Dear Prudie: My daughter sexts with boys. Can I make her stop?

Help! My Teenage Daughter Has Been Sending Naked Pictures of Herself to Boys.

Help! My Teenage Daughter Has Been Sending Naked Pictures of Herself to Boys.

Advice on manners and morals.
Aug. 16 2012 6:00 AM

Just Say No to Sexting

My 17-year-old daughter sent naked pictures of herself to boys. What do I say to her?

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Dear Summer,
Your two friends behaved badly and I understand you’re questioning your entire relationship. It’s the case that vacation traditions are sometimes written in sand, not stone, but it was cruel of your friends to exclude you this year with the pretense they weren’t going to have a beach jaunt. But you found out and confronted them, and hard as it was to hear, give one credit for spelling it out. (The other who went along with excluding you, then acted as if she wanted you to come, seems the more egregious violator.) Let me assume the blunt mother is the one with the 13-year-old son. It could be that her boy was the default companion to your son and that he found it difficult. It might have been kinder if instead of excluding your family for the entirety of the rental, they had asked all of you to join them for a long weekend. (Though if they were going to be honest about the limited schedule, maybe it wouldn't have been any more palatable.) You’ve got a tough road, and supportive friends would make it easier. But now that you know what happened, you have to decide if there is something still to value in their friendship. If you think there is, get together with them at the end of the summer and say as painful as it was to hear, you preferred knowing the truth about their plans. Say you understand your son can be difficult, but that is something he is working hard on. Tell them you hope to stay friends, but say that means they need to open their hearts to a struggling boy.


Dear Prudence,
I am a 47-year-old single man. I require that before I get physically involved with anyone she get full STD testing. Can you tell me why 99 percent of women refuse immediately when I broach this subject? It doesn't matter when I bring up this personal choice to them. Also, many people believe that wearing condoms gives 100 percent protection from STD transmission, which is not the case. People also don't seem to realize that oral sex can transmit a herpes type 2 infection. I have not had a relationship in many years, as I have not found any women who are willing to wait for STD tests before sleeping with me. Once I demand it, they walk away. Why?

—I’m Clean


Dear Clean,
I find your complaint hard to understand since you obviously are capable of the most seductive charm offensive. On second thought, perhaps the problem is that you lack charm and are simply offensive. It’s surely a good idea before becoming intimate for both partners to disclose their STD status. If both people are equally fastidious and hot for each other, I can imagine them both agreeing to get screened, and eagerly awaiting the longed-for negative results. But declaiming early in a relationship the various viruses and spirochetes you suspect your date harbors and demanding that she certify herself free from them is only going to make her want to be free of you. Keep up your current style, and you will never have to worry about contracting any sexually transmitted disease from anyone.


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Emily Yoffe is a contributing editor at the Atlantic.