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 love the shit out of my husband. We are a match made in heaven. For the longest time we had the perfect love life, but lately it’s taken him longer and longer to orgasm. He’s never been a guy who comes in a minute, thank God, but now it takes him at least forty-five minutes and not forty-five minutes of passionate lovemaking, but of concentrated sports-fucking. Also, I can’t make him come. Not even a blowjob will bring him there; I have to wank him off because my jaws hurt after an hour of sucking. And believe me, I’m a good fuck. Lots of confirmation there. When I ask him what I could do to help, he says everything’s fine and talking about it pressures him. But I need to talk because I can’t help thinking something is wrong with me, and us! I just want to be able to make him come and to have a quickie every now and then. What to do? — Sorry I’m Sore

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Dear Sorry I’m Sore,
Three-quarters of an hour of intense pounding? One-hour blowjobs? Ouch. Pop a Motrin, gorgeous, and take a break. Not every sex session has to end in mutual orgasms. It’s okay for it to be one-sided (or even no-sided) every once in a while. You’re not being audited by some White House sub-committee. Even if you were, you’d probably find that merely having sex fully penetrative, athletic sex for such a long period of time puts you ahead of a lot of the population. For every letter I get from someone griping about only being able to orgasm in one specific position, I get ten more from fifty-year-old virgins, sexual-abuse survivors and premature ejaculators who don’t have that luxury. I’m not out to minimize or negate. I just want you to take a step back and be thankful for what you have.
Keep in mind that sexual issues aren’t always tied to emotional ones, something Esther Perel goes into in her book, Mating in Captivity: Reconciling the Erotic and the Domestic. Couples who have excellent communication skills can still wind up having crap love lives precisely because they are so open, lovey-dovey and sharing. She writes: "It is commonly viewed that sexual problems are the result of relationship problems…[But] emotional fulfillment does not necessarily translate to sexual excitementÂ… In fact, at times, the very elements that nurture love: comfort, stability, safety, for example, can extinguish desire."
Perel also says, "Stop thinking you’re trying to improve ‘sex’ — it’s a limiting definition, too enmeshed in mechanics, necessity and numbers. Think about improving your relationship with eroticism; if that’s too big a leap, think play." More simply put, stop trying to be so darn perfect all the time. Stifle some of those emotions, let stuff slide for a while and make some decisions as if you were still single. Instead of "us," think "me." When you have more going on in your life, whether it’s your job or new friends or whatever, sex won’t have such bearing on your self-image.
Don’t ask for his permission so much or solicit feedback like you’re a scientist out to prove a hypothesis. Buy that toy if you want to buy a toy. Have that quickie. Do it for the sheer eroticism of it, not because you’re trying to fix something. Realize he’s not always going to finish. The latter is going to do you guys a lot of good, as will his cutting down on the masturbation and/or changing his stroke technique.
I know this was long, so to recap: Relax and appreciate the sex you’re already having. Create some personal distance and ease up on being so goal-oriented. You’ll find your old sex life returning once you let yourself be a slacker and just enjoy the experience. A final few tactics to consider: Do some Kegel exercises and have him see a urologist to check for any ejaculation-delaying health conditions.

Dear Miss Information,

I was in love with someone with now diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. Of course, she denied she had anything other than "exotic brain chemistry." She pushed me away with both hands: I love you — now get the hell out of here.
After she started to consume entire bottles of Port and went to multiple doctors to get duplicate pharmacopeias for her psyche and pain, I knew I had to intervene. She was addicted to everything legal and had a constant fear of abandonment. She called me thirty-five times in a single day. She would get up in the middle of the night and go through my private papers. She was absolutely beautiful and a slob. She was one of the best lovers I ever had — we would spend days at a time in bed.
I finally took her car away from her because I knew she would kill someone. Even though she committed herself to an institution, she still blames me. People should read the DSM if they suspect this illness in their partner — it is especially hereditary in heterosexual women, according to the literature. — Ruptured

Dear Ruptured,
As far as reading recommendations go, you and I are going to have to agree to disagree. The DSM, while fun to look through, shouldn’t be used for underwear-and-desk chair diagnosis. For too long it’s been you dealing with her bullshit, when it should’ve been a paid professional. Start seeing a professional of your own, one who can help you figure out how and why you got drawn up in this one-woman tornado, and who will call you out on your codependency and caretaking.
Unless, you know, you prefer writing letters to advice columnists, as a sort of public service announcement which subtly implies females with such disorders are crazy and unworthy of your precious seed. I don’t know how many of my readers will agree with you, but you won’t hear any hell-yeahs from this side of the fence. You’ve been through a nightmare and I feel awful for you, Ruptured. That said, focus on what you’re doing, as opposed to what she’s doing. Instead of marveling at how she could blame you after all you’ve done to "help" her, marvel at the fact that you’re still in communication with her. Here’s a woman whom you don’t trust with a Ford Taurus because you’re afraid she’ll off someone with it, and you’re still talking to her. Really?! If you’re genuinely interested in healing yourself, then cutting off — or at the very least, minimizing and controlling contact with her — has to be at the top of your New Year’s resolutions. She probably won’t be happy or understand. I’m sure you’ll catch a ton of grief. But it’s never going to happen if you wait for it to be easy.

Dear Miss Information,

I’d been dating this girl for almost two months. We met online and hit it off right away. She introduced me to her mom and sister after a couple weeks. We went out often with both of our friends, took in a Metallica concert and went to an NBA game. She came to my company Christmas party. We talked to each other several times a day, and last week she invited me to dinner with her son and mom. Then I didn’t hear from her for two days. Got a text on the third day telling me she wasn’t sure how to tell me this, but she didn’t think we could be anything more than friends, that the chemistry wasn’t there for her. She also told me I was the perfect guy, that I was very handsome and noted that I respected her. I’m confused: I really like this girl, and even though we’d only been together for two months, I saw things going somewhere. Why the sudden change? — Very Confused

Dear Very Confused,
It’s 2009 and you’re still listening to Metallica. Does there need to be any other reason? Wait, she went with you. Okay, never mind. I’ll let that slide. Plus Master of Puppets was pretty bitchin’.
Two to three months is a popular drop-off point for daters, as are the holidays and the dawn of a new year. In this instance, we’ve got a double-hitter. We also have a meeting-of-the-relatives, i.e. a Relationship Milestone (RM). RMs are usually good, an indication that the other person wants to take it to the next level by introducing a new stage of personal, sexual or social intimacy. An example might be an invitation to spend the night, when couch-groping and going home had been the norm.
But occasionally, RMs are used as a last-ditch attempt to determine if you actually have feelings for the other party. The idea is that by investing yourself more fully and not going at it half-assed, you’ll come to a conclusion. This rarely works, as was the case with me and a super gentleman several years ago. For months I waffled about my feelings for him, until I came to the conclusion that I had to sleep with him. So I did. Know what changed? Jack shit. I was still uncertain, only I’d made it harder on myself (and more importantly, him) because I now had to explain the nonsensical nature of my actions: "Hey there, let’s get serious. Ha ha! Just kidding!"
Perhaps a similar chain of events took place with your ladyfriend. Or maybe something altogether different. If it’s really what she says — chemistry — then it can’t be quantified. She says you’re handsome and perfect and you need to trust her on that. You being handsome and perfect and her not liking you are not mutually exclusive. I have said this to a lot of guys, and actually meant it. You need to find somebody who likes your particular brand of handsome and perfect, i.e., chemistry. Ideally, she’ll also not be the type to dump you via text message. Yeesh.


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