Every week, Mallory Ortberg answers additional questions from readers, just for Slate Plus members.
Q. Visit etiquette: I’m going to bring my boyfriend of six months home to visit my mom for a few days. We’re in our mid-20s and will be staying with her. However, she’s very religious and conservative and supposedly doesn’t believe in sex before marriage, even though I know for a fact that she’s having sex now, as a divorcee, due to having found condoms in her nightstand, as well as the fact that she visits her long-distance boyfriend every month and stays at his house instead of elsewhere. So, should I let my boyfriend sleep in my bed with me, even though my mom says she doesn’t approve, by making the case that she’s a hypocrite? Or should I just go ahead and relegate him to the couch for an uncomfortable night’s rest?
A: This is a great question to ask your mother before your visit! My inclination, since this is a visit of only a few days with a relatively recent boyfriend, is to abide by whatever policies she has for her own home, whether or not you think they’re reasonable or internally consistent about pre- or nonmarital sex. If on future visits you’d rather both sleep comfortably together, you might stay in a nearby hotel or motel and see her during the day.