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Recent Letter to the ElderWisdomCircle™

OTHER: How to Say an Embarrassing Thing Without Embarrassing the Person
Letter #: 396048
Category: Family

Original Letter

I am a 14 year old girl. Recently, there was a boy that I know from school, and he was wearing a swimsuit when his penis accidentally came out through the leg opening of his swimsuit. He had no idea that it came out. He had no idea that he was walking around with his penis sticking out of his swimsuit. I was trying to figure out how to tell him. If I told him, then he would know that I saw his penis, and he would be really embarrassed that I saw his penis. Then another girl used her cell phone to take a picture of his penis. He didn't see her take the picture so he does not know that this girl has a picture of his penis. Later, when he looked down, and saw that his penis was sticking out, he quickly got it back in. 

How should I have handled this situation? I was hoping that he was notice on his own so he wouldn't have to know that I saw his penis. If I told him, then he would know that I saw his penis. I know that he would be mortified that I saw his penis. However, if I told him sooner, that other girl would not have taken a picture of his penis. What should I do now? Should I tell him that a girl took a picture of his penis? He would be mortified at the idea of someone taking a picture of his penis. If you are a girl, how do you talk to a boy about his penis?

Elder Response

Goodness, I can see how difficult it would be to tell him. I hope it isn't too late to talk some sense into the girl. What she done, without his consent may very well be illegal as it falls into the "sexting" categroy; I don't know for sure. Please contact her right away and tell her to completely delete the picture she took. Much better safe than sorry. 

I've read of teens being charged with crimes for taking photos that are sexual in nature, for 1) taking the photo and 2) for distributing it. 

As to what to do in the future, as hard as it may be Julie, I think he'd rather one person tell him, than to have it put on the internet, where it never truly can be removed. Just like it's hard to tell a guy your fly is down, and some guys through their embarrassment say something dumb like, "What are you doing looking there." In this case, I might have said, "Um, look down." If you got back a snarky remark, a good response is - "Well, I could act all immature and ignore it. I'd want you to tell me if I had a problem in a swim suit, and if you don't appreciate me telling you, next time I'll let you walk around like that. As far as I'm concerned, it's over, and I won't talk about it again."

I remember taking a vacation with another couple, and a wave knocked me down. When I came up facing the ocean, my top had shifted and the guy (who was facing the beach) noticed and said, "Um check your top." My husband was standing next to me, and didn't notice because he was facing the ocean too. I was grateful our friend told me, rather than have the whole beach full of people see me. He never brought it up again, nor did I.

Please do speak with the girl right away; technically she may have already committed a crime and certainly may be in violation of school rules.

Julie, you are wise to seek help on this, and to know that there is some way to handle these things.  

Thank you for writing to EWC. We are here for you any time. I hope it goes well with the girl who took the photo. 

Best Regards,



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