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’ve always been into guys. But after the breakup of a long-term relationship, I’ve found myself attracted to women as well. My problem is I can’t stop staring at women’s breasts. I feel like a twelve-year-old boy! Sometimes I don’t even realize I’m doing it. And I’m obviously not being very covert about it because I’ve noticed women occasionally covering their chests by crossing their arms. Any suggestions on how to stop doing this? — Prepubescent at Thirty-Eight



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Dear Prepubescent at Thirty-Eight,
    I understand your problem because I have the same one. I grew up in the late ’80s, a time when the male fashion standard consisted of falling-off-the-butt jeans and Cross Colours t-shirts the size of circus tents. It was poor preparation for my transition to late-blooming bi girl in New York, where nearly naked chests are on display 365 days a year.
    Lucky for us we’re female, so we’re automatically less suspicious. We can get busted mid-stare and play it off with a line like, "That’s a great necklace."
    You’re probably not going to be able to avoid looking altogether, but you can do some damage control. The next time you find yourself staring, shift your gaze elsewhere and resume the conversation by asking a question and then listening (repeat: LISTENING) to the answer. Finally, make sure you’re keeping an appropriate physical distance — standing a little further away tends to soften leering.



Dear Miss Information,
    My girlfriend of six months thinks it’s a race to get her panties on every time I finish going down on her. Where I’d previously used oral sex as foreplay and (if needed) as a wrapup, I now find myself only giving oral sex. As soon as she has an orgasm, our sex session is over. When I mentioned this she became very defensive and suggested that we cut out oral altogether. I’m really at an impasse. I don’t want to stop going down on her because I enjoy it immensely, but at the same time I need to find out what’s going on. — Not a Race


Dear Not a Race,
    It’s great you’re so golden-tongued that oral is all she needs, but there’s got to be some reciprocation. You did the right thing by bringing it up. She did the short-sighted and immature thing by threatening to cut off the one remaining form of sexual contact you two have together. What’s she going to do the next time there’s a problem? Tell you to move to another state?
    I think she’s angry at you on some conscious or unconscious level, and denying you sexual pleasure is her way of getting it out. It could also be something more physical and less psychological, like she’s paranoid about getting pregnant or passing on an STD.
    Pick a time when you’re both feeling mellow and talk to her about it. Tell her that what you’ve got going on isn’t working and you need her help in order for it to get better. Be very clear about what you want to happen going forward — specific sex activities you’d like to get back to doing, what things you’re willing to compromise on in the interim and follow-up points for discussion. Your needs are serious. Let her know that you are too.

 

Dear Miss Information,
    I’ve been on a few dates with this girl, but I’m getting mixed signals. We e-mail and text each other daily, and we’re extremely flirtatious. However, her body language always seems closed off — her legs pointed away from me, arms crossed, etc. I’m hesitant to make the first move, even though she suggests we hang out. So here’s the question: how many dates before I call it off? Should I ask her what’s going on? I have to see her socially on a regular basis, so I don’t want it to be too awkward. — Body Talk

Dear Body Talk,
    Body language is important, but keep in mind that it’s not an exact science. Crossed arms could mean she’s feeling defensive, but it could also mean it’s freezing and she forgot her sweater. Until you know this girl in a broader, deeper context you can’t rely on nonverbal cues alone. A lot can get lost in translation.
    I try not to say "go for it" unless I’m pretty sure "it" is a sure thing. This one smells like a winner, what with the daily back-and-forth flirtation and her initiating the most recent date. So make a move, Body Talk. Waiting any longer is a fast ticket to Guy-Friend-Who-Doesn’t-Get-Fucked-ville, and those boobs aren’t going to feel up themselves. If she’s still shying away from your physical advances, ask her flat-out if she’s interested. If she isn’t, accept it gracefully. In other words, act cool and casual and then go home and freak out on your best friend. Put a seventy-two-hour moratorium on all communications, including texts. Better stay silent than say something you’ll regret.
    Last, know that you were cool and brave, and your girl’s the schmuck for accepting free meals and flirty attentions from someone she’s not interested in seeing. Good luck.
 

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