Photo by Jennifer Chen on Unsplash

When you have Boys and Sex splashed across the cover of the book you are reading, you get some funny looks from other people travelling on the bus.

The animation house where Australian cartoon dog Bluey lives, perched on a hill surrounded by other houses and bright blue sky.
The animation house where Australian cartoon dog Bluey lives, perched on a hill surrounded by other houses and bright blue sky.

I’ve read enough research that concludes unrestricted screen time is detrimental to a child’s physical, mental and emotional development. When my wife and I first met, neither of us owned a television. We still don’t. Any screen time is viewed on a laptop which sits on a hard surface. We have never used screens as a baby-sitting service.

So, even though you and I (might) have different viewing habits, what I have experienced may still be useful. Let’s go!

Small beginnings

My son (Master 4) didn’t have any screen time until after his second birthday, and even then it was kept to…

Your son’s first exposure to pornography is likely to be by accident, or by someone showing it to him.

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

There’s a solid chance this unexpected introduction to porn will happen before your boy celebrates his 12th birthday.

Seth Godin recently wrote,

“When smart, committed people disagree about the answer to a question, you’ve found a question worth pursuing and a discussion worth having.”

So, let me ask a question:

What is porn?

Some people believe that porn can help to normalise desire and self-exploration, help to discover new things or to validate their sexuality. So, you might answer that today’s pornography is liberating, normal and healthy. Beneficial, even.

Or, you might believe the opposite. Because other people believe that…

Photo by David von Diemar on Unsplash

Your onesie dangles in the sun

the way a sheepskin drapes

over a heartwood beam,

drying as it rests on the

accumulated dust and

sweat of generations.


Your swaddle was born

on lanolin-soaked boards,

whispering of black-singlet spines

bent for days to shear every strand,

fleeces strewn across the slatted

table for deft hands to pluck

at twigs and burrs.


Your cry — a lamb’s bleat,

buds into the ragged

yelp from yesterday’s huntaway,

flourishing into the air-rending shriek

of a solitary greywacke shingle

scrunched beneath the steel

and corrugated iron sliding

door which takes me two


Photo by Laurice Manaligod on Unsplash

When Dad sold the farm, he sold his Hilux;

the towbar blocked the new garage door

from closing. He sold his dog.

Throw me in the carcass pit, he said,

back when he could remember

the name of the dog.

Dad left before he knew of my son.

Perhaps they passed each other

on their respective journeys:

Dad would have been scratching the chin

of the tabby sprawled across his moccasins,

or putting in a row of potatoes;

my son, the blaze of light across the frost

when a pocketknife opens, ready

to cut the baling twine.

I watched Dad…

Stuart Fleming

Dad of one son. Helping tween and teen boys (and their parents) confidently navigate puberty, porn and sex.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store