Why you should care
OZY’s Eugene S. Robinson addresses queries from the love-weary in “Sex With Eugene.”
EUGENE, SIR: A weird thing happened to me, and you seem to know weird. I hid a birthday present for my wife — we’ve been married about eight years — where I thought she wouldn’t find it. I happened to find a thumb drive while I was hiding her present, and I thought maybe it was mine. It turned out to be hers, and it turns out she’s screwing someone I know. That’s not the weird part — people are always cheating on each other; the weird part is how aroused I was while watching the videos of my wife screwing someone else. How do I bring this up, and how do we pull this off? — Jim J.
Dear Jazzy Jimmy J: I’ve often been accused of being on the spectrum. Largely on account of not having a lot of barriers between what I think and what I say. But maybe I’m not the one on the spectrum in terms of whatever disorder it is that causes you to be wiltingly honest even when it would be easier not to. The reality is Occam’s razor and the idea that the easiest solution is the most right one. Which is to say: Tell her what you just told me.
Now, her bullshit detectors might start firing with the whole “I thought the thumb drive was mine” rebop, but the reality is only an idiot would go down that road and your decision to come to me argues against that. No, the most important thing is the affair revealed. Get in there before she’s tempted to use some defensive lying, and get to the point: The boredom both of you may be feeling is intimately connected to your unspoken desires to do the dirty.
This, I believe, is the truth and it just may set you free. I mean, Freudians might even go as far as claiming that you finding the thumb drive was not at all accidental. You and your wife are communicating with each other, no matter how indirectly. Do you have the conviction to embrace it? At this point, you have no choice.
How do you find a third? I’d suggest the dude in the video. It might sound crazy, but unless he’s your father or something creepy like that, it’s already two-thirds normalized. You are the X-factor. So get your head into the game, and feel good that after almost a decade of marriage, you two may have found a new kink.
Other People Porn vs. You Porn
EUGENE, SIR: My husband is 43. I’ve never been into porn, but he is, very much so. While I’ve been waiting for him to grow out of it, he’s been filming us. I know this because he finally told me. And then he showed me. I’m disgusted. He seems confused. I don’t think we should get divorced over this, but fucking him is really the last thing on my mind right now. Help. — Not Ready 4 My Close-Up
Dear Not Gloria Swanson: I’ll give you this: Filming you without you knowing is skeevy, which is a greater degree of sleazy. However, you know he filmed you because he told you he had been filming you. I’m not saying him notifying you of past shitty behavior mitigates said shitty behavior. I am saying he may just be finishing a sentence he started earlier. And if this were a sentence he didn’t want to finish, you’d still be screwing to tape.
Now, what is the sentence? Unsure. But I can say this: Him having enough sexual interest in you to try to pull off whatever harebrained scheme he’s trying to pull off is ultimately a good sign. Sloppily executed but well-intentioned sloppy.
Some will disagree with what I’ve said, but that’s because they live in Magical Theoretical Land. Me? I live in the land framed by your letter, which is why I realize that sometimes love and lust are strange things, and better they be gone for principled reasons than having died from old age.
In the fullness of time you may reciprocate your husband’s shy and wanton looks over coffee. If you do, hurray on that. If you don’t? Leave. But before you do, ask whether it would have hurt more if someone else had been in those videos. A … not-so-simple question.
Swinging to a Stop
EUGENE, SIR: We have been swinging for about 10 years. This is not one of those emails where I tell you that one of us wants to leave the lifestyle, because we both want to leave. The problem is all of our friends, people we’ve met in the past decade, are not leaving. Do we have to cut them out, like people in AA who can’t be around drinkers anymore? — Name withheld by request
Dear Protesteth Too Much: You can cut anyone out of your life that you want to cut out, but these people, unless they have guns and felony convictions for violent assault, might understand your simply saying, when the naked moment arises, no. And it really is that simple. If you have been swinging with the same people for a decade, I’d suggest they’ve had sex with you enough times to know what they’re missing, or not, and are actually much more concerned about losing your company. So decide if the friendship sans sex is worthwhile and plan accordingly.