Q: I have a friend whose 11-year-old grandson stays overnight with her sometimes on the weekends. She has only one bedroom, and I’m concerned because he still sleeps with her in the same bed.
I have mentioned it to her many times, and she says there is nothing wrong with it. I even purchased a nice air mattress, very easy to inflate, which she accepted but doesn’t use. I’m upset by this situation. I know she sometimes sleeps in revealing night clothes, although I don’t know if she does when her grandson is there.
I find this sick and twisted. I am counting on you to set my friend straight and save this young boy from future turmoil. — Protective in Washington
A: There is an old French saying that approximately translates, “Evil be he who thinks evil of it.” I see nothing sick or twisted about a boy who occasionally stays with his grandma and shares her bed, particularly if that’s the way it has always been.
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When he grows so big that the bed becomes too crowded for his comfort, I’m sure he’ll let Granny know. Ultimately, the boy’s parents are the ones responsible for his safety. It’s likely they know about and approve of the sleeping arrangements.
Q: With online dating becoming popular with older people, I have a question.
Most of us who were married for a number of years and had a good mate learned a lot about how to make life exciting and are experienced about sex. When we meet someone online and start to become involved, how and when would it be the right time to bring up the subject of sex?
For those of us in our later years, sex is usually different than when we were 35. Then there’s the subject of STDs. Can we bring that up? In rural and small towns, older women, unlike younger women, are shy about talking about sex. When we start to get serious with someone, shouldn’t we find out what they are willing to do and what they won’t? — Looking Ahead in North Carolina
A: Your letter will be of interest to anyone who has been out of the dating scene for a long time. The subject of sex should be addressed once you are comfortable with a person and there is a mutual attraction. Both people’s sexual histories should be talked about before you “do the deed.” (If you can’t talk about it, then you shouldn’t do it.) When it does happen, insist that protection is used.
Too often people assume that because there’s snow on the roof that there isn’t fire in the furnace. News flash: Older folks can and do have active sex lives. So if you’re going to “play,” be prudent. Some seniors have been shocked to learn they were infected with an STD because they assumed their partner was safe.
Write Dear Abby at DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.