I'm a 20-year-old straight male, but this isn't really about me.
I was recently back home for a family event while my younger brother, age 14, was away on a mission trip with his church. My iPad died while I was home and my mother told me to look in the kitchen drawers for a charger. I couldn't find one there, so she told me to check my brother's bedside table. I opened the drawer and, with a little digging, found a charger.
I also found a few pictures of gay porn and a couple of pictures of male celebrities with their shirts off that had been clipped from magazines. It isn't the gay porn I have a problem with, I fully support him coming into his sexuality, whatever it might be, but then I found a few things that were a bit more disturbing: I found a picture of our father in his swim trunks, and another one of a fully naked man with a cutout photo of my father's face glued over the original model's face. Needless to say, I was freaked out. I put everything back where I had found it, including the charger, and haven't said anything to him about it. Now I'm in a tough spot. I know that telling my brother I found the pictures would mortify him, and I feel like telling my father would be a complete dick move.
Concerned And Scared
I can appreciate why those pictures squicked you out — a family member lusting after a family member? Ughers — but I don't understand exactly what it is you're afraid of, CAS. While your brother appears to have an inappropriate and — fingers crossed — fleeting sexual obsession with your father, can you picture a scenario in which your brother's desires, however devoutly wished, could be consummated?
Unless something much, much squickier is going on back home, your brother isn't a danger to your father, CAS, nor is your father a danger to your brother. The only danger I can see is in the false choice you've laid out in your letter. Saying something to your brother will only poison your relationship with him; saying something to your father will certainly kill his relationship with his son. And destroying either relationship over what is most likely a temporary bonerstorm-of-puberty-induced obsession — an obsession that will soon be a distant and unpleasant memory for your brother — seems a bit extreme.
If those pictures weren't in a place where your parents might also find them, CAS, I would advise you to stuff this one way down the ol' memory hole. But there they are, in a place where Mom and Dad — but especially Dad — might find 'em. So you're going to memorize this and say it your brother ASAP: "Hey, kiddo, Mom told me to look in your nightstand drawer for an iPad power cord. I found one — along with what looked like gay porn. I didn't peruse your porn collection too closely because I wanted to respect your privacy. But you need to get that stuff out of the house before Mom or Dad finds it. It's cool with me if you're gay, and I love you and it makes no difference — but leaving porn around is not how you want to come out to Mom and Dad, OK?"
Then tell him that grown-ups don't keep porn in their bedside tables anymore: The Internet is for porn, and he can access all the porn he likes safely and discreetly on his iPad.
HEY, EVERYBODY: We're seeking sordid and tragic stories of holiday sex for an upcoming episode of the Savage Lovecast. Ever been caught having sex at Mom and Dad's over the holidays? Ever put a "For Grandma, from Santa!" card on a wrapped box that contained a sex toy you bought for someone else? Did your older brothers stick your vibrator in the tree before a Christmas party, and you had to leave it there because reaching into the tree to remove it would only attract attention to it? Call and record your story at 206-201-2720! Please keep it under three minutes, if at all possible!
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