Paying Prostitutes for NOT Having Sex?
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE
Because being stupid, broke and alone is something we can't condone.
By Eugene S. Robinson
WHAT THE BILLING STATEMENT SAID
EUGENE, SIR: In our town, restaurants are closed but strip clubs are open. So my husband of 12 years (no kids, by choice) and his friends decided to have a COVID boys’ night out and masked up, went to a local strip club where they serve food. I’m no prude and have been to the clubs with him before COVID and get it. He’s throwing single dollar bills so no big deal. But I just found a credit card charge that seemed high, and I called Visa and turns out he gave some woman $500. When I confronted him about it, the story had something to do with her trying to not do sex work and him feeling sorry and paying her. Now I am angry. He’s either lying and he slept with her, or he’s stupid and did not. I’m not going to get divorced over this. But justice-wise, he pays for this how? — Anne. And Feel Totally Free to Use My First and Last Name
Dear Anne of the Green Gables: As your husband declined to comment on this and was chagrined to even have heard from us, we won’t be using your last name. But I like the way you work: making a private shame a public one? Delicious.
However, while I too have a finely tuned sense of justice and balance — a lot like Charlie Bronson in the 1989 hardboiled cinema masterpiece Kinjite — I do, on occasion, question the actual benefits of Old Testament retribution. There’s no actually effective method of balancing the scales, and once you decide to not get divorced, you’re really just negotiating your way around feeling better. And like I’ve told many an angry person, if you think punching me, or in this case your husband, in the face is going to make your problems disappear? Go ahead.
But newsflash: It won’t.
Sadly, really stupid stuff can never be fixed. And trying, I think you will find, is emotionally dissatisfying and philosophically pointless. So do what the referee in the Mike Tyson vs. Evander Holyfield match did way back when and put him on notice: “If you ever feel like you need to show me how badly you can screw up, next time just come back and pack your bags too.”
Heavy-handed? Yes, but only in theory. Mostly though? Totally merciful.
IS THIS A PORNO PROBLEM?
EUGENE, SIR: My wife and I have been filming ourselves. It’s our kink, and the way we use it is to run what we had previously filmed while we’re playing later. I guess lots of couples do this. A friend of mine asked to see some of them though. I think he was joking and I thought it was funny, and so I mentioned it to my wife and she surprised me by saying, “Show it to him.” Is this mild exhibitionism? And by showing it, am I opening myself up for threesome action (something we’re not interested in)? Helpful nudge please. — Name withheld by request
Dear NKOTB: The wonderful thing about words is how completely and significantly they signal intent, desire and directions regarding future events as yet unknown. Wallace Stevens used to talk about the Man with the Blue Guitar, playing things as they are. And this is where you are now. Your friend asked to see. Your wife said to show. It’s simple. It’s no more or less an invitation than if you had not shown anything OR mentioned it so he knew to ask. You all are exploring kink, and that means experimenting with that which you’ve not experimented with before. Where it goes is where you all choose to have it go. But don’t bullshit yourselves about where this could go since it’s pretty clear at this point: It could anywhere. Or nowhere. It’s up to YOU all. Good luck.
LETTING THE PENIS AGE. GRACEFULLY.
EUGENE, SIR: In keeping with your advice column, I thought this might tickle you. I’m an acupuncture physician, an RN too, but acupuncture and Chinese medicine is my love. A few years ago this guy comes into the clinic complaining of a painful, burning rash. I look at it, on his back, and say it looks like the sequela of herpes simplex, i.e., shingles. He gets loud, stating emphatically that it can’t be shingles, as he had the vaccine. Well, I needle some points along those meridians on lower extremities. Gave him a topical to use for nerve pain and scheduled an appointment the following week.
He returns and starts hollering, “I’m not going to see you for three months and not get any help like the last guy I saw!” I let him vent, then tell him I would not treat him for three months without seeing a real difference, then I asked how the other doc “messed him up.” Erectile dysfunction is the answer. Joe was in his mid 70s, so E.D. is not surprising. But, I added some kidney yang tonifying to my treatment.
Week later, Joe is back, all smiles. Rash is 90 percent better, and re: other issue, he says, laughing loudly, “Can a guy get too potent?” Following week, rash is gone, I’m ready to graduate him. He wants one more treatment, re: other issue, “I’m your poster child, Cate.”
Next week, again, no return of rash; re: other issue, laughing so hard he is snorting. “Ask my wife!”
Fast-forward three or four months. Now I’m treating his wife. She is complaining of waking a lot during the night to void. I start explaining her kidney yang is deficient, and suddenly she jumps up and glares at me, “You did this to Joe!” I agree. She shakes her head and says, “Thanks a lot!” — Cate Bransfield
Dear Kiss Me Kate: Thanks for sharing. Once again, proof positive that with great power comes great responsibility. Well, that and the fact that there’s more to being good in bed than just being “potent.”