Advice

Miss Information

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Have a question? Email erin@nerve.com. Letters may be edited for length, content and clarity.

My boyfriend and I have been together for a year and a half. We’ve broken up three times. I was always the one who initiated it. Things would be nice and casual, but then would get too serious and I’d mentally doom the relationship. The sex is fantastic and he’s an amazing catch. My best friend. Soon, I’ll be moving from Florida to California for graduate school, and we’ve talked about him moving there after my first semester. At first I thought we should end things when I moved, but it’s been so good between us lately. He recently told me he’s planning to move out there after four months or so. While I’m excited that the possibility is there, I’m not sure I want him to. If he comes, I want it to be for the right reasons, not because I’m a little lonely or scared to be in a new environment. I was looking forward to having a fresh start in California, at least for a little while. Sometimes I daydream about marrying and having a family with him; other times I sense it won’t work. How will I ever know what to do? — Crossed Country


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Dear Crossed Country,
The emotional climate feels better between you two because you know that you’re leaving. Having this safety net has had a calming effect on your psyche. Rather than looking to this as confirmation that you should stay together, you should call a duck a duck and recognize it as a sign you guys are better off apart.
Want more evidence? How about this? You broke up with him three times. If you saw a friend doing that with a new car — buying it, then returning it to the dealership, then re-buying it again — you’d probably think she was a little crazy. Yes, we get more attached to people than we do vehicles, but it’s not too difficult to get at the basic truth in the situation: you don’t want your boyfriend any more than your friend wants to keep that new Corolla.
Still more evidence: You made a voluntary decision (and where you go to grad school is voluntary, I don’t care what your advisor says) that puts you physically away from your partner. A tried-and-true breakup method employed by uncertain types like you, also known as "dumping by geography." Don’t you think if you were feeling more certain about him you would have chosen a different school and explored other avenues and alternatives?
You’re operating in this sort of push/pull dynamic, wherein you feel more comfortable when you’re putting distance between you, and less comfortable when you’re moving closer together. His moving near you is good, but not so much once he has an actual moving date. I really don’t think you’re ready to have him relocate.
Listen to what your heart and gut are trying to tell you, cookie. I’m sure you love him a ton. That best friend vibe is rare and it’s going to be heartbreaking to give up. It’s possible to love someone a lot and even fantasize about marrying them, but still have them be the wrong guy.
 

Dear Miss Information,

In a recent column, you talked about an old boyfriend who never came during sex. I have the same problem. It’s been this way my whole life. I like sex, I have no problems getting hard, but to get just the right sensation and pressure so I can finish is difficult. The only position that works for me is female on top, and even that’s iffy. I can, however, come if she goes down on me or uses her hand, and I can come when I’m masturbating. Similar to your experience, this can be really hard on the relationship. The girl feels unattractive and wonders if something’s going on. I’ve been to some sex therapists, but oddly, they don’t have much to offer me. Not a lot of clinical research in this area, I guess. So, two questions: One, how can I talk to a girl about this to make it easier on her, and two, do you know any magic tricks to help a guy come? I’m Not There

Dear I’m Not There,
I don’t know any magic tricks for your dick, I’m Not There. But, oh how I wish our genitals could master the art of illusion. Vaginas as vanishing chambers. Condom balloon animals. Penises that expel brightly hued silk scarves. I’m seeing all sorts of possibilities. None of which, sadly, will ever come to fruition.
So in lieu of that, I’ll run you through a couple of the more obvious answers, on the off chance that someone who’s go-getter enough to employ a sex therapist hasn’t already tried them:
Change the way you jerk off: Switch hands, dial down the speed, alter the intensity of your strokes. Take a couple weeks off and see what that does for your closing ratio.
Start slow, finish strong: You tease her, she teases you, do all that Sting tantric-sex stuff. When you’re ready to finish, pull out the big showstopper. Could be nipple play, could be anal stimulation, could be a nude accordion solo. You know what you’re into. If your nut-busting desire is pure and true, you’ll ask her to go there (and hopefully, she will).
See some more doctors: Sex therapists are useful, but you should also be looking to: general practitioners to evaluate your baseline health and any medications you’re on; urologists to look at the pee-pee pipes; and psychologists to check for and eliminate any mental blockage. (Don’t expect this on your first visit. It may take months and months.)
As far as what to say to this girl, I think it’s less about words and more about grunts and moans. It should be really apparent that you’re into the festivities. An orgasm is like a big wet sticky gold star for your partner. You need to give her a tangible substitute, whether it’s compliments on her technique or a "OMG u R best FCK evr!" text message an hour after she drops you off.
I would also advocate downplaying the whole affair — from searing pathology that must be solved, to slightly annoying quirk that you’ll one day get over. Keep in mind that almost all women have been with guys who either come too early or can’t get it up at all. We know it could be worse, so we focus on the positive. So should you.


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