Head Games in Bed: The Decidedly Unsexy Kind
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE
Good sex really doesn’t come to those who wait.
By Eugene S. Robinson
Keeping Your Hands to Yourself
EUGENE, SIR: We’ve gotten into kind of a weird argument. I like oral sex, and have over the past year of my relationship with “Jeff.” But recently he’s started to hold my head, which started feeling weird to me, like power-weird. So I pushed his hands off this last time. And he put them back on. Then I pushed them off again, and next thing I know we’re both screaming at each other. His general attitude is that I’m crazy blah-blah-blah, that I’m overreacting, and really I don’t think I am. I mean, is it that big of a deal as a man to let your hands just hang at your sides? I’m asking you! —Don’t Touch the Hair
Dear Fright Wig: It’s funny how some things that aren’t things can suddenly become things on account of their ability to quickly and with a violent certainty turn into things. These things are super dangerous since, as you’re discovering, you can’t plan for them with any degree of effectiveness. So there you are: naked and in the midst of a thing. In your instance, maybe the placement of his hands on your head, insofar as it might deviate from your pre-established rhythm, might suggest that you somehow are doing it “wrong.” You take umbrage at the suggestion, don’t want to acknowledge that that’s what it IS suggesting, and when you remove them, and he replaces them, you replace this reason with a more political and therefore possibly unassailable one: It’s a POWER thing.
From his point of view, maybe his hands were stray, or maybe they were part of some sort of inner dominance narrative. A narrative that included a suggestion that, yes, you were indeed doing it “wrong.” This would not have to mean in a real-world setting that you really WERE doing it wrong. In fact, usually a sign of doing something incorrectly is that no one ever wants you to do it again. Like no one is asking the Red Hot Chili Peppers to make another record, are they? I … wait … I digress. The point is, this doesn’t have to come from a dark place even if it comes from a “dark” place.
But there is a rule and he’s broken that — and the stuff that doesn’t feel cool enough to your partner to not lead from sex to an argument should be stopped. So now that this has become a thing, the difficulty is getting back to the cool kind of sex. Hard, as long as you two are pissed, and you’re probably going to keep being pissed unless someone plays the adult. I don’t say you should do this. I do say that you should do this if you want to keep your relationship alive. Which raises a deeper question: Why keep alive that which needs help staying alive? But breaking up over this seems a little misguided. So do what your soul says. And what you can live with.
Having a Headache … Forever
EUGENE, SIR: Sixteen years of marriage, and I am bored to tears in bed. Yeah, kids make it tough, but even if we went away alone together, the idea of him touching me seems ugh. I love him as a husband; I think he still wants to have sex — but I can’t see myself doing it. I am OK with him having sex with others, but I don’t want to risk him leaving. People always talk about how women age, but what about men? I’ve never had even one sexual fantasy that has bald, slightly overweight men who talk a lot about basketball in it, and I never will. So what now? —MT
Dear Music Television: What now? Now you breathe deeply and fully of what we in the profession like to call REALITY. It’s everywhere, like air or bad music (see above re: the Red Hot Chili Peppers). The issue is not so much that reality is there; the issue is what you do with the reality that is there. I am going to tell you what no one else will tell you, expect perhaps that friend your husband hates you to hang out with: You could have an affair.
Not because it will fix things, since it won’t. I mean, it’s not like it will make your husband thin and less bald. But the affair could either clue you in to the fact that it’s exhausting having an affair, since looking great for your lover and then ratcheting it down for your husband could give you the bends — you know, that thing when you’re diving and you come up to the surface too fast. It’s also no guarantee of future success, since the person you’re having the affair with might also like basketball. Lots and lots of basketball.
Another part of reality is that stasis feels bad, as it suggests you’re going nowhere. Which makes you look around for reasons why. It’s not his fault and it’s not your fault; it’s really none of our faults that TIME is a monster and in the end chews us all up. Make a friend of time, and as long as everyone is trying just a little bit? Things can all get more miserable more slowly. And, yes, that’s a good thing.
The Gay Ray
EUGENE, SIR: Why are straight guys so nervous about homosexuality? —Grant
Dear G-Man: Straight guys who are nervous about their heterosexuality are nervous about homosexuality. The laws of attraction seem to suggest, at least to me, that you like what you like, and being dishonest about it benefits no one, least of all the people swept up in the wake of secrets kept. Nope. Guys who are concerned about the fluid nature of human sexuality that might have them having same-sex attractions need to relax and remember what Einstein said, and I am paraphrasing here: The universe doesn’t give a rat’s ass about you and your problems. Given that that IS the case, my suggestion is that everyone relax a bit and enjoy themselves doing that which doesn’t make them nervous, and that they be nervous about a whole lot less, since, unless you’re in prison, most of your time is spent in pursuit of the voluntary. And if you have penis in your future? Why fight it? It is what it is. No one worth a damn is judging you for this. Now if you want to be nervous about something? Try suicidal pilots. Now THAT’S a worthy anxiety to have.