teenage sonsAnonymous Mom is a weekly column of motherhood confessions, indiscretions, and parental shortcomings selected by Mommyish editors. Under this unanimous byline, readers can share their own stories, secrets, and moments of weakness with complete anonymity.

I think my teenage son’s friends are attractive.  I have no desire to kiss them or touch them, but I do find myself acknowledging their attractiveness in my own mind, and for that I feel gross.

I don’t remember the boys I came in contact with as a teen being anything like the boys today. They are tall, and muscular, and have perfect complexions probably due to their moms buying them Proactiv. When I was a teenager, the boys were scrawny with greasy hair and even greasier skin. They didn’t have invisible braces or trendy clothing. They all looked like nerds.

I always feel guilty and a bit creepy when I view these young men as being handsome. I am, after all, old enough to be their mother. But they are hot.

I can’t be the only mom who feels this way. I’m sure a lot of Justin Bieber‘s popularity has to do with the fact that other moms find him “hot” so they happily purchase his CDs for their daughters. Moms aren’t flocking with their kids to see the Twilight movies because the story lines and acting is that spectacular, but probably to gaze at Taylor Lautner‘s abs. I could never see myself viewing a boy under the age of 18 as a sexual object, but I can look at teenage boys and find them attractive.

Men do this all the time. Grown men can find Courtney Stodden or Britney Spears, before she was even over 18, sexy. And it’s acceptable. But for a woman to admit she finds a teenage boy sexually attractive is disturbing and troubling.

I would hate to think my son’s friend’s moms were finding my own son hot. It would really bother me. But when I see my son’s friends when picking him up from soccer practice or when they come over to hang out, I can’t help but notice how good looking they are.

I don’t want to be a cougar. I don’t want to date an 18-year-old or heaven forbid anyone younger. I’m sure we would have very little to talk about and the relationship would grow old very quickly. But sometimes I wonder if it’s because having a son that age makes me wary of it or if it’s because I worry what my friends and family would think.

Men date younger women all the time. People may gossip about this or find it off-putting but it’s still much more socially acceptable for a man to date a young person than a woman. And forget even dating, our entire pop culture and advertising market is based upon young women and sexuality. Men are conditioned to believe it’s okay to lust after youth. If a woman does it, she is seen as predatory, a cougar.

I think my teenage son’s friends are attractive but if I were to admit this out loud, most mothers would probably forbid them from coming to my house. Even though I’m not doing anything other than admitting I can see them as men. And men who are hot and attractive.

I’m not sure my teenage son’s friends know that I think they are attractive. They are always polite when they speak to me and it’s not like I ogle them or make inappropriate comments. I may catch myself gazing at them a bit longer than I should, or I may find myself stupidly laughing a bit too long at their jokes, just like I would while watching the latest Twilight movie on cable. It’s embarrassing when you find yourself thinking someone half your age is hot. I would hate to think that along with their attractiveness came supernatural teen vampire mind-reading powers.

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(Photo: Rolling Stone)