Swap, 50 Shades of Shite + Cousin Confusion
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE
Because trusting you with your sex life is like trusting you with a tank: dangerous and possibly ill-advised.
By Eugene S. Robinson
Cake + Eating It Too
EUGENE, SIR: We share a townhouse with another couple. Thin walls and all, we’ve been graced with being within earshot of their frequent sex. Of course, seeing how happy they were to see us, we realized that we weren’t the only ones who were listening. So, I like her and I like him and my boyfriend likes her, but — and here’s the problem — he doesn’t care for the other guy at all. But I’ve been thinking about it. A lot. I know I shouldn’t talk him into things he doesn’t want to do. But my boyfriend isn’t bi, so who cares whether he likes the guy or not? —Giving Me a Break
Dear Um, Yeah:
You know I’ve never been very big on the relationship precepts of “sacrifice” and “compromise.” They seemed like crap words for crap people in, you got it, crap relationships. It always seemed that even a good relationship should be quicksilver and change with the circumstances. Adapting. Evolving. And if you wanted to decamp with another couple, or even just you and the woman alone? Your boyfriend should just suck it up and deal. Perhaps even do some push-ups or some other feat of manly strength.
Then I woke up.
To? To the reality that on any other place other than Planet Eugene, real people check the weights and balances of wants and desires against needs and must-haves and make decisions accordingly, hoping for the best. Which is to say that you can hold the line on what’s clearly going to be a threesome, whether or not your boyfriend shows up, but his participating like he was stuck in Abu Ghraib would suck. As would his not showing up and listening through the wall.
Or you can let this one go. I mean, it’s not like he’s opposed to the idea in total. He’s OK with it. He just doesn’t like the guy, for whatever reason. As part of a couple who are supposed to care about each other, you need to realize that this other pair are, at this point in time, no more or less than playthings with whom the two of you can act out. If he doesn’t like the guy (that is, the guy getting down with you), well, I think I’d give him that one, with the proviso: “OK, well, you find us some people then.”
The danger in this? That he chooses people you will not like. Which is precisely why, for this kind of play, amateurs need not apply. But because everyone is an amateur at some point, go slow, be considerate and probably find a couple slightly less attractive than you two, so no one in your house gets nervous or freaked. This should work. I mean I, um, have heard.
50 Not-So-Nifty Shades of Stupid
EUGENE, SIR: Very glad Fifty Shades of Grey made so much money this past weekend. So glad that the vast vanilla conspiracy to make everything boring is still working. Better than ever, even. But here’s a footnote for tourists: This is to BDSM what Superman is to flight. — Clare
We got it. Superman doesn’t really fly with the aid of a red cape; is that what you’re trying to say? Or are you saying that you discovered bondage, discipline, sadism and masochism as fields of sex play? All by yourself? Or that you hold the patent to fairly vapid Hollywood dramas about rich guys who like to abuse the help?
If so, you must consider yourself — in addition to smart, perceptive, fortunate and soon-to-be-rich — insufferable. Because those of us who now know Fifty Shades is shit don’t care, and those who didn’t know will go right on not knowing … but thanks for the input. In a country where opinion is an epidemic, as is the sense that everyone’s counts, yours is more than welcome. As a cautionary tale, hahaha …
EUGENE, SIR: I went off to college. Was working my crap college job, delivering pizzas. Start delivering them to a woman who was a few years older than me. Three pizzas in, I asked her out. Only to discover on the first date that we’re cousins. Her father is my great-grandmother’s brother, but I hadn’t seen her since I was 5. Now I feel all kinds of creepy and weird. We’ve kept talking because we’re family (ugh), but it’s still feeling like a dating thing. I can’t stop talking to her. I can’t talk about the dating thing we had done. What the hell? Advice of any kind, please. —BD
Dear That’s What Makes It All Right:
Relax. Unless she has a gun and a reason to use it, you’re probably fine. This story is about mild discomfort, and if you think mild discomfort is too mild to describe what you’re feeling, try to imagine what it would have felt like if youse had gone to bed together or something. To quote people under 18: OMG.
My sense is that humor is a great diffuser. Put the “silliness” on Front Street. Talk about it at the next family get-together. Get it all out in the open. And, oh yeah, don’t spend any time alone with her until your obvious feelings of attraction pass into familial familiarity and you’re both guaranteed to not do something that’s going to get you into someone’s news feed under OH, THAT FLORIDA.
Photography by Shutterstock