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:
After a shower one morning, I found my partner still in bed, cellphone in hand. Kissing her cheek, I noticed she was text-messaging someone. The first line was, "You were in my dreams last night." She promptly saved the message and snapped the phone shut.
    Being optimistic, I waited for this text message to come my way. When it didn’t, I checked her phone when she wasn’t looking. The rest of the message read, "…and you were really good too. Just thought I’d let you know." Subsequent replies included comments about him "always being a dirty boy," etc.
    The person she sent these messages to was her last fuck buddy. She saw both of us briefly before she started "officially" dating me two years ago. Do I confront? Do I hint? Do I cultivate a garden of jealousy and suspicion within? — Head Close to Bursting


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Dear Head Close to Bursting,
     Normally, I advise snoopers to shut up and suffer, as in that Aesop’s fable in which the fox gets mad at the duck, and then the ants aren’t prepared for winter, so everyone goes hungry except the spider. Or maybe it was the crane? Whatever.
     My point is this: even though snooping is not high on the list of cool relationship behaviors, I don’t think you should punish yourself by keeping quiet. Something is going on, or is about to go on, and keeping mum could put your relationship and sexual health at risk.
     Confront her. See what she has to say. Accept full responsibility for your snoopage and don’t be surprised if she gets all pissy and defensive — she could be innocent and just shedding a little excess sexual energy. She could also be trying to deflect the blame because she’s a cheating hussy.
     Whatever her response, don’t let it end the conversation. Yes, you crossed a boundary when you put your fingers where they don’t belong. But you also uncovered an opportunity to work on whatever’s fucked up about your relationship, assuming it’s even worth saving. Don’t waste it.

Dear Miss Information,
    Why do men like women to call them "daddy" in bed? I just don’t get it. I have a great relationship with my dad, and it freaks me out when a guy suggests that I use the word in the bedroom. Incest and pedophilia are not turn-ons. — Daddy’s Girl

Dear Daddy’s Girl,
    First of all, not all men like a woman to call them "daddy." One might prefer "Dark Lord Dungeon Master;" another might want "Dirty Little Tramp" screamed at him as he parades around in lingerie with a tampon up his butt. It all depends on the individual.
    Explaining what makes a kink a kink is never easy, but when broken down into the sum of its parts, this fantasy is pretty run-of-the-mill. You could even say it’s yawn-worthy. Don’t believe me? Watch an hour of primetime television of a video on MTV (not that they play those anymore, but HUMOR ME.) The phrase "Who’s your Daddy?" has gone mainstream, and it’s no longer about incest or pedophilia. Most folks have come to associate it with someone who’s more experienced getting it on with a nubile hottie who wants to be shown the way.
    If you still have doubts, try talking to him about why it turns him on. All that aside, if it grosses you out don’t do it. But save the big lecture on why he’s a degenerate until you have something more substantial to go on.

Dear Miss Information,
    I am a twenty-year-old female who has only had sex with one man — my first serious boyfriend. (We’re no longer dating.) I have opened up a lot about sex since then, but I’m still constantly worried about STDs. I want to have sex with different people, but I can’t get over this fear or my distrust of condoms. I’m the only person I know who worries so much about this. How can I get over it and have a normal, yet safe, sex life? — Paranoid

Dear Paranoid,
    First, it’s normal to be worried. Anyone who doesn’t think about this stuff is either self-destructive or stupid. There’s a lot of scary shit out there, and even if you take all the precautions in the world, there’s no guarantee you’ll stay 100% disease free.
    You can’t let it rule your life. But you can get tested and insist your partners get tested prior to any adult naked time. When you do have sex, use condoms and a back-up form of protection such as a spermicidal foam or gel — they’re actually less icky than they sound. After you’ve done all you can do, you’ve got to Let Go and Let God (or Buddha, Allah, what have you).
    Some partners may find your demands to be a little excessive. Here’s what you tell ‘em: too fucking bad. If they really dig you, they should be willing to go to the ends of the earth (or at least the drugstore aisle) to make you feel happy, horny and safe.
 

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©2005 Erin Bradley and Nerve.com