Menu Close

Dear Kristen Welch, How to Make Sure Your Teen Age Son Can’t Handle His Sexuality

avert your eyes

Kristen Welch, author of Rhinestone Jesus: Saying Yes to Jesus When Sparkly, Safe Faith is No Longer Enough and Don’t Make Me Come Up There: Quiet Moments For Busy Moms, recently wrote a blog post titled, To the Middle School Girls at the Pool Who Told My Son He was Hot. (link no longer active) Welch and her family went to the community pool and lo and behold there were girls there with bikinis on! I know, hard to believe. According to Welch, some middle school girls with bikinis on told her middle school son that he was hot. I wonder if these middle school girls really had bikinis on or if they just had bathing suits that were too skimpy for Welch’s Christian taste. I also wonder what age the girls were. Twelve or fourteen going on fifteen?  Middle school is usually defined as grades sixth through eighth. In my day, back when Ken Ham got off the Ark, middle school was called Junior High. The school I attended housed grades seven through nine. So, were these girls barely out of diapers or were they menstruating females who are sexually aware? The same questions could be asked of Welch’s son. How old is he? Is he spit ball and bra snapping middle school age or is he sexually aware, desiring the attention of the fairer sex age?

kristen welch
Kristen Welch, We are That Family blogger

According to Welch:

…Maybe you didn’t see that my son was with his family at the community pool the other day, playing catch with his dad. Maybe you didn’t understand that he didn’t want to hang out with you when you kept bumping into him and following him around. Maybe you didn’t notice he was averting his eyes every time you walked by in your bikini.

Maybe that’s why you walked up to him and said loud enough for his splashing sister to hear, “You are hot. My friend thinks so, too.”

Maybe you didn’t see my son’s cheeks flame and watch him look to his father for help or hear him mumble “like I care” or see him get out of the pool to move away from you. Maybe not…

Here’s my first question. If you are a Christian family, what are you doing at the community pool? Surely, Welch and her husband had to know that various forms of nakedness would be on prominent display at the pool? I find it interesting that it seems to be no big deal for Welch’s pubescent son and middle age husband to be in an environment that is sure to stir sexual passion. Instead, Welch focuses her ire on a group of bathing suit clad middle school girls for telling her son he is hot.

The middle school girls who dared to make Welch’s son feel like any normal heterosexual teenage boy would want to feel, will never read Welch’s post. Until yesterday, I hadn’t ever heard of Kristen Welch and the We are That Family blog. Several of my fundamentalist relatives posted this article to Facebook, saying how wonderful it was. Evidently, there must be a lot of Christian families with middle school sons who are hot and have girls hitting on them all the time.

The real purpose of Welch’s post is to whine and complain about the bad, bad world we live in, a world Welch describes as:

…a culture where anything goes. And sometimes it’s confusing to know how to handle all the messages media throws at you when the world you live in supports your right to do whatever you want.

Truth changes more often than the weather and it’s getting harder and harder to stand on anything absolute.

Welch assumes the middle school girls are confused, lacking truth, and are products of a culture where anything goes and you can do whatever you want.  She sees their behavior as the product of a decadent culture, but I see it as sexually aware girls who think a boy at the public swimming pool is attractive. It’s much to do about nothing. Instead of writing a whiny post, perhaps Welch should take the time to teach her son how to gracefully handle his holy hotness. When one of the girls said “You are hot. My friend thinks so, too”, all Welch’s son had to do is smile, say thanks, and walk away. Those girls would have put Master Welch on their A List.

You see, according to Welch, these girls are making it hard for her son to “live a godly life.” Once again, it’s the girls’ fault. This is a common refrain in Evangelicalism. Our sons and fathers are weak, pathetic horn dogs and girls and women need to cover up lest they have impure thoughts and mentally fornicate. Welch writes:

…We are working really hard to teach our son to live a pure life. We are encouraging him to bounce his eyes away from bikini-clad bodies.  We are raising him to be noble. We are praying for him to have integrity. We are advising him to look into a girls eyes and not cleavage. We are warning him about sexting…

So, did Welch take her son to a public swimming pool so he could work on his eye averting skills? Why not go all the way and take him to the strip club? Perhaps it could be a father/son outing. The Bible says to abstain from (avoid) the very appearance of evil and the Psalmist said, I will put no wicked thing before my eyes.  I suspect Welch believes that wearing a bikini is sinful and wicked, so why put your son (and husband) in a position where they could sin and commit mental fornication?

I know I have written about this many times, but it bears repeating here. Instead of blaming women for the sexual failures of male Evangelicals, how about teaching them to responsibly handle their sexuality? Grow up, be a man. Attractive women are everywhere. Biologically, sexually aware males want to have sex with sexually aware females. It’s human nature. Instead of demanding women cover up, how about teaching male Evangelicals how to be around attractive females without getting a boner and sinning against God. (and perhaps going blind)

In two years, I will be sixty years old. I am officially an old man. When I went to school, there were no Christian schools and home schoolers were few and far between. As a somewhat attractive Christian boy who was certainly attracted to nice looking girls, I had to learn to how to handle my sexuality and maintain my technical virginity until my wedding day. I dated a handful of church girls and a few outside of the church. I knew what it was to hold hands with a girl, put my arm around her, kiss her, and feel my sexuality rising, all without ravaging her.  I was then, and I am still today, responsible for my sexuality. While I now know that if I had rounded third and headed for home it would not have been a “sin”, it was my choice and my wife’s choice to wait until our wedding night to cross the plate and scoring a winning run for Team Gerencser. Had we waited much longer to be married, we likely would not have been virgins on our wedding day. If we had succumbed to our desires, thanks to our Evangelical religious beliefs, we would have felt guilty, sure that God was going to strike us dead. What should have been a normal sexual experience for an adult couple in love was turned into something to be feared until we said I do.

Welch needs to teach her son and all her children to handle their blossoming sexuality. Saying thus saith the Lord, avert your eyes lest ye turn into an Evangelical horn dog is not the answer. Welch is right, the rules of sexual engagement have changed. Now there’s sexting that provides instant visual gratification. Again, it’s up to the smartphone user to control their use. If a teenager can’t act responsibly…here’s the shocker…take their damn phone away. Personally, I think adults, who have forgotten what it was like to young, have blown the sexting issue way out of proportion. Recently, a sexting scandal made the front page of our local newspaper. You’d have thought local police had broken up a child pornography ring. Instead, it was sexually aware teens sending inappropriate texts and pictures, no different from lifted shirts and dropped pants in the 1970’s. We survived, even if we are blamed for all the decadent sexual behavior now on display in America.

1,500 words to say to Kristen Welch, quit your whining and teach your son to grow up and embrace his sexuality. If he has impure thoughts or gets frisky with a middle school bikini babe at the public swimming pool, teach him to accept responsibility for his behavior. Do your best Mom to not turn out another weak, pathetic Evangelical man who can’t bear to see cleavage without having thoughts of banging the woman on the spot. We have enough of these kind of men. They are likely sitting near you at whatever church you attend.

Thus saith, Bruce Almighty.


If you want a good example of supposed Evangelical moral superiority, please read the comments on Welch’s post. Welch closed the comments “due to a few personal attacks that I’m contributing to the “rape culture” and accusing me of being shameful and disgusting (you get the point).” She forgot slut shaming.


  1. Avatar

    Talk about making a blog post out of a mole hill. I do believe that Kristen Welch has forgotten what it was like to be a maturing teen age girl, who was as unsure about herself as she believes her son is about himself. By her own admission it took them sometime to work up the courage to say anything, and then the one who spoke had to do a third party complement. This is typical of that age group and happens every day, even at school. I don’t know if this woman homeschools, but she has no idea of what goes on in brick and mortar (or other building material) schools.

    This sort of behaviour is not new, it is not shocking, it is not decadent. It’s part of growing up, trying out their burgeoning sexuality, and then living off the results, good or bad for days. They were at a public pool. Skin and skimpy clothes are to be expected. As are encounters with other people that you do not know. Had they ripped off this bathers in the pool and rubbed their hands all over him, I would have expected this type of outrage. Not for having three girls decide he was nice looking and one have the guts to talk to him.

    Perhaps Kristen should be grateful that she has a son who worthy of this kind of attention and not one who is being bullied because of his looks. That would deserve an upset mummy blog post. Not this.

  2. Avatar
    Michael Mock

    Does this read to anybody else like serious humble-bragging? “My son is so handsome that the middle-school girls at the pool actually told him he was hot! I’m so proud — or I would be, except I believe that being a Christian forbids me to be proud, ever, of anything, so I must immediately overcorrect by criticizing those girls for daring to say the thing that made me proud. Clearly they are bad, bad people, and just as clearly I am not a neurotic fruitbat with no sense of perspective.”

  3. Avatar

    growing up I had friends who started having sex with their girlfriends young..14 -15 and they grew up to be more normal than the rest of us who waited..

  4. Avatar

    If she continues resenting her son’s independence from her, she will create a “mama’s boy” who will be unable to reach his potential in life.

    • Avatar
      Michelle M

      That’s kind of the feeling I got from this, too–that it was more about her over-possessiveness of her son than Christian piety. She needs to get over her damn self. That’s the fun part of Christian piety, though. When you have a character defect of your own you just grab a few Bible verses and find a way to blame someone else. Her son is at an age where he should have some freedom to hang out with kids his own age at the pool, including flirty girls, not spending the entire day with just the family. He’s going to grow up not knowing how to communicate normally with girls.

      • Avatar
        Michelle M

        Correction: When you have a character defect of your own you just grab a few Bible verses and find a way to blame *a woman*.

      • Avatar

        I completely agree, Michelle. I find it telling that his mother said he blushed & mumbled “like I care” undr his breath. Poor kid. It makes me wonder if he’s been shamed about his sexuality already by his parents. A normal teenage boy would’ve been grinning ear-to-ear because of a compliment like that, especially coming from a bikini-clad girl. Again I say, poor kid

  5. Avatar
    Daniel Wilcox

    To Bruce who has some excellent points, but not so mighty…

    Such sad advice from a mother. Too bad she doesn’t seem to understand that girls usually mature faster in late middle school and become boy crazy. As for her son, I can’t tell if he is still too young or has been stunted by the negativity of his parents, or both.

    Because I sure would have liked a girl in a bikini come over to me when I was in late middle school. Heck I was girl crazy by the time I was 10 or 11:-)

    Thanks for posting this. Sad case.

    Now for the not-so almighty part. Consider I’m an ex-Christian, am very liberal and libertarian and skeptical–and was those things to a fairly strong degree even when I was a liberal Quaker.
    I find some of your own atheistic ethical views (not your social ones) problematic as well. In the last few months, its been disconcerting to hear you claim that there is nothing wrong with infidelity, fornication, pornography, obscenity, etc.

    At least you haven’t promoted prostitution as a valid way of life as one atheist proclaimed recently.

    Even if you don’t any longer think any of those destructive ethical choices are wrong, don’t you see how many others view such actions?

    I would probably never become an atheist even if I thought there is no god (even now I’m already out there somewhere with Thomas Paine and the deist boys), for this very reason–many atheists seem to adopt negative ethics.

    And some of those actions aren’t even supported by non-religious people because they have seen how destructive such behaviors are.

    A bit of humor: Have you moved from John Calvin to Calvin Klein;-) ?

    • Avatar

      Dan says: “Now for the not-so almighty part. Consider I’m an ex-Christian, am very liberal and libertarian and skeptical–and was those things to a fairly strong degree even when I was a liberal Quaker.
      I find some of your own atheistic ethical views (not your social ones) problematic as well. In the last few months, its been disconcerting to hear you claim that there is nothing wrong with infidelity, fornication, pornography, obscenity, etc.”

      So color me confused. I don’t understand you being a “very liberal and libertarian” and using the terms “fornication and obscenity” as those terms are always thrown out by Controlling Christians condemning anyone else’s sex life and reading list. Bruce is advocating common sense approaches to those, without the religious overtones that usually accompany those terms. Sex between consenting adults is nobody else’s business, unless it’s in the streets and disrupting traffic. Pornography is only a problem when someone obsesses with it to exclusion of other things.

      So please clarify your position on those things, rather than blankly accuse Bruce of advocating chaos.

      • Avatar
        Daniel Wilcox

        Yeah, words are difficult since they have so many connotations beyond the denotative definition (am retired literature teacher).

        So I didn’t plan on using the old word ‘fornication,’ but no other single word fit. Merriam-Webster definition” consensual sexual intercourse between two persons not married to each other”
        Though accurate, rather long and unwieldy.

        But I will revise my point to this: “disconcerting to hear you claim that there is nothing wrong with infidelity, sex outside of commitment, pornography, derogatory and demeaning words such as ‘fuck’, etc.”

        Then you wrote: “Sex between consenting adults is nobody else’s business…”

        Yes and no. Sexuality is a private personal intimate time between two individuals committed to each other.
        Governments should stay out of people’s personal lives.

        Furthermore as a libertarian, I don’t try and legislate/control what other people do that isn’t overtly harmful to people. For instance, I seem to have no innate interest in gambling (but then I don’t any play games often either), and I have concern about some negative consequences of organized gambling,
        but not enough to think the government should be involved (other than protecting people from criminals).

        So gamble away all you poker-aficionados.
        Less government, the better:-)

        Mild drugs also aren’t the government’s business unless their use causes abuse or impairment while driving, etc.

        However, sexuality is much more complicated. While sexual intimacy should be off limits for government (and religious controllers!)
        polygamy, infidelity, pornography, prostitution, etc. should be illegal. Such actions are destructive to others, even the milder versions. Such actions do harm humans.

        Polygamy: For #1 it almost universally in history and now causes inequality and other negatives for women.

        Pornography: Demeans, treats humans as objects, often side-tracks sexual desire from being an intimate experience between two lovers into a consumer thing

        • Avatar
          Bruce Gerencser

          I am of the opinion that the our society is built on exploitation and objectification. We totally ignore this when it comes to the factory work, yet we say that a man or woman can not use their body sexually as they wish because it objectifies or exploits them. Why do we consider the former good business practice and the latter something that must be regulated and criminalized?

          Just because something “can” be harmful or destructive to one person doesn’t mean that it should be illegal for others. People driving cars results in a huge amount of damage, carnage, injury, and death, yet we don’t outlaw cars or forbid people to use them. Instead, we make rules/law to regulate their use. We punish those who use an auto improperly, especially when it comes to the life and property of others. I view porn and prostitution in the same light.

          What might be infidelity for you might not be infidelity for someone else. Again, marriage is a legal/social contract. The state has certain interests, but after that it is up to the married couple to determine the parameters by which their marriage operates. These parameters are different for every couple.

          I think I already addressed the use of the word fuck or other words YOU consider derogatory. You really need to talk to those thirty and under. They rarely use the word fuck in a sexual sense. It is like our generation saying shit. No big deal. When I scream at the ump on TV, You fucking idiot, he was out, I am not expressing a desire to have sex with the ump. 🙂 Could I not swear? Sure, but I see no reason not to. When in the company of others that do not swear, 99% of the time I respect their wishes and do not swear. When I am at the game or race track with my sons, all of whom can turn a blue phrase, I feel no compulsion to mind my words. Language changes, and many of the words that had a particular meaning 50 years ago no longer have that same meaning today. Words like bad, cool, etc have taken on different meanings over the years. So it is with words like fuck.

          • Avatar
            Daniel Wilcox

            Hey Bruce, Thanks for the work you do on this blog. It’s much appreciated by many people including me.

            We strongly disagree on the nature of reality, the nature of humanity, ethics, etc. (At least we agree somewhat on political issues).

            I’ll stop here. This is your blog.

            I’ve already had my own say.

            Thanks for listening.

    • Avatar
      Bruce Gerencser

      1.) What consenting adult want to do sexually is between them. None of my business.

      2.) I use words like fornication, adultery, etc only because I primarily write about religion and most readers understand what these words mean. That said they are words loaded with religious suppositions that I find offensive and contrary to personal freedom and liberty.

      3.) We have laws that govern who may have sex with who and at what age. Those who break these laws are guilty of committing is a crime.

      4.) Marriage is a social contract between two consenting adults. It is up to them to decide what the sexual parameters of their marriage will be. If they agree that have sex with other people is permissible, then I am OK with that. People marry for a variety of reasons, and I have known several couples where the wife was quite happy if the husband had a mistress. She had no interest in sex. To them, marriage was all about companionship and financial security. I am fine with this as long as it was understood by both parties before marriage.

      5.) The “moral” teachings in the Bible about sex, for the most part, are rules for a culture that no longer exists. We, at least in theory, grant women equal rights, and that includes the right to control and use their own sexuality as they please. When it comes to prostitution and pornography, as long as a woman (or a man) is not coerced in any way, she is free to use her body as she wishes. I support the legalization of prostitution. For health and safety reasons, the state should regulate and control prostitution. (I use the same argument with drug legalization and gambling)

      While I am a social liberal/democratic socialist, when it comes to many personal behaviors, I am a libertarian. If what goes on is between consenting adults harms no one, then it is none of my business. If it affects others (children or the public) then I support regulation. (i.e. I don’t care who you have sex with, but I don’t want you having it in my backyard)

  6. Avatar

    “Instead of blaming women for the sexual failures of male Evangelicals, how about teaching them to responsibly handle their sexuality?”

    You’re assuming that she knows how to teach her son to handle his sexuality responsibly. I seriously doubt that she does.

    I am a huge, huge, advocate for comprehensive, science- and psychology-based sex education in schools (and I am also very, very against homeschooling but that’s another rant for another day.) Because when it comes right down to it, most parents in the US (especially fundie Christian parents) don’t know jack squat about human sexuality, and thus they really have no business teaching their kids anything about it. They either refuse to answer their kids’ questions about sex, or they can’t answer their kids’ questions without cringing and stammering and being so embarrassed that their kids stop asking, or they fill their kids’ heads with ridiculous “sex is dirty, filthy and nasty, so don’t have it until you’re married and want to make babies” religious claptrap. Hence kids are pretty much left to get their sex ed from popular media, internet porn, and their friends (all of which get things wrong more often than not.) And we wonder why we have the highest rate of teenage pregnancy in the civilized world, not to mention extremely high rates of rape and incest (looking at you, Duggars.)

    My parents’ approach to sex ed consisted of throwing a couple of pamphlets about puberty and “how babies are made” on my bed when I was 12, and threatening to shoot me if I came home pregnant. If it weren’t for the two week’s worth of sex ed I had in 6th and 9th grades (meager, but it at least covered the basics) and the fact that I was too shy, nerdy and socially awkward to get a date, I might well have ended up a pregnant dropout, like 30 percent of the girls in my high school did. It wasn’t until I got to college and got to read my roommate’s copies of “The Joy Of Sex” and “Our Bodies, Ourselves” that I finally got the knowledge I needed (oh and meeting a very sweet, patient and sexually enlightened guy–who eventually became my husband–didn’t hurt either!)

    The Dutch have a much saner way of handling sex ed, and it’s working, given that their teen pregnancy rate is miniscule compared to ours. Alas, as long as fundies and their sick and twisted “purity” culture are allowed rule the U.S., I doubt we will ever adopt such a system:

  7. Avatar

    As someone who grew up with that repressive life training, I would like to add my perspective to this article.

    Welch said- “Maybe you didn’t see my son’s cheeks flame and watch him look to his father for help or hear him mumble “like I care” or see him get out of the pool to move away from you. Maybe not…”

    I know exactly what was happening with this young man. He was thrilled that these girls were paying attention to him. Unfortunately, mom and dad were right there, watching him like a hawk. Even if they hadn’t been there, his upbringing and sense of duty and shame would have created the same effect. He knew that he had to shun their advances while avoiding looking at their bodies. His cheeks were red from embarrassment, both from the girl’s attention and having to pretend like he didn’t care. Moving away from them was his only course of action. If he hadn’t, he knew there would have been hell to pay. He HAD to look away from their bikini clad bodies, the lecture and punishment would have been far greater than any momentary pleasure he would have gotten from looking at them.

    As it was, I can almost guarantee there was a discussion about this incident. He was more than likely talked to about not averting his eyes quickly enough and not doing enough to stay away from them; even though he had done nothing wrong and everything that he should have done. I would also bet that mom and dad had a discussion about the girls on their own. If mom watches the son like a hawk, you know she watched dad, too.

    I lived through all of this. I was never at a pool, in this situation, but I have had similar incidents and the aftermath several times. My dad has apologized many times for the screwed up way he raised me. I’m not mad at him, he was doing what he had been taught by the church.

    Did this harpy ever think that she caused the two girls to stumble because she brought her son to the pool? This is slut shaming at its worst. These were just a couple of girls looking at a cute boy. It wasn’t like they were seductresses trying to steal her husband away. Then, she might be justified in writing about her trip to the pool.

    And, why that picture on her blog post? Does she want other weak christian men to stumble while reading her blog?

  8. Avatar

    You see, according to Welch, these girls are making it hard for her son to “live a godly life.” Once again, it’s the girls’ fault.

    Funny how that works, isn’t it? This is the same mentality that gets carried to its logical conclusion in Islamic countries where women have to dress in tents all the time so men won’t get tempted, and if they get tempted anyway, it’s the woman who’s to blame.

  9. Avatar

    O the humiliation, and then to have your Mom blog about it! Was Kristen Welch at the pool? Why not tell the girls then and there? No save it for the blog. You can see in this example how the Josh Duggars of the world are formed.

Please Leave a Pithy Reply

%d bloggers like this: