Why you should care
OZY’s Eugene S. Robinson addresses queries from the love-weary in ”Sex With Eugene.”
When “Wild” Goes Wrong
EUGENE, SIR: I had a wild “period” of my life, fueled maybe by substances, but also I was 24 back then. Well, four years later, I’m less wild but in the same social circles. People change and who I was back then pretty much isn’t affecting how people see me now, but the guy I’ve been dating for the last six months is a few degrees of separation from the me back then, and he knows one of my exes, so there’s what feels to me like pressure to be wild again. Specifically sexually. In frank terms, he’s insisting on anal sex because he knows I did it with my ex. Is this or is this not a fucked-up way to think about sex? I mean, I also cheated on my ex! Does he want that too? I’m not opposed, but pressure is unsexy. Coming straight out and telling him seems unsexy too, though. Suggestions would be welcome. —ML
Dear Major League: Six months?!?!? SIX months and you’re 28, and you’re asking about correcting “Bob’s” behavior? Ha. OK, here’s an idea: When he calls, tweets, texts, pokes, swipes or rings the doorbell, you say/think to yourself: “Say, I wonder when that guy who is NOT Bob is coming by?” Then you go back to posting underwear selfies and in general being your bad self, “Bob” a distant memory in the tiny rear-view mirror of your life.
I know that social media has bred a fondness for a certain kind of navel-gazing that has us focused on morbid self-attention for far longer than anyone in, say, an agrarian society would be, but you have to realize something: In 100 years, everyone reading this now will be dead, and your penchant for a perfectly acceptable sexual preference will be one of the least exciting things about you.
“Bob’s” desire to cross something off his checklist has nothing to do with you. You enjoy anal with who you want to enjoy anal with, and if it’s not him, you’re under no obligation to explain anything to anyone. However, if you really wanted to? Tell him it’s “no” and “never” because he’s … “so … MUCH … bigger” than your ex. Yup. That should do it. Let us know if not, and we’ll set you up with something with a little more … sting.
Hot? Too Hot!
EUGENE, SIR: My “friend” has got this problem. He rubbed muscle freeze gel on his back. He then forgot. And went for a piss. Any ideas on how to stop this burning? My “friend” could really use a good idea. Water does not help. Not one bit. —Richard Boyd
Dear Richie Boy-Boy: You know a lesser skilled sex columnist might tell you, by way of remedy, something wise like “Don’t do that again” or “Stop whining” or “It’s all in your head.” Ill-informed and occasionally aggro, these responses would be less than helpful even if they underscored how great my advice will be to a question that many/most would play for comedy.
Well, not me, friend, since I too had a friend who had this very problem.
You see, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has an Adverse Event Reporting System database! Did you know that? It’s called the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System — Cooperative Adverse Drug Event Surveillance database, and it presently indicates that it has 43 cases of burns on account of the same over-the-counter topical muscle and joint pain relievers that your “friend,” and my friend, suffered from.
Most of these rubs contain capsaicin, menthol or methyl salicylate. And some of the reported burns were first-degree, some were third-degree, and mostly all were from products that had concentrations of menthol and methyl salicylate over 3 percent but less than 10 percent.
But how to mitigate the misery? Don’t bandage it. Use soap and cool water to wash it off, being mindful of the fact that because it’s your penis, the more you wash, the more you’ll have to wash, if you get my drift. And because I’m responsible, I’ll say this: If it gets too bad, seek medical attention.
Oh, and a pro tip that we know works but we don’t know how and why: If you’re anywhere near a milkshake? Grab it and plunge your penis into it. Preferably after you leave the restaurant. This should work. Good luck!
EUGENE, SIR: I have two older sisters. One is a lawyer and is OK. The other? Well, I don’t understand her. When I was 10, she and a friend of hers would come over to our house and make me have sex with them. I have not told this to many because when I have told people, some of them have really said to me, “I wish I was having sex when I was 10!” I’m an adult now, but I never wished that what had happened to me had happened to me and it hasn’t improved my life. I don’t want to blame her for me not being married or having a girlfriend now but, sorry for rambling, is it possible that a psychiatrist would help me with this? Can they help with things that can’t be changed? That’s not the real question, now that I think about it. The real question is: Do you think it would help? —Name withheld by request
Dear Fratricide: My personal resistance to seeing psychiatrists is very different from me believing that they are, in actual fact, sometimes very helpful. I believe in the right circumstance with the right person, they can be invaluable. This, clearly, seems to be one of those circumstances since, in general, men who voice displeasure at unwanted sexual attentions or, in this instance, rape, are not taken as seriously as they should be because of the confusion with erections and volition: Being able to have sex because you were erect doesn’t mean you wanted to.
Muddy that up with an older sister, a family dynamic, being on the cusp of puberty and you have a situation that’s only going to be successfully unwound by someone you pay to unwind it. Either them or a very understanding partner. But before you get to a partner? Might behoove you to have this ironed out. With the right psychiatrist.