Why you should care
OZY’s Eugene S. Robinson addresses queries from the love-weary in “Sex With Eugene.”
Baldilocks + the Limits of Slaps
EUGENE, SIR: I was having sex with someone I met on a dating app. She has a shaved head and wears a wig. During sex I forgot about the wig and pulled her hair and the wig came off. I don’t know why, but I put it on my head. She thought I was disrespecting her. Since “disrespect” had been part of our play, I laughed at her, then slapped her. She lost her mind, and not in a good way. We have safe words and all, but no safe word would have stopped this. She’s not answering my texts now, and I’m OK with this. I mean, I get how she thinks I screwed up. But fuck, did I? Really? — Ray
Dear Apparently Not Everyone Loves Raymond: Yeah, it may happen that if you’re pursuing a certain kind of kink you run afoul of the kink parameters at some point or another. The tipoff should have been when the character was broken and she addressed the comical specter of you wearing a wig. If your kink is some sort of S&M humiliation thing, it seems understandable that this was comically disrespectful, which has a totally different sexual impact than if it had been erotically disrespectful. You haven’t asked me to spell out the differences, so I won’t, but jamming the wig in her mouth would be functionally different from you slapping it on your head. The latter suggests “Hey, look at me! Aren’t I the fool?”
To clarify, she wasn’t having this particular sex scene with you because she wanted to be ridiculed for some of her more fashion-forward style choices. So yeah, you screwed up. Proof of that? Her refusal to speak to you. Is she justified in refusing to speak to you is what I think you’re really asking and honestly I’d have to say no. You both got your wires crossed. It happens. In this case, though? Not likely to happen again. So go your way with much additional knowledge … for next time.
EUGENE, SIR: My partner and I are trying swapping. We talked a lot about it before we did it and we decided same-room couples swapping was our thing, but once there (and this is four times we’ve tried now) my partner only wants to have sex with me. Any ideas on getting him closer to doing what we came for? — No Name Please
Dear Net National Product: You should maybe entertain the prospect that he’s a voyeur and not actually all that into swapping. If he still talks about swapping and hasn’t shut it down, maybe it’s situational and the other guys look good enough that he’s intimidated. Or maybe the other women don’t look good enough. It could be either of these things, but one thing is clear: After four times, you’re probably unlikely to be able to say anything that will make the prospect of seeing his partner attached to another man’s penis all that attractive. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but while I’ve said that if you hang around the barbershop long enough you’re likely to get a haircut, that’s not always the case.
On the plus side, it sounds like you have a pretty faithful partner, and that’s got to be worth something!
Rates of X-Change
EUGENE, SIR: I want to control my partner’s rate of thrust, so is my getting on top of him my best option? Or are there other positions that might work better? We’ve been together for three months, and I think if I set the pace it might work. — Annie
Dear Ms. Hall: You know that old joke about the key to good comedy? Wait for it … timing! Well, sex, when done well, is a lot like good comedy, and, when done poorly, a lot like bad comedy. It sounds like the issue in your case is the age-old one of the “prematurity” of his orgasm and you thinking you might have a chance to speed yours up by controlling the “thrustal rate,” to coin a phrase. Maybe. You want a poker tell for how close a man is at any given point? Try his testicles. Rarely are they loose and hanging low when he’s about to orgasm.
While other, lesser columnists would support you on top, I’m going to call bullshit on that, and I’ll tell you why. If you’re on top, your sense of agency is probably greater. You can go faster, you can go slower, you can rock your hips in ways that best suit your pleasure. But when you’re having sex with a lover, you also have to consider their involvement, which is why we’re here to begin with. So controlling what you’re doing in pursuit of sexual success is no guarantee of that success since he could still come too soon, or lose his erection or, you know, take a phone call from his mother in the middle, ruining your plans and your play.
I suggest missionary. Derided as hopelessly vanilla, it’s more like a universal blood type and it gives you everything that being on top gives you with the addition of your hands on his rear suggesting or urging him to go a speed more to your liking. Yes, I know people ride horses from on top because they can control the horse better that way, but he’s not a horse and neither are you. By using knees, thighs and hands, you can control him, with the hopeful expectation that you both get off at the same time, or that you climax before he does.
While people invariably find ways to fuck things up, this is a much better start. Good luck.