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|Dear Miss Information,
I’m a Seattle guy in his thirties who identifies as straight. I love women — especially giving them oral. But here’s my secret: I’ve been sleeping with pre-op transsexuals. At first it was just oral, but my "friend" and I were partying a little too hard the other night (marijuana, alcohol and a little crystal). The next thing I know, I’m doing full-on anal — giving and receiving. I don’t want to imply it was forced. I know on some level I must have wanted it, if I’m being honest with myself. No one knows any of this. My friend circle would be shocked. In the past I’ve made fun of swishy flamer-type gay men. I guess I felt threatened. Should I just tell them, since they’re eventually going to find out? I’m not prepared to deal with this. I have so much drama going on in other areas of my life. If I do tell them, do I say I’m gay? Straight? Help! — Foggy Outlook
Dear Foggy Outlook,
What is this with "a little crystal"? That’s like "child-safe ecstasy" or "organic speedballs." Yeah, you might get away with a dibble or a dabble, but the overwhelming majority of users cannot. Outing yourself as a tranny-loving flyboy may help you, but outing yourself as a mixed-up guy on the verge of a substance-abuse problem at an AA or NA meeting might help more.
Are you gay? I don’t think so. Are you totally straight? Uh-uh. You’re somewhere in the middle, which is — despite what the religious right will tell you — completely normal. So normal that you don’t have to make a big proclamation or announcement. People don’t share that kind of stuff in normal discourse:
"How are you, Sally?"
"I’m okay, Phil. By the way, I love to watch auto-fellatio videos!"
"Oh, really? See me, I like rope play. What’s with this crappy weather, huh?"
If you’ve been reading my column for a while you know that I rarely let anyone off this easy with the communication homework. As such, I have a few alternate assignments from the Harvey Milk school:
- Wear condoms with every partner, every time.
- Get tested for HIV and other STDs.
- Tell your partners that you’re having anal sex with other people. There’s an increased risk associated, so it’s good they know.
- Make a donation to a group like GLAAD or, if being broke is part of the drama, at the very least cool it with the homophobe talk.
|Dear Miss Information,
I recently left a very short, very intense relationship. Okay, I’ll be more blunt: I got dumped. On my birthday. In bed. Three days before a scheduled trip to beautiful Puerto Rico. It’s been more than half the amount of time we were together since the breakup and I still find myself thinking of her — even dreaming of her. I realize that she’s the loser here. She’s missing out on something great. But the problem is, I’m still hurting over it and I still miss her something terrible. I’ve tried going on a bender — didn’t help. Tried to lose myself in other women — they’re not her. I’ve tried introspection — no dice. My question is, how do you, a noted expert on loving, get through a tough breakup? — Can’t Think of a Witty Handle
Dear Can’t Think,
How do I get over a heartbreak? Poorly. Same as everybody else. I go from mad to sad to happy to horny, until I’ve covered every shade and spectrum of human emotion. I write long, expository blog entries, and revel in comments like, "Yeah, you’re totally right!" and "Fuck him!" from a group of online friends I’ve carefully groomed to agree with my every word, like some kind of cyber-narcissistic Greek chorus. I scour the internet looking for Facebook updates and rereading old emails when I should be focusing on paid work and creative projects. I talk to my best friend. My shrink. My sister. My mother. My sister again, so I can calm down after talking to my mother.
I guess one thing I consistently do that I haven’t observed in everybody else — or at least a good number of people who write me letters — is that I don’t have a lot of contact with my exes. Interacting with them right after the breakup is bad news, I’ve found. It always inflicts pain on one or more parties. When it doesn’t, it’s a temporary sort of pleasure that you have regrets about the next morning, week, etc. as the complications set in. Like eating McDonald’s.
In addition to being pain-avoidant, another reason I don’t talk to my exes a lot is that I’m bad at masking my feelings and too stubborn to grovel. Why would I chill with someone I can barely keep it together in front of, when it’s much easier and more enjoyable to hang out with a friend and go crazy in private?
The final thing I do, and listen up, Can’t Think, because you need to do this too: I don’t give myself time limits. I assume your "half the amount of time we were together" is referring to that old equation which stipulates six months healing time for every year of a relationship.
I hate to use harsh language, but that’s poppycock. You can’t put an time limit on how a relationship is going to affect you. It’s a reflection of who you are, who that person is and what’s going on in the rest of your life. I’ve mourned short relationships harder and longer than ones that have lasted years. It makes no sense, but neither does anything else. You’re on a journey, Grasshopper. There is no end. If you’re trying to arrive at a specific place (i.e. getting over her), you might as well stop. You won’t know what it looks like until you get there. You might even be there for a while before you realize where the fuck you are. Live. Breathe. Endure. Try to make the majority of your steps forward and realize a few will be backward. Take care of yourself and, if all else fails, listen to schlocky Bruce Springsteen and eat peanut-butter cookies.
©2008 Erin Bradley and Nerve.com