Why you should care
Because no one else will outside of the person you’re sleeping with — and not even them if you keep this up!
You have sexy questions? Eugene has sexy answers. Write. Now: Eugene@ozy.com
EUGENE, SIR: Sex question: I have slept with 120 men. Does this make me a whore? — Josefine Rännbäck
Dear JoRa: Taking money for having sex with 120 men makes you a whore. Doing it for free makes you “busy.” Nothing wrong with being busy. I mean outside of the usual medically indicated concerns about HIV/AIDS, herpes, syphilis (which is apparently making a comeback) and everything else brought up by modern medicine and thought up by people whose calling in life seems to be the roaching of other people’s buzzes.
However, that’s not the real issue ever/only, right? The real issue is, if you agree that it doesn’t make you a whore, does that also mean it’s a first-date share? Well, on the one hand, anyone who could roll with this as a first-date share is probably a keeper. On the other hand, most who could roll with this as a first-date share are probably also remembering back to when they were still in triple digits and wondering if 1,000 partners makes them a whore.
If it’s any consolation at all, though, everyone reading this now will be dead in 100 years. Hope that helps!
EUGENE, SIR: We’ve been arguing over this for days, and it boils down to this: I say cheating is a deeds issue. He says cheating is a mental one. So, in other words, if I’m thinking another man is hot, I might as well be having sex with him. We’re trying, at his instigation, to do this total-truth thing. For example, if we’re eating at a restaurant and he asks me if I think the waiter is hot, I have agreed to answer in truth — which has led to more arguments. We’re both 27. Does this make any sense? — Pat
Dear Pat Answer: Not really. Because somewhere on planet Earth there are real people living real lives who have absolutely no time at all to deal with high-level chess calculations with regard to their relationships as they’re struggling with rent, jobs, kids, sickness, failure and all the other earmarks of adult living. But good for you two that you have the luxury of time and interest in playing what seems to be a parlor game.
And you’ll have to excuse what might seem to be me scolding you. I am not. I am just putting it into context, especially since that seems to be precisely what you’ve asked for. The reality of it is that we’re talking about the differences here between truth and honesty. Everyone seems to get hung up on truth. Maybe because of Plato. Maybe because the failed measurements that crop up when people fail to tell the truth are so noteworthy.
But I’m going to take a flier here and say that I think most people think they care about truth, when in fact what they really care about is HONESTY. There are honestly dozens of reasons why you’re not going to screw that aforementioned waiter. The truth portion, that you find him attractive enough to consider it, is a subset of the greater honesty issue: that you’re never going to bone the waiter.
So getting hung up on subsets is a waste of time. Forest, trees and all that. Cheating is in deeds. Not completely, but mostly. But that which goes on in your mind? Is you putting the little pieces together that help you choose the deeds that will most help and withholding these from a partner is not an aberration. It’s what we call normal.
Small caution, though: Sometimes deeds follow thoughts really rather quickly. Like REALLY quickly. Like superfast quick. Like, well, I think, you get my drift. And probably so does your man.
Some Velvet Morning
EUGENE, SIR: I had an affair with a friend of my husband’s. My husband and I had been together for eight years; things had slowed. I didn’t think his friend was interested, but he kept dropping hints. Weird hints. Sort of S&M. I guess he had seen it in me, but we spent a year in this affair. It ended. No fireworks, so no typical stupid suburban problem. Outside of the fact that now that I know I like it like this, how do I get my husband on board without arousing suspicion? I mean we used to laugh at his friend “Jim’s” wild sex stories. — Name withheld by request
Dear When the Laughter Stops: The grass is always greener on the other side, eh? Then when you get back to your side and realize, “Man, that grass on the other side really WAS greener,” it gets harder to make peace with your dusty patch of soil and there’s nothing left to do but Sex With Eugene. I got you. Which is actually, probably the end of the good news here.
Because realistically speaking when Thomas Wolfe said “you can’t go home again,” I don’t think he was talking about you, but he may have. All is not lost, though, and other, more optimistic characters might convince you that with gentle prodding, encouragement and support, your husband might get up to speed in a year or two. Just about the time that you realize hand-holding him through this evolution is the LEAST sexy thing EVER.
No, sadly, this is one of the reasons affairs are discouraged. They either support the idea that you were in the right place in the first place and now you carry this burden of guilt OR they make it hard to go back. But in your specific case? Don’t tutor him through this. In the same way you don’t let the waiter guess what you want for dinner, just tell him you want to be tied up or whatever your poison is. In fact, you can use “Jim’s” “stories” as the basis for wanting to try something “new.” If he takes to it, you’ve dodged a bullet.
If he doesn’t? Write me back.