“Ew! I Snooped on My Brother’s Computer and Didn’t Like What I Found”

My younger brother and I are both in our early-mid 20s and living with our single mother (him for financial/maturity reasons, and I for a mutually beneficial arrangement). My brother and I have always had an awkward relationship as we are very different people. However, I managed to build a tenuous bond with him as we backpacked together for several months in late 2010. Since then though, the bond has been almost completely severed as he has grown distant from me and my mother.

A lot of tension occured when he got a DUI in late 2011 and dropped out of school. He lost his license, and we moved away from our childhood home for financial reasons – isolating him from friends. Further compounding this isolation, he works nights and weekends at our family restaurant. It doesn’t help that most of his friends are from privileged families, whereas we’ve had a rough couple of years financially (like many Americans). He recently ended his first serious relationship with a lovely girl.

I believe him to be depressed as he has completely withdrawn. Furthermore, we suspect him of an alcohol problem. I find myself extremely angry and frustrated with him, though I try to rationalize and understand his situation. I am conflicted because on one hand I feel like he is acting like an entitled brat: not helping contribute to household expenses, not pitching in with chores, and acting hostile towards his employers – our mother and grandmother. But then I know it’s been a traumatic, tumultuous period for him. What has really devastated me was when he showed no compassion for the loss of my dog that I’ve had for 14 years – no words of kindness or even a hug. Neither my mother nor I are sure what action to take. Have him move out and force him to grow up? Encourage therapy? Or just hope things get better?

What finally prompted me to write is that I did a naughty thing and snooped on his computer. I found he’s been excessively viewing a lot of unconventional porn regarding transvestites, incest, and sex with animals. I’m not sure how to regard this. Should I be alarmed? Is this a symptom of something greater? I am at a loss. — Concerned Sister

I don’t know whether your brother’s porn fetishes are a “symptom of something greater” or even what that something greater could be, but what I do know is that it isn’t any of your business. As long as the porn your brother is looking at is legal, it’s not your issue to worry about. And let’s be honest here, you didn’t just do a “naughty thing” by snooping on your brother’s computer; you did a completely disrespectful, manipulative thing that you would be outraged over had your brother done to you. And why did you do it? Because you care about your brother? Because you’re worried about him? Because you’re looking for some kind of explanation for his recent withdrawal and distant behavior? There are better ways to find out why your brother is acting weird than snooping through his things.

But you can’t un-see what you’ve seen now, can you? And you can’t very well ask your brother about his porn habit — for the love of God, do NOT do that unless you want to really alienate yourself from him. So what are you to do? My suggestion is the same I would have given if you’d written to me before snooping: get some healthy distance from each other. One or both of you should move out. I’d advise starting with your brother packing his bags.

He’s in his 20s. He works for the family business. He doesn’t need to spend all day working for his mother and grandmother and then come home to the house he shares with his single mom and intrusive sister. He needs some independence. If you’re worried about his maturity level, giving him the responsibility of paying rent, paying his own bills and maintaining a home of his own may be the crash course he needs. And maybe the physical distance he’ll have from you and your mom will be enough that he won’t be trying to create emotional distance too.

And, frankly, the distance would do you some good as well. You’re spending a lot of energy worrying about your brother who seems to have fairly normal 20-something issues: He’s moved away from childhood friends; he’s experienced a recent breakup; he doesn’t work an ideal schedule; he drinks a lot. Aside from the DUI, which was hopefully a wakeup call for him, these are challenges many young adults go through. It’s navigating those experiences that lead to the kind of maturity you wish for your brother. So, step back, butt out, and let him experience his life. With him working for the family business, the leash is certainly still short enough for you and your mother to keep tabs on him and monitor his behavior without him sharing a roof with you too.


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  1. WWS

    It seems like you’re overly interested in how awful you think your brother is, and your letter makes you sound like bratty older sister. Your brother has to live at home for financial reasons, but you live at home because of a “mutually beneficial arrangement”?? Come on- be honest with us at least. If you had to live at home to care for your mother or some legitimate reason, you would have said so.

    Leave your brother alone and stop judging him so much. If you really want to make things better, do what Wendy said. Your mom should start charging him rent. Even if it’s only $100/month, he needs to be paying something. For that matter, are YOU paying any rent? If not, you need to start paying, too.

    1. Yes! This: ” Your brother has to live at home for financial reasons, but you live at home because of a ‘mutually beneficial arrangement’?” That stuck out to me, too— like, come on. I’m almost getting the impression here that she’s over-spending her energy to focus on her brother’s faults, just to avoid looking at her own.

    2. I actually think the LW is either paying her mom rent, or helping with bills. And I think that’s where this hostility towards the bro comes from. I think she’s mad that she’s helping out and he’s getting a free ride. That’s how I read the letter anyway.

      The thing is, LW, that even though it’s sometimes not fair, parents treat their children differently. They understand each child has certain needs and they try to accomodate. It’s not always fair to one child, but it is what it is. If this upsets you that much, which it obviously does, talk to your mom about it instead of directing all of this anger toward your brother. And honestly, she should probably start making him pay rent or something. I mean, he’s in his 20’s. But that’s between your mom and him. Not you, your mom and him.

      1. lets_be_honest says:

        Is this a normal thing? For kid-adults to pay their parents rent if they still live home?

      2. If the parents are struggling with bills, it’ s normal – which can be gathered from the fact that they had to move from their childhood home.

      3. lets_be_honest says:

        Would you thnk its weird if they weren’t struggling with bills?

      4. Hm, not weird necessarily, but I think it would depend more on the family dynamic. Like, if bills are tough it makes sense that whoever can help out at all will, but if the parents are stable, then maybe I would only expect them to ask for rent if a child is there for a significant period of time.

      5. I really cant understand this way of thinking. Pay rent to your parents ? Of course I would help with bills, groceries and pay my share of food and electricity and everything, but … rent ? Seriously ? I just find the idea repulsive.

        And before someone says I am defending myself, I want to mention hat I haven’t been living as home since I was 18. I packed and left to face the big bad world and the big bad bills by myself as soon as I had the legal age.

      6. lets_be_honest says:

        I pretty much agree, although I wouldn’t say its repulsive. Just not something I could do barring extreme circumstances.

      7. This was always the rule in our household, stated explicitly and with no meanness or unfairness. If you are in school, you can live at home rent free. If you are over 18, not in school or bettering yourself, then you have to pay some degree of rent. The consequence is that we all decided if we were going to pay rent, we would move out and make it on our own. Again, no one felt this was unfair, and it contributed to our early independence. I don’t think it’s a bad thing. If you are an adult, act like one and be responsible for yourself.

      8. lets_be_honest says:

        I do think its a great lesson, esp the more I think about it. I just would take it knowing I would be giving it back.

      9. Surely I am considering the case where the semi-adult child that is out of school is not a lazy brat that sits on his ass all day long watching TV. Then its different because you have to motivate him somehow to … you know, get a life. However if I were in a situation that required me to sleep on my mom’s couch for a while (even a longer while) I would be quite offended, should she ask me for more money than my very own expenses there.

      10. I know my sis lived at home a couple years after college. She had a good job. My parents didn’t want any money, but she would pick up groceries or take them out to dinner or do little things just to show she appreciated what they were doing for her.

      11. lets_be_honest says:

        Yea, to me that sounds more of the norm than actually charging rent. Just sounded weird to me at first.

      12. lets_be_honest says:

        Prob sound super spoiled for saying that! I’m not, I swear 🙂

      13. Avatar photo lemongrass says:

        My parents had the best deal set up although I never took advantage of it. If we lived at home after graduation (doesn’t count if you’re in college) then you had to pay $350 a month in rent. My dad took that money and put it in a separate bank account to only be used for a wedding, house or post-secondary.

      14. No, I get it. I should have worded differently. I don’t know if it’s rent, per se. Just some kind of arrangement the LW isn’t happy with. And I think her anger is misplaced.

      15. I don’t know if it’s normal or not. I say to each their own when it comes to that kind of thing.

        But the LW is mad about something and this line “him for financial/maturity reasons, and I for a mutually beneficial arrangement” gave me the impression that she’s helping out and he’s not and she’s mad about it. However, maybe it’s not rent or bills. It could just be extra chores. I don’t know. But whatever it is, she’s not happy that he’s freeloading and she’s not.

      16. lets_be_honest says:

        Yea, I think you picked up on something I certainly missed. I guess it does sound like that. But again, not sister’s job to dole out chores or tell him what to do. (which is what you said, oops)

      17. I think adult children living with their parents should help out in some way. If they´re broke, at least do the chores/errands. As expesive as having kids is having adult kids must be even more so!

      18. Avatar photo lemongrass says:

        I think that CHILDREN should be helping out by doing chores around the house. Age appropriate, of course, but teach them some responsibility.

      19. ITA, even my 20 month old does “chores” (taking her cup to the sink, putting away toys). But since we were discussing adults living at home, I focused on that only.

      20. A friend of mine lived at home after college for less than a year- Her parents charged her very minimal rent (like $200/month), and then once she moved out they gave it back to her. They wanted her to have some sort of incentive to move out on her own, and also then it wouldn’t be a total shock to her when she had to start paying bills on her own.

      21. lets_be_honest says:

        Oh, I like that idea! Especially for someone who isn’t good at saving money. Great lesson.

      22. My in-laws did that with my sister in law. She and her husband and their kid were living with the in-laws while he was finishing up school. Once they were ready to move out, my in-laws gave them their rent back, which helped them make a down-payment on their first house.

      23. Same thing with my best friend. Her father and uncle co-own her late grandmother’s house. And it’s basically a right of passage in their family to live in the house post college. They also have a shit ton of “kids” in that generation so basically every two years it rotates as they all graduate. The house is completely paid off, so her dad and uncle give most of the money back (minus the cost of house bills and taxes) as whichever kids are living there move out.

        Ahhh those were sweet days when I used to hang out at Grandma-Down-The-Block’s house!

      24. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        When I moved back home with my parents (from 22 to 25) I didn’t pay rent/utilities but I did help out way more around the house cleaning etc, bought groceries, cooked a ton, and helped drive my siblings around to sports, etc.

      25. If your kids are living at home and they are adults, they *should* be paying rent. How else will they learn responsibility? Giving your kids a free ride isn’t helping them. If they have a job and they live at home, they see all their money as disposable. They live on their whole income as if it’s “fun money”. And then what happens when they move out and suddenly half their income has to go to paying rent, utilities, etc? They were living a lifestyle they couldn’t afford on their own, subsidized by their parents, and it’s a lot to expect them to just change over to one they can afford, all of a sudden. Most kids in that situation end up in huge debt before they figure it out. It’s kinder to charge them rent, just like every other place they’ll ever live does. If you feel bad taking money from them, then take it and invest it on their behalf.

        The exception would be if they really can’t get a job, and are struggling financially, and you’re specifically not charging them rent because they need somewhere to live and can’t afford anywhere else. But that’s an exception, not a rule.

      26. Yes I totally agree with this.

      27. lets_be_honest says:

        I love the idea of giving it back when they leave. I wouldn’t feel right taking rent money from my kids, however, I’m sure there are exceptions to that too (much older, not trying to fidn their own place eventually, etc.)
        I guess I was thinking kids that are right out of college. That would be weird to me.

      28. I wouldn’t give it back when they leave, either. Unless maybe they’re going to invest it in a house or something. Because I wouldn’t want them starting out life with some massive cushion of cash that they’re never going to have again. Same as paying no rent, it sets up an unrealistic expectation of life.

        I’d either put it in a retirement fund for them, use it to pay off any student loans they have, or let them have it as part of a down payment. Or just keep it and save it for some time when they need it (like once they have kids, maybe put it in a college fund for the kids). I’d never give it to them as a pile of “extra” money.

      29. lets_be_honest says:

        Hopefully you will have raised your kids (by the time they move out) well enough for them to know to save on their own. Maybe I’m giving the youth a little too much credit tho 😉
        Giving it back right away though would teach them another lesson. How to save and why its important. Risky, but still a good lesson. They blow it all, they have none left.

      30. lets_be_honest says:

        Also, confession: I would let my kid stay home forever, never go to college and just keep me company for the rest of my life like she does now. That’d make me a very bad parent, right?

      31. They’ll already have had the “saving” lesson. They’ll be required to save a portion of their allowance each week. 🙂

        I didn’t come up with these ideas, it’s this reality show in Canada where a financial expert helps people who have gotten deeply into debt by overspending. One of the biggest issues of the people on the show is that they never learned from their parents how to manage money. She always makes them give their kids an allowance, and to divide it up into spending, saving, and giving. They get to spend the “spending” portion, they have to have a plan for the “saving” portion (like buying a bike or something), and they have to give the “giving” portion to charity.

        Once they hit highschool, you up their allowance to the entire amount that you spend on them for clothes, school supplies, etc. You help them plan a budget and figure out how it makes sense to split their money, and what to spend it on. If they screw it up, well, they won’t have the coolest clothes for the year. 🙂 Or you let them dip into their savings for stuff like special school trips.

        Just seems like such a great way to teach your kids how to manage their finances. I’m going to follow it with mine, definitely. You can’t start too early understanding the value of a dollar, and how to make sure you don’t run out. Hopefully I’m enough of a hardass to stick to it. 🙂 I never learned from my parents, and it was tough figuring everything out, so I think based on that I will be pushed to make sure my own kids know what they’re doing with money.

      32. lets_be_honest says:

        Wow! It does seem like a great way, and I think teaching finances to your kids is often overlooked. I know it was for me when I was young!

      33. Yeah. I had a boyfriend in university who saved all his receipts, and every month he checked it against his credit card, and paid off his credit card in full. His dad had taught him that. He also tracked how much he spent in each category (clothes, rent, food, etc) so he knew where his money was going. That’s one guy who’ll never get into credit card debt. It’s a great lesson to give your kids.

      34. Avatar photo lemongrass says:

        I love til debt do us part! I also kinda love doing our home finances. I’m weird.

      35. anonymous says:

        I do this with my kids. They get $10 per month until 13 (using the give, save, spend method). After that, they get $50 per month to buy clothes, toiletries, gifts, etc. The requirements are that parents get veto power on clothing if it’s inappropriate, and they must have at least one “nice” outfit (for going out or church or whatever). They make mistakes — and have made them! — but they learn from them! One key? No borrowing on future allowances…

      36. anonymous says:

        Oh, and to get their allowance, they have to show me balanced books that say where the money was spent. I don’t criticize it — the point is simply to make sure that they’re tracking how they’re spending their money.

      37. That sounds fantastic!

      38. lets_be_honest says:

        Ok, in all honesty, I’m not doing well with this now. My kid actually asked for an allowance once and I explained that I already get her everything she needs so there’s no point. Terrible mom. Oops. But, if she wants extras when she doesn’t earn a “treat” (good report card, for example), I do make her pay it out of her $ from birthdays and things. She saves all her money at least. I just don’t add to it with an allowance. She;s reaching an age where I should really start doing an allowance. I;ve just always felt that she’s so good (grades, chores, etc.), that I don’t mind giving.

      39. @lets_be_honest, you’ll still be giving, just adding a bit of responsibility to it! And kids love having their own money. 🙂

      40. lets_be_honest says:

        #reifer, you’re right. I think we’ll implement this soon.

      41. Avatar photo lemongrass says:

        Not to harp on you LBH, but I really dislike the idea of giving kids money for good report cards. It was common when I was in high school and some parents gave A LOT- $100 for an ‘A.’ These kids were not the ones trying hard, they were the ones goofing off and cheating. I’m not saying yours will be like this and obviously not all kids are. It just sends a message that they are going to school for YOU instead of for their own good. Also, trying hard at school and getting good grades should just be standard, IMO.

      42. lets_be_honest says:

        True, should be just the standard. When I was a kid, we’d get Mcdonalds for dinner or something when report cards came out. She generally loves school and takes pride in her grades, so I’m not too worried, but you are right to a degree. I look at it like work. If I do well at work, I get a bonus. I don’t think she tries hard in school just for a reward. I worry a lot about spoiling though, so this is just another thing for me to keep in my head for the future.

      43. LBH- you really should give your kid her own money, but the key is not to just give it to her as treats or whatever, the key is to give her a lump some and let her be able to split it up and budget it out. so you can still do everything you are doing- she can still get money for good grades or whatever, but then *she* has to be the one to understand how much money everything costs and how to appropriately budget to get things she wants over a period of time. thats the difference.

        i actually got into a huge argument in high school with some friends about money from my parents. they always gave me the money i needed for things (clothes, lunch, whatever), and my friends who had to have jobs for their money would treat me as if i just had a blank check and i could buy whatever i wanted whenever i wanted. they didnt understand that even though i wasnt at a part time Mcd’s job for this money, it was still important and treated as such. i knew it wasnt a bottomless pit. i knew if i spent it all i didnt have anymore until X date. and that is the important part, thats what you need to teach your kid about. the manner in which it happens (rewards for good grades, a part time job, allowance each week, ect) doesnt really matter.

      44. lets_be_honest says:

        excellent advice guys. Thank you.

      45. I really don’t get this mentality of making sure everyone knows life sucks and is totally miserable and making sure we do nothing to make our kids have it any less miserable because then they might not understand how very miserable and shitty life is.

      46. Yes, this. Like I said above, it depends on the circumstances of course. If a kid is struggling after graduation finding a job or whatever that’s one thing, but some adults stay at home way too long simply because it’s convenient. It makes sense to start introducing them to adult responsibility.

      47. I don’t understand why you guys think kids don’t know what to expect after graduation unless you make them pay rent. I left home right after my 18’th birthday and knew exactly what to expect tho I never paid rent until then, or utilities or anything else. The only motivation I had was simply to live alone (always loved it) and to feel independent from a very demanding and parentifying mother.

      48. I do. I’m 26 and I live with my mom. I pay her rent and I buy groceries and contribute to household expenses, because she’s struggling financially. She supported me all of my life, now it’s my turn to support her. It also benefits me because I hated living alone (too quiet and lonely), I really like my mom so we get to hang out and have coffee and talk, and since my rent is considerably less than what I was paying for my old apartment, I’m able to save up my money for a down payment on a house, which I plan to do next year. Everybody wins.

      49. My parents rule was that while we were studying we paid no rent but when we finished we started. Studying was either school/uni/tech, anything that kept us from keeping a full time job. If we just didnt have a job, we had to pay anyway. I think ts good, it gets you to move out quicker! Why pay rent to live with your parents when you could pay rent AND have independence?
        However, I do know that if we ever need it, they will always welcome us home without any money.

      50. honestly, i think that the paying rent vs. not paying rent thing depends on the kid and the parent- is the parent an enabler? is the child someone who is just going to “coast” forever? is the parent a good, responsible parent? is the child a good, responsible person? ect, ect, ect. i think it will vary hugely depending on all those factors- an enabler parent may teach their kids bad habits just because they suck. and a shitty kid might take advantage of their parents because they suck. so i say it is a situational, case by case thing depending on the personalities, relationships and finances of all involved.

      51. Rita Jones says:

        Is it a normal thing for adults living in someone else’s house NOT to pay rent?

      52. I agree, it sounds like she’s bitter that he’s getting help from mom while she is in the opposite boat.

    3. Per the letter writer, “I am conflicted because on one hand I feel like he is acting like an entitled brat: not helping contribute to household expenses, not pitching in with chores, and acting hostile towards his employers – our mother and grandmother.”

  2. kerrycontrary says:

    WWS! Don’t look at other peoples porn. You just don’t want to know. Unless your brother is looking at something with children, it’s none of your business.

    1. kerrycontrary, I had a dream last night that we were texting each other. I can’t remember about what (& I also can’t find the dreams thread in the forum…) so I thought I’d tell you here 🙂 haha

      1. kerrycontrary says:

        hahah! Thanks 🙂 I dreamt about True Blood last night because I’ve been watching it like non-stop since I started on Saturday.

  3. WWS said all the way. Especially this line: “He works for the family business. He doesn’t need to spend all day working for his mother and grandmother and then come home to the house he shares with his single mom and intrusive sister.” Your brother needs SPACE. I get that you think he’s ungrateful, but it’s sometimes hard for a person to behave nicely & gratefully when they feel stuck. And I guarantee your brother feels *stuck*, & he’ll feel even MORE backed-into-a-corner if you & your mother start approaching him with “actions to take”. HE needs to take action himself, starting by moving out of this suffocating space & getting a new job. (So actually, maybe you & your mother SHOULD hound him? It may light a fire under his ass)

    Anyway, in regard to the porn thing—which I’m not sure why you feel is the biggest issue— let me generalize here & say that young men look at alll sorts of shit on the internet. It’s not your business what he gets off on (& he may even have just been looking out of curiosity).

  4. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

    Isn’t sex with animals illegal?

    1. kerrycontrary says:

      I’m not sure…it might depend on the state. and even if it is, maybe looking at pictures of it isn’t? Otherwise I probably wouldn’t have gotten hounded by beastiality spam when using AOL as a teen.

      1. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        Apparently (according to wikipedia) having sex with animals is only outlawed in 37 states. But it looks like “zoophilic pornography” is widely illegal all over the globe.

      2. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

        What is that??

      3. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        AP, I’m not really sure. I think it’s porn with people having sex with animals. Also included in the wiki page was an animal brothel in Washington state until a few years ago. What??

        I shouldn’t judge but this stuff just blows my mind.

      4. SweetPeaG says:

        I think we should judge. The animals can not consent to this. Which makes it wrong. And I 100% believe the humans that partake in this can not feel good about themselves and probably have some serious mental health issues that need to be taken care of.

      5. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        Good point about the animals not being able to consent.

      6. SixtyFour says:

        Wellllll, while I personally think that sex with animals is disgusting, I don’t really agree with the consent argument. I mean, we do plenty of things to animals without their consent like kill them, eat them, stuff them and put them on walls, wear them as coats, wear them as shoes, put them in zoos, medical testing and on and on.

      7. SweetPeaG says:

        Eh… well, I don’t personally do those things. LOL. But, I see your point.

        I think I know when something is inherentntly wrong. I trust my instincts on this one. Some things are taboo/illegal for a reason.

      8. We don’t so that stuff for pleasure though. Except stuffing them and putting them on walls, which I disagree with. We kill them and eat them for sustenance, not because we enjoy killing them. We do medical testing on them to save lives, not because we like to torture them. Having sex with them is similar to beating them – it’s purely for your own pleasure. There is no greater benefit to it, it’s just for fun, because you like to. And since it’s so unnecessary, and harmful to the animal as well, it makes sense that it should be illegal.

      9. so=do.

      10. Avatar photo lemongrass says:

        I would say zoo’s are for pleasure. Also bacon. I don’t eat bacon for sustenance, I can get that from beans. I eat bacon because I get pleasure from it. Sport fishing- catch and release. We definitely don’t need fur coats or leather couches.

      11. I have a friend who won’t go to zoos for that reason. However, if it weren’t for zoos, there are a lot of currently endangered species which would already be extinct. Not to mention the breeding programs and research done by zoos. I do go for pleasure, but also for the learning experience and to support the work done by zoos.

        As to leather clothing and furniture, I prefer it because of the longevity. I have a pair of leather boots that have been through 17 Canadian winters and still look great. I hope to keep my leather sofa for the next 30 years, at least. I’d like to see cloth hold up the same way, to the same hard usage. The way I see it, I’m consuming much less because I keep the things I buy for so long.

        As to eating meat, I try to eat less of it, but it’s not easily replaceable. You can eat beans, but their protein to calories ratio is nowhere near that of meat. You’d be eating a hell of a lot of beans (and a lot of extra calories) to get the same that you do from meat. Cheese or tofu are better options, but still not equal to meat. Not to mention that our digestive systems aren’t optimized for a vegetarian diet. I’m not anti-vegetarian, just personally I think that meat is part of a healthy diet, and I don’t want to cut it out for me or my family. I do think we live in a culture that eats way too much of it though, and we need to cut back (and I do, personally).

        Wow, sorry for the long post. Can you tell I don’t want to work? 🙂

      12. Avatar photo lemongrass says:

        I’m not a vegetarian and I own a leather couch. I’m not against those things but I will say that the benefits to us (not having to replace your couch) are not on the same level of need (kill that deer so your family survives.) Therefore they really aren’t “necessary” just convenient and/or give us a higher standard of life. We could do without.

      13. By that standard we don’t need animals for anything, since there are cultures that have clearly adapted to vegetarianism. So it’s all for our pleasure. I guess for me it’s more pros and cons – the con of the dead animal weighed against all the extra energy, water, materials of extra couches, boots, belts, etc. Same with the eating of animals because of the density of protein.

        I guess overall my point is – the only “pro” of bestiality is pure pleasure, for those who are into it. Same with people who like to beat or torture animals. There’s no other pro, there’s no greater gain, there’s nothing to stack it up against and make a logical decision that it’s worth it. All the other items SixtyFour brought up have real pros and cons, and can be argued for or against, as we’ve been doing. Bestiality, not so much. If the only pro someone can come up with is “I like it, and I don’t care if the animal does or not!”, then they lose the debate.

      14. Avatar photo lemongrass says:

        I’m certainly not advocating for beastiality- I think it is just as disgusting as everyone else. I’m just not so sure that the cow that died for my couch would say “okay, this will last you twice as long so go ahead and kill me.” But he died for my couch. I also certainly don’t weigh the pro’s and con’s before making a BLT (although it’s really a BLAT because all sandwiches should have avocado). At the same time I hate seeing excessive waste, animal or man made.

      15. I have a question, and I swear it’s a sincere question. I always hear the consent argument about sex with animals and agree with it. BUT! I’ve seen some porn involving animals, and the animals were the ones doing the penetrating. First question: How do they get the animals to do that? And if the animals do that of their own volition, then does the consent argument stand? (I’m also assuming the humans consented – which is a whole other issue entirely – so right now I’m just hypothetically asking about the animals).

      16. I have no idea how they get animals to penetrate people, I´m gussing through training (ew). But I mean animals do things they´re trained to do, for rewards or to please their “masters”. SInce in most (all?) cases animals have sex for procreative purposes (not because they´re horny) I don´t think volition has anything to do with it.
        This is seriously gross. I hope LW was talking about furry porn.

      17. Avatar photo lemongrass says:

        I haven’t seen any porn but I wonder that too. What if the dog humped their leg first?

      18. It IS gross. It’s one of the grossest things I’ve ever seen.

      19. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        I read on wiki that the animal brothel was shut down because a man died after having his colon perforated after being penetrated by the animal. What?? I have no idea how you get an animal to do that. Seriously no idea.

        Ugh, I’m going to go vomit now.

      20. It’s my understanding that they need to train the animals to do that, although with a dog that’s already constantly humping everything…? Is that “training” or just “redirection”? (I can’t believe I just worded it like that, but this is pretty hard to discuss without being disgustingly graphic)

        Either way, the animal doesn’t know wtf is going on, so I guess you can say it’s still UNconsenting?

      21. @fabelle but theres a differene between the dry humping dogs do, and actual penetration of a person. ewewewewewewewew
        its like how dogs will lick your hands/face and some sick fucks put stuff on their genitals to be licked there as well.
        This whole thread is grossingme out SO MUCH

      22. Anonymous Dude says:

        Before I say anything else I’d like to just state for the record that I’ve never trained an animal to mate with a human.

        That being said, I don’t think it would be as hard as you’d think it would be Cats. Take a dog for example. It wouldn’t take that long I wouldn’t think to get a dog to “perform” in that sort of way for a number of reasons. The first two reasons that come to mind are that #1 dogs have been bred for ~15,000 years to please humans so it’s in their nature to want to please us and #2 anatomically sex is just as pleasurable for male dogs as it is for human males. That’s just God’s (or nature if you prefer) way of making sure animals procreate with each other. In my humble opinion that satisfies the consent side of the house (at least for male animal to human female relations … (so gross)). I’d imagine most human male to female animal relations would be considered rape if the animal were able to speak.

        As for how you’d get them to perform the act itself. Well again using a male dog for example, you’d just break the act into smaller steps and train the dog to do one step at a time. I would think you’d start out teaching the dog to first stand behind a woman in the “doggy” position with his front legs on top of her back and go from there (to avoid grossing myself or anyone else out I’m not going to imagine what the next steps are…but I think you get the idea)? For a neutral example, when you teach a dog how to roll over it first has to know the down/lay position and command right? You wouldn’t just start off with the dog standing and try to get it to roll over. So I’d imagine the creeps that make those kinds of videos use similar training methods.

      23. Sorry, everyone. That was the grossest threadjack ever.

      24. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

        I blame GatorGirl entirely for this gross threadjack!… Thanks, GG! At least my grossest threadjacks are just about poop.

    2. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

      Maybe they’re cartoon fuzzy bunnies. Sounds normal to me…

      1. lets_be_honest says:

        threadjack-any special Christmas gifts from the Man?

      2. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

        My new year’s resolution is to not threadjack! (You’re welcome in advance, LWs.) Ok fine, real quick: I got tools! Really, tools. 😉

  5. SweetPeaG says:

    Ugh. I am Judgey McJudgeyface. And proud of it. People shouldn’t do or view beastiality. I can’t get far beyond that. Because it is animal abuse and the definition of depraved.

    Wendy is right. These siblings need some major time apart. And maybe both go have more adult lives.

    For the love of God and all that is good in the universe, leave innocent animals out of your sex lives. There are plenty of adult humans… in so many fun and unique forms! Go choose from that plethora before you.

    1. Viewing something like this one time doesnt make a man a perv. I have watched or peeped at a lot of porn that I am absolutely not into, simply out of curiosity. I havent watched any animal thing, but given the chance to have a look, I probably would because I have a lot of questions in my mind regarding that (the first one being: someone actually seriously DOES that ??? I have to see it to believe it).

  6. lets_be_honest says:

    This was a strange letter for me.
    Why is the sister acting like she’s the mother?

    Also, while I agree it’d probably be for the best if he moved out (and totally agree with Wendy’s advice!), why is it up to the sister to tell him to move out? Again, she’s not the mom.

    Finally, the line about “him for financial/maturity reasons, and I for a mutually beneficial arrangement” sounded like a plate full of BS.

    1. “Mutually beneficial agreement” just icked me out, isn´t that what sugar babies/daddies say??

      1. lets_be_honest says:

        I’d love to have it specifically defined by the lw.
        Benefit to me: free home and food
        Benefit to mom: uh, I wipe the counters down sometimes.

        But yea, just sounded obnoxious. If it were anything that actually benefits mom, I imagine she’d say so.

      2. LW pays rent, pitches in with utilities, buys the groceries, and does household chores.

      3. lets_be_honest says:

        Oh, are you the LW?
        I think the standard, at least from the comments here, is that every adult kid living at home pitches in with food, utility and chores. Hell, my young child pitches in with chores. That seems like the norm to me.
        The rent…I’m curious of the percentage of contribution.

      4. lets_be_honest says:

        The thing is, is that when you say mutually beneficial, you imply that both parties are getting an even amount of benefit. If you didn’t live home, your mom likely could live in a much smaller place, thereby making it more affordable for her. Paying your share of utilities and food? That only benefits you. Paying your half the rent? Only you. See what I’m saying?

      5. Well- its not really mutually beneficial. My mother owns the house we live in, and without me- wouldn’t have been able to keep the house. It was almost lost in foreclosure. I choose to live with her to help with the majority of the household expenses, so she could focus her finances to start and grow her business- which my brother works for. So, in reality, I sacrificed living independently and even saving to help my family. And yes, a tad resentful that my brother does not help- neither financially or emotionally. But, am worried that he is depressed- and conflicted that if he moves out- he will go further downhill.

      6. I don’t know- fuck it. He should move out- I guess it is the growing pains of adulthood. I mostly wrote in for my mom’s benefit, though she knows nothing of the porn and I would never ever dream of telling her or even bringing it up with my brother (even though slightly alarmed by the content). She was conflicted on what to do- if she should have him move it or let him stay, and consulted me on what course of action to take. And I was at a loss and felt too involved to give an unbiased opinion.

        Just to make it a longer story- I didn’t give the details on how I found the porn. I said I snooped for the sake of being succinct. But since I was ripped a new one for being “intrusive,” let me explain. I came across his web history when I was using his computer (with his permission) as my computer is being repaired. I shouldn’t have looked, so that was definitely wrong. But jeez- its not hard to clear your history! Especially if you’re letting your older sister use your belongings!!

      7. lets_be_honest says:

        Your snoop defense doesn’t really change anything at all. You still snooped, after he trusted you with his personal stuff.
        Anyway, you should tell your mom that you cannot be involved. Youre not her husband. You are her daughter. Equal ground as the brother. Your mom needs to deal with this on her own. Its not up to you to decide whether he should stay or go.

      8. WLBHS.

      9. lets_be_honest says:

        Well I hope that you read all these comments. I think you were given great advice about how you should deal with your brother.
        I won’t comment about your mom’s house. Ok, I will for a sec, but who knows what the situation is…if your mom can’t afford to live there, she could try to sell it and live in a place she can afford. You write as though its really only benefiting her and its not. You have a place to live after all.
        And just because you choose to live there too, doesn’t mean your brother wants to make the choices you have, and that’s fine.
        Anyway, listen to the advice!

      10. Its a complicated story, so I won’t go into it- but yes, I benefit as I have a place to live, and am grateful for that! And yes, I’ll take insight from the comments. Have a nice day!

      11. lets_be_honest says:

        You too. Good luck 🙂

    2. Yeah, I agree with what Wendy said, that the brother would be better off moving out. But I don’t see any way for the sister to accomplish that, and it’s not really her place anyway. The brother has to do it on his own.

  7. Totally agree with Wendy. First off, the kind of porn he watches–not my cup of tea, but it’s common for people to be interested in viewing “taboo” porn, and doesn’t mean they’re interested in doing those things in real life. Second, get off his computer. He’s a guy in his mid 20s, what did you expect to find? He deserves privacy.

    He’s probably distanced himself from you and your mom because he’s around you guys all the time between work and home and he fills the need to create SOME sort of barrier. You both sound like you give off critical vibes when it comes to him–I’m sure he senses that and that’s another reason for his awkward, negative demeanor. Ok, so he sounds like he’s floundering a bit. If your mom and you really want to help, he needs to move out, like Wendy said, and boost his self esteem by making it on his own. Nothing to deflate a guys ego like living at home with your mama when I’m sure he realizes he should be much more self reliant.

    This might sound mean, but you need to crawl out of his ass too. His situation is not that bad…TRUST ME, it could be much worse. It seems like you’re really dwelling on his flaws and mistakes. Maybe it’s secretly a self esteem booster to point out all his flaws, maybe you’re bored, I don’t know. But leave him alone. Either he’ll figure it out, or he won’t. I know you love him and want what’s best for him, but having conversations with your mom about his issues and snooping through his computer–how is that helping him? You’re just spinning your wheels. Give him the space he desires and he may come back around once he’s in a better place. Some people do not desire to have a close relationship with their siblings. It stinks, but if he’s one of those people, you’ll have to learn to accept that.

  8. This letter makes my head hurt. Boundaries, anyone? First of all, why was the LW looking at her brother’s web history, anyway? What possible purpose could here have been other than to just invade his privacy? That blows my mind. This isn’t a spouse or SO concerned about cheating. (Not that it’s okay to snoop then, but I get the temptation.) This is a nosy older sister who has no respect for her brother or his privacy and who has decided that since he isn’t living up to standards she deems appropriate, she has the right to go through his personal things. I cannot even begin to process how pissed I’d be if my sibling decided to snoop through my computer, bitched and moaned about me with my mother on a regular basis, hounded me about paying bills in my mother’s – not my sibling’s – house and decided I had a drinking problem and was contemplating “what action to take” because s/he thought s/he had a right to be horrified by my porn habits. Dear. God.

    No wonder this guy is a dick to his sister. She is a nightmare: bossy, controlling, critical of him, his lifestyle and his drinking habits (although the DUI is bad news, it’s often a wake up call), pissy with him about his recent break up (who wants to bet she is talking to the ex and taking her side in that, too?), harping on him to take more responsibility while at the same time psychoanalyzing his decisions and actions and now snooping through his things and freaking out over his porn. Who has that much time and effort to invest in their siblings’ comings and goings? Who cares what their siblings are doing on the Internet?

    My advice for the LW – mind your own damned business. Go out with friends, get a life, find a lovely guy you can date who wants your input into his life, get a hobby, do something, anything, besides nagging your brother over every aspect of his life. It’s not your place to tell him what to do, take “action” about where his life should go or micromanage his interactions with your family members. You say he is a douche to your mom and grandmother. Guess what, that is their problem, not yours. They can and will tell him to shove it if he pushes them too far. You’re upset he doesn’t pay bills in your mom’s house. Guess what again? That is her problem, not yours. Even if you pay bills there, that is an arrangement between you and her. If she wants your brother to pay some bills, then let her bring it up. Stay out of it. And, for the love of god, what porn your brother looks at is none of your business. Seriously. The material your brother chooses to jerk off to is absolutely none of your concern. You do not “take action” about it. You do not mention it. You do your best to bleach the images from your mind, forget you saw it and let it go.

    Or, hell, you know what, this guy needs a push. Forget my advice about the porn. Instead of ignoring it, go ahead and tell your mom or grandmother or whoever about it under the guise of “concern.” Then you, your mom and grandmother should stage an intervention with him, tell him what you found – bonus points if you have pictures – and how you found it and tell him you’re alarmed and worried that this is that start of something greater. (It isn’t. As someone else pointed out, 20-something guys look at random stuff on the Internet all the time and if it is legal, no worries. It’s the novelty factor, not a sign your brother is into you or animals, or probably even transvestites.) Tell him you think he needs therapy. And a net nanny, to be monitored at all times by you. And if that doesn’t send this guy packing, nothing will.

    1. I would love a “Boundaries, anyone?” mug or similar DW item… just putting that out there. Maybe with a nice graphic 🙂

    2. Excellent response! I feel the same way!

  9. I agree. One of them needs to move out of the home. And the girl really needs some hobbies – look at her brother’s computer? Not cool and is a huge invasion of privacy and personal space.

    If she is concerned about his DUI, then may be she needs to talk to the family about it. Depending on the state they live in, some sort of classes on alcoholic behavior are required. DUI’s are expensive so that may hinder his ability to move out, but if the family has a business, they should be able to at least loan him the money to help.

    I cannot get over the bestiality thing either. Animals are not put here for us to abuse them…
    The incest porn might be something too…..if there are small children involved, and is also very odd.

  10. Avatar photo lemongrass says:

    Take this as a lesson learned. Also, butt the fuck out. Why are you so involved in your adult brother’s life? Living together is not an excuse. It sounds to me like you need a life outside your family but you are too scared to go out into the real world so you spend your time way too deeply involved in your family’s issues.

  11. I mean this in the nicest way possible, but you should probably mind your own business. I thought that at some point in the letter you’d say that you had reason to believe that he was planning on committing violence against himself or others, thus justifying your belief that you should intervene. It may cloud things to you because you both live at home still, but you’re both adults, so what he does is his own business. If he were your boyfriend, then yeah, you’d have a right to inquire about his personal goings-on, but he’s not. Most siblings have much more independent lives as adults and are not privy to what type of porn the other likes or their day-to-day moods. Honestly, if your brother feels the microscope you’ve put on him, then I can see why he’s distanced himself from you guys.

    I think you need some space from your family. You name a mysterious “mutually beneficial agreement” as the reason you live at home, and barring a need to physically care for your mother, I’m not sure that’s much different from his reasons for living at home. You clearly are not in as rough shape as him (DUIs, etc.), but many people do not want to live at home unless it’s absolutely necessary. I mean, if I lived at home, I could wash dishes and cook for my parents, and they’d save me a ton of money on rent, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. Look, you may have a wonderful idea for living there, so I’m sorry if I’m misinterpreting, but moving out would be a good move for you. You need to have things in your life that are bigger than whether your brother comforts you when your dog dies or what sort of porn he likes to look at.

    1. After reading the other comments, I realized that maybe the LW needs to live there to help shoulder the financial burden. If that’s the case, then disregard my diatribe about moving out. But I really think that should be a goal in the future…

  12. Two 20 somethings living at home with their mom? You both need to grow up and move out. She has raised you and it is time for you to fly little birdies, fly. Then, she can support herself in her nice little place & not have to worry about supporting you two as well. Win – Win!

    1. lets_be_honest says:

      Yea, I imagine if mom moved into a studio or one bedroom, she could afford to live on her own without help from her TWO kids who I assume each have a room in the house.

      1. anonymous says:

        Alternatively, she could probably rent a room out on the open market for more than the “kids” are paying.

  13. Maybe, since the LW is already all up in his business, the brother assumed she was already looking at his computer and made sure those sites were in his browser history just to freak her out.

    The idea is a bit far fetched and if he thought she was in his stuff he could have just password protected his computer, but I think it would be funny if he did do it just for the shock value.

  14. From one overbearing [older] sister to another, LW, you need to chill the fuck out.

    Look, I basically raised my younger brothers due to parental inefficiency (Ooo I’ve never said it like that before. I’m going to keep using that!) so I know what it’s like to feel responsible for the well being, mental health, future financial security, etc etc. of your siblings. Especially if you’re the oldest as I am. My brothers really do view me as a kind of sister-mother because I’m the one who cooked for them, tucked them in, read them books, went to their games, got them out the door, and attempted to shield them from the abusive things going on in our home. But I also teased them and fought with them and got haughty and selfish at times because I am their sister- not their mother. It’s an interesting dynamic and it means that we are all super super close.

    However, they are adults now in their early-mid twenties. And they no longer take my shit. If I start bossing them around too much they get really freaking mad at me. So like any sister-mother I had to learn to back off and trust that my brothers will get their shit together on their own or risk losing their trust altogether- even if that means I have to bite my tongue as one majors in philosophy and I’ve maxed out my limit on saying “But what will you DO with that??!!” The other one joined the military during war time, which makes me proud and terrified 24/7.

    The stuff your brother is going through sounds pretty standard to me. And maybe if you back off a little bit you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Try being positive and supportive instead of focusing on what he’s NOT doing. “Thanks for helping out at the restaurant this weekend. It was so much busier than usual.” or “I know this is a tough time for you, but I know you’re [insert special personality trait/great thing he did] and will pull through it.” Even if it feels a bit like pulling teeth at first, just do it for a few weeks and see what happens. Don’t be weird and disingenuous about it, but keep it to small, tangible things. This is all assuming you really want to help him and not just take out your resentment on him.

    And for fuck’s sake stop snooping through his computer. I may not have bestiality on my laptop, but if someone snooped they would find a whole bunch of erotica (I’m a writer) and might think I’m a grade-A weirdo-perv. But guess what? THAT’S NO ONE’S BUSINESS, BUT MINE. So cut it out.

    1. WTMS. Seriously. I’m also an overbearing sister-mother who went through similar things with my younger brother and he continues to make bad decisions. But guess what? That’s his problem and not mine (just like TaraMonster is also saying). All you will do by continuing to butt into your brother’s life is push him away and stress yourself out. Stop worrying about what he’s doing and worry about yourself. After all, you can’t control your brother but you CAN control yourself.

      1. Wellll just to be clear, I don’t think my brothers make bad decisions, just decisions I don’t necessarily agree with (well a couple bad ones, but everyone makes bad decisions at times). I think my brothers are the bee’s knees. If I was actually their mom, I’d be one of those annoying moms that’s like “My brothers can say the alphabet backwards. They are geniuses! Together they will invent clean energy and close the hole in the ozone!” And then privately I’d badger them to become environmental scientists and also tell them how great I think they are at science. 😉

  15. People have been talking a lot about the bestiality porn, but if I were this dude’s sister, the incest porn would concern me waaaay more. Ew.

    1. Welll, although I get the squicky-ness, It’s less about actually wanting to bang your own sibling/father/grandmother/cousin than it is about the “taboo” aspect & the fantasy. What you think about/want to view while getting off is not the same as what you want IRL.

      1. lets_be_honest says:

        This whole convo is really helping me not want to eat lunch 🙂

      2. Yeah, I get that, but wouldn’t it be even MORE taboo to think about your actual sister while getting off? That’s what I’d be worried about.

      3. Most people fantasizing about incest do NOT fantasize about their actual personal dad/sister/brother/mom/grandpa. They fantasize about *A* mom/dad/sister/brother/uncle. It is almost never their actual personal relative once they actually sit and dissect their fantasies.

    2. Honestly, I think the porn section of the letter is just an excuse so she can have some kind of intervention because she’s pissed at him for other things. If it was brother-sister porn or mother-son porn, I think the LW would’ve mentioned it specifically. The whole letter would’ve been about that, but instead she shoved it into the last paragraph sort of like she was fishing for something to get mad at him over.

  16. I can understand why she’d be worried.

    Let’s set the porn aside, because I don’t think that really has much to do with this. LW, pretend you never saw it. Seriously.

    Let’s look at the rest of the situation. Your brother’s friends come from a richer situation than your family. They have money, he doesn’t. Your family had to downsize because of the economy, further proving the financial divide between his social peers and him. He broke up with his girlfriend (for whatever reason). He’s becoming isolated. His main social network is a small family, which also happens to be his co-workers/bosses, AND his roommates (all the same 2-3 people). He’s sheltered, even if it’s willingly.
    Add in the drinking. It could be a coping mechanism. It could be a symptom of depression. I am not the one to judge, nor are you.

    He got a DUI. If he hasn’t been sentenced yet, he will be soon. He may be required to take an Alcohol Drug Information School (ADIS) class (they may have something similar in your area) or go have a substance use assessment to ascertain whether he needs treatment or not.

    You have two main options. You can pull back or you can try to breach the divide. I recommend you stop trying to look at him as your little brother and look at him as a grown man. Try to befriend him. If you want, tell him you feel that with all of the upheaval of the last few years, you want to get to know the adult him, and be friends. Then invite him to a movie, dinner, etc. The worst he can do is say “no”. If he does, well, then keep your distance.
    All you can really do is live your own life. You can’t live anyone else’s and you have to let him live his own and make his own mistakes. You can, however, minimize the damage his mistakes will cause YOUR life.

    And whatever you do, don’t mention the porn to your mother or grandmother. Seriously.

  17. I think this LW sounds intrusive, snotty, and entitled. And it seems like she gets off on mothering her brother. If I were him, I’d be trying to put some distance between myself and her as well! I couldn’t get through the letter without being so annoyed at this LW’s attitude. Maybe her intentions were good, but it’s just really hard to see that. Also, like other commenters said, the “mutually beneficial” thing stuck out to me too – what does that even mean? I would bet anything that maturity and financial reasons are why she lives at home, too, but she can’t admit that because she is trying to using it against her poor brother.

    She also sounds notably jealous of him too, but I can’t figure out why. Maybe mom gives him a lot more slack or attention?

  18. Avatar photo bittergaymark says:

    WTF, this whole letter is strange… From the “he uses mom while I am mutually beneficial” to the fact that it was HER dog and not, say, the family dog for 14 years? Eh, it makes me wonder… Maybe the whole family is fucking nuts. Or maybe her dog was a freaking nightmare… Hell, a friend of mine had a cat that I loathed and despised our entire friendship…

    At any rate, nothing here makes really enough sense for me to really offer any advice… other than Stay the Fuck Off Your Brother’s Computer.

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