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,
My boyfriend and I just broke up yet again, after dating on and off for about a year and half. I’m fine with the break-up and I’m dating other people now and very happy about it. The only thing that still bothers me about our relationship is that my family swears he’s gay. He’s only dated girls (or at least as far as I know), he really likes going down on girls (I’ve never heard of a gay guy liking that) and we had really great sex. He does have quite a few gay friends on Myspace, and he does occasionally go to gay bars. Is My Ex Gay?



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Dear Is My Ex,
It’s really common after a relationship ends to go all Sherlock Holmes. You’re feeling angry and hurt by this individual. You want some sort of external validation that makes it easier to detach, whether it’s a questionable MySpace page or a bunch of friends sitting around a table, squirming uncomfortably as you force them to tell you what they never liked about him. (Most common answers: chronic halitosis and inability to stop bragging about his shitty synth-rock band.)
It’s all right to wonder, just like the Mister Rogers song says. Just don’t let it rule you. MySpace and Facebook stalking are acceptable. Not as acceptable would be joining a gay personals service and posing as sexybruce_4432 just to see if he responds.
My professional opinion? A large number of gay friends on a social networking site is a bit of a pink flag, especially if he only knows them through the virtual world. Lots of times people will practice new identities in this type of space before going public. Then again, maybe it’s a weird coincidence or he knows a lot of Republican senators or something.
You’re coming out of this with the upper hand — you’re dating again and happy and over him — so focus on what you do have rather than what you don’t. There are some questions to which you’ll never have the answers. Even if you had an answer, it could change. Sexuality is never completely fixed. He could decide that yes, he was gay while he was dating you and then ten years from now change his mind. Are you going to continue to let your emotions be impacted by this or will you take the relationship for what it was and move on?
Want to know a quick, easy way to feel better? Go get yourself tested. This is always a good practice when a relationship ends and even more so when cheating is a question. I know it doesn’t sound like that direct of a link, but knowing everything is squeaky clean on the STD front will do wonders for your closure. Seriously. I did it when my last relationship ended and I felt so good walking out of the clinic I almost high-fived my vagina.
In addition to sexy stock-photography doctor babes, the Planned Parenthood site has information on low-cost local STD testing. You can also get it from a private physician, but they don’t always do the full battery, and sometimes the insurance companies will try to jack you, so ask questions and know what you’re being charged for.

 

Dear Miss Information,
I am totally in love with my wife. She’s sexier to me now than she was when we met. We’ve been married twelve years and all is well. But the longer we’ve been married, the shorter our sexual menu has become. Blowjobs are over and I’m okay with that. Sort of. But now she’s so self-conscious that she won’t let me go down on her any more. Plus her nipples (if you can imagine) are very sensitive so they’re off limits too. Did you ever see the movie "Like Water for Chocolate"? Where the Mexican bride has sex for the first time under a big blanket with just a hole cut for her pussy? We’re getting there. What can I do? What products can I use to make her less self-conscious about any smell that might emanate from her pussy (she says a douche will mess up the bacterial balance or some thing) and to make her nipples less sensitive? She’s such a hot little minx — all I want is all of her. — Wants To Go Down



Dear Wants To Go Down,
She’s right about the douching business. It messes with the vagina’s chemical balance and makes you more prone to STDs, irritations, and smirky commercial quoting from pimply-faced fifteen-year-old Wal-Mart clerks.
Anyway, I doubt it would do any good. Massengill doesn’t manufacture a variety called "Vinegar & I Don’t Want to Fuck My Husband," and that’s what I think she’s trying to do. Or not do, rather. By limiting the variety of activities and placing narrow restrictions on the way they’re performed, your wife is slowly but surely cutting off your opportunities for intimacy, both physical and emotional. The question is: Why?
Part of it’s how long you’ve been married. Twelve years is a long-ass time. Hell, even two years is a long-ass time when you’re dealing with the same set of genitals (and that pesky person attached to them) day in, day out. You don’t say whether you have any kids, but if you do that’s a factor as well — especially for the body-image issues. I get all freaked out when the razor slips and a fellow has to see a hack trim-job. I can only imagine what it must be like having someone go down on you after a couple episiotomies.
It’s good that she’s acknowledging her self-consciousness and it’s nice that you’re making accommodations, but that’s not enough. You need to be talking about the underlying causes of those feelings and what might be done to help her feel like a sexual badass again. Whether that’s therapy or couples counseling or simply some extended heart-to-hearts, I don’t know. Just make it happen. It’s only going to keep on escalating if you say "All right, honey," every time she says puts her hands over her lady-business and curls up like a pill bug.
Getting back to the physical, try taking showers before sex to help with her hangup about girl odor. There’s also scented candles, incense, and Victoria’s Secret body lotion. Note that I don’t necessarily agree with the latter’s marketing. I only recommend it because it is to body odor what ranch-flavored CornNuts were to alcohol breath in high school — the ultimate in masking aromas. Obviously don’t put it directly on the area in question; a little around the thighs and stomach should do it. While you’re at it, have her get checked out by a doctor, just in case her paranoia has a real-life physical cause.
As for her nipples, you could try touching her through a piece of silk cloth or a padded bra or just sit back and watch as she touches them in front of you. If you do get full access, put her hand over yours and let her guide the touch. Go easy, listen and watch closely for cues and take frequent breaks. I know all this sounds like instructions for handling Faberge eggs or defusing landmines, but having sensitive nipples sucks. Having someone yank on them when you don’t want them yanked on is the epitome of awful — no "if you can imagine" about it. Good luck, Wants To Go Down. Hopefully we’ll see you at the bottom.

 


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