Photo Disaster: Please Advise

UPDATE: Thank you all for your input. I read every comment more than once, and I also got more than one email and IM.  Readers gave me very very considered thoughts here.  I want to express my appreciation.

I have decided that I am not going to say anything.  And that’s not because I’m afraid of confrontation (you all know that).  It’s because the younger one’s comfort and security must take priority. If I bring this up with him, he’s just going to be mortified as fuck. He knows what he saw, I know what he saw, he knows I know what he saw.  I mean, what is going to be good about re-hashing it?  This isn’t burying my head in the sand, it’s just trying to give younger one some privacy.

I am really worried this is going to screw up my relationship with younger one.  I like him so much, and he is very much a kind young lad. He did nothing wrong.

THIS IS WHAT WORRIES ME:

The Collector is not a man who makes mistakes.  This is a very calculating individual.  He is not sloppy.

What worries me is that he left that folder out on his desktop because he knew his son would see it. That folder did not get there by accident.

*                         *                     *

 

Well, I have a fucked up situation on my hands and could really use some advice.

Some months ago, the Collector took me on a vacation to Thailand.  We had a blast.  It was a really fun trip and he was the perfect boyfriend the entire time.  Good sex, good food, beautiful hotel, rode the elephants in the jungle, watched Muay Thai fights two nights in a row, did the tourist thing and drank snake blood, all that good stuff.

Well, one day it was raining hard all day long so we just stayed in the hotel suite and played around all day.  I went down to the salon and got my hair and makeup done, and then I let the Collector take photos of me in different lingerie outfits.  He has a great camera and I’ve done some modeling, so I know how to pose.  Some of the pictures turned out great.  I seriously considered posting them here or in my prodomme ads, but it was an intimate time with my partner, and I didn’t want to violate that.

The pictures were not pornographic, but they are definitely provocative.  I would not want my Mom to see them, even though I’m dressed in all of them. Think Maxim magazine or Playboy‘s lingerie issue.  Me on the bed, me on the couch, me straddling a chair, cupping my boobs over my bra, silhouetted against the window.  You know what I’m talking about.

Fast forward to recently.  The Collector’s youngest son, who is now 15, flies in from Switzerland to visit Dad and his brother, who is going to a college in the Tristate area.

He had to finish a paper for school and e-mail it to his instructor.  Well, he spilled a drink on his laptop and fried it.  Laptop is ruined.  Thank God he saved his work on Dropbox.

He didn’t have time to go to BestBuy and get a new one because he was working under a deadline and HAD to finish this paper, so he asked if he could use Dad’s computer in the library.  This is a “public” computer–it’s not the one the Collector uses for business in his office. I’ve used this computer, the boys use the computer, guests use this computer.

Young one worked on that computer all day long.

(You see where this is going, right?  I know you see where this is going.)

That evening, the young one started to act strangely around me.  He was withdrawn and didn’t want to hang out and chat with me, or play chess or a video game (the video games drive the Collector crazy, but as long as the boy keeps his grades up, he doesn’t nag about it too much).  I felt kinda like he was avoiding me.  And his Dad, too, for that matter.  Not that the Collector noticed–or, if he did, he didn’t say anything.

It took me about two days to realize the problem was ME, for reasons I will explain.  I just assumed the kid was having some personal issue–maybe a problem with a girl, or a friend, or a bully at school, though I couldn’t imagine him getting bullied, since he’s good-looking and big for his age.  Or, hell, maybe he was just being moody.  Teenagers get moody sometimes.  Hell, everyone gets moody sometimes.

“Is something troubling you, (Younger One)?” I asked.  I thought we’d spent enough time together that it was appropriate for me to inquire. “You seem a little upset.  Is it just my imagination?”

“No, I’m fine,” he said.

So then–THEN–I went to the computer to look up a restaurant menu to order some sushi delivery.

Guess what is there, my 8 readers! Guess what is there on the fucking desktop.

A folder named “Margo’s Sexy Vacation Pics.”

I clicked it.

YUP.  About a hundred photos of me in my sexy underwear looking seductively at the cameraman who is obviously the younger one’s father, the Collector.

The desktop is immaculate.  The desktop on my computer is complete chaos–it’s so cluttered that if that file was on it, it would probably escape notice. On THIS computer, though, it is practically the only file there.

My stomach flipped over and my heart started pounding.

The younger one HAD to have seen those photos.  I mean, “Margo’s Sexy Vacation Pics?”  How could he resist clickbait like that?  I know I couldn’t!  I can’t even blame him!  I would have clicked it, too!

I deleted the entire folder and then emptied the recycle bin.  I felt sick to my stomach.  I felt humiliated.

Then I went to see the Collector and told him that I needed to speak with him in private.  We went to his bedroom.

“Why the fuck did you have our vacation photos on that computer? On the desktop?  I thought they were supposed to be on your private computer and password protected!  The young one SAW those photos!”

The Collector just chuckled. Unbelievably.

“Relax. I’m sure he sees much more explicit content on the internet on a regular basis. Besides, you look great.”

That sound you hear is my jaw, hitting the floor.

“He sees more explicit stuff on the internet, but not of his father’s girlfriend!” I yelled.

“I am sure he did not mind seeing those pictures,” he said, still smiling.

“Of course he minds! That’s why he’s acting weird around me!  Those pictures sexualized me to him!  And they also suggest something about his father’s sex life!  The last thing any kid wants to think about is their parent’s sex life!  He’s probably freaked out!  Collector, you could have just ruined my relationship with younger one!”

“I doubt it. He may look at you differently from now on, though.  You are right about that.  I’d be surprised if he hasn’t noticed you that way before, however.  He’s not blind.”

I was so fed up that I just walked out.

This is my question, readers.  Please advise:

Do I approach the younger one and say something like, “Oh, hey, I think you might have seen some pictures of your father and myself from our vacation in Thailand.  Of me in my bikini and stuff.  I’m sorry that you saw those photos.  They were supposed to be private.  I really hope it doesn’t make you uncomfortable.” And just leave it at that?

OR do I just say nothing and wait for it all to blow over?  HOPING that it ever blows over?  Pretend like it didn’t happen?

Readers, what do I DOOOOO?

 

 

 


7 thoughts on “Photo Disaster: Please Advise”

  1. I have no children. Nor can I claim to be the most mature or well balanced adult. So caveat emptor on all that follows…

    15 is a tricky age. If he was younger I’d say he was just embarrassed, so the best option would be to entirely ignore it. If he was older I doubt it’d be an issue. He’d have enough confidence and sense of his own identity to get the necessary emotional distance. He’d probably either ignore it, make a joke or secretly high five his father.

    Unfortunately 15 is that age when children are both trying to compete with and step away from their fathers. And fathers are feeling challenged by their children and trying to assert their own identity and masculinity. It’s a cliche, but I think there’s a grain of truth in the idea of the young lion feeling the need to step up and challenge the old lion.

    That dynamic may account for the Collector’s attitude. He may not have intended him to see the pictures when he took them, but now it has happened, he may subconsciously like the fact that junior sees that his father is still a top dog. On the flip side, if junior has a tumultuous love live (which is 100% of teenage boys) then he may be feeling that the two of you have ganged up on him to shove that in his face. He’s supposed to be the one whose time it is to develop the exciting love life and to travel off to interesting locations, yet in reality he’s got typical teenage love angst and his Dad is jetting off too Thailand for sexy fun times.

    I’m not sure there’s a great solution here, other than time. I certainly wouldn’t have a conversation in person. If he’s simply embarrassed it’ll make it worse. If he’s angry it may provoke an emotional and unintended reaction. Teenage boys aren’t great at a measured response.

    Maybe an email that (in precis form) simply says “Hey – After reading this email, feel free to ignore it, delete it or pretend it never existed.But I just wanted to say that – through no fault of your own – you might have seen some pictures of me in Thailand that I’d intended to be private. I’m pissed you saw those photographs and I apologize that we weren’t more careful with them. I hope this will not make things too uncomfortable between us and I’ll make sure nothing like that happens again”.

    That gives him chances to process privately. It removes any onus to respond. It remove any guilt he has about looking, takes the blame and makes it clear the two of you weren’t ganging up on him (not a logical reaction, but maybe a subconscious emotional one for him). It also gives a positive suggestion for the future.

    So ends possibly my longest ever comment on a blog post. It’s possible I’m a frustrated agony aunt.

    -paltego

  2. Please pardon this intrusion. The first thing is to take care of yourself. Obsessing on either/or dilemmas is dangerous. It can lead to stinkin thinkin. What do you need?

  3. Being open about things, even if it hurts in the short term, always seems like the best policy for the long term. But, “I’m sorry, but did you see some photos of me? Did they upset you?” and see how he reacts?

  4. Sorry this happened to you. Haven’t these boundary issues come up before? I remember the Collector humiliating you at dinner then having sex with you in the next room where his sons definitely knew what was going on. Another time, weren’t you frightened about being in a private spot on the beach with the older boy? This guy has porous sexual boundaries with his sons. All you can do, I think, is stay out of it. You cannot change this sexual father/son dynamic. I am sure it was there before you arrived on the scene.

    So, I would say no conversation with little brother. No conversations that are even tangentially sexual with either son. Watch how you dress around them. And, obviously, have no physical contact with either son. Maintain your boundary — you are not a sexual object for them. You cannot control the Collector or his sons, so you may find yourself being sexualized by them, just don’t play into it. Act your part, the father’s girlfriend who is cordial to his sons — no more than that.

  5. Saying nothing is probably best. Teens are awkward and him knowing that you know he’s seen you nearly naked will just exacerbate the awkwardness. It sounds like there’s a strange dynamic going on with this guy and his sons. To say the least

  6. Here’s my two cents:

    1) Mr. Collector is a real dick for handling the photos carelessly like that. I think it’s reasonable to expect that if someone has intimate photos / videos / etc. of you, that they should hold them in confidence and store them with care. What’s done is done, but I think that this is a real black mark on Mr. Collector’s character.

    2) Unless Mr. Collector has been bringing up his sons in some strict, religious manner, he’s probably right in saying that younger one has seen much more explicit material before.

    3) Most people don’t want to know their parents’ intimate details. If the younger one is a bit withdrawn around you, it likely has to do with the fact that his conception of you probably just went from ‘Dad’s close lady friend’ to ‘The person that Dad takes naughty pictures of, and is probably boning’. That can produce some awkwardness, because you’re suddenly privy to information that you didn’t even want in the first place, and you’re not sure if this this changes how you’re supposed to act.

    In addition, he might be a little embarrassed / worried – insofar as he might be thinking: “I know that I wasn’t supposed to see those photos; is Margo going to be mad at me because I did see them?”

    4) Basically, unless there’s some other compelling reason to air this out, I’d just try and let it blow over. Taking a moment to talk about this will probably make an already awkward situation even more so. If you don’t want to talk about it, and he doesn’t want to think about it, it’s probably best to just let the matter lie.

    The only situation I can think of where it might be important to have a chat – and this would be Mr. Collector’s responsibility as the father – would be if this is the type of individual who might be prone to act irresponsibly or maliciously. Hopefully this is a reasonably responsible, conscientious young man. If he’s not – if he’s the type that might talk about this behind your back or try to circulate copies of the pictures without your consent, then it’s Mr. Collector’s role to immediately ‘lay down the law’ and make his son clearly understand how he’s expected to behave.

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