Why you should care
OZY’s Eugene S. Robinson addresses queries from the love-weary in “Sex With Eugene.”
Fighting the Law
EUGENE, SIR: You are kind of an ethicist, it seems, and so I’ll ask: If you discovered an adult was having consensual sex with a 17-year-old do you believe you have an obligation to turn the adult in to the police? — Name withheld by request
Dear Mssr. Nabokov: I can feel the collective readership drawing up chairs and settling in for a potential garbage fire of an answer. However, I think I will disappoint (once again), because the reality is that the truest answer of all is the one recognized, in general, by the law itself and it is: It depends.
If you are under 18, the legal age of consent in many places, and you are having sex with someone else under the age of 18, you are viewed very differently than if you were 60 years old and having sex with a 15-year-old. David Thorstad, founding member of the North American Man/Boy Love Association (NAMBLA), has been quoted as saying that there isn’t a boy in America right now who “doesn’t need a blow job,” but the veracity of that statement, as with many other things, largely depends on the big questions: who, where, when, why and how?
The law does seem to hold, though, that when someone who’s too young to be able to give informed consent has sex with someone over the age of 18 — aka “someone who should know better” — the older person has broken the law.
Now, to your question: With the law broken, is there an obligation to turn the offender in?
When laws are broken, it’s our collective duty as citizens to keep them from continuing to be broken. But in the vast chasm that exists between, say, murder and jaywalking, you have to decide which laws you can live with not opposing or aiding and abetting and which laws you cannot.
So, yes, I believe there is an obligation to report. Does that mean we should report all of the people we had sex with who were over 18 when we were under 18? Well … that depends.
Hope that cleared things up for you!
‘Multiple’ Means More Than One, Right?
EUGENE, SIR: My lover is great and I’ve been satisfied every time we’ve had sex. While I know that it takes time for him to be ready to go again, I’m worried that he doesn’t even try. I can have more than one orgasm, and have had multiple orgasms with other lovers, so how do I get this across without seeming ungrateful? — Ms. Don’t Stop at Go
Dear Floor It: I am not a woman, but I can imagine quite a few things that would scream, “No mandatory one count here, sailor!” I believe that while communication is paramount, there are many ways to communicate, and one of the more effective ones is by showing, not just telling. You’re more likely to have greater success with that approach since the show engages your audience, while the tell just gives them something else to do.
So if you want to get back on the board? Stay on the court. Want another volley? Grab more balls. And, finally, for a sports analogy trifecta: If you want another birdie, keep swinging. That should do it. Good luck!
Are Tricks Treats?
EUGENE, SIR: My wife and I talked about getting a third in for a long time. I know my wife’s taste and so I found someone perfect, someone who is a professional. I had her come to a party given by friends that was at a restaurant, so it was easy for her to blend in. My plan worked and the three of us ended up at a nearby hotel, where a great time was had by all. Then the credit card bill came and my wife figured out that I had hired the woman and all hell broke loose. Now she’s demanding we get tested for STDs and is talking about moving out because she doesn’t think what I did was cool. But how does what I did change the fact that we had a great time? — WG
Dear Warren G. Harding: Oh, man. I think you’re likely to get roasted in the comments section here, but the reality is that while you’re talking macro — yes, it seems the three of you had a great time even if one of you was paid to do so — in a close interpersonal relationship it’s often more about the micro. I mean, if you and your wife talked in great detail about this fantasy prior to embarking on it, why would you think she’d suddenly be less interested in how it played out when it came to hiring a sex worker?
Also, unless you had dental dams handy (and just to be clear, I’m in the industry and I have never, ever, EVER seen one in action), your wife was engaging in oral sex with a stranger.
Now, I know you’ll say that this would have been the case even if the woman hadn’t been a sex worker, but this is not about sex worker health issues and more about the risk-reward analysis your wife did prior, with the belief that you were both calculating similarly, watching out for each other and choosing to have sex with a woman who was not in fact someone who has a lot of sex for cash.
This is not a philosophy or taste issue, and your wife isn’t being fussy: You employed trickery for gain, and with someone you are honor-bound to consider part of an us and not a them. So, you blew it. Apologize and try to fix what clearly needs to be fixed. If you can.