Oh boy....man this thread! I've read it all and couldn't do that and not respond.
First of all, what an awkward situation, to say the least. I'm sorry for what you've had to go through, mama. I can totally understand what you must be feeling, believe me, and it's terribly difficult to raise that with anyone in a calm, sane kind of way, isn't it!
You know, the very first thing that occurred to me was actually the last thing that occurred to anyone else - transgender, or cross dressing. he very first thing that popped into my head was "Oh, I wonder if he is wondering about his sexual identity". Reason being, my brother (soon to be my sister I believe, now) was the most normal teenaged boy at sixteen - wore baggy clothes, listened to rap, walked like a dude, everything. Jenna is now 24 and living as a woman. Didn't see that one coming either.
So yep, I totally thought it might well be a case of one of two things: thinking about one's own sexual identity, or being curious about women's things, and how women work inside and where the heck a tampon even goes, and that coupled with a little "ooh, these are girl's panties!". Your panties, and the panties of your daughter and SIL are the most accessible panties for him to go get, aren't they. The one good thing in all of this, I suppose, is that he's not stealing them off washing lines or girl's lockers at school. He's stealing them from the people he feels most comfortable around.
Now okay, sure, the "perverse" comment I can totally see was a defensive, sudden reaction and gosh, who isn't guilty of that every now and again? It sounds like you dealt with thatwhole conversation nicely this weekend. Sometimes I think it's up to us as role models and adults to show children that while we all sometimes blow up, the best thing to do is handle it properly afterwards - he's going to face situations where he blows up and has to make good afterwards as well, in his life (which I'm sure will be just fine) - now, he has this to think back on as an example of making good after a blow up. Good job
Of course, you have to be careful when you say things like "perverse" - you know, just because to a child (which he is...) those single words can be very forming. He's very flexible, pliable right now -this is a very liquid part of his life, you know? I remember at aged nine, my father calling me a "clot" on Xmas Eve because I'd done something dumb and he was mad at me. I wrote it in my diary for the day - the one single sentence entry, and even now, seventeen years later (almost eighteen) I can still remember how much that stung and how much it affected my self esteem. It's so hard to be a parent or a step parent and do the right thing, because no matter how much people say "you're not the parent, you are not so important" - that might not be what the DSS's or DSD's think, and what we do as step parents still has the ability to shape the children just as much as bio parents. We can't wash our hands here - it can't be done.
Personally I am the only mother figure the children have. I don't feel I can do anything other than the things a mother does, because if I don't do them out of love, biomom will not either and they really will grow up without a mom. Biomom isn't involved at all and DSD especially calls me "Mom" to her friends, and DSS just kind of assumes I'm his mom, though he does know I didn't give birth to him. It's my responsibility to make sure that they grow up alright as well as their Dad's.
Anyway I digress. The one other thing I would say (as others have said) is that I don't think the internet is a good idea at all.... Personally I really don't use my net much for anything apart from to visit this forum, check my email and a few other things. I use my computer to play with Photoshop, upload pictures to my website etcetera. The internet is a strange place. For someone so malleable, it provides not only an outlet but also a number of paths into the forest, some of which are in my opinion, damaging. There's still child pornography out there, and violent pornography, sadism (which is very liekly bad news for someone so young and vulnerable himself), snuff films, rape films - all sorts. I wouldn't even think of going there. If he already was looking up naked pictures a few years ago, that's a good sign that he shouldn't be on the internet now apart from with adequate supervision. Exposing a teenaged boy to all of the resources in the entire world isn't necessarily something I'd do. If you wouldn't want it in your house, better not let it in.
For goodness sakes, I mean sure, porn isn't sex, but it's a little crazy to say that if you DON'T look at porn, you're a prude. My ex husband had an enormous problem with porn, so much so that he didn't want to DTD - he wanted to get his kicks online! Personally I have watched it in the past, but don't now. My DP doesn't either - he has a stash of old Playboys and some 1970's "How To" guides but it's not as though he brigns them out regularly lol
In the 1940's, nobody had the internet and teenaged boys (and men) were still pleasuring themselves just fine. Not having porn around isn't going to damage him, lol.
You know, back in the day, you had naughty cartoon magazines as well. Why not provide him with a pencil and paper, and he can draw out his fantasies (which can be extremely theraputic) - which are obviously normal - and thereby gain a bit of relief. Or perhaps leave a copy of "Glamour" or "Vogue" lying about. The amount of clothes some of those models wear are miminal to say the least! Bingo, he has an outlet without anyone havign to slip him copies of "Hustler".
Anyway I've gone on long enough - it's only my point of view. Good luck with it all and *HUGS* to you