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Dr. Rossi
Dr. Rossi, Licensed Psychotherapist
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 4627
Experience:  Certified Hypnotherapist, Parenting Book Author, 13+ years of experience.
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I recently learned once and for all, though through albeit

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I recently learned once and for all, though through albeit quite covert methods, that my 17 year old son is gay. In other words, he himself has not yet come out to me. My concern is that I know that he is actively seeking to connect with men for casual sex through online gay sex sites. I'm pretty certain that it has not occurred yet and he qualifies that he is only interested in manual/safe oral (no anal), but of course he is still underage and his attraction seems to be toward older, "bear"-type men. I am fearful of his being taken advantage of or worse. Do I admit to him my having invaded his privacy out of concern about his lately seeming uncommunicative and rather distant and tell him what I know and my concerns or do I just continue to keep careful watch/monitoring and wait things out? Or perhaps there is some other better approach? Perhaps there is some subtle way to prompt him to come out to me?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  Dr. Rossi replied 4 years ago.

Good Morning,

 

You would not want to share that you had invaded his privacy as that will cause mistrust on his part.

 

He may not feel ready to tell you because he may have not had any sexual experience yet. Having feelings or curiosity is still a new territory to him. Perhaps he is trying to confirm that these are valid feelings within himself and that is the lifestyle he would like to live. At 17, his ego is still developing and at this stage the person is quite ego centric. He may feel that his privacy is something that he has control over and hence, had not yet disclosed this fact to you.

 

You may want to casually inquire if he is dating anyone or interested in anyone. Then perhaps you'd like to mention that safe sex is important in any relationship (heterosexual, gay, one night stands, etc) Let him know that you're there for him and leave it to him to decide when and how to "come out."

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thank you Dr. Rossi. It is pretty apparent however that at least he is convinced that he is gay judging by his ambitious efforts to try and connect with someone and the fact that he has even narrowed down his preferences. Also that in an exchange with a friend who asked if he was sure that he is gay, he said that he is positive. I don't have an issue with his being gay or that he tell me when he is ready. My issue/concern is the fact that he is 17 and attempting to seek someone on websites requiring that one be over 18. He is misrepresenting himself as being 18. On another site that requires that you be 21 he has portrayed himself as being 22. And he would most prefer meeting someone older. I have seen an "ad" that he placed on one site and he indicated an interest in "bears", "older men", and "daddys" and an age range of 18 to 60! He has no business yet being on those sites. What if he connects up with someone not really knowing much at all about them and they do him emotional or physical harm? Can I really afford not to reveal that I have betrayed his trust? Might it not be the price I have to pay to try and ensure his safety? Because he is still not of age, isn't it my responsibility?
Expert:  Dr. Rossi replied 4 years ago.

Absolutely address the safety issue. Let him know that you have found these dating sites on your computer and that it is not safe to seek relationship with older individuals. You never know what kind of individuals will show up (his judgment in that respect and misrepresenting his age is poor) Have him explain the fact that the websites were visited and then the main focus would be the safety issue versus his sexual preference.

 

 

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
One last thing before I accept doctor. These were actually found on HIS laptop using a free trial, self-deleting program that takes screenshots. While my significant other was visiting from out of state he placed it on his computer because I was concerned about my son's recent moodiness and very limited interactions with me (and yes, I did attempt to directly address him about it...multiple times with no success). I didn't know if it was due to our recent move, my s.o. being here whom he doesn't care for (or...maybe DOES and is in denial as the s.o. would BE his "type") or something else. Oh, and we have subsequently talked about how he was behaving when the s.o. was here and it had to do with issues he has with my relationship with s.o.

By the way, I really appreciate your exchanges and will not only formally accept your help, but provide positive feedback and increase my compensation.
Expert:  Dr. Rossi replied 4 years ago.

It does not have to be the case where he is attracted to your significant other. If you or someone else had been having access to the laptop, then it would be easier to point out what you have found out. It is also nothing that would have manifested as a result of the move or decreased interaction.

 

You can just tell him that it had come to your attention that such and such sites were visited (especially when you said one of the sites requires a person to be 21+ yol)

He may get mad or deny it but safety always comes first.

 

If you believe that your significant other would back you up, first confront your son privately and if he does not accept responsibility, the next time your partner is there, have them also back you up. Focus on the safety issue (because your son may feel embarrassed at first)

Dr. Rossi, Licensed Psychotherapist
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 4627
Experience: Certified Hypnotherapist, Parenting Book Author, 13+ years of experience.
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Dr. Rossi
Dr. Rossi
Parenting Counselor
4627 Satisfied Customers
Certified Hypnotherapist, Parenting Book Author, 13+ years of experience.