Dear Dr. R. Lindsey,
We are nudists in our 60′s and have been swingers for 20 years. Our three kids are grown with kids of their own. We never spoke openly about swinging with our children, yet it has been a silly little secret in our nudist community for decades. Recently, a couple we have known for many years attended a swinger’s convention and ran into my youngest child and her husband. This is a very complex situation for us. do we say anything to our daughter? Do we disclose to them our Lifestyle? did we influence their choices? Should we give them advice? Please help.
Dear Confused Parents,
This is a perfect example of the saying “No matter how old they get, they’re still my kids.” In addition, I honor the complexity of your situation.
First, you must ask yourself, “Has she always known that you were swingers?” The answer is probably “Yes.” It is difficult to keep secrets form children, particularly in smaller, closed communities. This conversation would require “intentional disclosure.” Intentional disclosure consists of a conversation akin to “coming out of the closet.” So you must decide if “intentional” disclosure is what you want and is it necessary?
Your next question is “Did you influence your daughter?” Well the answer is probably “Yes.” Parents influence their children in many ways. So do their friends, their community, their culture, and their personality. Most young adult children reject their parent’s lifestyle to assert their independence. Yet your daughter has found value in your choices by choosing them for herself. This may be a hidden compliment to the example you have set for her. your next question transcends all parental concerns “Should we give her advice?” My question is “Do you give her advice regularly and is she open to accepting it?” If so, you may wish to speak about subjects that focus on emotional and physical health, safety, and trust. These are always good subjects to discuss with the people you love and care about.
Dr. R. Lindsey