Surviving a Conference Call Sex Mishap - 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

The Curse of the Quarantine

EUGENE, SIR: Goddamn it. Working from home, where I’m “sheltering in place,” sucks. It’s shitty and stupid and because I don’t have to keep track of my phone at work, I didn’t do it at home, and now I’m having to answer questions about texts from a friend. Spending my time arguing about whether or not men and women can really be friends is not my idea of a good time. But the argument fell to a single point. Do you or should you totally disclose every contact you have with the opposite sex by way of “normal” relationship hygiene? I’m not cheating on my woman and I think it’s weird to have to act like I will, always. I think we’re all stressed, but perspective is needed. So, help. —20 Texts Too Much?

Dear If One Is Not Enough, 1,000 Can’t Be Too Many: You do know that vigorous protests and denials, despite their desired effect, end up doing exactly the opposite of what you desire, don’t you? Don’t believe me? Try breaking off with “I’M NOT CRAZY” just about anywhere and let us know how that works for you.

Don’t ask me how I know, but I know: It doesn’t work well at all.

Likewise, if you asked me how much rat poison I’ve eaten today, my response would in great likelihood be casually dismissive, because? Because I have not eaten ANY rat poison and any contention that I had is not worthy of deeper or fuller consideration.

So … not guilty of eating rat poison. You, however? Sound very guilty.

Now, I’m no judge and this is no court, so there’s no interest in your actual guilt or innocence, but the reality is if Ann Coulter sent you 20 texts there’d not be much discussion about Ann Coulter’s intentions or your interest in Ann Coulter unless … well, you know what? Even this would warrant comment.

I guess men, in displaying colossally consistent bad judgment throughout the ages, sort of justify the extra scrutiny. You ask if her concern and desire for safeguarding measures is part of “normal” relationship hygiene? I don’t know. But you know who might? Let’s try Woody Allen. Or Bill Clinton. Or Donald Trump. You get the point.

You want to make it through the quarantine? Disclose until you can disclose no more. We’ve earned it!

I’m pretty sure screwing during a meeting is grounds for something other than an orgasm.

Conference Call Cock-Up

EUGENE, SIR: My meeting was late in the day, and actually even later since I’m in New York and it was a West Coast call. I went off video but left my mic open by accident. I’m not very loud and we hadn’t gotten very far before someone had called my name and I realized I was live, but … now do I apologize for having sex during a meeting or just hope that the few moans I made might get chalked up to something else? —Ugh

Dear Ms. Ugh: It’s strange times we live in. Call it coronavirus craziness or COVID cabin fever, but presently we’re all having to make accommodations for things and situations that are far outside of our standard largely on account of the unknown threats by known assailants. So certain leeway should be hoped for and, in some cases, granted.

However, unless the meeting was a multi-hour extravaganza of time wastage, I don’t think it’s too much to ask to try to hold it together. Regardless of how hot your finagler was. Because, if you think your coworkers don’t also want to be macking instead of meeting, you might be wrong.

But you didn’t come to me for a lecture or a stern tongue-lashing. You came to me for advice, specifically regarding whether or not to own up to your public missteps or just hope it blows over.

This is tricky.

If you say nothing, thereby putting the onus of a response on management, they might be glad to respond first. And that first response? Might be the last one as you’re shown the door. You should talk to an employment lawyer, but I’m pretty sure screwing during a meeting is grounds for something other than an orgasm.

But if you say something, does that make you less of a screwup and more responsible because you chose to own your own irresponsibility? And what would you say and how would you say it?

Famous American poet Allen Ginsberg once said to me, “Eugene … if you have the choice between two things? Take both.” So it is that I say apologize to the people who could fire you, but apologize with a lot of much-less-specific, and therefore embarrassing, nonspecifics.

Modern technology makes this easier than it might seem. “Sorry for my screwy connection today” might work. Try it. And if it doesn’t? Lesson learned. Something I’d hope would be the case anyway. Good luck.

COVID-19 Fueled Sex Camming

EUGENE, SIR: Stuck at home but still needing to make money, do you have a sense of how sexual I’d have to make a camming venture? Is it possible people would pay just to watch me talk? I need to eat and can’t wait for politicians to figure it out. —Name withheld by request

Dear Ma Bell: If you ever watched OZY Confidential, you’d hear a podcast that covered it all but specifically in this instance, an interview with Susan Burley, a 50-plus-year-old sex cammer (and burlesque queen). One thing she said that stuck with me was that sex cam work was almost always less about the sexual than it was the people (and who are we kidding? No sex cammer I’ve EVER known has ever had other women as clients, so we should really just say “men”), and new people always pulled more.

Add that to when a famous porn star told me in an interview that she never gave money to the homeless because “there isn’t one person in America who someone wouldn’t pay to see stick something in them,” and I’ve come to the conclusion that fools and their money are soon parted.

Just to watch you pay bills and talk and do stuff that’s nonsexual? Sure, why not?

Podcaster Joe Rogan made $30 million podcasting last year and the next time he does something sexual to make it will probably be the first.

Set it up, give it a name that plays on precisely what it is — “The Sexiest Non-Sex Cam Show” — and see what happens. Might help, can’t hurt. But I’m no lawyer. Or potential future employer.

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