My 14-year-old gay son wants a sleepover

Email Dan

My 14-year-old son just came out to me. He has a slightly older boyfriend, and they’re going to the school dance on Saturday night. I am adjusting to a truth I had long suspected. I am worried, though, that my son will get hurt. We live in the South—North Carolina—but our town has a gay community and an annual pride parade. When I asked him if the other students at school would be cool with him bringing a boy, he said, “Who cares?” Bullying is not a huge problem at his school.

We have had the sex talk several times, but I have always assumed a hetero approach. I think my son is too young for sleepovers with his boyfriend, and I would really like him to wait a couple more years before he gets seriously sexually active, though I expect petting and kissing are givens. Any advice?

> Still My Son

Treat your son to some of that equal treatment we gay people are always going on about, SMS, and treat him just like you’d treat your 14-year-old straight kid. No responsible parent would allow his 14-year-old daughter—and that’s how you should think of him for now (more on that in a moment)—to have sleepovers with her slightly older boyfriend, right? So no sleepovers for your gay kid. Remember, you can be supportive and be his advocate without signing off on stuff you wouldn’t sign off on for a straight child—indeed, it’s the best way to show your support.

What else can you do? You can hover, scrutinize, interfere—all the crap that parents typically do when their children begin to date. For instance, SMS, this boy your son is seeing? Have you met him? Meet him. How much older is he? Find out. Are they messing around? Ask them. Make sure your son understands that he doesn’t have to engage in anal intercourse to be authentically gay, or all grown up, or out. He can take things slow—he should take things slow. Encourage your son to date, to hold hands, to make out. And you should, as awkward as it’s going to feel to say so aloud, encourage your son, when he does become sexually active, to stick with mutual masturbation and oral sex for a good, long time—until he’s sure he’s ready for intercourse, not just anxious for it.

Getting back to the daughter business: you should also regard your son, at least through his adolescence, as more of a daughter to you than a son. We tend to be more protective of our daughters—our straight daughters—than we are of our sons. Why? A sexist desire to keep our daughters “pure”? That’s a part of it, sure, but there’s also this: men are pigs, and people on the receiving end of male sexual desire/attention are in more danger than people on the receiving end of female sexual desire/attention (in general—individual results may vary). Testosterone is the crystal meth of hormones, a bad-ass drug, and men are more likely to be abusive and violent. The prevalence of HIV among gay men makes the stakes higher for your son. So don’t allow him to date anyone you don’t get to meet and approve of, and don’t confuse “being supportive” with “letting him do whatever/whomever he wants”. Be active, be engaged, and never stop being his meddling, interfering, hypersuspicious dad.

Good luck, SMS. It sounds like your son lucked out having you as a parent.


I’ve been seeing this guy for about two years in August. We’ve been living together for six months now, and it’s been really bumpy. We fight a lot, I cry a lot, and it just gets really messy. To tell you the truth, I’m tired of it. I work two jobs, and I never get any time to myself because he’s moody and insecure. He always wants to know where I’m going or who I’m with. He doesn’t like to do the same things I do, and I’m beginning to think this is all one big mistake. The problem is, every time I try to leave, it always gets ugly. Ugly to the point that he’s thrown my stuff in the front yard, broken things of mine, and even called me names. He’s abusive.

As sad as this sounds, and as ridiculous as I feel, I want to make this work. I want us to be happy. And the thing is, I know that we can be. When we’re mad, it’s like World War III over here. But when we’re happy, it’s so blissful that I know in my heart with him is the only place I want to be. What can I do? People tell me it’s time to sever ties, but the people who usually tell me this are the ones who can’t stand him. How can I make a completely unbiased decision? Am I stupid for believing in a love that feels destined to fail?

> Hopelessly Devoted To Him

This is not a relationship, HDTH, it’s a hostage situation. He’s a controlling, abusive piece of shit—listen to your fucking friends, HDTH. When your boyfriend breaks your shit, he’s making an implicit threat: I can break your face just as easily as I’m breaking your shit, bitch, so don’t even think about leaving me. And of course things are great when they’re great—that’s part of an abuser’s m.o. If abusers were abusive 24/7—if they weren’t capable of doling out a little bliss now and then—no abusive relationship would last longer than one date. Like all abusers, he parcels out the good times, doping you up with a little bliss now and then, because he knows that these glimpses of how great things could be convince you to stick around against your better judgment.

The bliss is a con, HDTH, a weapon that he uses against you, just as much a part of the cycle of abuse as his tantrums, fits, and threats of violence are. Think of the good times as rainbow sprinkles on a dog-shit sundae—sprinkles or no sprinkles, you’re still standing there with a bowlful of dog shit in your hands.

Get a couple of friends to come over when he’s at work or out of town, box up your shit, and leave. You can’t change him. Go.


Apropos of nothing, Savage, you fucking suck ass.

> You And Your Column Both Suck

Have I ever claimed otherwise?

And apropos of nothing, YAYCBS, I’m totally grooving on Garfunkel & Oates right now (www.garfunkelandoates.com/), and everyone has to check them out; Perez Hilton was absolutely right about Miss California (she is a dumb bitch); Seattle-based artist Kim Graham (www.kimgrahamstudios.com/) is getting centaur fetishists halfway there; and I recently visited the University of Georgia in Athens, where the kids asked me to come up with a dirty meaning for “between the hedges”, which is their football stadium’s nickname. Off the top of my head, I said, “The boy in a girl-boy-girl three-way could be described as being between the hedges.” But upon further reflection, I think the term is a better description of going down on a woman with a particularly hairy bush—and the tongue, not the boy/girl doing the tonguing, is “between the hedges”.

Download the Savage Lovecast (my weekly podcast) at www.straight.com. E-mail: mail@savagelove.net.

Comments (12) Add New Comment
mizz sparqlez
itz ok ifur son want to be gay cuz no 1 could judge him
besides god. i just came by to say let him do his own
choice n let him make his own desision ...
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YOUYO
The 14 year old gay guy has already had sex... too late for all your child rearing advice....
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Sparkle horse
I really enjoyed this article mostly because I spent the first half reading it as if it was from a mothers perspective only to find out it was a father at the end. Also pointing out the change in perspective now that the boy is the object of male predatory sexual energy was very insightful. -thanks Dan
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TJ
Miss sparqlez, of course its ok for him to be gay, since its not a matter of his wants or choice as your remark states, he is homosexual, the only choice he made is coming out early and asking for support from his family. And theoretically if this god you believe in exsits, why would he judge him for being what he made him?
Also please learn to spell, you aren't texting "z" are not exchangable with "s", its "no one" not " no 1"
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bren
im 17 years old and im in high school, im gay but i have not comeout of the closet, its much easier in high school, and all my friends are straight, but from what ive seen, gay people are always being made fun of and picked on. ive made friends with some of our schools gays through myspace and such, and its really hard on them. i suggest you to talk to your kid and tell him not to bring unwanted attention to himself, or he will dread getting up every morning just to be picked on by the kids at his school
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onedove
The best explanation of an abusive insecure male. May Savage Dan never run out of no bull-sh!t, sarcastically charming advice!
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Braydon
I think that's rediculous. LET's THE BOY hAVe FUN! Jesssussss!!
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william
Okay I'm 15 about to turn 16 I think its perfectly fine your son decieded to tell you he was gay and as long as you support him he should be fine, I'm not even gonna lie he is probb gonna get picked on I did andd sometimes still do, see I'm polysexual that's basically like looking for love whereever I can find it (human wise) but people in my school seem to think I like to fuck horses and plants (even though we live in a urban enviroment) but people picking on you is just life as long as he has a supportive father and friends, he should be fine.
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Anonymous
If he's gay what the heck. we are all special in our own way. let him roam free. He wont change.
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Freshman
I was 13 old boy. I had no father. (he died when I was in First Grade. There was a nice boy my age living next door with his older brother. I don't remember if I spent more time next door or he spent more time with us. His older brother was 22 and just out of college. Mom would invite them over for Sunday dinner. It was the only real meal they had all week.
After a short time, I would go over unannounced. I would find them in various stages of dress, even nude. One night when I was there on a sleep over, I found that they slept nude in a king sized bed. I was given the other bed room, but I protested, saying I could stay at home like that.
I undressed and hopped into bed with them, sleeping between them. I now had not only a brother but also an uncle. Mom thought it was fine that I now had male friends.
They would hold me and we would all be hard. My friends brother showed use all kinds of fun things that naked boys could do.
In the fall,I was surprised to find that my friends older brother was my history teacher. He had not told me but mom knew.
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seb
I just got 14 and i discovered i was gay at 6 but its not a problem of being it! Its the same as being a straight boy except you like guys and you are a little more infiminisated (sorry for my english im french...) but my whole point is let him do his own choice, parents are there to help their child and all but they shouldn't deside are life! Anyways i don't want to be mean but its probably too late, he probably already did it >80%
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Gay boy
My b.f. and I came out to my mom, when we were 16. I wanted a sleep over with him. Mom refused, so we made love to each other outside. We got caught by some of our classmates, who beat the crap out of us.
Since that happened a year ago, both of our moms have changed their minds. (guilt maybe) We allowed sleep overs and even though I have to have my door open, mom does not bother us.
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