Advice

Miss Information

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ATTENTION, ATTENTION: YOU MAY SOON BE THE PROUD OWNER OF A BLANKET WITH SLEEVES!

Want to be an advice columnist for a day? Send an email to erin@nerve.com with a response (600 words or fewer) to the question at the end of this week’s column. All entries must be received by 5:00 p.m., Sunday, February 1.

The last time we played “Miss Info for a Day” it was the height of summer. This round’s prizes reflect both my love of As-Seen-On-TV products, and the fact that, for many of us, it’s ridiculously cold outside.

1st Prize: The Snuggie, a blanket with sleeves for when minor forearm supination is just too stressful.

2nd prize: A subscription to Nerve Premium.

3rd Prize: A copy of Cringe, an anthology of teen angst featuring terrible tenth-grade poetry written by Miss Info herself.



Dear Miss Information,
A friend and I have flirted for years, and by chance we hooked up recently. The sex was good, but afterwards he turned away and curled into a fetal position. He explained that after he comes, he feels extremely depressed. I was disturbed but had no idea what to do, so I may have appeared cold and hurt his feelings. Now he’s completely ignoring me. Because of what happened after sex, I can’t tell if it’s as simple as him being a douche. I don’t think talking to him is an option at the moment. Any advice or insight? — Confused

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Dear Confused,
All right, last week we had our Tantric guy and now another fetal-position-prone dude. What’s going on? Speaking of, my favorite fetal position? This one. Let’s just hope that no nutlogs come after my Baracky in a Land Rover.
Getting the sads after sex is just how it is for some people. This guy’s either too emotionally constipated to delve into why he does this, or is so comfortable with his neuroses that he doesn’t care. Since he says this happens often, I’d hope he could depersonalize your response, but it still might’ve been difficult for him. If I’d been in your shoes (or bed), my emotions would’ve run the gamut from frustrated to sympathetic to bemused to WTF! And I’m sure some of that would’ve leaked through my nurturing front.
If he picked up on your mixed feelings, he might feel hurt and embarrassed. The longstanding friendship further complicates things. Maybe he’s used to girls acting weird when he does the naked-emo bit, but because you’re friends he holds you to a higher standard. Not fair, but possible. Then again, maybe he’s just a dink who thinks it’s acceptable to behave like an avoidant adolescent after an awkward fuck. (BTW, that’s not a typo. “Dink” is the new douche. Pass it on.) The thing is, if he weren’t a dink, I bet he’d be worried about you thinking he’s a dink. He’d call, text or send a “Sorry About the Weird Sex!” arrangement from FTD Floral.
Yet here we are.
I propose a full-frontal ignore of thirty days, after which you may send a short, neutral note. If he responds quickly and self-effacingly, permit a reinstatement of the friendship. Notice I didn’t say “horizontal friendship.” Keep it platonic. Find someone less risky to have super-fun boinky-time with. It’s a sad trajectory, but the more times someone acts like a fuckwad, the deeper your attachment can go. I’d hate to see you writing me the same letter, describing the same bullshit, coming from the same person six months from now.

Dear Miss Information,
My boyfriend complains that I don’t try hard enough to turn him on, and that I act like I just expect it to happen. I’m rather self-conscious, so doing a striptease or the like would probably leave me looking petrified. Can you give me some pointers on easy turn-ons that aren’t going to turn me off? — Subtle Not Sensual

Dear Subtle Not Sensual,
I hear you on the striptease. Solo dancing meets prolonged nudity, and you’re supposed to act completely unabashed about both? Ha! I’m just glad Cosmo hasn’t sunk its French-manicured claws into any of my other phobias: "Hitting the G-Spot Through Public Speaking!" or "Drive Him Wild with Thirty-One New Sexual Positions Involving Revolving Doors!"
But your boyfriend’s request is valid. The ABC rule applies not only to shady real-estate deals, but also our romantic and sexual consorts. In case you’ve never seen this bit of magnificence or sat through a rah-rah corporate-sales training, it stands for Always Be Closing. In other words, never become so comfortable in your relationship that you stop treating your significant other like a valued customer. Do a little something every day to care for the person who puts up with your annoying ass and buys the cat food. That person is your most important asset. Your iPhone shouldn’t be the only one getting all the strokes.
To that end, here are three ways to seduce, all of them geared towards the sexually-inhibited, lazy and/or sex-advice skeptical:
1. Trampy undergarments. Buy several sets at H&M, Strawberry or some other cheap-o retail chain. Wear a different one each night. Have him pick out a favorite and dress you while you’re blindfolded, or play some bad techno and put on a little fashion show. I know you don’t want to dance, but you certainly can handle a couple quick poses.
2. Junior-varsity sex toys. Dildos and butt plugs are great, but some of us can’t imagine whipping out one like a soup ladle. Silk scarves or drug-store sleep masks make excellent blindfolds. You can buy feather ticklers online, or snag the raw materials at a fabric shop. Don’t forget bubble bath, massage oil and improvised restraints made from the aforementioned scarves or belts.
3. Do your usual set of tricks, just do them elsewhere. Come on to him in the hallway, or in the garage right after he cuts the engine. Put on a white tank top and panties and do an impromptu wet t-shirt expo in the shower. Low effort, but highly memorable.
Readers, got any more? Leave them in the Feedback section.

And now, our “Miss Info for A Day” contest question:
Dear Miss Information,
My boyfriend and I have been dating for almost two years. We get along great, but his first language is German and he’s not big on emotional chats, so our communication is sometimes less-than-stellar. He knew that before him, I dated a woman for two-and-a-half-years. But when I took him dancing at a gay club, he was super-uncomfortable. After some prying, he admitted that he thinks being gay is wrong. I was shocked. How could I date someone so ignorant? What would my queer friends think?
I thought about breaking up with him, but I love him. He doesn’t think this is something he should worry about, much less try to work through. He isn’t hateful, he just doesn’t know many gay people. He’s perfectly nice to my lesbian friends. The language barrier makes talking about emotionally charged stuff difficult. I think about having kids with him, but I’d die if we had a gay son who had to deal with a homophobic father. I’m twenty-five and he’s twenty-two, so it’s not like either of us has totally figured out our belief systems. I just can’t decide if his current views are a dealbreaker. I still want to be involved in gay culture, and wish I had a partner who was cool with that. Is it okay to keep dating him, and just let all this slide? — Hoping It Will Go Away
REMEMBER: Send your response to erin@nerve.com by 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, February 1.


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