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,
    Recently you answered a letter from a girl who was uneasy about her boyfriend’s bisexuality. I’m on the other end of the spectrum. I’m a guy who is very, very over being gay. It’s just not rewarding or fulfilling anymore. I think I only kissed a guy in the first place (and kept doing it) because I felt like I was missing out on half the species. Now I feel like I’ve gone to the other extreme.
    I know what you’re wondering: "Well, Mr. Conflicted, who gets you hard?" The answer for now: men. But I think that’s because I’m out of practice (and therefore anxious) with getting aroused around women. I don’t necessarily want to abandon guys, but I want to get back in the saddle and perhaps double my chances of meeting somebody.
    I don’t want to make an experiment out of any woman, and I don’t think I could lie about my past. How should I approach this, and how can I find a woman who’s okay with this scenario? — Mr. Conflicted


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Dear Mr. Conflicted,
    Guys like you fuel my gay crossover fantasies and make me believe I actually had a chance of bedding the concierge at my hotel last weekend. Instead, I settled for comparison to a young Ally Sheedy and a room upgrade.
    Seriously, though, two things to consider before you set off in search of the great pink-walled way:
    1. Being gay/straight/bi/whatever isn’t about attaining some result. It’s cool to take a break from guys, but try to think of it as being flexible with your sexuality rather than giving something up because it’s not paying off.
    2. Think of all the times you’ve slept with dudes. Wasn’t there the occasional dick failure or less-than-stellar screw? Unless your name’s on a DVD box, I’m guessing yes. Don’t psych yourself out about how long it’s been. Slip-ups happen, regardless of your partner’s gender. Stop obsessing and have fun getting back in practice.
    As for approach, you’re right-on with the no-experimenting, people-for-the-ethical-treatment-of-girlfriends stuff. Definitely tell your dates what’s going on before you get naked, but tone down the gay-dating-hating horror stories and the "double my chances" shit. It comes off as needy and makes you sound bitter. Of course, you’re neither, but your dates don’t know that yet. We want them to see how fabulous (or part-time fabulous) you really are.


Dear Miss Information,
    After my girlfriend Maddi and I broke up, we stayed best friends. She did not get along with my next girlfriend, Karen. Karen was jealous of Maddi; Maddi didn’t like Karen and felt I deserved better. The two fought constantly. After a long period of tension, Karen and I broke up.
    Just days afterward, Maddi tried to "win me back." I felt hurt because Maddi had promised me she had no ulterior motives in staying friends. Now I’m realizing what Karen saw the whole time: Maddi never wanted to be “just friends.”
    Maddi and I haven’t spoken since, and Karen and I are working on being friends again. When Maddi wasn’t an issue, Karen and I were completely happy. We never fought. Our sex life was great, and we were an amazing couple.
    I want to be with Karen again and move past the Maddi situation. But the whole thing hurt her so badly that I don’t know where to start. What do I do? — Ex Hex

Dear Ex Hex,
    When a friend whom you also used to fuck doesn’t dig your significant other, there’s usually something amiss. In other words, MADDI HOT. BURN BABY. STAY AWAY.
    I’m all about being friends with exes, but everything about Miss Maddi, from the "she’s not good enough for you" shit to the post-breakup pounce, tells me this girl is not viable friend material. You took a good first step by cutting off ties. Now you’ve got to show Karen that Maddi is out of the picture. You can’t be half-assed on this one: MADDI BAD. KAREN GOOD.
    By the way — how the fuck did you allow this to happen in the first place? Did the idea of two girls fighting over you help you get over the fact that you had a bowl cut and whacked off to mammogram brochures in the seventh grade? If so, your self-esteem needs some fine-tuning. Next time you’re in a relationship (let’s hope, with Karen), tell your girl what you need to make you feel more wanted. It’s a lot more effective than using an ex as an emotional pawn.


Dear Miss Information,
    I like anime, alternative music and Kevin Smith movies. My friends are more of the makeup-wearing, club-hopping type. They have active social lives, and mine is stuck in neutral. Since I’m not like most of my friends, it’s hard for me to find anyone to start a relationship with. It’s even more difficult because I’m such a homebody. What should I do to find that special someone? — Punk Rock Girl


Dear Punk Rock Girl,
    Unlike requests for meaningless yet mindblowing sex with young men resembling Michael Ealy, this is the kind of letter I get two to three times a week. Whether they’re from men, women, gays, straights, gym rats or renaissance-fair attendees, the letters all contain the same question: How can I meet someone who sets my heart a-flutter?
    Lots of folks say you can’t set out to meet someone — it just has to happen. This is total bullshit, and anyone who’s ever heard of what our Commander-in-Chief likes to call “the Internets” should know better. Meeting people online is perfect for a homebody like you, Punk Rock Girl, and I’m not just talking about online dating, though that’s an obvious start. Start a blog, post an ad on a community site like Craigslist, get active in discussion forums and bulletin boards, and use those social networking sites for more than checking up on ex-boyfriends. At the risk of unmasking myself as an überdork, I’ll let you in on a little secret: most of my friends (including boyfriends) have been acquired this way.
    Once you find a guy you jibe with, don’t be afraid to suggest a real-life meet-up. Don’t worry about coming off like a weirdo. Many times, your online compatriot will want the same thing but be too chickenshit to suggest it.
    I’m sure I’m leaving out other, non-online options, but this week’s column has gone on too long already. What about you, lovely readers? How do you meet new people? Send your suggestions and stories to erin@nerve.com, and I’ll throw a few in next week’s column. Unless, of course, I hear from Michael Ealy . . .  



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©2005 Erin Bradley and Nerve.com