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by Abigail Van Buren

Girl Caught Having Sex Is Blackmailed by Her Sister

DEAR ABBY: My sister, "Joni," caught me having sex with my boyfriend. (We used protection, so it's not like I'm going to get pregnant.)

Our parents were away and Joni was supposed to be gone for several hours, so I thought we would be safe. But Joni had a fight with her boyfriend, came home sooner than we expected and caught us "in the act."

Now she's blackmailing me. I have to hand my allowance over to her -- and that's not all. She has turned me into her personal slave -- changing her bed, picking up her dirty clothes and doing her chores. She forces me to let her wear my nicest jeans and shirts, but because she's bigger than me, my clothes are getting stretched out of shape or torn at the seams. When I complain, she says, "What are you going to do about it? Go ahead and tell Mom and see what I tell her!"

I know if Joni tells our parents they won't let me see my boyfriend anymore. We're in love, and I couldn't handle that. But the blackmail is driving me crazy. Please help me. -- BLACKMAILED IN AMES, IOWA

DEAR BLACKMAILED: Part of being sexually active is being mature enough to be responsible about it -- and that includes not only making sure you won't become pregnant but also that you won't contract a sexually transmitted disease, some of which, I am sad to say, are rampant today. Because you are sexually active, you should now have regular checkups by a gynecologist and possibly be using a second form of birth control because condoms have been known to fail.

That is why it is important that you confide in your mother. Once she knows, your sister will have nothing to blackmail you about.