How a Kink-Loving Couple Balanced BDSM, Sex Parties, And Raising Kids

Dan and his wife have no qualms about their fetishes. And they raised their kids in a sex-positive environment. He wouldn't have done it any other way.

When the kids were still in elementary school, Dan and his wife moved into a new house, a bigger house. They figured it would be more suitable for their needs. The one issue was the master bedroom. It was originally located in the back, but they remodeled to bring it closer to the front. So, they ended up building bigger a room next to his daughter’s bedroom. When she saw her parents putting the mattress down, she walked over to the doorway. She put her hands on her hips and asked, “Does this mean I’m going to hear you making yucky noises?”

Dan and his wife are kinky and enjoy BDSM activities. They are also polyamorous. They have two children together, now grown. They remain active in the lifestyle. “We didn’t hide our sexuality from our children,” he tells Fatherly. “We didn’t rub it in their noses, but we didn’t make excuses, either.”

They’re also helping raising two grandchildren. They don’t have a dungeon in the house, but a friend of his does. Dan went over to go visit, recently. He brought his grandson with him. “He started climbing right up the A-frame (Ed note: a triangular structure to which subs are tied during bondage sessions.) It was like one, big jungle gym for him,” he quipped. To be clear, there were no adult playmates utilizing the area during their visit.

“That was one of the biggest lessons I learned raising children. You have to tell them the truth,” says Dan. “If you’re too ashamed of what you’re doing to tell them, then maybe you shouldn’t be doing it.”

Parenting while kinky brings you into territory other households don’t typically tread. When Dan’s daughter was still a little girl, she broke into his sex toy collection. That was also around the time his son got into his porn stash. But Dan was okay with his kids being exposed to certain elements of sex, even if they were just kids. He didn’t see the point in hiding it from them.

“People worry about kids knowing ‘too much,’” he says. “They worry about how that information may affect them later in life. They worry about traumatizing them. But when you tell a kid more than they want to hear, they check out. If you tell them something they can’t understand, they lose interest.”

Dan used to travel a lot for work. Occasionally, his wife would invite a lover over while he was away. He was okay with that. It was part of their agreement. He would arrange for his wife to pick him up at the airport on his way back. She would usually bring the kids.

He remembers one time where they found themselves underneath some sort of dome. The architecture helped amplify sound. Before they made their way out of the area, his son shouted, “I saw mommy in the shower with Bruce last night.”

His first instinct was to scold the kid, but he caught himself. “My face kind of scrunched up, and then I saw his face fall. I told him there was no problem with what he saw, but that we shouldn’t shout about it in the middle of the airport. I saved him from thinking we were doing anything we disapproved of, anything we didn’t want him to know,” he explains.

“That was one of the biggest lessons I learned raising children. You have to tell them the truth,” says Dan. “If you’re too ashamed of what you’re doing to tell them, then maybe you shouldn’t be doing it.”

My children and I developed a bond of trust,” he says. “Whatever else it might be that they’d still be pissed off at me about, they do trust me. And we trust them.”

Naturally, the conversations Dan had with his children about sexuality started to shift around the time they reached puberty. When Dan’s daughter was about 15, she started dating a classmate, “a lovely young man,” Dan recalls. Eventually, she told her parents they were thinking about having sex. She hadn’t exactly covered all the bases at school. Sex education at that time was fairly conservative. Dan and his wife took a minute to digest the news. Then they started putting together a plan to get her access to contraceptives, and access to information on sexually transmitted diseases. “She came to us,” he says. “She sought out our help at that juncture in her life. Not a lot of people can say that.”

Not too long after that, Dan’s daughter and her boyfriend started to have sex. Dan and his wife allowed it to take place under their roof. A surprising level of leniency, perhaps, but not entirely unheard of:  In the Netherlands, for instance, teenage sexuality is pretty openly discussed. Conversations about sex often take place at home, and many Dutch teens experience their first sexual encounters there as well. Dutch parents have a term to describe their children’s capacity for self-regulating sexual activity: er aan toe zijn. It translates to “being ready” in English

In BDSM, he says, things like communication and consent are prioritized above all else. Honesty is also a big part of the game.

Of course, Dan’s style of sex-positive parenting isn’t for everyone. When his daughter was in her 20s she asked him to take her to one of the “clubs” he and his wife used to frequent. He agreed. By the end of the night, they had both found people to “play” with. Certainly, not all parents would be open to that kind of experience.

There are some other concerns to address, too. Parenting while kinky may not seem like such a chore when the marriage is in tact, but things can go down fast when the relationship starts to unravel. It’s not unheard of for a spiteful spouse to use their partner’s interest in “the lifestyle” against them in the context of a custody dispute. Stakes are high.

For Dan, it was worth it. Of all things he could pass down to his kids, an interest in BDSM doesn’t seem so bad. In fact, he might suggest more parents teach their kids about the community cornerstones. In BDSM, he says, things like communication and consent are prioritized above all else. Honesty is also a big part of the game.

Certainly, these principles are important to abide by during sex, and beyond. “My children and I developed a bond of trust,” he says. “Whatever else it might be that they’d still be pissed off at me about, they do trust me. And we trust them.”