Why you should care
OZY’s Eugene S. Robinson addresses queries from the love-weary in “Sex With Eugene.”
What to Do When Your Lover Is a Felon
EUGENE, SIR: My partner and I have gone through a lot together over the past seven years. I just found out, sadly, that a few years back, he had an affair with someone at his job who worked for him and, yes, was younger. I assumed it was an affair, but as I have gently probed the person who told me, there have been whispers that not only wasn’t it an affair, but it may not have even been consensual. A lot to digest. I don’t need to know whether to stay or go as I think I’ve decided to go (we have no kids and we’re not married). My question is an ethical one though: Do I “turn him in,” whatever that means? The rumor is that he was drunk and she was passed out, and from what I know of him, I can believe this, but he also still drinks. Does this mean I should get authorities involved though? — Name withheld by request
Dear Non Conundrum: Crime is like fashion and, in the end, is totally taste-based. Which is to say, completely dependent on the cut of your jib. While people cross-offend, if you watch someone long enough, or if it is your job to do so, you’d find that people develop affinities for what they like. There are, for instance, serial killers who don’t rob banks and bank robbers who don’t commit arson.
But sex crimes? Well, sex can be compulsive, and so if one is not enough, frequently, a thousand is not too many. However it resolved itself, you seem to suggest that your partner’s problem is not a sex crime — even if I think what he did fits the definition of a sex crime — but alcohol. And based on your decision to leave, I think the calculation you’ve made is if he drinks again, who knows what he will do?
If you say nothing and he re-offends, you’ll feel terrible, but if you say something and he wouldn’t have re-offended anyway, you’ve put what you might feel is an “innocent” man through jurisprudential hell. So what to do?
Punishments should be suited for the crimes, so doing nothing isn’t an option, since once we identify what he’s done as a crime, we have also established that it should be punished. But you are neither a judge nor a jury. What you are in this instance is a possible witness. Now, admittedly, all of what you’ve heard is hearsay and rumor and should be treated as such. But the burden of carrying it shouldn’t be yours and yours alone.
So, maybe the person who told you was looking for validation. Indicate that you would be fine with them telling HR or the police or whoever it best serves the interests of justice to be told. If they don’t, I would suggest questioning the accused and, to borrow a line from Hamlet, if he but blench then you’d know your course. Which is to say, if he doesn’t surrender and submit, it should safely be assumed that he is too weak to do so and needs help, and you’d be giving him the help he needs by guaranteeing that he face the music for what he’s done.
I’m no ethicist, clearly, but this seems sound to me, and most importantly, it seems like the road to justice. Good luck.
Penile: Take #379
EUGENE, SIR: Hello. My penis is 12 to 13 cm, or 4.72 to 5.12 inches long when it’s erect. In its normal position, it looks too small. Will these measurements result in failure when having sex with women? –—V. Mavila
Dear Mavalous: Thanks for writing. The fact that you have done so is the clearest indication that, at least at the time of writing, you were alive. Being alive is a good sign, since it means that two other living people had sex with each other to create you. Unknown by me how long the penis of the male partner who created you is, but if you have his hair and eye color, his general height and weight, then you might also have his penis size. Something that with a great deal of certainty did not stop your mother, regardless of what size it was.
Now about “failure,” I’m quite sure that while having sex, the size of your penis is not what would qualify the sex you were having as a failure. Inability to sustain/maintain an erection might be a failure. Inability to last longer than three seconds before you orgasm might be a failure. Ultimately though, a total refusal to perform cunnilingus? A surefire failure.
However, if we’re talking numbers, you should know that studies done as recently as 2017 indicate that the average length for an erect penis? Just about 5.16 inches, or 13.2 cm. Hope that helps.
The Problem With Prolapse
EUGENE, SIR: I’ve discovered late (26) that I enjoy receiving anal sex. How much do I have to have it before I need to be concerned about problems? Like prolapse. Also, yes on safe sex because I know about HIV, but anal cancer? – Jackson
Dear Mr. 5: According to Planned Parenthood, anal sex can be “perfectly healthy.” However, over a lifetime? Well, they peg your chances of either leakage or prolapse (an unfortunate situation where your rectum literally bulges out of your body instead of staying in) as “very small.” The likeliest outcome? The aggravation of existing hemorrhoids.
Now, anal cancer? Well, the risk factor here is the human papillomavirus (HPV). While anal cancer can happen without the warts associated with HPV, the HPV gets there? Yes, via anal sex. Different and not as common as colorectal cancer, anal cancer accounts for only 1 to 2 percent of intestinal cancers and will affect 1 in 500 people in their lifetime.
So now you know what I know! Plan accordingly, sir!