamous.

    I've tried talking about unrelated matters, but they still ask me if I'm seeing "that filthy slut". Until last month, they were wrongly certain that I'd never had sex. I asked them why they assumed that. Their answer was: "because you're not married - unmarried people usually are virgins".
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Would my parents accept my sex life if they knew that casual sex is commonplace, normal and mainstream? If so, how can I make them see that to be the case? They think that 99% of people are either monogamous or celibate.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I doubt it. It's a bit of a stick your head into the sand thing. Even if you somehow could show them that this is normal and commonplace nowadays they will still be disgusted. Can't teach an old dog new tricks and stuff like that. I know you want to find peace with your parents for the remainder of their lives, but I just cannot imagine a scenario there this happens. I mean they are on death's doorstep for crying out loud, this is the time where most people forgive and forget and try to make peace with outcasts and enemies. Sorry to put it like that dude. Wish I was wrong.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    As you both mention, it would be really tricky to convince your parents to change their views. It's really hard to make someone change their beliefs and what they think is right, especially at an older age. It's not your fault that you can't make them understand - and remember it's not that they don't understand YOU - it's the society as a whole they're uninformed about.

    As StrubbleS says, It does seem as though the best way to be back in touch is to talk about other subjects - could you keep trying to do this? Surely with time they will stop asking about your sex life!

    It seems as though it's a battle between you wanting them to understand and be part of your real life, or having to "lie" or "hide" what you're up to in order to gain back the relationship you had with them. Both options seem unfair - however it does seems as though your main worries is them passing away while on bad terms with you - is this correct? Or is it that you really want them to understand/accept?

    Hopefully this doesn't come across as your situation being "hopeless" - because it's not. It's more a question of what you truly want to achieve our of these discussions with your parents? *hug*






  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    It's worse that this is a new rift; I previously got on well with my parents. It would be easier if this disagreement had taken place years ago - then it would be well in the past and easier to overcome.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Both of the things you mention are very important to me, Christele. I would hate for my parents to die whilst we're still on bad terms with each other and I want them to accept and understand me and my sex life. I haven't given details and I don't need to discuss specifics of my sex life with my parents. I just want them to accept that monogamy isn't compulsory or for everyone and that my sex life is normal, natural, mainstream and not a problem to anyone. However, that seems a Herculean task, as they psychologically choose to live in a bygone era. I realise that society has changed a great deal during their lifetimes. However, most people of their age are not as antiquated as them. I know of friends' grandparents who are older than my parents, yet have a more modern outlook and are more sexually liberal than them. Therefore, whilst I accept that the 'generation gap' is a relevant factor, there's clearly more to it than that. My parents friends' are similar to my parents, with similar outdated ideas and prudish moral codes, so they're cocooned in an outdated mentality.
  • MikeMike Screen addict 🎮 LondonPosts: 2,995 Community Manager
    Hey Steve,

    I just wanted to say it really sounds like you've put a lot of thought into this and you seem to have pretty impressive awareness of everything.

    It does seem like you're hitting a bit of a wall with things at the moment, though, so I wanted to ask a hypothetical question. Assuming no progress was made (not to say that it won't be), do you think you could get yourself to a place where you'd be okay with - for want of a better term - letting this go? Though there is definitely something here about them accepting the way you chose to live your life, there may also be something about you potentially being willing to accept that they're not going to budge and making the best of a bad situation. I know it sucks to be the one needing to back down when you're not in the wrong, but when something has to give, sometimes it becomes more practical for everyone to be the one to do that.

    I don't want to come across as defeatist, and like Christele said, this situation isn't hopeless, but it could be worth thinking slightly more realistically and preparing for those outcomes, despite them not being ideal. I can tell this is really eating away at you, and for what it's worth, I truly feel for you that your situation has gotten to this stage; it must be so difficult.
    All behaviour is a need trying to be met.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I thought about this problem of mine a lot before I posted it here. I've tried my best to understand my parents' point of view, even though I strongly disagree with them. I asked my friends about this issue before posting here, but none of them could relate to my situation because their parents aren't like mine.

    Mike, what exactly do you mean when you suggest that I 'back down' and be the one that does the 'something that gives'? What would that involve me doing or saying?
  • MikeMike Screen addict 🎮 LondonPosts: 2,995 Community Manager
    Steve_ wrote: »
    I thought about this problem of mine a lot before I posted it here. I've tried my best to understand my parents' point of view, even though I strongly disagree with them. I asked my friends about this issue before posting here, but none of them could relate to my situation because their parents aren't like mine.

    Mike, what exactly do you mean when you suggest that I 'back down' and be the one that does the 'something that gives'? What would that involve me doing or saying?

    It's great that you've thought things through in such depth.

    I guess what I'm getting at is, instead of trying to make these two ends meet and finding ways for your family to accept your sex life, considering focusing that effort into getting yourself to a place where you're able to accept differences. It's not an easy thing by any means, but perhaps it could prove more constructive in the long run?

    Just throwing an option out there, of course. :)
    All behaviour is a need trying to be met.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I do accept differences; I live and let live. It's my family who are unaccepting of my sex life. Do you mean that they and I should 'agree to disagree'? If so, I don't know how to even encourage them to do that.

    There is no 'long run' in regard to my parents - they're both dying.
  • StephSteph Moderator Posts: 448 Boards Initiate
    Hi Steve, :wave:

    You mentioned about not knowing how to encourage your parents to agree to disagree with you over their opinion on your sex life. Is this something you'd like to try and encourage them to do? How do you feel about agreeing to disagree with them over this too? Sorry to hear that your parents are both dying, sounds really tough for you to be going through this. There's something here that might be useful to look at about how to agree to disagree, might be worth a read.

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Agreeing to disagree isn't ideal, but it would be significantly better than the current situation. I asked Mike if agreeing to disagree is what he meant by 'accepting differences'. I've just read the link you provided. It's interesting, but unfortunately doesn't help me in this situation. If there were plenty of time, deferring would likely be helpful. However, my parents' lives are coming to an end. It's not only that my parents don't accept my sex life - they also don't understand it. Until a couple of months ago, they didn't even know that my situation existed for anyone. Not only did they not know the term 'sex buddy', they were puzzled at the existence of such an arrangement for anyone even when I explained what it is. Old-fashioned courtship is not merely what they consider best - they think it's the only way. Until I corrected them, they were 100% certain that I was a virgin. They're psychologically on another planet. We're on very different wavelengths.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I have to accept that I can't change the way my parents think or what they believe. I've tried every way of broaching the subject with them. I wish I hadn't got into a conversation with them about my sex life, as then I wouldn't be in this situation.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I mean I know this knowledge is not giving you any satisfaction, but your parents brought this onto themselves. Like any difference in believe, be it religion, world view, sexuality, there are some who are tolerant of others who have different point of views, even those they can't understand themselves and there are the kind of people who will hate or think less of someone who holds an unexpected or different or previously unknown stance.

    Your parents are salting the earth with you, so shortly before their departure, because of their ignorance and arrogance. You should not seek their approval, forgiveness or peace and remind yourself the only reason things used to be good, is because they didn't know about you, not because you changed. Your parents don't approve of you as a person who, objectively, in a modern world view has done nothing wrong and everything right, so let them take their bitterness into the grave.
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