Why you should care
OZY’s Eugene S. Robinson addresses queries from the love-weary in “Sex With Eugene.”
Sex Work vs. Sex Play: Discuss
EUGENE, SIR: My husband and I have been married for about eight years. We don’t have kids and don’t have any immediate plans to (I’m 32, he’s 40). We’re into the lifestyle so we’re open about sexual activity, but during a period when he was between jobs, I expanded our swinging to include men who would also pay for time with me. He’s had a problem with this and has gotten more vocal now that he’s finally employed again. I don’t understand what the problem is, though, since during a two-day weekend I could either go to a party with him or something and have sex with eight men there for free or do the same thing over probably less time and have $4,000 tax-free. Can you give me a leg up on making this make sense to him? —Escorts R Me
Dear Environmental Resources Manager: Eight … eight. You know there are all kinds of different eights, yes? If one of your paying customers offered you, post-coitus, $800 versus, say, $8, I imagine your take would be decidedly different. Similarly, if your husband had sex with eight of your relatives, it might confuse and baffle.
So let’s say that it’s less that they were eight paying partners up against eight swinging sex partners and step right into the obvious: You’re working two jobs and, I’d presume, since he married you, that the man you married would like to spend some time with you.
If you’re working a 40- to 50-hour work week, sleeping 56 hours a week and now moonlighting for at least eight hours on the weekends (presuming the sessions are an hour long and are in-call, so you’re not traveling), this leaves about 54 hours a week to just hang. Dinner, walks, gym, movies and whatever else couples do. That’s about seven hours a day during which you need to fit in everything else, if my math holds up.
So while I think the tendency here is for you to believe this is jealousy-fueled since that narrative is humble-brag-y, my assumption, given that you two are swingers and he’s already participated in you having sex with other partners many times over, is that it’s not. It’s a time-allotment thing, pure and simple (maybe).
I mean, if you were spending your weekends doing any activity that was not matched by something he was also doing — and his activities wouldn’t have to be sexual — you have a partner who wants to be with you, can’t and is wondering why you don’t want to spend more time with him.
It’s pretty basic relationship hygiene. I’m a firm believer in rugged individualism, but unless you two start doing couple escorting, or anything else, together, you might be in for a rougher road ahead. Good luck.
How to Keep a Woke Penis Awake
EUGENE, SIR: In my youth, I was openly transphobic, misogynistic about women I found attractive, used homophobic words and so on. I’m now a better person, not perfect but trying to be … kind. My dick, however, has not changed. I’m pretty sure I can’t change my dick’s preferences, but am I wrong? I enjoy power exchange both ways (I’m switch), humiliating and hurting (consensual) women and being humiliated and controlled by women. The role-plays and outfits I like are also all very much tied into stereotypes I no longer believe in. To be honest, it would be easier to find a life partner were I less into these sorts of kinks. So how do you make your penis “woke”? —Name withheld by request
Dear Wakey Wakey: The last thing I ever advise is politicizing (if it’s not criminal) your sexual activity. G-d forbid there should be one arena of your personal activity that goes UN-analyzed, I’d say, sarcastically. Look, as kids, mystery has a great allure. Santa, Tooth Fairies, Easter Rabbits, and the list goes on.
That we’re debunked of these things doesn’t change the fact that the initial lure was MYSTERY. So while one likes dressing up like a pirate or enjoys the unsanctioned use of garden tools to round out playtime, despite what Plato said, it doesn’t seem to me that these activities will cause you suffering if they go unexamined.
Unless they do.
YOU are the one who suggests some difficulty in finding a life partner. Which is to say it’s your perception that your kink is screwing things up for you. If you were hoping to hear me lay out a plan for tamping down the devil, your hopes will be dashed. My advice instead: Start looking for people you don’t have to lie to about your sexual preferences.
You don’t think they’re out there?
Really? I just read about an out-of-shape 50-year-old-plus unemployed lunatic who had convinced a number of women he was a wizard vampire. Of course what followed was a passel of very real crimes, but the reality remains: He found people who would co-sign his vampiric wizardry.
That could be you. And if you can hang in the marketplace without scaring the horses or frightening children, consider that your kink and your politics need not always align.
When Sex Toys Attack
EUGENE, SIR: I’m 63, just divorced and before I get too old I want to go a little wild. Online has helped here quite a bit, so my question is not about how to find partners or anything, but since I like to date men my age or older, sex toys are part of the equation, but are there sex toys I should steer clear of? Everything I find online seems to be people selling me stuff. From what you’ve seen, anything I should keep away from my vagina? Thanks. Longtime reader. —Sue
Dear Suetonius: Yes, LOTS. And here’s a shocker: Despite the day and age within which we live, there is no one single bureau that regulates sex toys, so who knows WHAT the hell you’re getting? Rules of thumb, or whichever body part better suits you, in terms of what to stay away from? Anything with phthalates in them, which are usually anything rubbery. These are also on the lower end of the price range.
Phthalates are chemicals used to keep rubbery things soft and pliable and toxic. Stick to glass, silicone or metal sex toys. You’ll thank me later.