My son is 19, but due to some physical and social disabilities (mostly unseen), his emotional maturity level is closer to 14, though he is quite intelligent. After a lifetime of therapists, specialized education, and other interventions, he is now a freshman in college far from home. His dad and I are paying for his tuition, room and board, and books. He was expected to use his summer job earnings for personal expenses. His lack of social skills makes him dependent on alcohol and cigarettes to form his social life, and that plus his immaturity (imagine sending your son to college at age 14) means he went through his money quickly. But he is still drinking and smoking and getting high. When he was home for his last break, I asked him how he affords to do this, and he wouldn't tell me. You can imagine what went through my head. (Drug dealing?) I asked if it was safe and legal, and he said yes. After some snooping, I learned that he is using a webcam service for chats with men who offer "tips" for sexual viewing. I suppose this is technically safe and legal, but because I'm unfamiliar with the technology involved, I don't know if he is putting himself at risk emotionally or if screenshots can be captured that can affect his future career, relationships, etc. I'm a longtime follower of your column, podcast, and books, and I hope that someday my son and I will be as close as you and your mother were. So tell me, Dan: What would Judy Savage do?
You willingly sent your man-child with acknowledged cognitive difficulties to college and you are worried about his cam whoring and not the fact that he is drinking, smoking, and getting high all the time? Are you fucking stupid?
I know those are all "part of the college experience" (which to me is bullshit) for most people, but it sounds like you are enabling a future alcoholic. Yeah yeah, a lot of girls strip to get through university or do other unsavory things. But doing it because they need beer money is a different matter.
I'd say get some of his friends to do an intervention, but it seems like he doesn't have any. Looks like you might be SOL on this one. Other than cutting off his education money, forcing him into selling himself more online.
I'd look into getting parenting classes and a time machine.