Straight Talk Advice

Sep 21, 2011

Stepbrother’s ‘first time’ an in-house seduction

DEAR STRAIGHT TALK: I had sex with my stepsister last weekend when we were home alone on a visitation at my dad’s. She’s 17 and I’m 16. She seduced me and was well prepared, supplying me with a condom. It’s the first time I had sex, but instead of feeling good about it, I feel guilty and ashamed. Even though she seduced me, it’s no excuse. Though it’s technically not incest since we’re not related, it sure feels like it. To make matters worse, she loved it and wants to make it a regular thing when we’re here alone. She came across as experienced, so I’m sure this wasn’t her first time. I don’t know how to deal with her, or my own guilt and shame. Please help. — Ashamed Stepbrother

Christina 19, Marysville, Calif. Ask me a question

You were seduced and taken advantage of. This is not incest. Guys have tried to seduce me; I joked with them about it and then avoided them. Tell her it’s not going to happen again and talk to a school counselor so you can get past the shame and feel the way you used to.

Omari 18, Wellington, Calif. Ask me a question

At the beginning of your letter, I thought the sex was mutual, but then I saw it wasn’t. Tell her you made a mistake and it’s over. Don’t let her put ideas into your head about it being okay. Sex is only great when the feelings are mutual. If you don’t want to have sex with someone, don’t. It is really that simple.

Gregg 20, Los Angeles, Calif. Ask me a question

I have not been exactly in your shoes, but I can relate to being caught up in the moment. If you do not want something to happen again, simply tell her and leave it at that. She might not accept this so be prepared to continually refuse her. No means no!

Nicole 21, Grass Valley, Calif. Ask me a question

Things happen that we don’t expect. In this case, you need not feel ashamed for you did nothing wrong and no harm was caused.

Katelyn 16, Huntington Beach, Calif. Ask me a question

It’s important to not beat yourself up over this. You were taken advantage of and lost yourself. Talk to someone safe or get professional help to handle these feelings. Don’t let your stepsister do this again. This may be abuse on her part and you may not be her only victim.

Elise 20, Orlando, Florida Ask me a question

Tell your stepsister that you don’t want to do this again. You have complete control of the situation. If you can’t muster the courage to tell her, avoid being home alone with her.

DEAR ASHAMED: First of all, guilt is useful. Guilt says, “I’ve done something wrong; it was a bad thing to do.” Guilt keeps us from doing such things again. It’s a big part of how we learn. Shame, however, is destructive. It says, “there’s something wrong with me; I am what’s bad.” Shame actually stunts learning and can lead to negative self talk and repetitious behavior. So repeat after me: “I am a good person, mistakes are how we learn, and I am learning.”

Please talk to someone. That someone could be a nurse at Planned Parenthood, where you could “clear” the experience by talking about it while getting checked for STIs confidentially and free of charge. The nurses there have heard many experiences and are caring and wise. I don’t advise telling parents. A situation like this could easily grow eight legs and a sticky web. It will be best if it can be straightened out using your own resources. The panel’s advice is simple and effective. ‘No is no,’ even if you once said yes. If your stepsister doesn’t listen, definitely avoid her.

Editor’s Note: Historically, it was women who were targeted for seduction. In most cultures it led to a societal humiliation and personal shame that isolated a woman permanently. Fortunately times have changed, but it wasn’t very long ago that women were treated as such. Now the tables have turned. Most of the mail we receive on this topic is about girls seducing, or attempting to seduce, boys. And the boys are feeling the shame. Fortunately, those young men can work through it internally and move on into healthy, normal lives.

We get a fair amount of mail involving attraction between stepsiblings who are still together in the home. From these letters, I can safely warn everyone away from moving forward in these relationships. For those who consummate their attraction, even though they know it’s not incest, it often feels that way. If there are attractions between stepsiblings, it’s best to ignore them and look elsewhere. If attraction persists after you are out of the nest, make sure it’s worth the risk. Stepsiblings do get married — it’s perfectly legal — but if you divorce, the effect on the rest of the family can be devastating. —Lauren

  1. By Tom, age , from Monterey, CA on 09/23/2011

    It hasn’t come to this yet, but I get the feeling that my twin stepsisters are leading up to this.  All 3 of us are 16 and I see them every other weekend on visitations.  It started with them flirting with me.  I thought they were just joking and casually flirted back, but I think they took it wrong and thought I was interested in something more.  We’re often home alone on Friday or Saturday nights and they’ve started to leave the door to their room partly open when they’re undressed, so I’ve learned to look the other way when I pass their room and the door’s open.  However, last weekend one of them went to take a shower without putting on a robe.  She acted like she was embarrassed and said she forgot I was there and thought her sister was the only one in the house and that they’re casual about nudity when it’s just the 2 of them since they’re twin sisters.  However, I don’t buy it and think she may have been trying to start something.  They have attractive bodies and it would be tempting, but I think I would also end up feeling guilty and ashamed and it wouldn’t be worth it.


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  2. By Another Stepbrother, age , from Folsom, CA on 09/24/2011

    This must be avoided at all costs and I speak from experience.  My stepsister seduced me under similar circumstances and to make matters much worse, she got pregnant!  To get herself off the hook, she lied and blamed me and said that I pressured and seduced her!  Everybody believed her, even my own mom and dad since I’m older than she is and of course it’s guys who seduce and pressure girls for sex not the other way around.  To say that this got me into major, major hot water is putting it mildly and it certainly wasn’t worth the few short moments of sexual pleasure.

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  3. By S.B., age , from Carmichael, CA on 09/24/2011

    My issue is slightly different but related and was the subject of a Straight Talk column a while back, but I still feel the need to write.  I’m a girl and was seduced by my stepsister while sharing my room and bed when she stayed with us on visitations.  She is older and very domineering, and I did not know how to resist her and was too ashamed to tell my mom what was going on.  She’s now gone off to college so we don’t see each other on visitations any more.  However, she is probably going to spend part of her Christmas vacation with us and I will again be expected to share my room and bed with her, and I’m already getting worried.  I’ve now learned to be more assertive and I’m going to stand firm this time and there will be no sex and that is that.  However, I still wish that I wouldn’t be in this situation and have to sleep in the same bed with her again.  Most people see nothing wrong with 2 girls sharing a bed, and in fact I share my double bed with my friends when they spend the night and it’s no problem.  However, in some situations it can lead to something very, very bad.  I still feel very guilty and ashamed about letting my stepsister get away with doing this to me and think that stepsibling sex whether its between same sexes and opposite sexes is a very, very bad thing.


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  4. By Jay, age , from San Francisco, CA on 09/25/2011

    I don’t know whether rhis counts as a similar story or not, but I guess I’m contributing it anyway.  So, I’m at college right now, living in the dorms.  The one I’m in has co-ed floors, but after getting over the initial strangeness of sharing a bathroom together, things have relaxed quite a bit.  The floor is like a big family, seeing that we all talk/gossip together, and especially because we live together.  Thus, I always view the others on the floor as if I were a sibling, and most other people do too.  But just the past week, I left my room to go to the bathroom, and when I got back, someone was lying in my bed.  I mean, it’s not as if she looks bad or anything, it’s just that I don’t know whether this is honestly a brother/sister thing (I didn’t have any siblings growing up), or something else.  She has asked me for a sweatshirt to wear when it’s cold out every now and then, and that didn’t strike me as weird at all- would this be on the same lines?  I don’t want to make any mistakes, but I don’t want to confront her about it if she really isn’t giving any hints and is being friendly.  I don’t want an ugly argument or misunderstanding, but I also don’t want to make a mistake- we are essentially living in the same house.

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  5. By Jim, age , from Roseville, CA on 09/25/2011

    My stepsisters and I have to share their room on visitations since they don’t have an extra bedroom and it wouldn’t work for me to sleep on the couch because my dad and stepmom stay up much later than I do since I have a part time job delivering papers early on Saturday and Sunday mornings.  They thought they could solve the problem by putting in a privacy partician that could be pulled out when I’m there and it’s time to get undressed.  However, one weekend our parents were gone and one of my stepsisters was at a friend’s for a sleepover and and my other stepsister shocked me by taking off her bathrobe after a shower without pulling out the partician and then came on to me.  I told her in no uncertain terms that I would keep quiet this time, but if she ever did anything like this again I would tell her mom.  She apologized and said that she was attracted to me and had a feeling it might be mutual, but since I wasn’t interested she would respect that and leave me alone.  She has kept her word and we actually get along well and we have never even spoken about this incident again.  That’s what worked for me. 


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  6. By R.C., age , from Santa Ana, CA on 09/26/2011

    Everyone seems to assume that stepbrother/stepsister sex is a bad thing, but I don’t feel that it was in my case.  My stepsister is 3 years older and we had been stepsiblings for over 12 years.  She was always very good to me and I came to feel that she was more like an older sister than a stepsister and was someone I could always confide in.  We started sharing a room on visitations long before puberty so the issue of opposite sexes sharing a room wasn’t a real issue and were comfortable about nudity in front of each other and our stepmom even gave us baths together in the beginning.  Even when we got older we were still comfortable with the arrangement, so it was never changed.  When I was 16 and she was 19, she kindly offered to “introduce” me to sex.  I don’t feel that I was “seduced” since I freely accepted her offer.  I found it to be a positive experience to be introduced to sex by someone I was close to and it has given me a healthy attitude about sex and helped me to avoid having hangups about it.  I am grateful to my stepsister for introducing me to sex and while it may not be the same for eveyone, I honestly think that it was a positive experience in my case. 


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  7. By Lauren Forcella, age , from Fair Oaks on 09/27/2011

    @ Jay:
    The lines are very blurred today, but trust me, a girl found lying in your bed is displaying more than sisterly friendship. She may try to save face and deny it, but I can assure you it was her (inappropriate) way of “testing the waters” to see if you are as attracted to her as she is to you.  Since you’re not interested in her romantically, if it happens again, tell her in no uncertain terms (like Jim did) that she has crossed a line and though you like her as a friend, if she climbs in your bed again uninvited, you will NOT BE HAPPY.

    @ Everyone:
    The reason I don’t generally advise boys to tell parents/authority figures about this kind of thing is because of what happened to “Another Stepbrother.” It is common for the girl to reverse the charges and for everyone to believe her due to historical precedence. Most of the adult world has simply not caught up with things. Threatening to tell, as Jim did, can be an effective deterrent—although, it, too, can get turned around and the girl can get skittish and tell on you first (even though you were never intending to). For that reason, the more you can rely on your own force of character to say NO and MEAN NO, the better.  It usually works.

    Of course, if the behavior persists, then it’s time to threaten to tell, or actually tell. In all these cases, it’s smart to write things down (document and date what happened) and if there are witnesses, get them to put their signature on it, that way, in the event that things are turned around you can better defend yourself.

    I hope that helps and if anyone else has anything to add, please do! I really appreciate all the comments. They are very revealing.—Lauren

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  8. By Jay, age , from San Francisco, CA on 10/16/2011

    Hah, I almost forgote I’d posted here before.
    Anyway, might as well give a little update.  Turns out my roommate’s now the one who got lucky in the end.  I came back lately and found that I’d been sexiled by my roommate and the same girl who was in my bed earlier. (Later my roommate apologized and said that he didn’t think I’d be coming back at the time I did.  I didn’t actually mind much, I hung out in the lounge for the half an hour they were in there, so we’re still pretty cool).  I dunno if they’re in what you could call a relationship, but it’s definitely more than just friends.
    I think it’s funny how my conception of the “culture” of the floor from my first post is far different from what it is right now.  Ah, well, I guess I was being naive.

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