Ask Amy: Consent should be with the niece, not her aunt’s lifestyle


Dear Amy: Last summer my niece came to stay with me. She was then 18 years old.

I could tell that one of my adult friends, “Stan,” was attracted to her, so I asked him not to have sex with her.

A few months later, my niece told me that Stan had sex with her and that she didn’t like it and was uncomfortable with it.

She asked me not to mention it to him. Finally she told me that she had worked it out and that they had stopped.

I was annoyed with Stan for specifically asking him not to. He said it was unfair of me to ask because she was not a minor.

I told him it would have been better if he had spoken to me about it instead of having to find out from my niece, who is upset about it.

It really affected our relationship and I’m not sure it can be fixed.

Stan says if he had to do it all over again, he would do the same thing even though I asked him not to.

– Angry aunt

Dear Angry: Her tone conveys a sense of ownership rather than concern about this teenager.

You are not your niece’s sexual porter. On the flip side, you’ve cast your predator friend and your concern is obviously well placed. But shouldn’t you have spoken to your niece about it beforehand instead of wasting your breath on him?

Your attention should now be fully focused on the welfare of your niece. She is clearly (and understandably) confused about the nature of this sexual relationship. Is she OK? Is that OK? She may not know, and instead of you dictating to her, you should be as unbiased as possible so that she is comfortable talking to you about it.

Take her to a health clinic to make sure she has contraception advice and STD tests.

Talk to her about consent. She has the right to choose what to do sexually. If she does not agree, her choice must be respected, and if she did not agree to what happened last summer, she has the right to go to the police.

I can’t see why you’d want to mend your relationship with “Stan”. Even if his behavior wasn’t strictly illegal, unethical, or totally out of your business, if you don’t enjoy hanging out with an unrepentant hornhound, there is no reason to keep the friendship going.

Dear Amy: I am a 74 year old happily married woman.

My three grown daughters gave me a birthday present and they decided to buy a (sex toy) vibrator!

I have never stated a need for it and I am both shocked and offended. My husband too.

How should I react to that? The cat “Stanley” likes it and purrs when I put it on his side.

– Angry mother

Dear Trouble: You should contact your daughters as a group and ask an open question: “Ladies: What did you think? What is it about?”

You might reply, “Oh, mom, put it together – it was a joke!” To that you can say, “Really? Please explain to me exactly what the joke is because I don’t understand it. On the other hand, it seems to work for Stanley. He’s never been happier.”

Include a video of the cat with his new sex toy to help you get your point across and sour it with some humor.

Dear Amy: My friend and her family help me with projects around my house.

Recently her husband developed “wandering hands”.

I hug everyone and thank them before they leave and he started grabbing my bum when I hug him. I am disgusted with it. It makes me angry and uncomfortable. I told him several times to stop and threatened to tell his wife.

He says I won’t. It’s a difficult situation as his wife is sick and I can’t imagine adding more to her already full plate.

I also fear that she will not believe me and that this will be the end of our friendship.

I’ve never given him reason to believe that I was even remotely interested in him. How can I stop this unwanted behavior and keep my friendship going?

– Upset

Dear Trouble: Hire someone else to help you around the house. Keep your distance from this man.

If he does that again, call him right away and in front of others.

You can email Amy Dickinson at or send a letter to Ask Amy, PO Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter, askamy, or Facebook.

For copyright information, please contact the reseller of this article, Tribune Content Agency, LLC.