Advice

Miss Information

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Have a question? Email erin@nerve.com. Letters may be edited for length, content and clarity.

  

Dear Miss Information,
 
I’m a thirty-four year old male. My fiancée is upset because my good female friend asked me to go to a wedding with her as her beard. My friend is shy socially, and a bunch of her old friends from high school are going to be there. She and I have no history, and she made it clear it wasn’t a real date. I agreed, not thinking it would upset my fiancée.
Fiancée has been crying and yelling for a month, and I’ve caught her a few times going through my phone and my Internet history. She’s convinced I’m cheating, and has even talked to a few of my friends from my grad program. Apparently they said something to her the other day that must have reinforced her beliefs, because she keeps throwing in my face how she’s going to “catch me.”
I’m mad at my friends for betraying me, and I’m mad at my fiancée for being so childish and untrusting. It’s a few hours out of a day, and I can’t believe it’s causing this much turmoil. — Boxed In


Dear Boxed In,

I’d like to introduce you someone. His name is Human Nature. Human Nature, this is that guy I’ve been telling you about. The one who has faults people for being people. He also likes to put them in awkward, stressful situations and then get outraged when they don’t act totally sympathetic or rational.

Your fiancée is going too far, Boxed In, I agree. Looking in email and internet histories is unacceptable. But her jealousy is somewhat warranted. You guys are going to get dressed up all nice, dance, drink, eat rich food. It’s basically like a date, and even more so with you and this chick putting on some weird charade of being a couple. Fuck that noise. I wouldn’t be happy about my guy doing that either.
Your buddies have no way to win here. If fiancée is snooping through your shit, I’m sure she has no reservations about grilling the fuck out of them. Sharing information is ingratiating, and a normal response to people leaning on you. Tell me you’ve never ratted someone out, or shared information you didn’t mean to.
If there’s a way for you to get out of this wedding without being a total asshole, I would take it. You’re this girl’s only male friend? She doesn’t know anyone else? A gay guy? An online date? The bag boy at the grocery store?
Your friend is going to give you guff, and when she does I bet you’ll be deflecting left and right, "Don’t blame me for canceling, blame my overbearing old lady." But wait! Isn’t a good boyfriend supposed to defend his girlfriend to other people? Isn’t he supposed to take her side at all times? I’m disappointed, Boxed In. Very disappointed.

 

Dear Miss Information,
My last question to you was about online dating, and it paid off — I met the online babe of my dreams. As a committed couple, we’ve dispensed with condoms and she’s gone back on the pill, but it seems to be having side effects. She’s been on the pill for her adult life and only went off in the past year, but now that she’s back on she is feeling less herself. She lubricates less during sex and her sex drive is down. What can we do to overcome this? I’ve had successful monogamous relationships in the past, using just the withdrawal method, but my girlfriend is uncomfortable about this option. What else can we do? Is it possible that simply switching to a different brand of pill would help? Or a different form of birth control altogether? Or should we just resign ourselves to the reduced sensation a condom brings? — Sensation Seeker



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Dear Sensation Seeker,
I’m with your cyber-babe on withdrawal. The failure rate is kinda high, though it’s still popular in many cultures and countries. You’re a Steady Eddie, but your girl may be a Fertile Myrtle. Some can play it fast and loose. Others, like my friend S, can get pregnant just by reading Barry White’s bio on Wikipedia. You don’t want to risk it.
Vagina desert and vagina sauna are both side effects of birth control pills. She might want to try a new brand or a different formulation. This could mean swapping one side effect for another, and it’s not uncommon to make several trips to the drugstore before you get it right. Make sure to take the right backup precautions and have fun freaking out the pharmacist. Wear a big fake pregnant belly and a t-shirt that says “Proud Virgin”.
Is the dryness related to her sex drive going from a Porsche to a Pinto? Could be. Could a different birth control pill fix it? Ditto. I can’t recommend a specific brand without knowing more about her medical history. (There’s that whole business of not being a doctor too). I can point you to this birth control pill guide on Planned Parenthood, and suggest you guys go crazy with the lube. Lube everything. Your parts, her parts, the hinges on your nightstand. If you’re squicked out by the slick stuff, try one of the new sprays. They’re less gooey and cold going on. I got one in a swag bag at a party, and I’m a big fan.
You guys could also look into something else besides the pill. I know you’re in a monogamous relationship and looking for max sensation, so condoms don’t necessarily have to be part of that. About.com has a guide to contraceptives that provides a good overview of the major non-condom options.



Dear Miss Information,

So, the woman I’ve been seeing is in Australia ’til August. We had no discussion about “ground rules” before she left, both of us being good at avoiding most Important Talks. She hasn’t been very receptive so far to the phone sex option, and my current setup doesn’t lend itself to cyber sex. How would the topic of an open relationship best be broached? Or should I just keep it in park ’til she gets back? — Grounded


Dear Grounded,

Keep what in park? Your dick? Or the topic? I guess I’d say "yes" on the first until you get more information on the second. A very casual relationship, the kind where you know a lot about your partner’s genitals but aren’t really clear on his or her last name, doesn’t call for a lot of discussion. But it sounds like you two are a little more serious than that. Write this on an index card and keep it by the phone:
"Hey, I know we left it kind of undefined when we last saw each other. I just wanted to let you know that I’m [interested/not interested] in seeing other people. But I’m open to negotiation. I just wanted to introduce the topic, and get a feel for where you’re at right now with this relationship."
Negotiation is pretty much the most important word in the entire paragraph. It covers your ass better than a Kevlar diaper. It softens the delivery and leaves room for an opinion that’s divergent.
Just do it, Grounded. Get it over with. Even agreeing on an official "don’t ask don’t tell" policy is still deciding something. My sister always says, "Deciding not to decide is still deciding." Her vocabulary’s a little limited for a woman of thirty-two, but the family is still hopeful. MISS INFO FUN FACT #29221: Did you know that "donger", "doodle", and "old fella" are all Aussie slang for penis? Readers both domestic and abroad, what’s the most popular word for penis on your corner of the globe?

 


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