Miss Information

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Dear Miss Information,
I just got divorced, and I hate my ex-wife. But I can’t stop thinking about her when I masturbate. The sex wasn’t great while we were married, and although I don’t have a girlfriend — just casual fucks here and there — I still feel like this is bad karma. Why am I doing this? What are these urges about? I want to stop. Mr. Inappropriate


Dear Mr. Inappropriate,
Put down that bottle of Lubriderm and the Puffs Ultra Soft, and relax for one New York second. You’ve got yourself worked up into a tizzy. (Yes, I just said ‘tizzy’. Now hand me my TV guide. And some ribbon candy.) All this means is you still have issues with your ex-wife. What’s that you say? Recently divorced? Shocking! How dare you? Good day! Your choice of fantasy lady is just an indicator you’re still dealing. And that’s okay. You’re not yanking your chain outside her window, are you? When you’re stroking your dick, you don’t hear that guy with the ominous voice in the background. You know the one, from Court TV — "After a vigorous spank session, with the spooge on his palms barely dry, Derrick loaded up his 1988 Isuzu and hit the local superstore to go tarp shopping."
People masturbate to all sorts of crazy, fucked-up things. It doesn’t mean we’re sincere in our intentions or we want fantasies to become a reality. Who fantasizes about fucking everyday, vanilla people? Check and you’ll see that the domain name is not taken. Usually we need something more high octane to achieve orgasm.
You probably see sex as a way to control or manipulate your wife. Get some of the power back that you lost when you guys broke up. A little crazy, yes. But again, if the only thing you’re doing is masturbating, it’s pretty harmless. There’s no strong drive to fix this. You’re not in a relationship, you’re having casual sex. Don’t treat this like a big deal. Just go with it and maybe try to let other thoughts enter your mind once in a while. Treat yourself to some new pornography. Even if your wife is the only thing that gets you over the edge, at least think about that new porn for a little while before switching over. This is kind of like when your mom used to put asparagus on your plate as a little kid. Just one bite, then you can go back to bending over ex-wifey.


Dear Miss Information,

I’m in a comfortably non-monogamous relationship, but I’ve got a problem: I’m obsessed with a friend of mine whose relationship is, theoretically at least, monogamous. The heat between us is pretty intense, which is fun even if we don’t act on it (and I don’t want to! I don’t want him to cheat!), but I’ve got this ludicrous schoolgirl crush that I can’t seem to shake. I find myself doing MySpace stalking, or calling him way too often, and while he’s kind about it, I’m sure he’d like for me to back off. How can I get this totally inappropriate fella out of my head? — Obsessed

Dear Obsessed,
Your little parenthetical aside frightens me (no, really, it frightens me). Almost as much as your punctuation. You throw an exclamation point on at the end of what’s supposed to be a statement of intent. Which doctor would you rather have treating you in the emergency room? “Trust me! I’m a doctor!” or “Trust me. I’m a doctor.”
Second problem with your parenthetical aside: You say you don’t want him to cheat. Convenient, right? It puts the responsibility in his hands. So if something does happen, you didn’t have anything to do with it. You were just a nice, wholesome mama, who just happened to be hanging out with someone you know has a girlfriend and just happens to be attracted to and you just happened to end up at his house that night and just happened to have been wearing awesome new skivvies. . .
A huge part of preventing cheating is being honest with yourself about your motivations and intent. Recognize when a situation is going to be tempting and then (duh) don’t get into that situation. If you feel like something’s going to happen, then it probably is. It’s about self-control.
The other part is finding something or someone else to do. A new flirtation. You’re one of the small (but growing) minority who’s got the freedom, so use it. If you’re not into meeting new people, or you live in a small town, then make sure you’re flooding your head with all the erotic imagery you want and masturbating like it’s a second income. It probably wouldn’t hurt to get to know his old lady a little better, either. Befriending someone’s significant other is usually a big boner-ender. If you’re bi-friendly you could always take her out and try to seduce her. She might be more open to you making out with her boyfriend, and you get to take advantage of double the makeouts. Let us know how it goes.

Dear Miss Information,

My wife and I have been together for a couple of years now. I am very happy in our relationship and I believe she is, too. But in the early days of our relationship, we were separated for a summer, and she cheated on me with an ex-boyfriend. It almost broke us up. In fact, she left me for him, and I had to woo her back with grand, romantic gestures. (I’m a sappy guy.) But it worked, and we’ve been together ever since with no bumps in the road we couldn’t bounce over.

My grandmother used to say that a little jealousy keeps a relationship spicy. But my wife has recently given me heartburn in this regard: we are separated for work-related reasons for the next several months. Recently she mentioned (very casually) that she’s been corresponding with the same ex-boyfriend. He’s successful, has great taste in music, is athletic and is living near her. . . and I am not. She wants to visit him. "Please don’t see him" is a direct quote from that conversation. She changed the subject and I let it drop, but it will come back up again. I don’t know what to say next time.

Am I being silly? They had an intense relationship and maybe she misses him as a friend. He really is a very interesting and accomplished person. That’s part of why I’m so nervous. I’m just sort of normal. . . which is to say, unremarkable. She’s definitely the best thing in my life and maybe a little out of my league. I was terribly hurt the first time around and truth be told, I’m not completely over it. What do you think? — Insecure

Dear Insecure,

What do I think? I’m wondering why your wife thinks its okay to stay in touch with someone whose influence (along with your wife’s gadabout genitalia) almost broke up your marriage. If I were in her shoes, I’d want a clean start. Show my guy I was serious about making the relationship work. That would probably mean cutting off contact or making sure all interactions occur out in the open, with a husband-approved monitor or my husband himself.
I wouldn’t be talking up my ex, either. I would be sensitive to the fact that something bad happened, and even though it’s in the past, and even though it happened early in the relationship, my husband’s never going to be fully over it. My husband is a heck of a nice guy and any compliments I’m spewing should probably be directed at him, not Mr. Successful Hip Jackoff Who Loves Sufjan Stevens.
Unless I wasn’t that invested in the relationship. I cheated on him because I wasn’t that sure about things early on. I wanted a default out but was too namby-pamby to say so. I got back together with my husband out of guilt and his codependent ability to “sell” me on the relationship. See also: “woo her back with grand, romantic gestures” (i.e., convince someone to take me back when it really should be the other way around) and “no bumps in the road we couldn’t bounce over” (i.e., we’re struggling to understand each other, there’s a feeling of general despair, and we’re anticipating the holidays being really weird.)
Does that sound like your wife, Insecure? A little? Sort of? Think about what might be motivating your wife to do what she’s doing and say what she’s saying. Does she want to leave the relationship? Is she in love (or lust) with this guy, and you don’t want to see it? Is she testing you? Trying to provoke a reaction? Something is upsetting her — maybe she’s sick of the long-distance thing, and you don’t want to give up your job — and she’s using this as her battle weapon.
Simpsons quotes are way nerdy, but this one fits, so what the hey: Get confident, stupid! I can tell from your email that you’re a smart, sensitive, emotionally nuanced person. How can you be so sure this dude is better than you? You can’t quantify people. He goes out with women who have boyfriends; that is a major personality defect. Shifty morals. Unscrupulous. Needy. Good looks don’t mean shit. Taste in music doesn’t mean shit. What matters is how you treat people.
Best thing you can do for yourself: Confront your wife. Say, here’s who I am. Here’s how I feel. Here’s what I need. Second best thing you can do for yourself: Start seeing a shrink.

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