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 attracted to a guy at my gym. When I asked him out six months ago, he politely turned me down. Now, if I look at him during class, he tries to hold my gaze, and I’ve caught him staring at me in the mirror a few times. He also made a fuss when I stopped sitting on a bike near him in our spinning class. What’s going on? — Pumping Irony



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Dear Pumping Irony,
     I have no idea what’s going on in Mr. Gym Dandy’s mind. The possibilities are endless. I’ll just toss out a few of the most plausible:
     1. He likes you and wants to ask you out, but feels embarrassed because he said no the first time.
     2. He likes you, but doesn’t want to date you — he just wants eye candy at the gym (kind of like that guy you flirt with at the office only because there are no other viable males around).
     3. He has a girlfriend but feels flattered that you asked him out. Now he’s enjoying flirting with you, but that’s as far as it’s going to go.
     The "Rules" camp is probably going to be all over my ass for this, but I don’t see anything wrong with asking him out a second time. His actions are pretty overt — no one can fault you for chasing a false positive. And even if turns you down, I don’t think he’s going to recoil in horror. ("All week I’ve been staring at her sports bra and she actually asked me out? What gall!") Alternately, you could decide that you’ve already given him a clear indicator that you like him, and now the medicine ball’s in his court.
     In the end, it comes down to your willingness to take a risk, the robustness of your ego and how much you like this guy. There are some men I can’t stop thinking about until I know for sure it’s a NGH: Not Gonna Happen (you like that? I learned it from my little cousin). Others I can quickly discard based on lack of interest. Figure out which category your flighty gym bunny belongs in, and it’ll be easier to make your decision.



Dear Miss Information,
     I was dumped by a girl I’d dated for four weeks. She said she didn’t want a boyfriend, but a week later I found out she’d started seeing someone right after she broke up with me. I haven’t talked to her since, but she’s coming into town and will be celebrating her birthday at my favorite bar. Did I mention her new boyfriend will be there? I feel like she’s rubbing my nose in it, and I would normally just stay home for the night, but my buddy’s having his birthday party at the same bar on the same day. How would you deal with this? — It’s (Not) My Party


Dear It’s Not My Party,
     Is there only one bar in this town or what? You’d think someone could go to Chuck E. Cheese or rent out the American Legion. Sheesh. This girl is acting shitty, there’s no doubt. Of all the juke joints in the world, she has to walk into yours. But there are two things to remember. The first is that you only dated for four weeks. It’s not like you have a long history and a minivan full of kids. In that sense, she doesn’t owe much of anything, Second, you probably feel like she "betrayed" you when she got a boyfriend after saying she didn’t want one, right? Well, that thinking is flawed. It’s human nature to be inconsistent. Be hurt about the breakup, not about some imaginary breach of contract.
     Go to the bar for your buddy’s birthday, but only if you can be civil and not make a scene. No one’s expecting you to be Katie Couric, but you can politely ignore her (no obvious staring or whispering unpleasantries to your friends) or engage in some light banter (news, weather, why she’s such a heartless bitch). It might help to do a dry-run in advance with a friend or an inanimate object. I have a stuffed monkey that’s stood in for an ex many a time. Not coincidentally, he’s also missing his eyes, his nose and a few stitches.
     If you know you won’t be able to behave, give your friend your condolences and skip it. Try not to bum too hard, there will be other parties. You’ll have taken the high road, saved yourself from ruining not one but two birthdays and made yourself look more aloof and mysterious in the process. It’s often the guy who doesn’t show up that gets thought about most.

Dear Miss Information,
     My boyfriend is known for his virtually limitless stamina (last night I came six times). Problem is, he wears me out. I can’t keep him in me long enough for him to reach orgasm. How can I get him to finish more quickly? — Can’t Keep Up

Dear Can’t Keep Up,
     Is it mean of me to tell you I hate you? Just kidding, I don’t hate you. (Okay, now seriously, give me this guy’s number.) When dealing with issues of stamina, it seems like it’s always the guy that gets discussed — whether he can get it up, and how long he can (or can’t) last once he does. What we forget is that vaginas are also made of flesh and blood, not high-impact titanium. Aggressive penetration can be painful after a while, even if you’re sufficiently aroused and having a good time.
     Does Ward know he’s being a little rough on the Beav? You say your guy’s got a reputation for being a marathon man. Maybe that’s part of the problem. He knows you have a certain expectation, and he feels duty-bound to fulfill it. He might also be suffering from some old-school machismo complex that says a guy’s not a "real man" unless he’s lasted for hours and made his partner come a certain number of times. But real "real men" are sensitive about hurting their partners. They also never order Lemon Drops, because Lemon Drops are a sissy drink. I’m sorry. I don’t make the rules, I just follow them.
     Have a talk with your partner about your crotch pains, and do it soon. Don’t wait until you’re in the middle of the act, or he might think you’re looking for an escape route and get offended. As far as helping him come sooner, you might want to try a new position that puts more pressure on his penis (try missionary with your ankles up by your shoulders). A change-up in condoms and/or lubricants might be just the thing. Lastly, try something — anything — that falls outside your established routine. Dirty talk, out-there lingerie, a touch in an unexpected place (maybe a knock on his back door?). Spontaneity is a huge turn-on. If your can catch him off-guard, you’ll have a good chance of blowing his mind and his load with greater expedience.

 

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©2006 Erin Bradley and Nerve.com