Telling Younger Brother About Safe Sex.... Should I tell him or not?
Dear Cousin Butchie,
This is a somewhat involved question, but there is no one who can be trusted in my highly dysfunctional family. I mean, I love my parents, but they are so dysfunctional they should get an award.
I am 17 and openly gay. My parents struggled with it for awhile, but they are now cool with it as long as we don't discuss it!
My question concerns my 13 year old straight little brother. He is a great kid, very friendly, very straight-- and he knows nothing about his older brother being gay (that's me). One night when our parents were at a meeting of Neurotics Anonymous, my brother and I had dinner alone. Since I'm aware that he is dating some fairly nice girls, but he is still naïve I casually asked him what he knows about safe sex-- and what he said was ridiculous. Essentially, he thinks it's learning how NOT to fall out of bed! He hasn't a clue!!!
I know our dad gave him the "birds and the bees" talk. It had to be very similar to what he shared with me when I was about 12 years old. I know that he was nervous and that the way he described sex almost made me throw up. He didn't portray straight sex as anything to write home about. My gay-self hadn't revealed anything at this point.
OK... I was talking with my little brother and I asked him about the girls he has dated, etc. It might seem early to some, but I asked him if he practiced safe sex if and when he does hook up with a girl. He blushed and just asked what I mean. I used the word "condom" and he asked me what I meant.
My question is whether I should have a very serious heart to heart talk with him and even provide him with condoms "just in case." Our parents will not get around to this subject, and I am fairly certain that boys his age need to be prepared. He attends a parochial junior high school, so I don't expect there will be any total dialogue there.
So, what would you do?
Dear Big Brother,
At first I thought this message was a prank from one of my friends. But when I read it over again, I realized that you have a delicate situation and need some advice. Cousin Butchie can only tell you what he would do. Take what makes sense to you and skip the rest.
First of all, a 13 year old boy is at an age when he probably has sexual thoughts twenty times an hour. Since you brother is straight, he's thinking of girls. I would privately tell him that no one is pushing him to have sex (if this hasn't happened already) but that you want to share a very important subject with him. Buy him some condoms and discuss them with him. Emphasize that these things prevent pregnancy and also prevent syphilis and other diseases he has probably never heard of. I also think he might be acting dumb to see your reaction.
For awhile, I suggest that you not "come out" to him. What you are sharing with him is totally directed toward him, and you'll have plenty of time to be more open with him in a few years.
I know that some may disagree with me, but I maintain that it's better to be safe than sorry-- especially with a subject as serious as this.