Why you should care
OZY’s Eugene S. Robinson addresses queries from the love-weary in “Sex With Eugene.”
When an Affair’s Not an Affair
EUGENE, SIR: Two of my kids are in a very close-knit school community. At one of the back-to-school events, I started talking to one of the dads and out of the blue he said something about living a double life. This caught my ear, since I have felt this way since high school. I said so and started telling him about fantasies I have had about being dominated. He said he was talking about the fact that he was bored at school events. I felt embarrassed, but I felt like my secret was safe with him. But since then in every communication with him (we are on the parent-teacher council), he has worked me. First he had me wear no underwear. Then he had me drop things and bend over in meetings to pick them up. After 18 years of marriage, I think I needed this. His wife, however, saw something on his phone and is now insisting that we talk it out. Not sure if she means just me or me and my husband. This is totally unnecessary. How do I convince her of this, that nothing happened and that I will stop and she shouldn’t make a thing about it? —Accidents Happen
Dear Accidental Tourist: Nothing happened, and that nothing won’t happen again? And she should walk away since there’s nothing to see here, besides which, if there IS something to see here, it’s really nothing?
Listen: There are things as they are and things as we wish they would be. In the long run, it will pay to know the difference between the two. Especially since, in this instance, what happened is you all got busted. Plain. Not so simple.
An affair doesn’t always have to do with hotel rooms and actual rutting but more about just the sharing of intimate space. Which you two have done, and no legalistic argument about “nothing really happening” will impress anyone. I would predict if you try to sell the wife on this, you will just make her angry(ier).
Your best bet would be to meet with her alone and totally disclose everything — the cheating equivalent of throwing yourself on the mercy of the court. She may have uncovered something about her husband that had been heretofore unknown by her. In which case, this would just be a fact-finding mission.
OR she could just be trying to gauge if you’re a continued threat. Or both.
Your goal? To prevent your husband from having to deal with this in a public forum that’s much closer to a lawyer’s office than it is a bedroom, if you get me.
You all are going to have to see each other again at school events, I would imagine. So it’d be much nicer to play nice. And from your end, if you’re learning something new about your tastes and interests? Maybe share them with the man you share your bed with. Who knows? It could lead to some underwear-free goodness.
What the Rector Saw
EUGENE, SIR: I am having a problem with porn. Is there a way I can rewire my head so I’m not taking risks by watching it in the supermarket, during traffic stops (where I have been driving badly because I was watching it while I drove) and just this past weekend at a baptism in church? I’m not going to go to a meeting for this (our town is too small), but you know … putting the phone down would be good for me, I think. —Name withheld by request
Dear Mr. Peepers: You think? Look, while the American Psychiatric Association doesn’t seem to believe that porn addiction is a real thing, I’m going to choose to believe that uncontrollable compulsions are a real thing. Yours happens to be to porn, but the Kinsey folks did a survey almost 20 years ago, when internet porn was starting to be a thing to study, and found that 9 percent of people who view porn, like you, can’t stop.
Arguing about whether it’s a compulsion or an addiction is pointless. What’s happening in your brain is similar to what happens in the brains of substance addicts. So looking to rewire your brain is smart. And before you get to that, there are hard fixes. Get a flip phone, anti-porn software and/or delete porny bookmarks.
There are also softer but ultimately more invasive fixes: therapy and pills. But you’d have to out yourself for these. So maybe try the first few first and then see what happens. Until then? Stay away from triggers and try to do something else to relax or medicate. Good luck.
For Large Penises Only
EUGENE, SIR: I have read you for the past 12 months but just recently found my way to a large penis. So for all of the men who are writing to you about whether their penises are large enough, or that they want it bigger or any of the half a dozen penis obsessions you have shared with us, I would say that men with large penises can be crap in bed too. That is all. —Sue
Dear Sue Tonius: You can drive a Ferrari badly, you could smear the most expensive caviar on Doritos, and yes, you may poorly use a penis that’s larger than average and be remembered for doing precisely that. The point, delivered not so inelegantly by you, is that there’s a BIG difference between having it and knowing how to use it. I’d even go on to make the claim that overemphasis on size has created a situation where some men who have are prone to get lazy on the getting adept at knowing how to use it. So thanks for the PSA. Here’s hoping it helps.