Life Advice



Ask Amy: Consent should be up to niece, not her aunt

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

You are not your niece’s sexual gatekeeper. On the other hand, you cast your friend as a predator, and your concern obviously has been well-placed. But shouldn’t you have talked to your niece about this in advance, instead of wasting your breath on him?

Your attention should now be focused entirely on your niece’s well-being. She is quite obviously (and understandably) confused about the nature of this sexual relationship. Is she OK? Is this OK? She might not know, and rather than you dictating to her, you should be as nonjudgmental as possible, so she will feel comfortable talking with you about it.

Accompany her to a health clinic to make sure she has birth control counseling and STD tests.

Talk to her about consent. She has the right to decide what she wants to do, sexually. If she doesn’t consent, her choice must be respected, and if she didn’t consent to whatever transpired last summer, then she has the right to go to the police.

In terms of possibly repairing your relationship with “Stan,” I can’t imagine why you would want to. Even if – strictly speaking – his behavior wasn’t illegal, unethical, or even any of your business – if you don’t like hanging out with an unrepentant horn dog, then there is no reason to maintain the friendship.

Dear Amy: I am 74-year-old happily married woman.


My three adult daughters went in on a birthday gift for me, and what they chose was a (sex toy) vibrator!

I never indicated a need for this, and I am both shocked and insulted. So is my husband.

How should I react to this? The cat “Stanley” likes it and purrs when I place it on his side.

– Upset Mom


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