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Dad Seeks Help Concerning Son's Safety

Dear Harlan: I have a teenage son who thinks he’s indestructible. He has friends who drink heavily, and I’m worried about him. I’ve explained to him that he can’t get together with a girl who has been drinking because it’s too dangerous. He thinks I’m overreacting and being an overprotective dad. Is there anything you can tell my son to help him understand why I’m telling him this? He won’t listen to me, so maybe he’ll listen to you. Any words of wisdom? — Concerned Dad

Dear Concerned Dad:  I met a college guy the other day who had his life rocked after a casual hookup. It happened while he was totally sober. He hooked up with a girl he met at a party. They went back to his place, had sex, exchanged numbers and then shared a goodbye kiss. The next day, she filed a report. He was charged with rape and was facing the possibly of 60 years in prison. After a formal investigation, lawyers and a four-month legal nightmare, he was cleared of all charges. He 100 percent didn’t do it. This could have happened to your son – it can happen to any of our sons. Had there been alcohol involved, it’s hard to say what would have changed. The investigation could have resulted in his guilt. As a rule, if you don’t think the sex will be there tomorrow, NEVER have it today. Moving too fast is dangerous. It’s hard to know what will happen the next day when you’ve only known someone for a few hours. As for sobriety, if he can’t hook up sober, he should never hook up while drunk. If someone is drunk, there’s no way to get clear consent. Now you have advice from me and a guy who’s been there, and you can pass this wisdom to your son.

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