Am I Having Sex With a Serial Killer?
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE
Because the difference between living to see tomorrow and not is sometimes super slight.
By Eugene S. Robinson
If It Walks Like a Killer Duck…
EUGENE, SIR: We’ve got a great sex life. Over the past few years, we have started to indulge our fantasies. She really likes when I do what we call “playing dead.” So I lie very still and don’t move at all while she mounts me. We started this when we went to Tahoe to ski and I had come in from out in the snow and so I was cold. One night recently I’d taken an Ambien and she told me in the morning that she had mounted me in my sleep. So, yeah. I mentioned it to a friend and he said it sounded like serial killer shit. Before I bring it up, any ideas what’s going on? — How Scared Should I Be?
Dear You Only Live Once: The interesting thing about fantasies, almost always, is how they migrate. And how far they migrate. Some would question whether it’s really a migration at all and instead say that we baby-step our way up to what we can’t originally face that we want, or like.
In your instance, it seems like your powerlessness is an aphrodisiac. There could be practical reasons for this: She has a greater hand in determining coital rhythm or has to worry less about you since she is assuming that as long as you’re staying erect you’re still fundamentally aroused (side note: staying erect is not always a sign that you’re aroused).
However… the passed-out sex, the play-dead and be-cold sex? Sounds like some Karen Greenlee thing to me. For those not fond of clicking on links, Greenlee was a noted necrophiliac. She worked in a funeral home, and at one point while driving the hearse, instead of going to a funeral, she ran off with the corpse and left the grieving family aghast.
What was compelling about this, in general, was that, according to reports at the time, 9 out of 10 necrophiliacs are men. Ms. Greenlee was that rare 1 out of 10. Your partner might be part of that cohort. However, it should be remembered here that while this seems to be her fantasy, most of us try to manage our fantasies even if they become realities.
Which is to say: She is probably not planning to kill you. Probably.
As to your plan regarding bringing it up? I’d only do this if you were planning to also declare a moratorium on “playing dead” because it made you so uncomfortable that you couldn’t continue. If you can continue and it doesn’t bug you so much, why bother roaching someone else’s buzz?
The Family That Lays Together Stays, Wait, What?
EUGENE, SIR: I’m part of a recent-mothers club online. We talk about postpartum issues and so on. One of our members started talking about sex after childbirth. She said that sometimes her son wakes up when they are having sex, and one time she thought her husband was pulling her hair and looked and it was her son. Her son is a toddler. I don’t want to be judgmental or a prude, but this seems very wrong to me. Can you think of a gentle way to get this across? — Name withheld by request
Dear Um, No: People of limited economic means, those living in cramped conditions and/or who lived 600 years ago might have had different boundaries. Boundaries that dictate that having sex in front of someone else with eyes that were open was OK, especially if they were young enough to not be able to go too far. But today? If you’re not going to draw a boundary here and you live in a house with more than one room, where are you going to draw the boundary?
I’m no prude either, but I favor only having sex in front of people who are also having sex. Or who are adults who have paid to watch, at the very least. Because? Because they can choose to leave. An 18-month-old kid? Not capable of freely weighing the options and choosing not to participate.
Getting this across, though? How and where does this stop? Do you also have to tell them not to put plastic bags over their heads? Not to jam uncooked pasta into their eyes? Or put super glue in their hair?
Yeah, I guess so. So tell them that it’s your opinion that their son, who presumably they don’t show pornography to, would be a lot better off if not exposed to the building blocks of pornography.
EUGENE, SIR: If you got caught cheating by your husband of 11 years during a period when you and he were going through a rough patch, how long do you think it should take the average man to get over it? Eight months later, it’s still like it just happened. It wasn’t with someone we even have to see again, and in every other way we’re still getting along, including sexually, but I’m getting sick of the snide comments here and there. — Liliana S.
Dear Light Smoker: Two things here. One: You should, of course, be able to move on from this. And, two: He should able to complain about it as long as it bothers him. Kind of a paradox, but people process things at different paces and that’s just the way it is. However, there’s a difference between constructive complaining and irksome needling. What’s the difference? Well, the former you can do something about. The latter? Not so much.
Constructive complaining will also lessen over time. Irksome needling? That just goes on. And on. And on. And often precipitates other rough patches, which are causally connected to future infidelities.
So do some figuring, see what you can live with and proceed with caution.