Why you should care
Because, in actual fact, you DO need as much help as you can get.
EUGENE, SIR: I didn’t really know what a threesome was. I mean, I wasn’t sure when my 27-year-old sister told me that she and her boyfriend had had one. Even after I figured out what she was talking about, it didn’t shock me very much. I was, however, shocked when I found out she had it with our mother. They all have alcohol problems, but the problem is that everyone is calling me a prude because I think what they did is gross at the very least, and crazy and dangerous at the most. Our mother has been divorced from our dad for a decade and she is an attractive 45-year-old woman, but I don’t think I’m crazy for not thinking this is cool. — Dying in Dallas
Dear Lordy Miss Claudy: And some say the American family is dead! Look, there’s a philosophical and intellectual temptation to get completely laissez-faire about human behaviors that are not criminal (and this is not, as far as I can tell). We’re awash in a kind of relativism born of the whole “free to be you and me” ethos that might cause some to shy away from saying HELLS NO to the idea of getting down in the same room with mom. The arguments would proceed thusly: It may not be your thing, but it is a thing and who are we to judge and blah blah blah. Let me be the first, then, to say: HELLS NO.
Which is to say, very specifically, you’re not a prude. My mother might look perfectly charming when she’s using the toilet. Doesn’t mean I want to share that experience with her. Likewise, I am going to go out on a speculative limb here and say that the reason we maintain prohibitions against pair bonding that close is because it breeds the kind of instability that might shake civilizations to their very core. Now that I’m done pretending to be outraged, I think I can honestly say, nothing good is going to come from this kind of boundaryless living. However, I could very well be wrong. If I am, I’d like to hear about it. If I’m not, I’d like to hear about that too.
EUGENE, SIR: I want to be dominated in bed. I’ve tried to tell my husband this. He has tried to play along, but he’s afraid of hurting me and it’s not sexy at all having someone just humor you. I’ve stopped trying with him, but that doesn’t mean I want to stop trying. Are doms a reasonable solution? — Ms. Gray
Dear Sub Mrs.: You do realize you’re asking the wrong person, right? I think your husband might be the one to ask. However, I can see you working, and if he doesn’t want to mow the lawn but you want the lawn mowed, the midway solution is to hire someone to do it. Right about now you’re even doubting his ability to mow the lawn, and so you figure to outsource it and write to me in the process since I am a well-known fan of outsourcing. I mean, doms need to get paid too. Sadly, though, I’m not a fan of lying. Which leaves the third way: Sandwich in a visit to a dom during your lunch break, with a proviso that he not break the skin and there be no intercourse. And yes, I am aware that you said “dominated in bed,” implying sexual contact, but you do realize that there are doms OK with that kind of contact and those that aren’t. It’s on you to negotiate up front and be able to deal with whatever you deal with by way of conscience issues afterward.
And so to answer your question, yes, doms are a solution. You and some kind of spiritual adviser can discuss how reasonable a solution that is, though. But one thing I know for sure: We want what we want. Your desire for this is unlikely to pass, so good on you for dealing with it before it deals with you.
EUGENE, SIR: I wanted to invite another woman into our play, and my girlfriend was warming up to the idea. We hadn’t gotten too deep — some light flirtation, making out — and everything seemed OK. Last week my girlfriend confessed to me that she thinks she’s fallen in love with someone else. A female friend of ours. Who is only into women. My girlfriend says she doesn’t want to break up, that she just wants to try women. Without me there. I had been encouraging this for so long, it seems stupid to say no now. But this is not what I planned. Should I ease up? — Name withheld by request
Dear GOTCHA: You got got, buddy. Of course, no one is really got in the way that I’m suggesting and the way that’s lurking around in the back of your head. You didn’t cause this. You did, however, open a door that made it oh so easy to step through. And don’t think that because it’s two women it’s any less significant than if she had said she wanted to spend some alone time with a man. Your relationship is asymmetrically busted wide open now. Your best bet? Let things go. No amount of death-gripping this is going to make it stay. She may come back. She may not. But letting her drive from here on out is probably OK.