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 come to the conclusion I don’t like kids and don’t want any of my own. This has created a lot of friction with past girlfriends. More than once I’ve been told, "Well, I don’t want kids right now…" Eventually their stance changes, and mine stays the same. Both parties end up feeling hurt and betrayed.
    Other people wanting to have kids is fine. Personally, I would rather emasculate myself with a disc sander than go through a pregnancy scare. How do I make my child-free choice known without putting the breaks on sex? How can I turn away childless fence-sitters without coming off like a misogynistic douchebag? At this point, I’m about ready to drop out of dating altogether until my age bracket moves past the breeding years. Please help me before I become a walking billboard for abstinence-only sex education. — No Kidding, Not Joking


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Dear No Kidding,
    Even though I’m so feminist I’ve seriously considered opening fire in the offices of Maxim magazine, starting with the layout artists who put quotes saying shit like “I love it when a man takes control!” next to images of oiled-up starlets, I’m not going to go with the “Keep it in your pants, buddy” answer on this one. That’s too easy, and I like making things hard for myself. Besides, there’s nothing misogynist about not wanting to surrender your personal freedom, money, time and energy for the next eighteen years to someone who’ll one day shove you into assisted care.
    Just because you don’t want kids doesn’t mean you’ve got to give up sex entirely. You just have to have it with the right people. It’s easy to weed out kid-happy chicks online: just limit your searches to those ladies that answer “no” to the "I want children" question, and make sure to feature this information prominently in your profile.
    Don’t worry, there are ways to do it without sounding like a dick. Try putting a spiritual spin on it, something about needing to be "one with your soulmate," or get more political and cite population control or not wanting to birth another American under George Bush’s regime.
    Since this is harder when you’re picking up people in a bar ("How about some RU-486 in that rum-and-coke?"), make sure you get her stance on the kid issue no later than the third or fourth date. Sure it’s awkward to bring up, but it’s important, and once you get in the habit, it’ll get easier. Finally, it’s obvious, but practice what you preach, and always, always, ALWAYS use birth control. Even better, get it snipped and advertise the fact that you’re shooting blanks. That should scare off any undecideds right away.


Dear Miss Information,
    I’m a twenty-one-year-old female college student. I’ve just started dating a guy who’s twenty-three. He’s very caring and affectionate. About three years ago, when he was in college, he got his girlfriend pregnant. She ended up having an abortion and moving to another state. He told me this killed his sex drive. We’ve been dating for three weeks now, but all he’s done is take my shirt off. I appreciate that he’s shared this information with me, and I don’t want to abandon him over this issue, but I’m so sexually frustrated that I want to drive my head into a wall. I’m not saying that I want to jump right into having sex with him, but there are other things we can do, right? Please help. — Frustrated

Dear Frustrated,
    When I was a kid, I’d be devastated when the networks would pre-empt Punky Brewster for something stupid like the Emmys or a presidential debate. I had no concept of time, so waiting a week seemed like the end of the world. Along the same lines, I had a friend who held onto a tube sock stained with her high school boyfriend’s come well into her post-college years because of its "sentimental value."
    Two different situations, both demonstrating what can happen when you let your emotions fuck with your senses of timing and what’s appropriate. In this case, you’re the little kid who’s so eager to fulfill her grown-up desires that you believe waiting less than a month to get intimate should qualify you for saint status. Your guy is like the tube-sock girl, holding onto something that happened a long time ago, even though doing so is kind of messed up.
    If you really dig him and he’s as caring and affectionate as you say, give this guy a little time to warm up. It’s only been three weeks — in some societies, that’s not even long enough to qualify for eye contact. If he refused to kiss you, that’d be one thing, but he’s feeling you up, which means he’s still down for getting down — just at a slower pace.
    Speaking of slow pace, he should probably talk to someone who can help him get over the ex-girlfriend/abortion thing. He’s had a long time to deal with it and if it’s still so bad that it’s interfering with his sex life, there’s some pretty big issues that need to be addressed.
    Finally, when you guys do have sex (and if you’re patient, you guys will), make sure to use protection. Tons of it. Think steel wool and scaffolding. The last thing this relationship needs is an STD or pregnancy scare.
***
Last week, I ran a letter from Punk Rock Girl, a homebody who’s having a hard time finding her dreamboat because her friends would rather slut it up at a club than nerd out over deleted scenes on a Kevin Smith DVD. Some of you wrote in with advice on how to find friends, fucks, and everything in between:
I just moved to a new city and country from where I was living with my fiancé. Until we get the immigration stuff sorted out, I’m on my own. I don’t like bars because the women aren’t friendly and men get the wrong idea. I’ve found the innocuous groups on meetup.com to be a blessing. It’s an artificial social structure, but you get over it. — CS
I get on the music server at my school and hit on girls based on what music they’re sharing. "Oh, you like so-and-so band, too? Why don’t you go to this show with me," etc. — MB

Even if Punk Rock Girl is a homebody, she’s gotta get out sometimes. She should find a bar or club she enjoys and go there on a night when there’s no cover charge and a band playing. That way if she doesn’t meet anyone, at least she can hear some new music and have something to talk about with a stranger. I’ve just started doing this, and it usually results in a nice, no-pressure night out. — NP
Volunteer. It sounds trite, but the guys you meet are usually pretty nice, and if they don’t like you, they’re too cool to blow you off entirely. A lot of them have girlfriends or are gay, though. — TT
Go to every party you’re invited to, even the ones you don’t feel like attending. You meet people when you least expect it. Talk to EVERYONE! — PH
So there you have it, Punk Rock. Make sure to name your alterna-offspring after me.  



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©2005 Erin Bradley and Nerve.com