Published: September 19, 2012
You goofed in your reply to WTT. Instead of getting information from sex-shop owners, why didn't you get information from a mental health expert? We're talking about a 14-year-old who is emotionally fragile as she struggles through the years of defining self and understanding her own sexuality! Here's what you should've told WTT: "Back off. See a therapist. Get a boyfriend. Get a hobby. MYOB, Auntie." —EE, LMSW
In fairness to WTT, MYOBAS and EELMSW, it's possible that WTT's niece expressed an interest in acquiring a sex toy. It's also possible that WTT was given permission to talk with her niece about sex. (My mother encouraged her kids to talk with one of her sisters about any sexual issues we weren't comfortable discussing with our parents.) But there was nothing in WTT's letter indicating that her niece had expressed an interest in acquiring a sex toy or that the girl's mother (or father) were down with her plan. My response to WTT was colored by my own relationship with my sex-question-answering aunt. With the benefit of 20/20 hindsight, to say nothing of a file full of angry e-mails, it's clear that I should've advised WTT to MYOB if her niece hadn't asked for her help.
Find Dan Savage's weekly podcast every Tuesday at thestranger.com/savage. Send mail to email@example.com or @fakedansavage on Twitter.
> Email Dan Savage