How Sexy Does Satan Make You?
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE
Because there's a lot of complexity behind something as simple as sex.
By Eugene S. Robinson
Top of the Ma, World!
EUGENE, SIR: Getting this out of the way, I’ll say that the affair was not the problem. He was acting the fool and, well, I could have sat at home or have done what I did. He also knew I’ve been with women too. So no surprise there. But his mother had him when she was 18, so my mother-in-law is not really that old, and she was such a good ear to turn to over our problems that I can honestly say that what happened wasn’t planned. But OK, my mother-in-law (she’s divorced now if that makes a difference) and I had an affair. Not an affair really, it was just one night, but still … she believes honesty is the best policy and wants to confess just to “get things out in the open.” I think this is a mistake. But I also realize that if I conceal this, it could be a weapon that gets turned against me. So what do I do? — TIFU
Dear Yes You Did: Just to “get things out in the open”?! Is there a more blood-curdling phrase in the history of blood-curdling phrases? That’s almost one of those phrases where it’s perfectly excusable to, on hearing it, begin running. Anywhere. But most specifically, outside the blast zone.
Which is right where you are now. I understand the benefits of all of this unremitting honesty, but I think in the fullness of time I’ve realized that it’s not always the truest thing said that honesty is the best policy. Sometimes honesty is just a shit-stirrers’ way of saying, “it’s PARTY time!”
But let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves now. I’m not even going to get close to advising you to lie. I’m just giving a nod to the fact that I understand the temptation to do so.
Realistically though, this Damocles sword swinging over your head absolutely will not let you move through your future unencumbered. And yes, it’s a hell of a cudgel for someone else to have their hands on. So take it away. Let her tell her son.
This might bring your already damaged relationship to a screeching halt, but the bed that you were in was the bed that he created and the boundary-stepping was owned by his Ma Barker, so choose instead to shine big air-raid lights on just what kind of craziness has been afoot and let the chips fall where they may.
He leaves? Problem solved. He stays? You live on but not under her thumb. Sure, Thanksgiving might be kind of chilly, but you were a semi-passive participant in some generational weirdness that really has very little to do with you methinks.
Good luck with all of that. You’re going to need it … oy yoi yoi ….
Sex With Satan
EUGENE, SIR: He was cute, sexy and quirky, and I’m an atheist myself so don’t care about his whole satanist thing, but it’s starting to feel intrusive. How do I communicate that it’s starting to seem a little like Christianity just with a little more kink? I’ve dropped hints before and he’s laughed it off as “vanilla” but … it feels like a play with no intermission. Is it? — Name withheld by request
Dear Rosemary Woodhouse: You’re right. Satan has very little to do with it, it seems. If he were heavily into Hamilton or, say, community theater or stamp collecting, to the exclusion of other stuff, and every act of coitus had to be accompanied by the rights and rituals familiar to many fans of suburban supper theater, you might have an actionable cause of complaint.
I’ll go one further: It’s also distancing. Which is why theater happens in a theater and not usually in what you call “real life.”
And here’s the mic-drop dictum: Every kink not shared by someone with a similar kink is just utter tedium in the long run. He likes to dress like a pirate and wants you to dress like Tinkerbell? This only works if you’re digging on Tinkerbell. Otherwise it feels like what it is: slightly ridiculous. Unless that’s your thing. So clearly Satan is pushing some sexy buttons for him but is doing nothing for you. That is not going to get better, and while him deriding you as “vanilla” is a last-ditch effort to keep the dream alive, the dream is clearly dead.
Don’t believe me? Try telling him that the whole Judeo-Christian counter to Abrahamic ideation of evil overlords that want us to screw in order to screw us up is about as interesting to you as hot air ballooning. LESS even. Yeah yeah, say that: It’s LESS interesting than hot air ballooning.
Let that sink in for a bit while you pack your stuff. Unless he was really good in bed. Then you should probably wait a bit.
If Your Sex Worker Says It Is So
EUGENE, SIR: My sex worker (at this point I’ve been going to her for the last year, pre-COVID at least) who I started going to because of penis (size) issues suggested that I just start pre-announcing this to potential sex partners. This seems like starting off on the wrong foot. Yeah? — Truth in Advertising
Dear Truth in Agonizing: It certainly removes it as a preoccupation and continuing object of concern. It is what it is. You know that, and early on whatever partner you’re posted up against knows that too. You can have a perfectly good first date and can go your separate ways without anyone being hurt, and you can get to someone for whom that’s not a concern that much quicker.
On the OTHER hand, it’s a pretty crafty ploy to begin talking about sex on the first date, which is really some pro-playbook schtuff. You’re talking about sex on the first date and you’re unburdening yourself. Seems like the best of both worlds. See? The truth can set you free!