| Want to play Miss Info for a day? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with a 250-word-or-less response to the question at the end of this week’s column. Next week I’ll post the winners.
1st prize: Membership to Nerve Premium
2rd prize: Count Your Blessings: A Family Circus Collection by Bill Keane
3rd prize: Ceramic Garfield mug (A $6.95 value!)
Obviously there’s a lot at stake here, people. All entries must be submitted by noon on Monday, July 23rd. Good luck!
|Dear Miss Information,
I think my boyfriend is addicted to porn. Things began to go downhill when we moved in after three months of dating. There have been a number of crappy circumstances surrounding our relationship, including the fact that he’s unemployed. I recently discovered that he’s been on my computer seven or eight hours a day, looking at porn and running up adult pay-per-view charges on the TV. My self-esteem is taking a beating. I’m open-minded, attractive, fit and easygoing. I know he’s not cheating. He swears he loves me and it’s the fighting that’s making it difficult for him to want sex (his earlier excuses were that he didn’t feel like a man because he was not contributing to the household and that he had gained weight). Do I wait it out or do I cut and run? — Tense and Confused
Dear Tense and Confused,
Of all the people that look at porn, only a very small number are addicted (seven to ten percent, according to a recent government survey). Assuming his wank marathons haven’t been a long-term issue, it’s safe to say your boyfriend doesn’t belong in this category. Yet.
He’s depressed. Looking at porn is his way of distracting himself and procrastinating. It’s psychologically more comfortable to zone out and watch gang bangs then research therapists, enroll in adult ed, or apply for temp work and be rejected. I know it makes you feel crappy and jealous, but he’s no more in love with these women than I am with cat pictures or solitaire.
The real issue is coping techniques and the fact that he doesn’t have any. The one he is trying (shunning your sexual advances in an attempt to exercise power where he has none) sucks. Can coping techniques be taught? Yes. But it’s not going to happen while he’s sitting around the house, wacking off on your dime, and deliberately avoiding intimacy.
It’s time for a new regime. No more unpaid pay-per-view. No more pubic hairs all over your keyboard. The password option’s there for a reason. Let him go to the library or an Internet café. Too harsh? Give him an online allowance. He can use that time however he wants, but can’t come crying if he needs to answer his email and he wasted four hours on Minesweeper and wack movies.
Finally, try to be a little less critical and cool it with the dildos on his pillow and crotchless panties. He’s acting depressed and he’s going to keep acting depressed until circumstances change. Banging your pussy against the wall over and over isn’t going to help it. See what happens when he goes back to work. If it doesn’t get better, take off.
|Dear Miss Information,
For the past several months, I’ve been struggling to get over my ex-boyfriend. I’ve never been very good at meeting people and dating. I’ve been so lonely since I left him, especially now that I’m going to a new school in a new location. What do I do? How do I date and not let it depress me? How do I stay friends with him but let go of my feelings? — Want to Be Over Him
Dear Want to Be Over Him,
I’ve always found, "Wait until you’ve been single for xyz months divided by length of relationship plus the square root of the Chewbacca hypotenuse blah blah blah etc.," a big old bunch of malarkey. The best piece of advice I can give you is to practice safe dating. Safe dating is like regular dating, only you stop before you go "all the way", i.e. get a boyfriend. Your problem is you’re too goal oriented. Dating doesn’t have to result in a boyfriend, and it doesn’t have to be a continuous activity. Resolve not to let either of those bother you. As a lazy ex-boyfriend once told me, "You can’t fail if you never had a goal in the first place."
Rule #1: Keep away from the ex. That alone will take care of ninety-nine percent of the sadness. "How do I stay friends with him but let go of my feelings?" You don’t. Phone calls once every few months and occasional emails only.
Rule #2: No going out with guys you could see yourself with long term.
Rule #3: You must advertise your unavailability for anything serious by the end of the first few dates. If Paul or Bill is sending you cyber-roses and taking you to gyno appointments, do what’s cool and set him free.
Rule #4: All boy-related activities, whether it’s trolling the bar with your girlfriends or going on a date, are limited to two days a week.
Rule #5: Find a good therapist, and read communication skills books like this one to help with your shyness.
|"Miss Info for A Day" Contest Question:
Dear Miss Information:
Nine months ago, my wife gave birth to our son. He’s great, and although it can be a lot of work at times, I feel we’ve got a good handle on parenting. But one thing’s not going so well, and that’s our sex life. While my sex drive has stayed the same, my wife’s has dwindled to nothing. I’ve tried talking to her about it a couple of times, but she always acknowledges it, says she doesn’t know why, and she’ll work on it. Yet nothing changes. Our frequency is very low, usually once every other week or less. And she’s clearly not into it when we do have sex, which kills the mood for me. I’ve tried everything I can think of to help — setting a good mood for sex, more foreplay, more oral, more toys for her and even getting out of the house for dates on occasion, but nothing is working. She says she doesn’t even masturbate anymore. I’m at the end of my rope here! I need help before I go out of my mind, or do something I might regret later — like cheat on her! — Frustrated New Father
©2007 Erin Bradley and Nerve.com