Why you should care
OZY’s Eugene S. Robinson addresses queries from the love-weary in “Sex With Eugene.”
When Your Home Movies Leave the House
EUGENE, SIR: My husband and I like filming our play. Not just to watch ourselves but for trading with other like-minded people. It’s a variation of swinging, without the messiness of actually interacting with people. We’ve also started posting to YouPorn, so we’re exhibitionists too. Anyway, my husband has been sending links of assorted clips to people. He says he wanted to feel like a “real” porn star, and he had no plans to meet the recipients. I think this is major, and I can’t imagine it not changing everything, including making love without filming. Is this fixable? —Annie
Dear Ms. Hall: Fixable? Well, that depends. It seems your activities, while publicly displayed, were fundamentally closed-circle events on fields of play bordered by both voyeurism and exhibitionism. This was a shared kink. In talking about it, I’m sure you both considered external ramifications, but the likelihood that your husband would use it as an “Open for Business” sign? Probably not something you bothered to discuss. Even if you, by virtue of being in what people casually call “the lifestyle,” had discussed whether or not you were swingers and so on.
Your husband went off book. You can either chalk this up to an amateur “just got carried away” thing or see it as a product of cold calculation that’s a harbinger of future horrors. You know him. I don’t. If it’s the former, it’s probably fixable. If it’s the latter, probably not. But to point your compass up to true north, it’s time to re-establish some rules of the road — candor and honesty? Yes! — and see what happens. Give him six months. Talk about it, without rancor, and see what comes up.
Is there a lesson here? Yeah: This is pro-level stuff, and amateurs are probably better suited to bowling or softball.
Fat Shaming, Sans the Shame
EUGENE, SIR: Lately I’ve been really into chunky. Specifically anal sex with chunky women. Yet I have no interest in being with them in any other way. I feel bad about this for two reasons: one, the moped jokes, and two, that I enjoy the sex yet won’t be seen with them publicly or engage with them emotionally. I also just do the compulsory vag stuff just to get to the anal. Why do I feel this way? It’s self-hatred, but what type of self-hatred? Is the hatred me sodomizing bigger women, or is the hatred me not being able to accept that’s what I like? What do I do here? And if I do like women like that, why am I just into the “anal sex and work my way to going home” mode? Or is that part of the self-hatred? Do I hate them? Do I hate them for being “less desirable”? Am I going for easy buckets? And anal is not all I like, it’s not even my favorite, but it’s been a frequent item on the menu lately. —The D Man
Dear D-Day: Someone once told me that the opposite of love isn’t hate; it’s indifference. And yet you use some variation of the word “hate” no fewer than seven times. Which in my mind puts you straight on the love spectrum. You might be indifferent about the Stanley Cup. But you’re definitely not indifferent about heavy women, or anal, apparently. Since whom you’re with is often a social signifier and tells the world something about you, which would explain the incipient fear, I’d advise you to do as Jimi Hendrix suggested and let your freak flag fly since heavy women, after all, are still women and why not let them dig on you as you are so obviously digging on them? Because you care what people think? C’mon …
As for anal, any kind of fixation, unless you share the fixation, borders on the unseemly when closely considered. These women are consenting and presumably interested in the anal sex they’re participating in, so your worries are fairly occult and seem motivated by the extra-sexual versus the actually sexual. My advice? Relax. Enjoy. Repeat. Or, to quote Wizard from Taxi Driver, “Go out. Get laid. You think too much.”
Man (Singular) Fever
EUGENE, SIR: I’m obsessed. I wouldn’t make that big of a deal out of it, but my obsession is with a married man. I’m engaged, but when I have met him, even if he’s with his wife, I feel like I can’t be normal and like this can be seen by everyone. I have started going places where I know he goes, not because I’m going to talk to him but because I want to watch him. I know I’m being ridiculous. but I can’t stop myself. Is this what a midlife crisis is? (I’m 36.) Or is this a sign that marriage is not for me? Should I confess this to the man to normalize it? Would having sex with him once cure me? —Name withheld by request
Dear OCD: You got it bad. And nothing about that is good. We’ve all had the experience of getting a song stuck in our heads. But only Ted Bundy described his urge to kill that way, which leaves me to conclude that it’s some sort of biochemical thing (aka “the good news”) not necessarily connected to things within your control, something that you could, maybe, biochemical your way out of. However biochemical-ing your way out of this would require some devil’s brew of psychopharmaceuticals that does heaven knows what (aka “the bad news”), leaving you with less frying pan and much more fire.
I went with biochemical because, based on the scant info I have, the obsession seems to have developed pretty rapidly and from nowhere. It might also be a stress response to a marriage you don’t think is right for you — my best guess — or you could be getting weirded out by the whole age thing (my worst guess). But, and here I am about to tell you something you should not forget even if you remember nothing else of what I’ve said: It is not the married man’s job or responsibility to help you figure this out. It’s barely your fiancé’s.
It’s yours, and rarely in situations like this will things be made “better” by having sex with him, even if “just once.” How about this: Come up with a way to delay your wedding until you figure things out. Maybe see a professional — you know, someone who is not answering your queries in his underwear while eating a muffin, as I presently am — and put in the hard work figuring out how you’ve happened to fall down this particular flight of stairs. Good luck, and keep us posted!