The Internet Thinks It’s Not Okay To Bring A 10-Year-Old To A Sex Shop Because It’d Be A Buzz-Kill For All The Adults There

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BFP7HhXCYAAN2joI’m always apprehensive to read an article written by a self-proclaimed “bad mom.” Too often these articles just come off as desperate attempts to appear cooler than the rest of us moms who don’t have a problem admitting that we prefer and actually try to make sound parenting decisions. This week’s incarnation of this tired theme came courtesy of Jane Pratt, of xoJane. It was titled, Jane Pratt, Worst Mom In The World: Should I Bring My 10-Year-Old To A Sex Shop?

Jane is torn because there is a meet-up at the sex shop Babeland she really wants to attend that evening, but she can’t secure a babysitter for her 10-year-old. So she does what any other mom in her shoes would do: she takes an Internet poll:

I am wondering whether you think it is a good or bad idea to bring Charlotte. Here are some potential pros and cons (I will let you decide which are which, ’cause I don’t know)

She goes on to explain that her 10-year-old already knows about sex toys – so no big deal, right? Some potential “cons” – well, she doesn’t call them cons because she doesn’t “know” – but the things that I believe would be cons would be  the “alcohol and drunk people there,” someone named Emily “using some toys there to demonstrate which are her favorites and why,” and “some sex confessionals thing going on.”

Immediately after reading this I thought, No way are people going to get behind this. Babeland is an awesome store for adults, but it’s basically just a room full of brilliantly colored vibrators and dildos in every shape and color you can imagine. Okay, there is other stuff that I can’t really remember right now because I only go for the vibrators. You get the picture though – it’s a sex store. With sex toys. For adults. Add some drunk people, sex confessionals and someone demonstrating how to use sex toys – and I think we can all agree that it’s not the best place for a child, right?

The resounding answer was, no it’s not – but not for the reasons you may imagine. Not very many people seemed to give two shits that this wasn’t the best place for a child – most of them just agreed a child would be a buzz-kill for all of the adults there:

I wouldn’t bring a 10 year old. Having a kid around definitely changes the tone of an otherwise adults-only event.

Whether or not you think it’s appropriate for her is up to you, but it will definitely make others a little uncomfortable with a child around- no one wants to talk sex with a kid hanging onto your every word.

Nope. I’m sure we’d all love to meet her but I’m not sure most adult women would feel comfortable talking about sex in front of someone’s 10 year old.

Ya know, I agree that it’s not a big deal for a kid to see or know about sex toys. Like, at all. But I do think it could potentially be very uncomfortable for the other guests…

no. very inappropriate. but more so the no is for the sake of those attending. don’t bring her.

I’m confused.

What the Internet taught me today… I’m clearly a prude because I think a sex shop is not an appropriate place for a 10-year-old.

(photo: Twitter)


  1. Amber

    June 28, 2013 at 5:17 pm

    That’s disgusting. Regardless of what people on the Internet say, most sex shops would throw a person out immediately for bringing a child inside.

  2. LiteBrite

    June 28, 2013 at 5:21 pm

    I was going to write a long post about my views on this, but then I realized the point is probably moot. I’m certain most sex shops if not all have a no-one-under-18-admitted rule, even WITH a parent. So even if she wants her to, Jane’s 10-year-old daughter ain’t getting in.

    • CrazyFor Kate

      June 28, 2013 at 7:21 pm

      Most do, but it depends on the state/country/province/whatever. Don’t know about New York.

  3. Justme

    June 28, 2013 at 5:26 pm

    I guess you have to consider Jane’s readership and then there is your answer. I would assume that most people who read her work are of more or less the same mindset which would explain many of their answers.

    And I’ll be honest, my internal response to her question came in two parts…

    Initially I thought that NO WAY was a sex shop an appropriate place for a ten-year-old because of the nature of the materials inside. Not that I don’t condone the use of them for people who are sexually mature (whatever that means to you) but I don’t think it is an appropriate place for a child.

    My second thought was “whoa, what a buzzkill for the other people” because I think this would end up as an STFUParents moment. You know, the mom who brings their daughter along to the bar and then complains that CHILDREN ARE PEOPLE TOO SO EVERYONE NEEDS TO ACCEPT THAT I’M GOING TO BRING MY KIDS TO PLACES AND IF YOU DON’T LIKE IT GO AHEAD AND UNFRIEND ME BECAUSE I’M GOING TO DO WHAT I WANT. (Except with much poorer grammar and spelling, obviously)

    • Tusconian

      June 29, 2013 at 12:27 pm

      Bleh, these people say “children are people” but most of them sure don’t believe it. They rather think their kids are fancy accessories like big purses or lap dogs (and frankly, having lived in the Arizona culture of “bring your dog everywhere,” I have a similar opinion of people who bring their dogs to bars and stuff) to show off at the bar and use to prove a point. Some people wear six inch Louboutins to semi-casual bars to prove that they’re rich and stylish, some people torture their dogs to prove how earthy and animal-loving they are. And other people drag their kids to situations in which they and all other will be made miserable to prove that they’re modern, fun-loving parents who see their kids as “people.” And since “people” go to bars and sex shops, children must go to bars and sex shops as well and anyone who says otherwise is ageist or discriminating against motherhood.

    • whiteroses

      June 29, 2013 at 2:07 pm

      I figure: I’m my son’s mother. I’m not his friend. And I won’t be for a long, long time. I hope that by the time he hits his twenties, we will have the type of relationship that allows me to be his friend- built on years of mutual trust and respect. But I am the adult in this situation, and thus I am the one who is responsible for preserving his childhood for as long as I can. If I don’t filter the world for him, who will? If I don’t keep him from being so worldly-wise at fourteen that he has nothing left to learn or discover, who will?

      I don’t have to answer to anyone but my son for his childhood. And I hope that when that day comes, I can honestly tell him that I did the best I could for HIM, not to prove a point or to seem hip or cool.

    • aliceblue

      June 29, 2013 at 8:36 pm

      If she does take the kid I can just see the follow-up article about there only being beer and wine to drink and no Kool -Aid.

  4. Cee

    June 28, 2013 at 5:28 pm

    Meh Jane Pratt is such a desperate wannabe teenager wanting way too much attention and to be edgy-poopular, its sad.

    I think educating children about sex is a continuous process throughout their childhood, but sex toys can be a bit hard to understand and explain to a child at the age of 10. Yes, they are probably aware that sex toys are sex toys but they are probably not entirely sure why mom has nipple clamps or why people like to be spanked with a paddle or have a gag in their mouth. So, nope nope nope on taking a child to a sex shop. Itd be much too confusing.

    • Sarah Hollowell

      June 29, 2013 at 4:40 pm

      Yes. Educating kids about sex and sexuality is very different from taking a 10-year-old to an adult event at a sex shop.

  5. keelhaulrose

    June 28, 2013 at 5:53 pm

    No sex shop near where I live would give you the option. They all have signs saying how old you must be to get in, no exceptions, not even infants. You’d have to buy sex toys at Spencer’s Gifts if you want to take your child in.

    I applaud her for being open and honest about sex with her daughter. However having a kid in a sex shop isn’t just vibrators and dildos, and I don’t know how comfortable someone would be buying any sex toy, not to mention some of the kinkier, in front of a child.

  6. A-nony-mous

    June 28, 2013 at 6:53 pm

    Erm, no. It just seems wrong on so many levels.

    – I feel she’d need to have a long discussion with her child first. There’s a difference between a generalized open relationship and preparing her specifically for the kinds of things she might see and hear there.

    – That in turns leads to the whole fact that there’s obviously a difference between the relationship you have with your child and the relationship other people (even your friends) have with your child. Just because YOU are open with your child or comfortable with your own nudity / bodily functions / etc around your child doesn’t mean your friends will want to join in there. It doesn’t bother me if MY kid pokes his head in if I’m taking a shower but I would be pretty embarrassed if a friend’s child did it.

    – It feels a bit unfair to the child. Sort of a…almost a stealing of innocence? Kids have to grow up so fast and we spend so much time as parents complaining about all the over-sexualized imagery but then she wants to take her daughter to a sex shop? And not even for a get-in-and-get-out-ASAP run but for a prolonged meet-up? Just because you as an adult are comfortable with something doesn’t mean your child is. Let the kid be a kid and take them to kid-friendly and appropriate places. Sex shops, titty bars, porn movie sets…not places for kids to be.

  7. Tusconian

    June 28, 2013 at 7:51 pm

    Ugh. I feel like a geezer at the ripe old age of 22 saying this, but what is with parents who would rather be their kids’ friend? Especially since she’s 10, not 17, where it could be construed as a misguided but well meaning attempt to foster a discussion. Parents like this are both completely delusional about the mental maturity of their kids, and what the people outside of their family wants. A ten year old not only shouldn’t be in a sex shop, she doesn’t WANT to be. A sex shop full of adult women having discussions of adult sex and giving demonstrations (!!!) is not the same as a frank, age appropriate discussion of puberty and desire with your 10 year old and letting them know that sex toys exist. She also brags about taking her kid to the bar, and trust me, as a former server/bartender, parents who like dragging their pre-teen kids to bars and late night dinners: THEY DON’T LIKE IT. They hate it! They want to go home! They enjoy listening to their moms cackle on about their cray-ay-ay-zy sex lives and work shennanigans about as much as they like going to the bank with you or watching you do taxes or going to buy “work clothes” in a store that only sells clothes for older women. Nothing made me more uncomfortable than seeing a pack of adults lingering over cocktails at 9 or 10 on a school night while their school aged kids and toddlers moaned about wanting to go home, being bored, having nothing to do, and actually sleeping in vacant booths while their parents just wouldn’t say “let’s get together on Saturday afternoon” or “let’s move this to my place.” I remember going to “grown up parties” with my mother prior to being a teenager, and they are miserable. There’s a severe disconnect between the mommies on the internet who insist that their kids, who are SEWWWWW much more mature and intelligent than the average 10 year old, just LOVE going to bars and parties full of adults and they participate in adult conversations just so well. No kid is that mature and at a level of adult intellect. Kids want to be with other kids. The kids who are so intellectually advanced that they can’t interact with other kids (severely rare, compared to the parents online who insist their children are basically short adults) would rather be at home reading a book or conducting a science experiment. Or maybe talking to adults, but professors and doctors, not a bunch of drunk young women screaming about vibrators.

    And yeah, that is uncomfortable for everyone else there. Especially if there is alcohol and, um, “demonstrations.” Someone else said, that’s actually bordering quite close to child abuse, and maybe not everyone wants to be an accomplice to the abuse (at worst) and social misery (at best) of a 10 year old.

    This goes beyond the “parents are best friends to their teenagers” attitude of my days, and “it takes a village.” I think some parents just don’t want to give up their single, childless days, and treat their kids as if they’ve given birth to a new adult friend, or maybe a trendy purse dog. People treat their children either as adults or objects, and expect the public to coddle their disruptive actions. Let your kid be a freaking ten year old. She has decades be able to be an edgy, brainy, sexual being.

    • Emmali Lucia

      June 28, 2013 at 9:45 pm

      You summed it up perfectly. A hyper-mature 10-year old would be too mature to want to deal with cackling moms at a bar. Or women screaming about vibrators.

      And you also hit the nail on the head about these women using their children as some sort of “accessory.” The fact that she sees nothing wrong with taking a ten-year-old to a sex shop where there will be DEMONSTRATIONS on how to use sex toys speaks volumes about her parenting abilities or lack thereof.

    • SusannahJoy

      June 29, 2013 at 12:38 am

      There is the third kind of 10 year old. The one who’s mother has always treated her as an adult, so they think she’s mature, and she thinks that she has some innate right to adult gatherings and conversations, even when it’s way not appropriate, but because they are still a 10 year old, doesn’t understand how to act or what to say. This was my cousin. She thought she belonged with the adults, but she was too young to be able to have adult conversations. And I don’t mean topics like sex, she just didnt have the skills for the give and take of a group of adults talking. But she couldn’t talk to kids her own age either, because they couldn’t stand her and she thought she was above them. It was so sad, because she was a great kid, but the way her mom treated her like a friend and not a child made it really hard to interact with her.

    • Tusconian

      June 29, 2013 at 12:19 pm

      I do/did know kids like that, and they’re difficult to stand at any age. As a kid, I didn’t want to listen to how much more “mature” another kid was than me. As a teenager, it usually manifested in weird, problematic behavior, like “I’ll be your friend at school but I can’t go to the mall and cheesecake factory, or the beach, or the movies, or the school dance, with you over the weekend, because I am hanging out with my 27 year old boyfriend who my mom approves of for some reason, and we are doing MATURE ADULT things like drinking beer and playing video games.” College students like this tend to be judgmental buzzkills (and as someone who loves judging, it takes a lot for me to call someone judgmental as a human being) who either think they’re better than everyone for not drinking, or for doing “better” drugs than the rest, and who try to correct professors in bizarre and incorrect ways. It’s not teaching your kids to me mature, exciting adults, it’s teaching them to be condescending, annoying dicks.

  8. Paul White

    June 28, 2013 at 9:08 pm

    What is this I don’t even….
    Seriously? A 10 year old into a sex shop? Are you frigging kidding me?
    There’s a giant difference between explaining facts of sex and showing your daughter an XL dildo, a sex pillow and a ball gag and explaining how they all go together.

  9. whiteroses

    June 28, 2013 at 11:05 pm

    Having a frank, honest, truthful conversation about sex (something that is very important) and taking your preteen daughter to a sex shop aren’t even in the same stratosphere.

    Must be nice to live in Jane Pratt’s world, where parenting decisions are outsourced to the Internet. I have to wonder what will happen to Charlotte if xoJane ever goes down.

  10. VersionGirl

    June 29, 2013 at 2:43 pm

    If the 10 year old is so mature, then she is probably mature enough to stay home by herself. How is that even a little bit fair to the other patrons who are probably trying to enjoy a child-free time. I’m a parent who will be very open with her daughter about sex when she is ready. I also understand not everyone wants to hang out with my kid when an adult event is happening.

    • waffre

      June 29, 2013 at 6:45 pm

      You make a good point– she’s old enough to hear/watch an in-depth discussion and demonstration of sex toys but not old enough to stay home alone? In fact I bet the poor girl would *rather* stay home than listen to her mom talk about sex with a bunch of strangers.

    • Tusconian

      June 30, 2013 at 12:59 pm

      Seconding “good point.” If she’s mature enough to go to a sex shop, is she not mature enough to microwave herself some dinner, watch TV, and get herself to bed without direct supervision?

    • Melissa T

      June 30, 2013 at 6:34 pm

      Yeah, this. In my state she’d totally be legal to stay home alone, mature or not…I realize this differs state to state. But if she’s mature, she could definitely stay home alone.

  11. MLouise

    June 29, 2013 at 3:44 pm

    It looks like the people who are replying to her are just not as judgemental about other’s parenting decisions as you are. Their replies seem appropriate to me, it’s not the best idea to ruin an adults only event just because she didn’t bother to plan ahead and get a babysitter.

  12. Talija

    July 1, 2013 at 10:27 am

    I could see where people are using excuses essentially. I for one would look at Jane and go “are you out of your ever-lovin’ mind? She’s TEN” But I know my best friend would be more of the “It would be a buzz kill” Not because she thinks that’s the only reason, but because she’s much more tactful than me and would never dream of outright saying “that’s just fucking crazy, you idiot”

  13. Chantelle

    July 1, 2013 at 4:22 pm

    You’re not a prude. I think those that responded to her poll were trying to be nice and not make her feel like a bad mom by only focusing on the other attendees feeling “uncomfortable”. That is not an appropriate place for a child. There is nothing educational about a sex store unless they’re talking about where babies come from and a women’s menstrual cycle, which i’m sure they’re not.

  14. Rachel Sea

    July 1, 2013 at 5:36 pm

    If she wants to potentially overexpose her kid to sex that’s her business, but it is a dick move to inflict your child upon attendees of an adults-only event.

    And if she is mature enough to hang out at a sex shop, she is mature enough to stay home.

  15. Fremmen

    August 4, 2013 at 9:26 am

    Why would a 10 year old need a baby sitter for an hour or two? Don’t touch the stove, don’t answer the door, see you later!

  16. Sexstoreemployee

    August 8, 2013 at 12:26 am

    Why Is no one bringing up the fact that is would be ILLEGAL for her to bring a 10 year old to a sex store, I work at an adult boutique, you have I be 18+ to enter and if anyone ever brought their 10 year old in I would have to call the police, you’d have your child removed from your custody, you’d do time in jail and would forever be a sex offender.

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