Why you should care
OZY’s Eugene S. Robinson addresses queries from the love-weary in “Sex With Eugene.”
When the Sex Stops
EUGENE, SIR: I’m 36 and my girlfriend is 28. We have been together for three and a half years. She has very bad endometriosis and for the last year, we’ve not been having sex. We talked about it and she’s OK with me “seeking release” other places. So I’ve seen a few escorts, an experience that’s been less than satisfactory, outside of costing me money I’d rather not be spending. So I tried dating apps, but when I explain my situation to prospective hookups, they lose interest. We get along great and I love her, but no sex bleeds into other places and I can feel her pull back when I go to kiss her now. She’s taking medication for it, but I don’t know if this is helping with her sexual desire, even though I know she doesn’t masturbate. But I just wanted your take on what you think I should do. — The D Man
Dear Mr. Man: Out of curiosity a query that will stun in its lack of empathy but bear with me: What part of her body is affected by endometriosis? Hint: Not her mouth. And to close the circle, another one: Does endometriosis make it impossible to enjoy cunnilingus? You see me working here? Specifically, is there any way to rescue you both from sexless misery without increasing sexy misery?
Based on what my unofficial medical panel says, the short answer might be “no.” Endometriosis is a bear and is as serious as it gets when it comes to sexual pain and discomfort. Not “discovered” until the 1860s, people have been studying it ever since, and there are associated metrics on misery, lost productivity, infertility and a host of cures and near-cures and yet it still soldiers on with no cure in sight.
But that’s not the issue for you and wouldn’t be an issue until you step into that “in sickness or in health” scenario. Now? Now you have a pretty cool roommate who, for a variety of reasons, all probably legitimate, can’t square herself with sexual contact with you so much so that she’s easy with you dating and seeing sex workers. While that could be a glittering path to lifelong happiness, I largely suspect it’s not since every mainstream Western scenario and setting involves monogamous pair bonding.
Sure there are many other lifestyle choices and maybe you two can discover some. If it had always been this way I’d feel more comfortable thinking you all would be OK in the long run, but in a part of your query that I had to edit out you told me that your sex life used to be “great.” So going from “great” to not having any sex at all when you’re still relatively young and healthy? A tough burden to shoulder, and for what? A love that was functional for two years? There are lots of things I’m unsure of, sir, but of one thing I’m quite sure: If everything works right you’ll be alive for at least 40 more years and that’s a lot of side dating and escorts. So plan accordingly.
But lest you think I’m one of those sex columnists who’s going to take the mealymouthed middle road and leave you with no clear directive, I’d add this: If every remediation effort has been tried and nothing works? Leave. You’ll be doing you both a favor. But mostly, you.
How Large Is too Large?
EUGENE, SIR: GOOD EVENING SIR, I JUST READ YOUR STORIES FROM THE MEDIA AND I DEVELOPED CONFIDENCE IN YOUR PROFESSION. MY NAME IS JIM, AND I’M 22. MY STORY IS: A PROBLEM DURING THE TIME OF LOVEMAKING. I DON’T KNOW WHAT EXACTLY THE PROBLEM IS, BUT IT IS VERY DIFFICULT TO PENETRATE THE VAGINA. MY GIRLFRIEND SAID I HAVE A BIG PENIS AND THAT’S TRUE. COULD YOU HELP ME WITH SOME POSSIBLE WAYS THAT WILL HELP ME TO ENJOY MY LOVEMAKING? YOUR HELP WILL BE HIGHLY APPRECIATED. THANK YOU. — JIM K.
Dear JIMK: You have not told me how large your penis is and thankfully you did not send me the photographic proof of its prominence, so this is all just guesswork. Feel free to correct me, but your penis IS smaller than the head of a newborn infant, yes? Of course, childbirth is a rough register since I’ve yet to hear any woman describe it as pleasant, but assuming that your penis is even 30 percent smaller than a baby’s skull, you should, with the application of lubrication and foreplay, be able to put it into a place that babies manage to emerge from. Some men, unsure of what foreplay is (Is it an animal? A small country? A fantastical creature of yore?) need to know that it’s everything before penetration that should healthily include oral sex/cunnilingus, frottage, kissing and whatever else you might include in your repertoire of seduction. Lasting minutes even. As in even several minutes. In an ideal world with a variety of penile/vaginal shapes and sizes, this should work. Let me know if it doesn’t, SANS THE ALL CAPS PANIC MODE, and we’ll take another swing at it. Good luck.
EUGENE, SIR: I went out with a friend of a friend. I missed my train home, and he invited me back to his hotel room. There were two narrow twin beds and he gave me one and took the other. Getting ready for bed, he completely disrobed and as it was hot he laid naked on his bed. We talked and then he told me I could share his bed and he waved me over and had sex with me. The sex was good, but I am unsure if that was the point since he never asked me if I wanted to have sex with him. It’s a small thing I know, but isn’t this how people get in trouble and would it have killed him to ask? — Name withheld by request
Dear Accidental Tourist: I think there are lots of conversations people have and lots of ways to have them, and some of those ways don’t always involve words. Though maybe a missed train opened a door into sexual contact you hadn’t been planning on, wondering if criminal or ethically challenged activity occurred in the absence of the naked man actually asking (versus suggesting) you to share his twin bed with him seems sort of tempest-in-a-tea-potty to me. Would it have been nice? Yes. Is it horrible that he didn’t ask? I really think you’d have to tell me. But on the face of it, and by your description, a good time was had by all. Maybe next time the next young man will ask beforehand. Maybe not. But you are an actor here too and should always feel free to voice a desire whenever the spirit moves you. Yeah?