a middle-aged guy. My boyfriend has just left his teens. We
originally got to know each other because I like to tie up
muscular young guys and he’s a muscular young guy who likes
getting tied up. But he’s a smart, funny kid and after a few
months we started actually liking each other. Not to get all
mushy on you, but at some point that like turned to love.
Here’s the problem: My boyfriend’s parents—who are a little
younger than I am—were snooping around in his room and found
video clips on his computer that clearly illustrated our activities.
He still lives with his parents and they were, prior to this
discovery, entirely ignorant of their son’s sexual orientation
and sexual interests. They’re now threatening all the things
asshole parents usually threaten: to kick him out, to stop
paying for school, to disown him.
He’s stayed at my place many times and my first reaction was,
“Come live with me, you don’t need that kind of crap in your
life.” But the more I think about it, the more I wonder if
it’s the right thing to do. They are his family. Would I really
be acting in his best interests if I helped him walk away
from them, even as horrible as they’re acting? I can put him
up at my place. I can pay for his schooling. Heck, I’d be
proud to do it. But I wonder if I’d be facilitating a decision
he’d one day come to regret. Plus, we’re in Boston and he
isn’t yet 21. On top of everything else, is there a chance
the law could decide to bite me in the ass?
The Bad Guy
really can’t do my best work, NTBG, without actually seeing
those video clips. But let me give it a shot . . .
Your boyfriend is of legal age, so I don’t see how you could
possibly be in trouble with the law. (Unless those bondage
videos were made before he reached the age of consent, which
I’m hoping they were not.) His parents might not like the
fact that their son is gay and a bondage freak, or that he’s
involved with an older man, but there’s not a lot they can
do about it.
Besides, of course, tossing him out, disowning him, and refusing
to pay for his education.
If they do toss him out and refuse to pay for his education,
NTBG, you should take him in and pay for his education. Don’t
do anything—or anything else—that might antagonize your boyfriend’s
parents. No confrontations, no accusations, no scenes. Write
them one polite letter. Tell them you appreciate how distressing
it must have been for them to learn about their son’s interests
the way that they did, and tell them that, despite how they
may have interpreted those video clips, you mean their son
no harm, that you love him, and that you intend to look out
for him and keep him in school. Close by telling them you’re
going to encourage your boyfriend to keep the lines of communication
open with them.
It could be emotionally tricky for a while, perhaps a long
while, as his parents adjust to the big kinky news. But that’s
what happens when you snoop: Sometimes you find out things
that you didn’t want to know, didn’t need to know, or weren’t
ready to know.
As for the boyfriend, it’s entirely possible that he may one
day blame you for his estrangement from his parents. You can
inoculate yourself against those charges by refusing to come
between him and his parents, and making sure he sees you doing
whatever you can to lay the groundwork for an eventual reconciliation.
Moving on, NTBG, you say you’re in love, and that’s swell.
But just between us grown-ups: Very few people wind up with
the person they met and fell in love with in their teens.
At best, you’ll have a few great years with this kid. But
this can be a really successful relationship even if, as the
song goes, “it’s only for now,” if you play your cards right.
And unless his parents are seriously nuts and your boyfriend
desperately needs the legal protections of marriage—he needs
you to be his next of kin in case of a medical emergency,
for instance—I wouldn’t marry his hot and kinky 20-year-old
ass, if I were you. And if he does need the legal protections
of marriage, make him sign a prenup.
Speaking of hot teenagers and asshole parents and vows
that you may come to regret . . .
The 17-year-old daughter of Sarah Palin, the GOP’s vice-presidential
nominee, is pregnant. The news was released by the McCain
campaign during a busy news week—a major hurricane, the Republican
National Convention, Dick Cheney getting us into a war with
Russia—so it may not have received the coverage it deserved.
So allow me to bring you up to date, gentle readers . . .
Seventeen-year-old Bristol Palin got her ass knocked up five
or so months ago by 18-year-old Levi Johnston. Among the hobbies
listed on Levi’s since-yanked MySpace page—“fishing, shoot
some shit, and just fuckin’ chillin’”—was this revealing tidbit:
“I don’t want kids.” But Bristol, says her mom, “made the
decision on her own to keep the baby,” and is now engaged
to Levi “Shootin’ Shit” Johnston.
As the adoptive parent of a child born to a pair of unwed
teenagers, I’m certainly not in favor of abortion in all circumstances.
But I believe that it’s a choice teenagers should be able
to make for themselves—with input from their families whenever
possible—and, so it seems, does the GOP’s VP nominee. Sarah
Palin is pleased that her daughter made the decision—on her
own—to keep the baby.
But Sarah Palin doesn’t believe that other girls should be
able to make their own decisions. Sarah Palin believes abortion
should be illegal in almost every instance—including rape
and incest. So Bristol Palin is being celebrated for making
a choice that Sarah Palin would like to take away from all
other American women. Apparently, today’s GOP believes that
choice is a special right reserved for the wayward daughters
of Republican elected officials.
Oh, and Sarah Palin also believes that birth control shouldn’t
be made available to teenagers, she opposes medically accurate
sex education, and she backs abstinence-until-marriage sex
The GOP has poured hundreds of millions of dollars into abstinence
“education” programs during the Bush years. I believe this
enormous investment of public funds begs the obvious question:
Are our children abstaining? Sarah Palin’s aren’t. Despite
this massive outlay on the part of the American taxpayer and
the example set by her Christian parents, Bristol Palin became
sexually active while still in high school. Excuse me, but
if abstinence education can’t keep the daughter of the evangelical
governor of Alaska off the cock, what hope is there for the
daughters—and some of the sons—of average Americans?
I’m a cad for even writing this, of course, because shortly
before Bristol and Levi were paraded before cheering throngs
at the Republican National Convention, the Palins asked the
media to respect their daughter’s privacy.
Another special right: When it comes to respecting your family’s
privacy, Palin and the GOP see no need. They want to micromanage
the most intimate aspects of your private life. And if their
own kids fail to live up to the standards that Palin and the
GOP seek to impose on your family, well, that’s a private
matter between the Palins, their daughter, their God, and
the thousands of screaming imbeciles in elephant hats waving
McCain/Palin signs on the floor of the Republican National
a new Savage Love podcast every Tuesday at www.thestranger.com/savage.