The Mercury News Weekend

‘Stella’s’ groove brings out creep

- ADB Amy Amy Dickinson contact Amy Dickinson via email at askamy@ amydickins­

DEAR AMY >> I’m asking for advice for my younger sister, “Stella.”

Like a lot of people right now, Stella is using (a social media account delivering X-rated entertainm­ent) to make extra income.

Our older cousin, “Candace,” is married to “Ted.” They have three kids. Ted is about 17 years older than Stella.

Stella found out that Ted has subscribed to her account. She learned this because he sent her a bunch of messages saying he is always checking her out at family functions. He called her his “dirty little secret.”

We are both very disturbed by his behavior and aren’t sure what she should do next.

Should Stella tell Candace? Stella told our mom in hopes that she would have some advice and to potentiall­y ward off any uncomforta­ble future family gatherings.

Our mom thinks it’s possible that Candace will take Ted’s side and it could make things worse.

Stella and I both agreed that we would want to know if our significan­t other was doing this.

I encouraged Stella to take screenshot­s of his messages in case she needs any proof in the future (which she did).

Stella blocked his account and let her friends on the website know so they can block him, too. One friend did notice that he was paying for some of her content, but only the content that included Stella.

Should my sister keep this secret or let our cousin know what her husband is doing?

— concerned Big Sis

DEAR BIG SIS >> “Ted” is a creep. More on that later. But your question partly concerns whether “Stella” should notify your cousin “Candace” because her husband Ted subscribes to Stella’s X-rated entertainm­ent account.

If Stella is providing pornograph­y behind a paywall, I would assume that many, if not most, of her customers are somebody’s husband/significan­t other.

I’ll draw an equivalenc­e to a medium like Penthouse magazine. If Stella is hired to pose for Penthouse, then should your cousin’s husband be outed because he bought it at a newsstand? No.

Your mom knows about Stella’s groove and so I would imagine that this acceptance would override any extreme family awkwardnes­s.

Ted’s choice to harass Stella should NOT remain anyone’s “dirty little secret,” however.

Even though Ted might have thought he was engaging in some creative and sexy role-play, having a relative inform her of her role in his fantasy life is ... creepy! Stella should respond directly to Ted, shutting him down. And, depending on how he responds, in order to deny him the pleasure of having her as his “dirty little secret,” she should feel free to out him.

You should assume that Ted’s wife will side with him. But, since his harassment is indefensib­le, I don’t think the rest of the family should worry too much about him or his feelings.

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