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COLUMN

Savage Love

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I’m a 25-year-old man. After a tragic set of circumstances, I am now the legal guardian of my 15-year-old brother. He’s gay. Fortunately, our parents took care of “the talk” and taught him how to use condoms. Unfortunately, he has started dating a senior at his school who is about to turn 18 and is a fucking sleazeball. You know the type: entitled, narcissistic LA type, drives a BMW paid for by his rich parents. This asshole has no respect for my brother. He grabs my brother’s ass or says disgusting things like “You really look fuckable in those jeans.” I told him to stop that behavior, and he just replied, “Sorry, I can’t keep my hands off such a hottie.” A keeper for sure, right?

My parents would probably know what to do, but they’re dead. I don’t think he’s mature enough to be in a sexual relationship, but I’m fairly sure he is already sexually active. I laid down the law and told him that he couldn’t see his boyfriend anymore, but he has continued to see him behind my back and now doesn’t tell me anything that is going on with his life. I don’t know what he’s doing with a guy like that. My brother is smart, plays lots of sports and is really involved at school. I’m afraid this loser is going to destroy all that.
I’m new to all of this parenting stuff, but I know that he can’t continue to see this person. I know that my issue isn’t what you usually deal with, but as a parent yourself, what would you do?
New Parent Needs Help

I’m so sorry about the tragedy that befell your family, NPNH, and the loss of both your parents. You deserve nothing but praise for taking your brother in and taking him on.
That said …
You don’t need to round your brother’s boyfriend up to 18 – to “statutory rapist” age – to make him sound like an asshole. He sounds like a big enough asshole at age 17. And there’s nothing inappropriate about a 17-year-old kid dating a 15-year-old kid. You may be tempted to alert the authorities after your brother’s asshole boyfriend (BAB) turns 18, but BAB is protected by your state’s age-of-consent laws, which treat sex between a minor and an adult differently if the adult is within three years of the minor’s age, which this asshole is.

It’s also entirely appropriate for a 17-year-old gay boy to grab his 15-year-old boyfriend’s ass. And it’s entirely appropriate for a 17-year-old to tell his 15-year-old boyfriend that he looks fuckable in his jeans. But it is insanely inappropriate for a kid to do and say those things in front of his boyfriend’s parent or legal guardian. Still, instead of forbidding your brother from dating this asshole or refusing to let BAB visit your house, speak up when BAB behaves like an asshole in front of you. (“Now is not the time, guys.” “Knock that shit off, please.” “I don’t want to hear about my brother’s sex life any more than he wants to hear about my sex life.”)

If the asshole doesn’t listen, ask him to leave. It’s your house and you make the rules. But you should resist the urge to make unenforceable rules like “You may not see this guy,” as that will only undermine your authority while driving them into each other’s arms. Worse yet, if your brother isn’t supposed to be seeing this guy at all, he won’t feel comfortable turning to you for advice if BAB is pressuring him to do anything dangerous. Your brother needs to be able to talk about his relationship with you, and he can’t do that if he’s not supposed to be in that relationship.
And take comfort: If BAB is as shallow and materialistic as your letter makes him sound, odds are good that he’ll tire of your brother soon enough and move on to the next hot piece of ass who’s impressed by his BMW. This is a problem that is likely to solve itself.

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