Why you should care
Don’t make us come out there.
Sucking in Bed: a How-To Guide
EUGENE, SIR: A friend of mine is in misery. For the past 10 years of their marriage, her husband has not managed to give her an orgasm. He also cannot last more then five minutes in bed, according to her. She’s 35 and tells me she dreads having sex with him. “Why get dressed up for a party I’m not going to?” she says. She has talked to him about it, and he tells her that she should masturbate more so she can figure out her body and that he’s not responsible for her orgasms. To make matters worse, I happen to know he’s having affairs. I have no idea how to fix this, but saying “get a divorce” seems too easy. — Mary
Dear the Wind Cries: I have a few ways in mind that your friend could figure out her body, and curiously they all involve personal masseurs named Ramón. Look, your “friends” are done. You don’t say whether or not they have kids, but it seems to me that she’s taken as much crap from him as any one wife should have to take. Or think about it this way: How long do you think her husband would have stuck around if he hadn’t had an orgasm in 10 friggin’ years?! The husband who’s having affairs?
The reality of it is she has brought to bear the patience of Job — that’s Job, he of the Bible, not that place that pays you every two weeks for showing up — patience that would be put to much better use doing something like, um, drafting an online dating profile or something.
How do you help? Just try to stand clear of the wreckage and help her understand as clearly and quickly as possible that they’re all going to be a bit better off doing what they’re doing somewhere else with someone else. For at least five minutes at a time.
Gender-Biased Bed Bits?
DEAR OZY: I’ve appreciated many of your progressive contributions to the news and been a subscriber for some time. However, Eugene Robinson’s last Wildcard was one of the most gender-biased columns I’ve ever read. According to Mr. Robinson, if your guy is not meeting your needs enough to keep sex interesting, you should let him sleep with other people.
That argument makes it sound as if only male sexual satisfaction is important. If a woman has lost interest in sex with someone she’s still content to raise a kid with, isn’t it more likely that he needs some advice on pleasing her? Better communication or even counseling should have been offered as options. Otherwise, this column is only about male sexuality, or at least shortsighted in its understanding of female sexuality. Is that the attitude I should expect from OZY? — Whitney Elizabeth
Dear WE: Hmm. Well, since there have been so many “Sex With Eugene” columns, I don’t have ready recall of which one you’re speaking of specifically, but I’d hazard a guess based on what you’ve said here, and answer that you’ve misunderstand my take (though I’m unsure of which exact take that was).
But I think I can safely say that very few couples have, anecdotally, made the climb from bad sex to good sex. Possibly because the clinical management of your sex life is one of the least sexy things around. So the adviser’s fallback of recommending therapy is one that I use sparingly.
I also tend to think that “talking” your way back to sexual satisfaction tends not to be as successful as we might hope. Based on, yes, anecdotes.
Are you suggesting that it makes more sense for the woman to endure bad sex in the hopes that he magically figures out how to meet her needs? That argument makes it sound as if only male sexual satisfaction is important.
She doesn’t want to have sex with her man, nor does she want to force him to have more bad sex with her. Keeping him sexless and miserable is not good for their long-term nonsexual prospects. Her needs? At such time as she wants them met, my suggestion, if she had asked me, would be that she maintain a healthy, casual relationship with a man who knows his way around a vagina. Who, yes, is not her husband. Hope that makes it make a little more sense. In any case, thanks for writing!
EUGENE, SIR: My girlfriend has started asking me the “do these pants make me look fat?” question. I know this is a trick question, but for me, the trick is complicated because I like fat women. Like, really like fat women. But no woman, even a fat woman, wants to be appreciated for being fat. So I don’t say anything. Which makes it even weirder. What do I do? — Ronald
Dear Mr. McDonald: No woman (or man), especially a heavy woman (or man), wants to be valued for any one thing. I mean, how’d you like to go through your days being “the black-shoe guy”? Even if people were saying “that black-shoe guy is sexy”? It’s like having a fan club, when you don’t want a fan club.
But to answer your question: “Those pants make you look hot” is the correct response.
Now DO it!