Busted: What to Do When Mom's Having an Affair - OZY | A Modern Media Company

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OZY’s Eugene S. Robinson addresses queries from the love-weary in “Sex With Eugene.”

By Eugene S. Robinson

Mommie Dearest

EUGENE, SIR: I’m in grad school and this last visit home for Thanksgiving my mother asked me to help her with some computer stuff. She’s asked me before and I’m a computer person so it makes sense, and I was glad to help. I wasn’t so glad to find pretty definite proof that she’s having an affair. She and my father are still married, happily, I thought, and have been for almost 30 years. I fixed her computer and said nothing, but if she was a friend I’d say something, and she is my friend. But so is my father. It feels totally shitty to be saddled with this. But even scarier when I think about what I’m supposed to do here. Ideas? — Daughter In Distress 

Dear Diddy: You know what the key to good dental health is? Minding your own business is generally a good way to avoid getting punched in the mouth. But it’s an even better way to make it through the remainder of the holidays this year sans crying, smashed crockery and extended stays for one or both of them at your local Y. The reality is we have private lives for a reason and having relinquished quite a bit just to be parents — yeah, yeah, it was their choice, but you know what I mean. Who are those who have been parented to begrudge them whatever bit of happiness they can scrape up in whatever time they have left? Which is my way of saying that human relationships are complex, and there’s a whole iceberg under the tip of “Mom” and “Dad” that you haven’t been made privy to, don’t know and probably really don’t want to think about. 

So I think I’m going to have to advise looking the other way here. It may be hard. Just because of that all-too-human need to confess, but maybe consider this your confession and continue like … it never happened. Sort of the way they did when they caught you doing stuff when you were a kid.

 

The Strictures of Smut Mouthery

EUGENE, SIR: What does “talking dirty” mean? On two separate occasions, I thought I was talking dirty to guys, but then they either:

1. Laughed at me, or … 

2. Said later that “You don’t really talk dirty.”

I thought any explicit conversations with ample innuendos was dirty talk. Like, a guy told me to talk dirty to him on FaceTime video, and so I said something like, “Remember when I was riding you and you had your hands on my ass? That shit turns me on.”

He laughed at me. HALP! — Cassie

Dear Classy: There are lots of ways to express discomfort, many of them in the face of true discomfort, totally involuntary. People laugh when they get nervous and sometimes they get nervous when they get uncomfortable. This doesn’t mean “it’s not YOU … it’s THEM.” But it just sets the game plan for where we’re taking this thing. Which is, specifically, to smut land, the place where the key to anything effectively sexy is how wholly it inhabits the realm of the organic. By which I mean how close it is to whoever you really are.

So if someone asks in the middle of sex to be called “a dirty whore,” it’s my belief that they are not so wedded to being publicly identified as a sex worker lacking in hygiene. No, it’s my belief that they are setting the table for an event wherein you needed to know that transgression would very much be part of what was on the erotic menu. 

At that point, if your kinks converge? Everyone goes home happy. In your case what they’re asking for is twofold though. They’re asking you to cut loose (which is good) and they could also be asking you to talk some slop they saw in a porn (that lacks imagination). Which, just for the record, usually conforms to whatever the filmmakers think people will think is sexy. It’s meta I know but true. 

So what to do? Pull a page from the book of Yoda and don’t try, just do. And only if you want to. And how? Specifically address what you want them to do to/for you (excluding things like lawn mowing, house painting, marrying). The more truthful you are, the hotter it might be. Unless you overthink it like it seems you have been. Then you’d be back to square one. But barring that? Give it a try — but only IF you want.

There’s No “I” in Threesome 

EUGENE, SIR: My wife told me she wants me and her and another woman in bed. She loves me and wants me to have that experience during my lifetime. She’s 30 and I’m 50, and we have a great sex life. She’s very straight and so am I. She doesn’t want the other woman to touch her. She doesn’t feel comfortable with that. So I suggested we have an MFM threesome and she agreed. We laid down certain conditions for the other man and I found someone who’s willing to participate. He’s the same age as my wife. I’m very into the idea, but I’m scared my wife will get too into it and I’ll get jealous. So I keep putting it off. Do you think this is good for our relationship? Do you think my wife will enjoy the other person just like me? Will she continue to be faithful to me? She said she is doing it out of love for me and only if I want it. We see it as a fun one-time thing and my wife also tells me that she still will like to see me in bed with her and another woman in the future. Please advise. — Soo

Dear Boo Coo Soo: Your questions? They warm the cockles of my heart since it seems my advice is being followed and you’re taking this as seriously as it should be taken and preparing yourself for seeing what you had previously only imagined and trying to walk yourself through it now without killing anyone later. All admirable qualities even if — and this is important — nothing will prepare you for what it’s like when it really happens. You will feel all the things you’re fearing you’re going to feel, but if it helps any, and that’s what I’m here for, these feelings are fleeting. The reality is she doesn’t need to be honest about sexual contact outside of your marriage to have sexual contact outside of your marriage. So compartmentalizing into a “one-time thing” helps set a boundary and all the rest of it is foreplay up to the moment when all three of you are there and you realize that while bodies may be fungible, a relationship strong enough to absorb this is not really. 

Which is to say, if you can pull this off without total collapse under the weight of all of the wild, cool, maybe bad feelings you’ll both be having, it might be an experience well worth having had. Of course, it could also end your marriage. But so could anything else.

But my one bit of advice? Stick to the plan. Have the other woman come in before you have the man come in. It may be just as intense but you are probably less likely to want to kill someone. You can thank me later. Good luck.

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