Why you should care
OZY’s Eugene S. Robinson addresses queries from the love-weary in “Sex With Eugene.”
The Submission Secret
EUGENE, SIR: The sex gets less frequent. I find women’s underwear at our place. I confront my boyfriend of three years (we live together) and ask him if he knows where they came from. He says that they’re his and sometimes he likes to wear them. OK. No problem, but then I discover that he’s a sub (I mean he enjoys being dominated), and he’s been spending money on a few different dominatrixes. I don’t like the idea of this and tell him so and he says it’s his thing. I suggest that we could save money and I could do his thing for him. He seems excited about this, and so we do. But months into whipping him, penetrating him with a strap-on penis and abusing him, it’s all a little too much for me, I think. Oh, and there’s this … we no longer have what he calls “vanilla sex.” I don’t think I should end this, but I kind of think I should end this. Thoughts? —F.T.
Dear Feeling Tricked: I’m obsessed with Brazilian jiu-jitsu. If you walk up to me and I’m staring off into space, while the temptation might be to think that I’m thinking about Plutarch or John Cage or even John Belushi, in reality, I am probably thinking of some impossibly difficult armbar or something. So it is when I’m around people who are NOT into Brazilian jiu-jitsu, I have absolutely zero interest in boring them with the finer points of the leverage issues behind joint locks. Even if they asked me, I’d be unlikely to think it was a good idea.
Because this is how it breaks down: My thing is my thing unless it’s also your thing, and if it’s your thing, wouldn’t I already have known this?
Which brings us to you. While relationships are great ways to either evolve into places you haven’t been in order to be someone you aren’t but maybe wished you were (the aspirational angle), they’re also great vehicles for giving voice to unspoken kink (the inspirational one). So leapfrogging from one relationship to another, you pick up on likes, dislikes, things you’ll do again and things you’ll never ever do again, things you’ll keep and things you’ll discard. The torsion point is free-floating, but the benchmark remains the same and hinges on your answer to this question: Are you having fun?
It sounds like you’re not only not, but you’re also not having your sexual needs met, so, lemme guess, you’re just a dom who doesn’t get paid? How is this a good thing, especially as this is not your Brazilian jiu-jitsu? It’s not, can’t be, and so while I hate to advise you to do something that might feel like it’s punishment for kink, in actual fact you’re just drawing a line under selfish, self-serving relationship unilateralism. Which makes good sense to me. I mean, if your services are fungible, what the hell are YOU there for? Get out, and feel good about doing so.
EUGENE, SIR: This is a long story, so I’ll shorten it to the essential elements. At a bar, drinking, got into an argument with a gender-indeterminate individual who stepped off her barstool and into my face like she wanted to fight me. Her voice seemed to indicate that that was where she was going with this, so I told her to sit her ass down before I knocked her down. Now she’s on Facebook telling people I am a “transphobic woman beater.” I’d ignore it, but with #timesup and #metoo, it seems or feels like I’m getting fucked here. Am I not? —I’m a Patsy
Dear Lee Harvey Oswald: In a broader sense? No, you are not being fucked. It’s a minor blip of discomfort magnified by the magnifying glass of social media. Also known as “a tempest in a first-world teapot.” An interesting point is raised here, though: Who CAN you beat up? If you are struck by a smaller person or a woman, what obligation do you have to take the high road? Philosophically? Let’s say none, unless it’s religious philosophy and you’re a Christian, in which case turning the other cheek is your first choice. But self-defense, which would cover a retaliatory strike, seems philosophically sound. You don’t have to hit a smaller person with the same force that you’d hit a defensive tackle, but on Planet Now, every strike should reasonably expect a response.
Legally? Our cop friends say ”what you can be arrested for is often very different from what a DA will file for, but if we show up, we make arrests based on black-and-white facts, and if the facts point to a primary aggressor, that’s who we arrest, irrespective of size.”
In your case, it probably wasn’t necessary to threaten a person who was just talking to you, but we’ll believe you if you say you felt like you were about to be drawn into a fight. The cops might. They might not. Based on who was more reasonable or less drunk. All of which has nothing necessarily to do with transphobia. You may or may not be transphobic, but there’s no way to tell based on your vignette. Actually, there’s no way for her to know this or make that claim online, and now we’ve come full circle, which is to say internet chatter = sound and fury.
And … Training for Trans Living
EUGENE, SIR: My (very) new girlfriend is trans and I want to know how to go about asking how I can be better as a lover since we’re both new to her new vagina? I mean, I am a woman too, but this would still be my first vagina. —Name Withheld by Request
Dear Neo: I think you just did. I can understand your sensitivity and desire to not come across as a clod, but you’re both standing on the slippery edge of a new experience, so enjoy it for all of its dramatic potential and don’t assume offense will be taken where none was meant. Good luck!