Why you should care
Because your private parts are begging you to.
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Worth 1,000 Words
EUGENE, SIR: I’m married. A few years ago, I had an affair that ended without event and on good terms. My former lover bought a new computer and decided to send me a photo of us before he deleted everything from his old one. I was happy to get it and hid it on my computer. Long story much shorter: My husband found the photo. You couldn’t see my wedding ring in it, but I think lying is shitty and not telling him what he does not know is not always lying. My question, given that the shock has passed: Do I admit that the photo was from an affair I had since we’ve been married, or do I say it was taken before he and I got hitched? We’ve only been married three years, so the latter could be the case. I’ve already told my husband that the man in the photo was an old grad-school lover, but I feel bad about it. Oh, and in the photo I have a penis in my mouth, so I can’t spin that it was platonic. Advice. — Pat
Dear Patty Cakes: Advice?!?! I suspect you need less of this and more a succinct rendering of “what ifs,” or, at the very least, a look at roads and repercussions. First off, while I can appreciate your parsing of lies of commission and lies of omission, this is an act of legerdemain that I’d be remiss in letting stand: Just because you didn’t tell your husband about the penis in your mouth doesn’t mean that the penis was not in your mouth, nor was its presence in your mouth on par with what you had for lunch. In other words, something you may have forgotten to mention.
Because there’s a big difference between just not mentioning something and having forgotten to mention something, and if you’re forgetting whether or not you had penis for lunch, our problems here will very possibly take a whole column to deal with. But penis in the mouth is not so much the issue as, do you cop to having had an affair?
And that depends. While many relationships survive undiscovered affairs, according to a raft of pundits and people who pay attention to other people’s privates, the jury is still out on discovered (or revealed) affairs. I’d say if you’re going to stop, cross your heart, hope to die and swear to some sort of deity that you’ll NEVER do it again, why bother bringing it up? If you know yourself well enough to know that no way you’re going to stop without help? Then you must call in the cavalry to help, and that means letting the world know.
If you say nothing and get caught? You look bad. If you say nothing and don’t get caught? Between you and your conscience. If you tell now and don’t do it again? Tough times, but statistically speaking? You have a fighting chance. If you tell AND you do it again? You’re either married to a fool or a masochist or a cuck.
Analyzing WHY you’re having affairs might make the most amount of pre-affair sense ever, though. Good luck.
EUGENE, SIR: I have heard of revenge porn and that there are laws making it illegal, but I think I have the opposite problem. My ex is not sending sexy photos we made out to the world, but she won’t stop sending them to me. I’ve asked her to stop. No response. When there is a response, it’s just more photos. I’m in a serious relationship and this is making me nervous. Are there legal ways to get her to stop? — MW
Dear Mr. DeMille: Yes. At last check, 26 states have revenge-porn laws that prohibit the redistribution of consensually taken sexy photographs. Most of these states loosely state, like California, that if “the person distributing the image knows or should know that distribution of the image will cause serious emotional distress, and the person depicted suffers that distress,” a crime has been committed. If you’re receiving images you don’t want to see, you are also being harassed and this is actionable. However, any and all action will begin with going somewhat public, which the perpetrator may be counting on as a deterrent. Your best bet: using your phone’s blocking feature and hoping she loses interest.
Tips for the Tongue
EUGENE, SIR: Can you help me get better at oral sex? I know I’m not good at it, but when I ask my girlfriend what I can do to get better she gets shy and says I’m fine. — Name withheld by request
Dear You Go Boy: While you are to be praised for wanting to get better in bed, I’m going to do something never, ever done by any sex columnist anywhere at any time in recorded human history by answering your question thusly: No. I can’t help you get better at oral sex.
No more than I could TELL you how to dance. Or how to act.
Sure, many have made their bones via seminars, guides, guidebooks or instructional videos on how to do this or that better in bed, but the reality of it is, there’s no boilerplate solution, everyone is different and, the most forgotten point of all, sex is play. Which means enthusiasm, patience and the willingness to try just about anything not illegal should mark your parameters. If this is too much for you, which I suspect it’s not, I’d suggest board games or good books as a way to spend what will soon be copious amounts of unscheduled alone time.