Should I feel guilty about exploring my parents' room?

Hi SD,

When I was younger, I had my first real introduction to porn (Penthouse Magazine, etc.) when I went over a friend’s house from camp. He was 12, I was 11. He told me he wanted me to check out something really cool and pulled some porn mags from his parents’ drawers, while they were out of the house. We were inside alone in his parents’ room when this happened.

When I got home, I bided my time until my parents were away or downstairs. I then went into their room and looked for their secret stash. I eventually found videos, magazines, and sex toys. It was fun, though I am not sure if it was because of the thrill of this new porn that I had never consumed before, or the thrill of doing something obviously wrong (i.e. invading my parents’ privacy).

Is this behavior a normal occurrence for teenagers or growing children? It seems like it’s been made into a rite of passage, something that is frowned upon, but with knowing winks all around. How has the prevalence of technology in kids’ lives changed this part of our shared experience? I suppose as long as there are vibrators to be found, the discovery of them by children is a distinct possibility. But it’s different finding a sex toy than it is finding a video or a magazine. Maybe that particular thrill has been killed by RedTube, etc.

Has anyone any stories about snooping in your parents’ room or being caught? Or any stories about discovering that your kids have snooped around in your bedroom? What did you do? I know I was caught once and given the silent treatment for a while until I acknowledged this particular breach of trust.



i think it is fairly common

I hate it when the kids steal our drugs

Ha! My parents had no porn. When I snooped, I found two horrid things: plans to send me to Montessori Academy (a Christian school) and plans to send me back to India for schooling.

Kill me now.

I found my dad’s condoms which was an illuminating insight into their admittedly liberal but otherwise cradle-catholic philosophies. Other than blowing one into a balloon for fun, I never filched them because by the time I was interested in fooling around, I realized that I was gay and therefore wasn’t going to get anyone pregnant and had no idea how to begin finding someone else interested in fooling around.

I did it early in my teens. My dad had a small stash of porn there and that would be the first time I’d seen a porn magazine. Many years later his bigger stash turned out to be a bunch of VHS tapes shoved in the back of the cabinet where we all kept all of our videos.

What’s kind of interest is that my dad’s room had a particular smell of incense and cologne, and sometimes seeing sexual content makes me remember that scent.

I never got caught. I should also mention that my goal in going in there wasn’t just to find porn… I think it really was as much motivated by seeing what dirt I could dig up on him. Proving that he was a hypocrite was reward enough. We never had a good relationship.

You shouldn’t feel guilty. Well, maybe you should feel guilty, but you shouldn’t feel like you are abnormal.

About 30 years ago, I found a recent letter from my dad’s mistress thanking him for the nice ring he gave her on his last visit, and how the presents with Mr. Franklin on them help her make ends meet since her husband died, and alluding to sexual activity that had occurred. (She lived in a different state, and was apparently someone he had been first involved with when he was in the Army in the 1940s.) We had suspected him of having an affair, but he always denied it. This was the first time I knew for sure.

About 15 years later, after he died, I was his executor, and I found all of her letters to him, as well as a framed “Sears Photo Studio”-type portrait of the two of them hidden in the back of a filing cabinet. (The photo, not them!) There was also a rejection letter from someone he had gone on a date with that he met through a personals ad in the paper. Why he saved that, I don’t know.

I once approached him about the affair in a conciliatory manner (“hey, I get it, mom is not affectionate towards you, ignores your needs,” etc.) but he would never discuss it or even admit what he was doing.

In regards to human relationships, my dad was an ass.

When I was a teen I used to sneak my dad’s Penthouse, Playboy and Oui magazines. I didn’t have to snoop because they were right there on the floor against the wall; the stack was pretty tall. I had a good selection to choose from.

I did snoop for weed, hash and oil. This was in Toronto in the mid-seventies. My dad and my step-mom both smoked. I once found his tiny vile of hash oil just before I left for school. He was already at the office. I grabbed a rolling paper and smeared some on, then added some tobacco and rolled that baby up. I made the mistake of not cleaning the implement I used to spread the oil. Of course he noticed when he got back. And yes, I got grounded…again.

It’s very unlikely, but if my kids or my boyfriend’s grown son went snooping around our homes - oh boy would they get a surprise! We have quite a collection of “toys.”

What you describe is very common if not almost universal at least among teenage boys that grew up during a time when porn wasn’t just a few clicks away. My father had Playboys and Penthouse and I knew perfectly well where to find them. I don’t think he would even care if he caught me but my mother would and did when she found a stash of my own years later. Just a few of the same old magazines got old after a while though.

The real treat was staying at my grandfather’s lake house. He is still around and is perpetually stuck in the Mad Men era of the 60’s. His collection of every Playboy published up to that point in his guest house was displayed prominently and gloriously in huge stacks. I found creative ways to justify why I needed to be in there alone for significant amounts of time.

All of that was fairly tame stuff though. It was my perverted uncle that made me rethink looking too closely at anyone’s stuff. I already knew he had things like swizzle sticks with strippers on them that magically lost their clothes when you stirred a drink with them because he proudly showed me when I was about 10. What I wasn’t prepared for was opening up a closet full of BDSM gear and true filthy magazines that most normal people have never heard of. I didn’t spend much time looking because a few pages were enough for me but it was stuff like torture porn printed on low quality rag paper. I suppose anyone can see that type of thing on the web today but I quickly realized that their were certain things that I just wasn’t interested in especially at a young age.

One of my friends found a XXX tape in his father’s stash when I was about 14 (Swedish Erotica something). We watched it after school and my mind was blown. I expected it to just be like a more extreme version of an R movie with lots more nudity but that wasn’t it at all. That was the first time I had ever seen actual sex in that type of detail before.

I was snooping in my Mom’s closet when I was a kid. I found mom’s wedding album, but the man in the tux wasn’t my Dad. That’s how I found out Mom was married before she married my father.

Never found any porn, but I did find a “marriage guide” :stuck_out_tongue: and some fairly innocuous, ahem, marital aids.

My parents had a locked cabinet in their bedroom, and I have never found out what was/is in it. Honestly, I probably don’t want to know.

I’m a woman, FTR.

Well, OK, I DID find porn, once, and when my brother yelled at me for borrowing some of his LPs, I said, “You keep quiet about me borrowing them, and I’ll keep quiet about what I found in them!” :smiley: As porn goes, it was very softcore.

I never felt guilty about it, but certainly found some odd things. I never did while my parents were married, but did on occasion when it was just my father. I never found anything I didn’t already know he had. My favorite was an old address book from his college days, and the bizarre notes he had written next to the people’s names.

Now in his car, that was a different story. That’s where he kept all his “oddities”. Bottles of booze, and male sexual enhancement pills mostly.

Of course not. It’s a time honored tradition for kids to snoop in their parents’ rooms. I never did find any porn, but I did find where she was hiding the leftover Halloween candy.

I snooped when I was a kid, and found nothing at all interesting . . . except my father’s collection of 19th century silver dollars, which I spent on candy and toys.

Mom didn’t seem the porn type, and I never found any in her room (or anywhere else in the house, regrettably). I did find her Cobra .38 special revolver and played Russian Roulette a few times with it as a teenager. My brother’s room was where the interesting stuff was, but even then I was more about just knowing what was around than I was in using any of it.

I had really dull parents so I didn’t find anything. That kind of explains why they were always in such a bad mood.

You did WHAT?! Are you serious? I’m presuming that you are saying it was loaded (?) Why in the fuck would you do that? That is a high price to pay for a thrill had you lost. It’s plain stupidity, IMO.

I think everyone knows that going into it. I played once and won (obviously) myself once. It is just a stupid thrill that no one should ever do.

The most realistic short film based around that theme is Sunday’s Game. Watch it at your own risk but it is an exceptional short story that should convince anyone to never play Russian Roulette at all. Anyone that does is either suicidal or completely ignorant about the risks involved anyway and just throwing their life to the hand of fate.

Is this just a guy thing, or are some of the posters who admit to snooping female?

When I was a young girl at home I never snooped in my parent’s stuff. In fact, I never even thought about it. I don;t think my dad was the kind to have Playboy magazines, at least not at home.