Here's a problem you don't see every day in an advice column: A single mom complained to Slate's Dear Prudence that her 14-year-old son is masturbating during his hockey games. The mother wrote that she lashed out at her son after finding out he was "intentionally going to the penalty box to pleasure himself."Prudence, aka Slate columnist Emily Yoffe, told the mom:
Prudence also ordered the mother to check the insensitivity and recommended that the lad see a therapist.
"Playing sports is tense, but what’s not normal is for him to forfeit the game in order to relieve some of the pressure."
"Lashing out at a 14-year-old because he’s displaying troubling symptoms does not speak well for you, Mom. You need to apologize to your son, tell him this is a very hard conversation for you two to have, but you are concerned that he is not understanding the boundaries between public and private behavior."
Some readers on Slate's Facebook page insisted the letter was fake, with one writing, "I call BS on the kid pleasuring himself letter. Him doing it in the penalty box? That's a line out of the Paul Newman movie 'Slap Shot'! C'mon."
The reader was indeed right about the penalty box reference in "Slap Shot."
"I was coachin' in Omaha in 1948 and Eddie Shore sends me this guy who was a terrible masturbator, you know, couldn't control himself," a team manager tells Newman's character in the film. "Why, he would get deliberate penalties so he could get over in the penalty box all by himself and damned if he wouldn't... you know..."
"Perhaps he saw Slap Shot and got inspired," Prudence said in an email to HuffPost, noting that, while it's not possible to confirm the mom of a hockey masturbater actually wrote the letter, "the totality of the letter was about a single mother who didn’t know how to deal with her young teenager’s out of control masturbation."
She said she has also received letters about other teens masturbating with domestic appliances, a mom whose pre-teen keeps swiping her "back massager," and "lots" of adults who self-pleasure in the office.
For the full exchange, head on over to Slate.