Dear Abby recommends sex addiction treatment to 18-year old complaining about her 10-year relationship

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On the bright side, if the author (assuming it’s a real letter) does follow Abby’s advice, they will end up in the office of someone who is likely less of an idiot.


Go home, Abby, you’re irrelevant…


describing rape as a “breakdown in communication”



To be fair, she gave me good advice. After she heard my story, she said I should get out of her house or she’d call the police and also that she wasn’t Dear Abby; advice that I hold to my heart wherever I go, whether from General Population to Solitary or back again.


If an 18 year old woman told me she had been having sex since she was 8 and in a relationship since then I think my internal reaction would be something like this:


Abbey suggested she seek out a 12 step, which are not licensed psychotherapists and I’m not quite sure about their personal ability to report this stuff to the cops? Probably break anonymity for issues of rape, but I’ve only been to meetings to support a partner and I don’t know that much detail.

I have opinions about their greater usefulness with less complicated scenarios, they are not going to be helpful to her and I honestly wouldn’t suggest a younger person seek them out considering how often persons are preyed on for sex


She mentions coercion in the reply and then totally ignores it for the advice. A.I. might be what is happening.

The questioner should seek some sort of licensed therapist, or maybe the police.

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Whelp, one more “helpful” organization I get to cross off the list. Thanks!

black snake moan

Are you suggesting that children are usually more promiscuous, and fail to maintain long-term relationships?

FWIW I think it’s pretty natural for children to have some degree of sexual experience with others of around their own age. I don’t automatically assume that some sort of skeezy exploitation is taking place without some evidence to that effect

Freud published what people have known all along and westerners refuse to talk about, which is that children’s life has a sexual component to it. Yet 100+ years later people still seem to find the notion unsettling…

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If you assume this isn’t rape, you acknowledge that this behavior was encouraged by adults from 8 and up, which also indicates a troubled environment, still with the likelihood of incest. There’s still some amount of grooming involved to encourage the continuation of sexual practices. Self love is one thing, being actively placed in sexual scenarios as an 8 year old is pretty horrifying to try to analyze.

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I suppose I need context or more details, but from what I read it seems like since 8 or 9 she was having a sexual relationship with a boy of similar age which has carried on for a decade. If we are talking about children exploring each other and as we said when I was a kid “playing doctor” that’s not unreasonable. Having a full on sexual relationship, no that’s not appropriate on some many levels, correction on all levels.

I won’t disagree that a child’s growth and development has a sexual aspect to it. They shouldn’t be shielded from sex, but that doesn’t mean an 8 year old is ready, or a 12 year old, or in today’s society most 16 year olds for that matter. Sex has been devalued to the point of simply having fun, which pretty much explains a lot of things about American culture today. I would be shocked if this girl grew up having a normal healthy childhood.

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The reason Freud published that and made a name for himself is because his friend asked him to look at his daughter, who was starting to act out – “hysterical” – and this is the theory he came up with to explain away the fact that she was acting out because her father was raping her.

What are friends for, right?


I don’t disagree with anything else, but this bit?

That bit is moralizing bullshit. It’s just another way of saying “this is what’s wrong with kids today,” and not even a novel way.


You can make of it what you will, but I don’t see it in terms of morals or right vs. wrong. And if anything it is something I see more in Gen-Xers than the later Millennials or “kids” today.
You have studies like this and this that show links between sexual partners and marriage stability. You can say studies are bullshit, but I see it at work among people my age (late 30’s). I think part of it for the area I live in may be due to an increase in divorce during the 80’s and more of my peers growing up in split or single parent household. Where as now there isn’t as much of a stigma attached to that and there are more programs/activities/skills to help kids build stability and understand relationship dynamics. If anything society is teaching children today that sex is an integral part of a relationship rather than the more ominous taboo sex outside of marriage that was promoted when I was in grade school. I look around today and I see a weird dichotomy in a lot of adults regarding sex/nudity - it’s like 50 Shade of Gray, a lot of older adults see it as some example of the fringe and that’s wrong, but for some reason it made them hot and bothered so not wrong, basically a whole brain full of clusterfuck. Again I suspect a lot of this is regional, but I hope in another couple generations sex and nudity will become casual to the point that there is little reason to sexualize everything.


I can’t believe how bad at history these people are, the “kids are all morally corrupt and lazy” certainly begins with recorded history, probably oral as well.


You’re confusing correlation for causation, which does your argument no favors.

And a single long lasting marriage is no indicator of happiness.

My wife could have remained married to a truly worthless dredge of humanity, but I am happy she did not. Same with my sister in law, same with many other friends. It is much better to have the option to flee an abusive relationship, to have a career and not be sadldled with lifelong ties to them.

That freedom is a gift, not a curse. Keep your moralizing to yourself as I would never hurt the people I know by inflicting it on them.

You should also read Savage Love more to get a fuller story, the people with little to no sexual partners are certainly more likely to trap themselves in loveless, sexless husks because they don’t know what anything else is like.


Both of those studies are fishing expeditions run by parties with clear motivations to find against multiple premarital sex partners and in favor of their religious doctrine.

Would you accept a study on the Importance of Being Earnest when it’s being run by Oscar Wilde and says from the outset that they’re looking specifically for confirming evidence that being earnest is important, rather than whether or not it’s important?


I’ll add a bit to @LDoBe’s comments (which I agree with wholeheartedly)

I just finally got the chance to look into the sources for the two studies.
One is from the Institute for Family Studies, whose managing director is one Ernest Burzumato.
The other one is from The National Marriage Project, run by Brad Wilcox. And where Ernest Burzumato is a program director.

In essence, you’ve cited two studies from some distinctly slanted – and closely linked to each other – organizations that have an interest in making it seem as though the institution of marriage is falling apart in the US, and we should give them lots of money to fix this problem.

Do look up Wilcox. Start with his stance on gay marriage, for example. You’d think he’d consider gay marriage to be a good thing, what with his concerns about marriage in general! You’d be wrong.