The Source: Emily Yoffe, Dear Prudence
The Dilemma: “Last Halloween, I came to my office in full ‘office girl’ drag. Dress, heels, makeup, wig… It went over pretty well (although it was NOT a dress up day for the rest of the office). People still mention it. Well, I did that because I do cross-dress occasionally. When people kid me about it, I REALLY want to say ‘well, it was nice to show the office what my days off are like’ or something like that. I’d really love to be ‘out’ it’s lonely in the closet, but I know the cat doesn’t go back in the bag. Should I keep my mouth shut, or share with my co-workers?”
The Advice: “When you talk about the closet — and I assume you don’t mean your clothes closet — if you’re saying you’re hiding the fact you’re gay, then, yes, you should feel free to let people know you’re homosexual. However that doesn’t mean that anyone, whatever their sexual orientation, should then subject the office to a tour of their sexual proclivities. You don’t want the cubicle mate who is into S&M showing up in bondage gear — it’s just not something that belongs in the office. So keep your off-hours wardrobe to yourself.”
The Rebuttal: Not all men who wear women’s clothes are gay. Some are straighter than Chuck Norris. I understand the letter writer brought some of this confusion on himself by using terms like ‘out’ and ‘closet,’ but this is 2010 and both are pretty well-integrated into the public vernacular. You can “come out of the closet” as a thirty-five-year-old Justin Bieber fan or a chronic nose-picker. There’s also Prudy’s advice to, “feel free to let people know you’re homosexual,” as if you’re sending out an email about homemade brownies in the break area. This is his workplace. I’m not saying this person should stay closeted about whatever it is he’s holding back, just that there are other implications to consider. Make a plan and look at it from every possible angle first.
The Dilemma: You’re America’s sweetheart and you just won your first Oscar. But don’t break out the Arbor Mist just yet. Your husband’s cheating on you with Kat Von D’s bargain-bin racist cousin.
The Advice: “It’s not too late for Oscar-winner Sandra Bullock to save her five-year marriage, experts say. The ugly public revelations that husband Jesse James cheated on Bullock are painful but not fatal for the couple’s reeling relationship. ‘Sandra would have to get to a place where she could give her husband the gift of trust,’ said Dr. Flo Rosoff, a marriage counselor….Long Island counselor Dr. Robin Newman echoes her colleague’s prognosis that the celebrity couple can salvage their relationship, despite James’ reported affair with ink-stained wench Michelle (Bombshell) McGee. ‘Fight for your marriage, fight for it,’ Newman advised.”
The Rebuttal: You know what’s a good gift, Sandy? Divorce papers. This is your man’s third marriage. Obviously the guy’s still doing it wrong. I’m all for approaching divorcés and divorcées with an open attitude, but I’m a little concerned with Jesse’s taste level. You know what they say — you lie down with the dogs, you wake up with facial lesions and an agent who won’t answer your calls. Knee-jerk decisions are never good, but Sandra does need to get some serious distance and take a hard line. Easy and immediate forgiveness has never helped any marriage recover.
The Source: Carla Barnhill, Christianity Today
The Dilemma: “I’ve been told that masturbation makes you less of a virgin. Is that true? Does my virginity mean less because I’ve done that? And now that I’ve confessed this mistake to God, what should I do to keep from masturbating?”
The Advice: “When you masturbate, you’re focusing on sex…And when you focus on sex, you’re a lot more likely to end up having sex…Yes, sex is a wonderful gift from God, but so are your friends, hikes in the woods, baseball games and playing Trivial Pursuit with your little sister. So try to keep your mind on noble, pure, admirable and others-focused things instead of sex and self-focused things — and masturbation is one of the most self-focused things in the world.”
The Rebuttal: Also self-focused? Babies. If you demonize sex, deny access to education and birth control, and remove all other available outlets (i.e., masturbation), then this is the kind of shiz that’s going to result. Let’s try another all-or-nothing paradigm that’s fucking up America right now: dieting. Restrict eating, make bodily nourishment scary and intimidating, and sooner or later, people are going to go and get pregnant with a belly full of Fritos. Masturbation is a viable sex alternative, and a fantastic one, at that. No one’s getting pregnant, no one’s losing their purity ring. Barnhill’s advice is unrealistic and demoralizing for anyone of any age to try to follow.
The Source: Hernando Chaves, Ask Men
The Dilemma: “My girlfriend and I have a great sex life and have been together (and sexually active) for over a year and a half. The sex is great, but I have one issue: she gives amazing oral sex, better than I’ve ever had before, yet I can’t come when she does it. I often come close, but I either ‘lose momentum’ or just can’t for some reason…I’m assuming this is all in my head, but why can’t I come when she gives me oral sex?”
The Advice: “I think you’re right that this is all in your head. It sounds like the Madonna/whore complex, where a guy psychologically separates sex with women into pure and good (Madonna) or downright dirty (whore). Oral sex itself can be a very intimate act, but ejaculation during oral can have a porno feel to it. I wonder if deep down inside it’s difficult to imagine yourself coming, your girlfriend swallowing your man juice or you ejaculating on her face. It’s possible your mind is becoming an obstacle to ejaculation because you care about her, respect her, and have feelings for her.”
The Rebuttal: What’s with all the psycho-babble? If a woman were having trouble coming during oral sex it would be written off with generalizations like “women just take longer” or “maybe you have a persnickety vagina.” I don’t think we’d be hearing crap like, “Maybe you’re having a hard time respecting your big strong man are seeing him lapping away at your labia like a submissive little puppy.” Homeboy sounds like he needs to relax, end of story. Or maybe he needs to lay off the masturbation. If you’re used to strong hand stimulation, the mouth can make for a pretty weak substitute.