Why you should care
If you’re going to have it, it’s better to have it be good.
How to Not Suck, Badly, in Bed
EUGENE, SIR: I’m a bisexual woman, and because of your just-published column (“Gender Battles for the Bedroom”), I decided not to give you a bad time for not speaking to me first, but instead say that if men want to know what the difference between them in bed and women in bed is, they should have asked me. It’s very simple: In bed, at least, men are too aggressive. Before attacking me for wanting men to be non-men, I want you to think of something you might understand, and that’s football. There is a call in football for “unnecessary roughness.” Throw that into the bedroom with unnecessary quickness and other unnecessary stuff and you might see that 60 percent of what’s on a man’s bedroom menu does nothing for us. Also, if you want to impress us, do a better job of eating pussy. There. That should do it. Dare you to print it. —Rachel S.
Dear Rachels: The best thing about advising people on how to bake a cake or, in this instance, perform in bed in a way that pleases all concerned is that no matter what I say some will call bullshit on it. Because? Because for every lover that reads that they need to be less aggressive, there’ll be follow-on letters from people complaining about masculine passivity. The ideal? Well, the ideal is that dancers do the dance that they are best suited to dance so that water will seek its own level. In other words, if your personal branding campaign is directly aligned with your actual brand, everyone could more accurately choose what they think will be best for them.
Which is to say, a first date convo should include stuff that people are writing letters to me about 16 months into their relationship. And even then, matching what you don’t even know you like up to what you will like is just as likely to be a pleasant surprise as a colossal disappointment. But even those 50-50 numbers are better than your 60-40 spread. In any case, your dare has been met. And, yes, that should do it. Cheers!
EUGENE, SIR: Can I legally have sex with someone who is insane? Too weird to ask anyone else. —Name withheld by request
Dear One Flew Over the Cuckoo: First off, it should be said here: I’m no kind of lawyer. However, I’m friendly with several lawyers — not a single one of whom wanted to be quoted in something as “edgy” as a sex column. But there’s a reason for that other than lawyers being risk-averse; it’s not a simple question to answer since the word “insane” is inexact, and “mental illness” covers everything from depression and anxiety to schizophrenia and bipolarity. Plus there’s this: People who are mentally ill have sex all the time.
But if you’re using the word “insane” and having it hew more closely to “mentally incompetent”? Then things get tougher. Is the person able to understand what they’re consenting to? Are they aware that they have a choice to decline to give consent? What if they have multiple personalities and one of the personalities says “yes” and the others say “no”? Don’t laugh. A previous questioner had his just-married wife try to knife him in the shower during the honeymoon. She had left her meds at home, had an episode and assumed that he had sexually assaulted her.
So what kind of “crazy” are you dealing with? And, just to be clear, if you are a guard in a mental institution, for example, and you’re inquiring about having sex with a patient, you are on very thin ice, and my suggestion would be that you not have sex with your patient. If they are healthy enough to consent and you must, wait until they’re released. If they are not released, seek succor outside of your workplace. Good advice for lots of different workplaces. Sorry to not be more help here, but if the lawyers are all shrugging, that’s probably all the answer you need to know that it’s not the best of all possible roads.
The D in BDSM
EUGENE, SIR: I love my wife. Late in life, though, I discovered something sexually about myself. I like to humiliate. My wife will do anything to please me, but I can’t bring myself to play with her like this. But I feel the pull to this part of my life, and if I don’t do it with her, doing it with anyone else has me doing something I don’t want to do. Help. Please. —Rocket
Dear Rickie: Again, “humiliation” is imprecise and seems it could include everything from slapping and spitting to insulting and name calling. But, at the very least, the understanding is sexual activity that has the potential to make at least one of you feel somewhat less than happy because, in the end, your partner’s happiness is not so much the issue as is your desire to express yourself in a way that might destabilize the part of your relationship that doesn’t happen primarily in the bedroom.
So, if your desire includes non-sexual humiliation, you might square yourself with finding a sub, or someone who enjoys being submissive. You might even HIRE this person. While there are ethical considerations when you’re spending money on subs that could be better used in your household, we’ll skip those since there’s a possibility that your desire is sexual humiliation. Which puts you in a pickle since there’s no way you’re going to be able to do this without violating a wedding vow, if not a trust.
Hence your query and request for help from me, and I have nothing outside of the old Advice Columnist conclusion: Talk to your partner. They might surprise you one way or another. And if they don’t go for it, you at least have a partner in what seems to be a compulsion that could be overwhelming if allowed to fester. Good luck.