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’m in a long-distance relationship with a great guy. He’s kind, funny, attractive and really good in bed. I like getting flirty emails from him while I’m at work, and have encouraged him to send them in the past. The problem is that they’ve gotten more explicit. I’m fine with, “I miss you baby,” or even, “Here’s what I want to do to you next time I see you.” But I’m a bit weirded out by the more direct language: “Right now I’m kissing your neck . . . ” and so on. I mean, he’s not really kissing my neck. He’s typing. I love the things he actually does to me when we’re together — I just don’t want to see them spelled out on the page. How can I politely ask him to refrain from sharing these fantasies without hurting his feelings? — Inbox Addled

Dear Inbox Addled,

You might not like the syntax, but let’s give ol’ StickyFingers a big electronic hand. He’s making an attempt. Getting lewd isn’t easy. It melds two of our deepest fears: non-ironic displays of emotion and snickering sexual reprisal from someone whose opinion we respect.

Minimizing any reaction you’re having to the unenchanting emails should be your first tactic. If you get an, “I’m slowly pulling down my fish-print boxers” message in your inbox, respond with an brief, airy acknowledgement: “I can’t wait to see you too, hon!” Then move on to other topics. If he’s at all perceptive he’ll get the hint that you’re not into that type of communication. Continue to be warm and friendly, and reciprocate when he gives you compliments. You want him to understand that you’re into him — just not the smutty narratives.

The non-reaction-as-reaction can be valuable for helping you avoid an awkward situation and for letting your partner save face. But rarely do we get away with something so easily implementable and indirect. (Why do you think Paxil’s done so well for itself all these years?) You might have to take that difficult, uncomfortable step of telling him exactly how you’re feeling. I know it sucks, but you’re uncomfortable now, right? You have no direction to go but better.

Here’s a sample script:

“Look hon, I love getting frisky emails, but I would so love it if you could try to make them a little more like the ones you were writing before.”

At this point he’s probably looking all quizzical, so you might want to reference a specific email:

“Remember the one you sent me two weeks ago, about how we were going to grope each other in the mummy room at the museum? I really liked how it gave me something to look forward to, how you kept it in the future tense.”

Now is when you drive the point home even further with a little filth-talk of your own, just to make sure he retains the lesson:

“In fact, I was so turned on, I wacked it in the shower. TWICE! I’ll tell you all about it when you get here.”

Don’t forget that you’re in a long-distance relationship. Which means you might have to work a little harder be braver and more creative than most people. If you don’t dig the dirty emailing, what about phone sex? What about sending each other naked pictures of yourselves, or links to photos, stories or videos that turns you on? Even something super-tame like sharing a YouTube clip of a favorite sex scene from a mainstream non-porn movie is a start. You are being given an opening here by a very cool and caring boyfriend. Don’t waste it. The more you let him get to know your tastes and turn ons, the better the banging will get.

Dear Miss Information,

I am a thirty-year-old bisexual female with a romantic preference for women. That is to say, on a friendship level and a sexual level, I like men and women about the same. I can only truly feel romantic attachments toward women, however. Within the last year, I’ve discovered that I’m quite comfortable and happy having a couple of male “friends with benefits” and nursing unattainable — yet managable — crushes on female coworkers and acquaintances. I know it may sound nuts, but I’ve never been more satisfied. I don’t feel that I need (or want) a serious relationship. The casual, playful way I’ve been approaching sex and attraction is really working for me. I’ve had a few serious relationships and I liked them, but I’m thinking my current setup is better for me. What I want to know is, have you ever heard of this sort of behavior? I’m not insecure and I have no desire to change, but I am curious as to the existence of others like myself. — Casual, Happy, and Ultimately Mollified

Dear CHUM,

Sounds to me like you’re an HCP and an FBG, or HCPFBG. Woah, only our second sentence and already I’ve used three acronyms. Four, if you count the salutation. Guess I’d better explain.

An HCP, or Healthy Commitment-Phobe, is someone who recognizes that they’re avoiding relationships, is comfortable with that fact, and is doing it from a place of self-confidence and self-preservation. It could be someone who’s fresh out of a long-term relationship, someone who’s leaving the country, or someone who’s putting dating on hold until they’ve completed their goal of running a marathon or whooped their booze addiction. HCPs reach Jedi status once they’ve mastered the difficult task of communicating their unavailability in a sensitive and proactive manner to future partners.

Compare that to the FUCP, or Fucked-Up Commitment-Phobe, a person who avoids relationships and engages in sabotaging acts but doesn’t necessarily recognize what they’re doing or where the behavior comes from. They may moan about being lonely or not understanding why their ex “went psycho” after being told that after six years and two children, they “just weren’t ready” to commit. The FUCP doesn’t have a handle on their own feelings, let alone the ability to emphasize with another person’s, so they’ll always leave a train of broken relationships and confused partners in their wake.

A FBG, or Freewheelin’ Bi Girl, is a female who doesn’t let traditional notions of gender, dating and romance dictate her sexuality. Some days she wants dick, some days she wants pussy. She recognizes that it’s possible to feel romantic or non-romantic at various times towards either sex. Being bisexual isn’t synonymous with being symmetrical. (Sorry, accidental rhyme).

You asked me if there were others like yourself. Sure. I may not be an HCP or an FUCP, but I’m definitely a FBG, CHUM. Actually, more like your mirror image. I feel sexy towards the ladyfolk, but a romantic relationship is probably not going to happen. Not now, anyway. It’s strictly men that make me feel all swoony and Tiger Beat. I’m sure many of my readers share some or all of these traits.

It’s fantastic that you’re able to feel so sexually satisfied and emotional content. As long as you’re not leading your fuck-buddies on or stifling some deep-seated hurt that’s giving you a fear of female companionship you’ll get nothing but admiration from me. Fuck-buddies are fun and crushes can be as satisfying and exultant as any real relationship. Just ask these Jonas Brothers fans. When’s the last time you coupled folks saw your loved one walk in the door and totally lost your shit like that? If you do, tell it! I’m sure it’s a good one.



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©2008 Erin Bradley and Nerve.com