Why you should care
OZY’s Eugene S. Robinson addresses queries from the love-weary in “Sex With Eugene.”
EUGENE, SIR: My husband was just picked up in a prostitution sting. It wasn’t one of those To Catch a Predator deals; he wasn’t trying to have sex with kids but with an adult prostitute. He said it was the safest way for him to have anal sex, which he claims I deny him. I don’t; I just don’t want to do it as much as he does. We have kids, so divorce is not what I’m thinking. I’m thinking of getting over this, but my question is, what kind of health risk do I face? I want to know before I go to a doctor. — Name withheld by request
Dear NWBR: Go to a doctor. Now. Go to Planned Parenthood if you’re shy about your primary care physician being all up in your business. Sexuality is often compulsive, so the likelihood that your husband has done this just once is low — assume you’ve been exposed for a while. Most higher-priced sex workers usually require condom usage. Streetwalkers who might have a raft of other issues in tow may not. Also, there’s no mention from you whether or not the sex worker was male or female. Someone’s got to start to do the right thing, and that should be you, so please get tested. Any risk is too much risk if you’ve got people depending on you for mothering.
In regard to your marriage, which you explicitly seem to not want, I’ll say this: Causally connecting being a whoremonger to what you will or will not do in bed is bullshit. Plain and simple. I know you never imagined yourself married to a cheating, lying piece of crap, but now that you are you might give some serious consideration to whether or not you want to spend the rest of your life being so. Good luck.
A #MeToo Addendum
EUGENE, SIR: I think an unintended victim of the #MeToo movement has been my sex life. While I believe we should all fully support creating workplace environments free from jerks and jerk activities and abuses of power, maybe this open letter is for the rest of you all. Stop screwing like you’re afraid you’re going to get arrested. That is all. — Char
Dear Ms. Boiled: There’s a lot of space between your spaces, and while this is “formally” a sex and love “advice” column and I’m supposed to be responding to queries, the reality of it is, some statements call out for a comment and so here we are. In general, while I like that you’re both willing and trying to help, my concern whenever anyone anywhere invokes #MeToo is that it’s an attempt to derail it. In the same way that J. Edgar Hoover pushed the Martin Luther King Jr. commie narrative to divert and derail, discussion about what #MeToo is not, even if it seems well-meaning, is, in my eyes, a suspect rebranding.
But I’m game since it seems as though you’re suggesting that your sex life is now being tended to by the frightened. And that these frightened lovers are not likely to deliver anything other than frightened sexual experience, which is to say, a subpar sexual experience. If I’m wrong, please feel free to correct me, but I suspect I’m right.
I think in general it’s healthy to have them think through what they’re doing, what they like and how they like it. If these lovers can live with the fright, and choose to do so even at the expense of a good sexual experience, then I’m going to assume that they’re doing the thing that best serves their needs. But the old adage about the unexamined life being not worth living applies here as well, and an unexamined sex life is not nearly as fun as a sex life informed by people fully in ownership of every wrinkle and weirdness that they can get their hands on.
Does the unexamined/frightened sex life eventually lead to the examined/bold? It might. But even if it doesn’t, I’d be the last one to suggest that thinking less about something will make that something better. So you may have to go through a few stuttering, muttering nervous wrecks before you find someone who’s figured it out. Much better to do that than a man who is completely confident that he’s doing nothing wrong. Hope this helps.
Dull vs. Boring: Discuss
EUGENE, SIR: I was just dumped by a man who told me I was “boring” in bed. He said when we had sex it looked like I was enjoying a good meal, which I would think would be a good thing. Outside of putting a “temporary” halt to anal because it hurt, and I don’t think we had figured out how to do it right, I’ve been open to everything. How does that make me boring? — Dead in Bed
Dear Dibby: I think a better question than how something might make you boring is whether or not some way of being can make you interesting. If you approach your Dumpsville deal from the vantage point of “interesting,” you can see that no one really knows what that is. And it’s almost impossible to talk your way out of dumped, so Monday-morning quarterbacking on this one, while to a certain degree edifying, is not something that’s a long-term career. Especially when “interesting” could be framed by one person with some crap they saw in a porn movie. So not even an interesting that they own.
Let this one go. We’ve been conditioned to try to true our ship to things like “interesting” or “exciting” because we can purchase things that will make us exciting, or beautiful, or desirable, but the most exciting thing in the world is free: someone who is excited. My guess is that he dumped you for a totally unrelated reason, and he just randomly picked the one he used. Or he dumped you because of what he felt was your commentary on his skill set. You didn’t “seem” excited, so he got touchy and dumped you before you dumped him. Like they say, a bad dancer blames his shoes.
You’re probably fine. Go out and figure this out without him.