Information is for everyone, even if you’re uncomfortable with underage people seeing it. Keeping them ignorant just makes them more vulnerable to abuse. Like Franklin Veaux says in this tweet:
— franklin veaux (@franklinveaux) September 12, 2015
On a very much related note, you should also have a look at Why I Deeply Dislike Your Older Boyfriend by Heather Corinna. Basically, the less information someone has about how they should be treated or how a relationship or a scene should work, the easier it is to get away with outright abusing them or just treating them badly. It’s just as true when we’re talking about people just getting into kink as it is when we’re talking about young women dating creepy older men.
Let’s take hypothetical teenaged girl Alice for example. She probably got the half-assed talk in sex-ed about how it’s not okay for your boyfriend to hit you and if he does you should dump him. That’s better than nothing, but what if Alice’s boyfriend just says mean things to her? If he doesn’t hit her it’s not abuse, right? So why does she feel shitty all the time if her boyfriend isn’t abusing her? It must be because she’s a bad girlfriend and needs to try harder.
It might sound like I’m exaggerating there but I’m honestly not. That is exactly what I went through with my first boyfriend. When I was a teenager I really, honestly thought that it was only abuse if he hit me. It took literally years for me to put the label of emotional abuse on the way he complained about literally everything I said, did, thought, or felt. If I kept quiet I was cold and secretive and why couldn’t I just open up to him? And if I tried to open up, well, I was stupid and wrong about everything. Because I didn’t know to call that abuse I thought I was just a shitty girlfriend and needed to try harder. I mean, we didn’t scream at each other every night like my parents did, so that meant we just needed to keep working on our relationship right?
If I had been taught that it’s not okay to make your partner feel stupid and worthless and that’s just as abusive as giving them a black eye, maybe things would have been different for me. If I had even known the phrase “emotional abuse” maybe things would have been different. If I had had the slightest idea what a healthy relationship looks like and what’s reasonable to expect from a partner and what’s completely fucking ridiculous, things could have been different for me.
It’s pretty clear that a big part of preventing abuse is education, right? Well, that and building up people’s self-esteem or at least not systematically destroying it, but that’s a fucking gigantic topic so I’m going to stick with education for now. The more you know about what a healthy relationship looks like and what a good partner does the easier it is to recognize it when something isn’t right. “My boyfriend is a jerk sometimes” may not feel like a good enough reason to dump him, but “that’s emotional abuse, the word for what he’s doing is emotional abuse” might be able to get someone over the hurdle of dumping the fucker.
Just like teens (actually people of literally every age) should have access to all the age-appropriate relationship and sex-ed information they want to protect them from having shitty vanilla relationships and sex and to help them leave a bad relationship, I think people should also have access to all the age-appropriate information about kink and d/s relationships they can handle.
Ignorance makes people easy to hurt. How many horror stories have we all heard about the new submissive whose douchebag older dominant told her that if she really trusted him she wouldn’t want to have a safeword? And how do you protect that girl and everyone like her? By fucking telling them that people who are safe to play with will never try to talk you out of having a safeword! By telling them how many s-types never have a no-safeword scene in their entire lives! By telling them how much more fun they can have if they insist on taking the time to really build trust with a dom!
Education is what keeps people safe, not keeping them in the dark and hoping they just never develop an interest in kink.
To be fair here, I don’t have kids and don’t want to. And I totally understand why a parent wouldn’t be comfortable with their kid freely roaming Fetlife. I sure as fuck wouldn’t want my hypothetical kid talking with Master Douchebag from the secret European house, but if I can’t keep them from ever talking with anyone else who’s kinky (which is completely impossible, let’s just be honest), then I sure as fuck want them to also be able to talk to Sir Reasonable and Lady Normal Grown Up and Slave Been There Done That and Submissive Regular Guy. As much as I believe that kink in general and d/s relationships in particular are advanced stuff and everyone should get comfortable with vanilla sex and relationships first before making that even more complicated by adding kink, it’s not realistic to pretend that there are no teenagers who already know they’re kinky as fuck.
We know that abstinence only “education” (it’s not education goddammit, education involves teaching actual facts) doesn’t work, so why can’t we admit that not teaching kids about kink doesn’t keep them safe? I know, I know, it’s super fucking obvious that our society is all fucked up around sex and especially taboo sex, but I really wish we could get the fuck over ourselves when it comes to keeping people safe.