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So Anthony Weiner sexted around his kid — so what?

Update Sept. 1, 2016, 11:37 a.m.: The Administration for Children’s Services in New York City announced late Wednesday, August 31, that an investigation has been launched over Anthony Weiner’s “handling of 4-year-old son Jordan.” A home visit was made to the apartment Weiner shares with estranged wife Huma Abedin on Tuesday, but no other information has been made public.

Anthony Weiner is one of the most aptly named humans on the face of the planet. The disgraced former Congressman who resigned after inappropriate photos and tweets he sent to women online made headlines is back in the news once more, and the reason why will surprise no one.

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While Weiner’s wife, Huma Abedin, is away campaigning for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, he’s home sexting another lady. One of those sexts included a totally not G-rated photo of Weiner’s clothed but aroused crotch with his son lying next to him. According to the text exchange, Weiner was chatting with his lady friend when his son joined him in bed, and he took and sent the picture.

Some are uncomfortable with the fact that Weiner was sexting and sexually aroused with his son nearby. However, while Weiner once again stepping out on his wife is obviously wrong, and Abedin has since announced they are separating, there’s nothing inherently bad about a parent engaging in healthy sexual activity.

Anthony Weiner is a jerk-face. He’s one of those people who just the mere mention of his name can cause your lip to do that involuntary snarl thing a dog does if you come toward it with a toothbrush. Sexting with a woman who isn’t your wife is despicable. And sending a woman an unsolicited picture of your erection is beyond offensive. Basically there are a ton of reasons why Weiner is the last person you’d want to pick for your dodgeball team.

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But all of that being said, is sending a sexual text or (gasp!) daring to get sexually aroused while there’s a kid around really that awful of a thing? Parents may have a questionable sense of how many pictures of our kids posted Facebook is too many, and we may tear up too easily over commercials, but we still have normal healthy, sex drives just like everyone else. It’s not like they pull that part of us out along with the placenta. Sexting isn’t just for single 20-somethings; it’s for parents too, and we shouldn’t be made to feel ashamed about doing it.

What’s problematic for the weenie known as Weiner is who he was sexting and what he sent to her, not that he was sexting around his son. Keeping the romance alive with kids underfoot forces you to get creative. Who hasn’t waggled an eyebrow across the couch or made a suggestive joke that literally and figuratively went over the kids’ head at dinner. And if the kids are monopolizing the post-dinner conversation and you want to make some plan with your partner for later, there’s nothing wrong with sending them a sext while the kids are none the wiser. After all, that’s what the eggplant emoji was invented for. And certain things have to happen for siblings to be conceived, soooo….

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Bottom line: If you’re a parent who sends the occasional sext from the laundry room to keep things spicy, don’t worry — you’re nothing like Weiner. You’re just doing what it takes as a mom or dad to fan the flames of romance without having to spring for a sitter.
Originally published August 29, updated September 1.

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