Why you should care
Because the schoolyard isn’t as reliable a place to learn about sex stuff as it used to be.
A Slip of the Tongue
EUGENE, SIR: I have known only one man I can think about straight to orgasm when I am masturbating. Now that I have transitioned into a relationship with a fine, nice guy, I find that I have to think of this other man to get off when I am having sex with the new one. The other night when we were making love, I accidentally called out his name, and now I am enduring the third degree about who he is, and they are really so different that the new guy is feeling majorly insecure. The ex is younger than both of us, more handsome than my current, better in bed and more interesting. But there’s a reason he and I are not together, which I have tried to explain. Is there any other way to reset the clock on this? — T.B.
Dear Consumption: You know, it’s really hard to reset a clock that’s stopped. By which I mean if you shared half of what you shared with me with the new guy about Orgasm Man, well, that might be a hole that Pops (can we call him Pops?) will have a hard time crawling out of. You too for that matter, since now every time you close your eyes in the throes of passion, he’s going to wonder what you’re imagining. Which will interfere with the feedback loop of hot-stuff-erection-more-hot-stuff-continued-erection. In fact, this is precisely the kind of thing that tends to spiral out of control and about which I’ll probably end up getting a letter from him later.
So, my thinking on this moves thusly: See if you can urge him closer to the standard set by Orgasm Man — Pops can get better in bed even if he is ass out on the whole interesting, handsome and younger piece — or you see if you can settle. And this is all totally separate from the issue raised earlier of “Can Pops take it?” The ego is a weird thing, and a damaged one might create out of him a man you can’t stand since no one thinks a scared man is the sexiest thing in the world, do they?
But I’m going to go out on a limb here since you seem like a smart woman and guess that while the name slip was accidental, Orgasm Man’s laundry listing was not for Pops’ benefit even if it was a backhanded attempt to improve things more to your liking. In the future, even if we believe the slip was “accidental,” it might make sense to be more forthright about what you like. How? Bring it up any place other than in the bedroom. Or pimp the possibility of a Ryan Gosling-like exception clause. Good luck!
EUGENE, SIR: We’ve all heard that it’s not the size of the penis that matters but the technique, but why do you never hear any women complain about big penises or about men with big penises being bad in bed? — Name withheld by request
Dear Toolio: I did once hear about a famous New York Times journalist whose penis was so big that upon seeing it, at least one woman begged off, saying no way was she going to “let that thing” anywhere near her. (For the record? I have never worked at The New York Times.) In all fairness, this was during college, and her base of experience may have been limited enough that his penis was viewed as a threat and not an opportunity, but who knows?
We do know, according to a U.K. study of 15,521 men ages 17 and older, that the average length of a penis is 3.6 inches when flaccid and 5.16 inches when erect, which means if you’re outside those parameters, you’re not average. No numbers connected to how many men the unaverage designation represented, but it could be that you hear no complaints because women don’t complain to men about other men’s penises unless they’ve already seen your penis. If they’ve seen your penis and it is larger than average, they might joke about other men because they know there’ll be no ego damage. If they don’t? Well, draw your own conclusion.
But the reality of it is, even if you give an idiot an extraordinary penis, that will probably go only so far in keeping someone from being bored. How far? About 9 inches! Bah-bing! Thanks, I’m here all week.
EUGENE, SIR: My boyfriend is flexible enough that I thought he might be able to suck his own penis. At first I brought this up as a joke, but his response was so negatively violent that now I want to know why it’s OK for him to jerk himself off but not to suck himself off? It’s not really like one is more “gay” than the other. — Samantha
Dear Bewitched: Some battles are worth having and others are OK to just let go. If your boyfriend doesn’t want his own penis in his mouth, would it kill you to just leave him be? And in his defense, it’s very possibly easier when masturbating to imagine your hand is a vagina or something else than it is to imagine that the penis in your mouth is anything other than a penis in your mouth — a confusing set of signals for the average heterosexual male, we’d guess. So while I’m usually all for fun and games, I’m going to have to acknowledge that in all likelihood it’s totally OK for your future prospects with this man that he’s not super-curious about what it feels like to have a penis in his mouth.