Why you should care
OZY’s Eugene S. Robinson addresses queries from the love-weary in “Sex With Eugene.”
EUGENE, SIR: I got kicked off Tinder. Not for anything I did on Tinder, but because of something I did with someone I met on Tinder. After we hooked up, she complained to Tinder, and they denied me service. I’ve been trying to get back on; so far nothing. That’s not what I’m writing about, though, since I know why she complained. We both like rough sex. She said she liked being choked, but while I was choking her, things started to go wrong. She must have passed out when I was on the verge of climax, which I didn’t realize until after I came. When I realized what had happened, I started to slap her to wake her, and when she did, she freaked out. Then I freaked out, so when she asked me if I had finished, I lied. When she discovered that I lied, it went downhill from there, with her calling me a rapist, among other things. I don’t know exactly what she told Tinder, but I care less about that than this idea that I fucked up. Did I? — Name withheld by request
Dear Livin’ + Learnin’: Quick take? Yes, you screwed up. But your screwing up the screwing is nuanced, so grab a seat while we tiptoe through your Tinder travail. First, Dr. Ruth recently said that she thinks withdrawing consent mid–sex act is a foul of the highest order. She also said she’s more than willing to debate this with anyone, and I’d like to take her up on that. If I can grant consent I can just as easily rescind it. But this is between willing and conscious participants. The second someone’s passed out, though, that consent should be considered withdrawn.
Which brings us back to you and the finer points of your fucking up. In a very macro sense, you fucked up because it’s rare for me to get letters from people who have not. In a micro sense, I don’t think you fucked up by finishing a sex act from which consent had been withdrawn, for the simple reason that it was so close in time to your orgasm that you didn’t notice. It happens, it happened and the possibility that you’re telling the truth is not the most outrageous thing in the world.
And the slapping? Same. I’ve done it in past efforts to revive junkies who have overdosed and there was nothing violent about it. So, again, only a little harm, very little foul.
But the lies told about your orgasm are the lies that, though understandable, have done you in since unless you have magic semen, evidence of aforementioned semen, sans condoms, was inevitable. I won’t ask why you thought lying about it made sense, but I will say this: Thinking she wouldn’t find out was an error that doomed the possibility of any continued relationship with this woman. Moving forward, my advice would be to realize that asphyxiation is pro-level playbook stuff, and if you can’t play carefully, then you can’t play at all. Which is just a nice(r) way of saying: Be careful next time and pay (better) attention. Good luck.
The Organized Orgy
EUGENE, SIR: My husband and I are swingers, and in our short time swinging we haven’t figured out how to communicate to the men we’ve invited that just because my husband is doing it doesn’t mean they get to. This goes for kissing, slapping, hairpulling and light verbal abuse. We prefer boy-girl-boy swinging arrangements; I like being serviced and don’t want to be the one driving, but the men don’t seem to want to listen to my husband. So then I have to stop them, which kills the vibe. Help? — NJen
Dear Number 9: If you are meeting these thirds the way many people do these days — online — that usually means your first contact will be via the written word. So spell out the nonnegotiable rules in writing. If you’re meeting them via swinging events, they should be even more tuned in to no-fly zones. If you’re meeting them the old-fashioned way — on the drunken roulette wheel of bars, beaches, drug-fueled festivals — then you’re assuming a certain amount of risk since those environments are not so suited for reliability in regard to people who “get it.”
More worrisome is your husband’s being ignored. If he has a cuck fantasy, that’s fine, but if you two are going to have a united front, his front needs bolstering, by which I mean he’s your bouncer and your word as enforced by him must be heeded. No ifs, ands or butts. See what I did there? Here all week, folks.
EUGENE, SIR: I take antidepressants, which makes having an orgasm impossible. I’m 59 and don’t want to waste anyone’s time with my problems, but my doctor is in the “try anything” mode, and I don’t need “anything.” I just need to be able to orgasm again. — Depressed, Not Dead
Dear DND Dyno-Mite!: Easy peasy. Although I’m not a fan of antidepressants, especially without the steady hand of a therapist at the helm, I understand that we must do what we must to make quick time across town (QTAT). In addition to getting a therapist and a new psychiatrist, and with the understanding that I am no substitute for either, you should ask both about switching to bupropion, mirtazapine, vilazodone or vortioxetine. These, according to “medical experts” — aka my depressed friends who will still return my calls — will have the lowest number of negative sexual side effects. So here’s hoping they help; and, yeah, since at last check the dead don’t have any sex, good of you to get about the business of staying functionally alive and sexy. Hope this helps!