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 have breast implants. They’re perfect for my small frame, and most people would never detect them. I’ve gone on a few dates with a man who’s really liberal. Somehow, the subject came up, and he’s not a fan — "women who get implants are insecure, and they always look fake," and all sorts of judgmental blathering. I’m very secure with my decision, and have a master’s degree! I don’t even know if he’s completed college! I think he and I are about to be intimate. Should I tell him or wait? I’ve been dating for a few years, and this scenario happens so often. Busted


Dear Busted,
I don’t have implants, but I have something that’s also a dealbreaker for some men — a lower back tattoo (LBT). I got it when I was nineteen. At that time, all the bimbos and himbos were getting ink on their ankles. As far as tats go, it actually was a kind of unique spot. Cut to ten years later, low rise jeans, Britney Spears, jokes on Jimmy Kimmel, and all of a sudden I’m this stereotypical party slut who has the Chinese character for "Too Stupid to Live" permanently etched above her underwear.
I’ve been on numerous dates where guys have ripped on tattoos and LBTs in particular. If it’s a first or second date, I’ll ignore it. If it’s a casual makeout or random fling, I probably won’t say anything about it before entering the bedroom. If you don’t know my middle name, you don’t need the story behind my tattoo. You’re probably too drunk to remember, anyway.
But if the relationship seems like it’s going somewhere, I let it all out. How poorly it was done. How it looks like a cross between a cat and a monkey. How I would never consider removing it because it’s a reminder not to take myself so goddamn seriously. And you know what? I’ve never lost a date, dude or boner because of it. Not one.
Apply my little LBT fable to your breasts. Stand up for yourself, but choose your battles. Is it worth getting in a loud debate with a guy you know you’ll never go out with again anyway? Should you blow off Mr. Gorgeous Sensitive Dreamboat just because he shot off at the mouth? Your coolness will come through and that’ll win a lot of undecideds over. If not, fuck ’em. I’m sure you’ll attract plenty of guys who’ll have no problem with you and your surgically altered rack.

 

Dear Miss Information,
I’m seventeen, and I have a prom next week. I’m friends with my date, but I’d like to be more. We’re both shy, hard-to-read people, and I have no idea where I stand. I’m too scared to ask, and I hate the manipulative, roundabout tactics my friends use to find out (you know, elaborate schemes involving at least seven people). So prom feels like kind of a good time to figure out what’s going on. . . Lacking Key Social Skills



promotion

Dear Lacking Key Social Skills,
Confessing your feelings at prom is a bad call. For one, it’s cheesy and expected. For two, it’s manipulative, and you’ve already said you’re a no-smoke-and-mirrors kind of girl. Prom is rife with nervous energy, inflated expectations and intense social pressure. You must have a magical evening, no matter what. Worried about disappointing you, or dazzled by the disco lights (and perhaps a little Mad Dog), your guy may profess his love. Come Monday morning, it’s, "Oh no, what the fuck did I do?" and you find yourself dumped. Conversely, he could really like you, but not want to make a big social event your first public appearance as a couple. He acts cold and weird, you take it to mean he doesn’t like you and the greatest high school romance since Dawson and Joey dies right there on the dance floor.
If you’re going to do it, make your move after prom. Keep it as casual as possible. Say something like:
"Hey, this might sound strange, but I really like hanging out with you. I was wondering if you’ve ever thought about being more than just friends."
If you’ve asked that in the past and he’s dodged or acted evasive, go with Option B:
"Hey, this might sound strange, but I really like hanging out with you. I was wondering if you’ve ever thought about going on a date with me."
It’s probably going to go over really awkward and not at all romantic. Kind of like tripping in your high heels over balloons and crepe paper and mashing tongues to bad R&B. Enjoy your prom for what it is, and sort out the relationship stuff later. That romantic moment you think you’re missing probably wasn’t all that romantic to start with. Readers, any interesting prom stories? BTW, watch my MySpace page. I’ll be posting some truly hideous prom pictures shortly.



Dear Miss Information,

I’ve been with my boyfriend for a few years, and we’ve lived together for the past two. We’re in love, have great sex, all the things we want in a relationship. But sometimes he tries to have sex with me while we’re asleep. In the middle of the night, I’ll feel him trying to pull off my underwear. Or I’ll be woken up by him climbing on top of me and trying to fuck me. It usually freaks me out, and I push him off, telling him to stop. In the morning, I recount the story and he says he has no recollection of it. The other night, it happened again, and I did my usual routine of telling him to stop and pushing him off me. The next morning, however, he said he’d woken up a bit while it was happening and was confused because he didn’t understand what was going on. I think he freaked himself out. I’ve read some articles recently about this sort of thing. Is there anything we can do about it? Or should I just resign myself to nights of sleep sexing? — Sex in My Sleep


Dear Sex in My Sleep,
Okay, given your lovey-dovey relationship and otherwise normal sex life, I don’t think your boyfriend is some control freak psycho who think it’s all right to play Sex Offender Sandman whenever you drift off to sleep.
Your boyfriend’s behavior sounds more like a sleep disorder than anything. Unlike a dumbass neighbor who plays bagpipes (I actually have one I’m not just adding that for color), sleep disorders are unique for each person and often have complex underlying causes. In the science world, they’re known as "parasomnias," and include behaviors like sleepwalking, night terrors, teeth grinding and restless-leg syndrome.
Do pussy gatecrashing and other unwanted sexual advances constitute a genuine sleep disorder? The whole thing is pretty controversial. Some people go beyond groping their loved ones and have found themselves in bed with total strangers. There are a couple cases in court right now where the "sleep sex" phenomenon is being used as a defense against rape charges.
First place I would look is his medication. More specifically, the latest crop of prescription sleep aids. People are peeing in the middle of intersections, riding motorcycles, eating uncooked rice and buttered cigarettes. If your boyfriend’s on one, make him get off it or find a replacement. There are several different meds out now that have been successful in alleviating various parasomnias.
Practicing what the National Sleep Foundation calls good sleep hygiene will also help. Get enough sleep and the same amount of it every night. Cut down on caffeine and crank, and no more beef jerky and cotton candy before bedtime.
The majority of sleep disorders have a psychological component. If you’ve tried the above and it’s not working, get him to go see a therapist. You’re suffering, too, so consider whether you need own headshrinker, or double the fun and go to couples counseling.
Finally (and you knew this was coming), what about separate beds or bedrooms? It’s one of the hippest trends in home building, according to this article. There’s something sexy and summer camp-like about visiting each other’s bedrooms. What you lose in cuddle you make up for in quality sleep and prolonged novelty. You’re going to want both if you’re in it for the long haul.

 


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