Finding out that your parents are just human is one of those difficult times that nothing ever really prepares you for.
Worse, what happens when you find out that your parents aren’t just fallible, but engage in activities you don’t agree with?
This was the issue facing Redditor and Original Poster (OP) Stumblingoverit when she came to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for outside opinions.
“AITA for calling my parents disgusting perverts?”
OP began with the background.
“My (17F) parents (in their mid-40s) sat me down last year to have a ‘talk’.”
“Apparently, they’ve been swingers for years, and now that I was getting older and doing more stuff on my own, wanted to let me know about it rather than me stumbling over something on my own and thinking one or both of them were cheating.”
“It was kind of mortifying at the time, but I tried my best not to think about their sex lives.”
She then explained the current issue.
“That willful ignorance shattered on Monday.”
“While I have my own computer, theirs is the only one hooked up to a printer, and I wanted to print something out for school and not have to pay the outrageous amounts they demand over there.”
“Asked mom for permission, got my thumb drive, sat down to their computer to load up word, and found their private discord channel left open.”
“I would have ignored it, but I just kind of noticed my own name there, and I confess I took a peek.”
“They were talking to a young (she looked like late 20s in the pictures uploaded) black woman, who wanted to know when I would be out of the house for a while so she could ‘properly serve Mistress and Master again’.”
“I read a bit more, and apparently both of my parents have been having this weird master and slave roleplay with this woman for almost 2 years.”
“I tried to keep it to myself just pretend I didn’t see anything, but they noticed I was acting weird and withdrawn around them and asked me what was wrong at dinner last night.”
“And I’m not sure what I meant to say but it just came out that I found out about their little sex toy and I couldn’t believe they could be such racist, disgusting perverts.”
“Mom started crying, and Dad started trying to explain the ‘ethics’ of his pervert group, but it was hard to listen to and dinner just kind of broke up in acrimony.”
“Mom came by later that evening wanting to talk, but I kept the door locked and said I didn’t want to speak to her.”
“I brought it up with a bunch of my friends at school, but most of them think that it’s okay, as long as everyone involved is having fun.”
OP was left to wonder.
“But it’s not their parents, and I feel sick to my stomach just thinking of how weird it is. But maybe my friends are right. Am I the a**hole?”
“Should I apologize to my folks?”
Having explained the situation, OP turned to Reddit for judgment.
Redditors weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors decided: YTA
Some took issue with the post in general.
“I get you are upset, and I don’t judge you for having difficulty to adjust.”
“Normally, I would have voted N T A and advise you to talk with your parents.”
“What they are doing might seem weird to you, but if it’s done amongst consenting adults, then there is nothing wrong with it.”
“The part that makes you a huge asshole is :”
” ‘I brought it up with a bunch of my friends at school, but’ “
“This was not your secret to share.”
“Your parents trusted you with that info and you turned around and spilled their secret.”
“Just for that, YTA.”
“Editing because a lot of people are commenting the same thing : I understand the need for venting, but it’s not an excuse for telling a secret to a wide group of people.”
“If she needed to vent, she should have done it with only her closest friend and make sure they will keep the secret, too.”
“Also… she wouldn’t have been that distressed if she didn’t snoop. Her parents confide only a small part of their life, she made sure to grab more by looking at their personal messages.” ~ MaybeAWalrus
“This is 100% my thinking. I get the upset, I get the reaction to it, I get the absolute weirdness of the situation and taking time to process.”
“But damn, to tell your friends? That is the YTA move for me, as well. Not even using a hypothetical situation. At least the friends were cool and got that consent among parties is the important thing.” ~vikingraider27
Others suggested taking a larger view of the situation.
“OP, I’m a woman in her 30s and would have been a little freaked out if I found this out about my parents.”
“It’d probably take time to wrap my head around it, but then I’d have to take a deep breath and accept that if everything is with consenting adults, it’s not really my business.”
“Also, my whole teen years my parents were all over each other.”
“Constantly grabbing butts. Kissing. Wanting to be all over each other. I thought it was a little gross.”
“Now, they’re in their 60s and constantly fighting, and I wish I could turn back time to the days they were happy.”
“Happy, healthy parents. That’s all we kids should want for our parents, as long as they’re being good parents.” ~ crystallz2000
While some were shocked at OP’s reaction.
“Why is no one talking about the fact that OP called her parents racist for this?”
“That alone makes her a huge AH.”
“But yeah you brought up all really good points.”
“You can keep saying ‘they’re my parents you wouldn’t understand’ as a defense for your awful behavior but you’ll lose your friends and a lot of respect from your parents for this if you do.”~
“Dude she made BDSM into a race thing.”
“At 17 this child lacks the maturity to handle reality and relationships. And she acts like the sub can’t even give consent or make her own sexual choices.”
“This kid- YTA, sexist, sex-shaming, and racist.”
“Grow up. You’re going to be a legal adult soon and that worries me.” ~ Aladycommenter
Not everyone agreed that OP was in the wrong.
“OP says it was open on the computer already and said she saw her own name mentioned, so she read it.”
“Granted, at some point, she should have stopped, but I’d freak out a bit, too about some person I didn’t know referring to me by name when talking to my parents about sex.”
“It is kinda creepy that the sex partner did that, I mean unless she’s in their Christmas card list or something. If I was OP, I’d want to find out what other details this complete stranger knew about me.”
“As an educator, I know that adolescents’ number one source of information is their peer group.”
“If they want to know if something is normal or weird or racist, they’re going to check with their friends.”
“Is it good etiquette to share that stuff?”
“No, but I’m 45, and only recently learned that kink-shaming is a thing.”
“OP was very recently inducted into their parents’ world of kink, and against her will, too.”
“Did her parents tell her this was a secret she shouldn’t share?”
“She may have thought it wasn’t a secret since they shared it with her.”
“They managed to shield her from their sex life when she was younger. It sounds like they planned on not doing that anymore now that they deemed her old enough to know.”
“Personally, I think you’re never old enough to hear the details of your parents’ sex life.”
“They shared it with her without her consent and did not give her the tools or support to manage her feelings about this new, potentially disturbing info (disturbing because it was her parents’ sex life, not the specifics of it.)”
“They were careless about leaving that chat open on a computer they gave her permission to use.”
“I don’t think what OP did was right, but she wasn’t doing it out of spite, which makes her NTA. Also, parents should have thought this through and been more careful.” ~ KnitFast2DieWarm
Some got very specific in their judgment.
“YTA, for so many reasons.”
” ‘Apparently, they’ve been swingers for years, and now that I was getting older and doing more stuff on my own, wanted to let me know about it rather than me stumbling over something on my own and thinking one or both of them were cheating.’ “
“Do you have any idea how rare it is that parents would trust their teenage child with such sensitive information, and for such sex-positive reasons?”
“I hate to say it but you should really be grateful that they feel like they can trust you with a conversation that delicate and complicated.”
“However, all of your subsequent reactions confirm that you were (a) not mature enough to handle that information, and (b) that you have some depressingly regressive ideas about sex yourself.”
” ‘ I’m not sure what I meant to say but it just came out that I found out about their little sex toy and I couldn’t believe they could be such racist, disgusting perverts.’ “
“I think it speaks to your level of maturity (or lack thereof) that you are offended on the other woman’s behalf because of the racialized dimension of the roleplay, but in the very same sentence you call her a ‘sex toy.’ “
“Doubly so that you view their (consensual, of-age) sex lives as ‘perverted.’ “
” ‘Dad started trying to explain the ‘ethics’ of his pervert group, but it was hard to listen to’ “
“You violated their trust multiple times over, the least you could do is listen to your dad.”
” ‘I brought it up with a bunch of my friends at school, but most of them think that it’s okay’ “
“I cannot even begin to describe what a massive breach of your parents’ trust this was. YTA if for no other reason than this.” ~corpserella
Finding out that your parents are just fallible people can be a difficult pill to swallow.
Where we find our own grace and maturity is how we deal with that information, how we deal with our parents after finding out things that we perceive to be flaws.