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You Asked: Am I Being Too Judgmental?


Dear Sugar,

My sister-in-law is an escort/stripper, and she lives nearby. We see her three times a week or more, and I love her dearly. But do you think it's judgmental or prudish that I don't want my daughters to ever find out about prostitution in the family? She knows that I know what she does, but we've never openly discussed her occupation. My husband thinks it's just a matter of being young and we'll all be able to joke about it later, but she's 35! With a history of sexual abuse, I think she needs more time on a therapist's couch and less time in bed with married men. So, am I just making something out of nothing?

— Possibly Prudish Paige

To see DearSugar's answer, read more.

Dear Possibly Prudish Paige,

Unfortunately, your sister-in-law's career choice is her own to make. And while it may not be the most reputable job or healthy as evidenced by her history of abuse, there's very little you or anyone else can say to make her change her mind about it. Obviously you care about her and just because you want to be supportive doesn't mean that you have to approve of her chosen profession. I think it's perfectly reasonable to want to keep it from your daughters, especially while they're young. And both your sister-in-law and your husband should be able to respect that decision.

However, if this is something that really bothers you, I think you owe it to your sister-in-law to address it with her. Perhaps a discussion with her will illuminate something for you and give you a greater ability to understand what she does. Or maybe it will only serve to make you feel more sure that you don't want your daughters finding out, but either way at least the unspoken will finally be said.

If you do sit down with her, let her know how you feel about her career and your concern for her well-being, rather than just your personal opinion on the industry. Also, explain to her why you're making the decision to not disclose it to your daughters. Again, you can't expect her to change, but if you refrain from passing judgment then she should be able to respect your feelings on the matter.

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