Advice

Miss Information

Pin it


 

Have a question? Email erin@nerve.com. Letters may be edited for length, content and clarity.

   
Dear Miss Information,
    I’m a twenty-three-year-old guy who hasn’t had sex in over a year and a half. I’ve always been a bit of a slacker sexually (I was twenty-one when I lost my virginity), but this is ridiculous. Every time a girl seems attracted to me, I simply cannot make the first move. I freeze up, turn to stone and look the other way. I have no idea what’s causing this. What can I do to help myself? — Paralyzed



promotion

Dear Paralyzed,
     You can’t have sex unless you talk to women. You can’t talk to women because you’re too shy. The only way to get over being too shy is by talking to women. It’s like the sexual version of that mythical painting where the snake is swallowing its own tail. Then again, if you could do that, there’d be no need to talk to women.
     You’re feeling afraid and that’s okay. We all want to skip ahead to the part where we’re fucking like bunnies and then snuggling up to eat Nutter Butters together. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way, and romance is built on conversations that are both awkward and scary. I deal with it by making a joke. My favorite pickup lines — the sleazily classic “Come here often?” and altogether inane “So, do you like ‘stuff’?” — ensure that even if I strike out, at least I’ll get a few laughs when I replay the scenario in my head. Meeting people gets a lot easier once you’re able to poke fun at yourself and your inevitable mistakes. Being Joe Cool is vastly overrated. Besides, no one’s really that cool anyway. Who do you think you’re competing against? Have you ever sat back (preferably sober) and watched the social interactions at your neighborhood bar? A bunch of chimpanzees in sport coats, that’s all we are. It’s simultaneously amusing and revolting.
     So go talk to women. Lots of them. It’s the only way you’re going to get over your fear, and the side effect is that you’ll eventually get laid. I know of no other phobia so rewarding to cure.



Dear Miss Information,
     My boyfriend and I have been dating for fifteen months. When I’m away at school, he expects me to talk dirty over the phone. I’ve told him time and again that I’m not completely comfortable doing this because I never know who could be listening. Plus, I think I sound totally ridiculous. I can never find the right thing to say, and dirty talk sounds out of place and foreign coming out of my mouth. My boyfriend takes my reaction as me not being comfortable with him or not trusting him, which isn’t the case at all. What can I do to make him understand that I’m not comfortable with phone sex; or, what can I do to build confidence in my speech? — Tongue Tied


Dear Tongue Tied,
     Put on your shoes, Tongue Tied, because you’re about to go shopping. For a butt plug. The biggest, baddest butt plug you can find. Got that butt plug? Is it bigger than a traffic cone? Good. Now I want you to take that butt plug and mail it to your boyfriend with a note saying, “If you trust me, you’ll let me use this on you, even if the thought of it doesn’t turn you on."
     Okay, maybe I’m being a jerk. All I’m saying is that you shouldn’t have to be cool with a particular kink just because your partner is. He should chill with the negative psychoanalysis.
     All that aside, if you want to be better at phone sex, a few suggestions:
     1) Rather than planning a formal “phone-sex hour” where you’ve got the room all decked out with scented candles (can you say pressure?), let the calls happen more spontaneously. If you just got out of the shower and you’re half-naked, call him. If you went shopping and bought a pair of ass-hugging jeans, call him. If you see a girl and your brain thought “threesome!” call him. You don’t have to talk long — you can do thirty-second “quickies” that help you reconnect and get warmed up for a later time.
     2) Phone sex is a lot less intimidating if you add visuals. Buy a webcam or use a camera-equipped cell phone. You might also want to get a headset if you don’t have one already. Experiment with different combinations of media (phone sex + exchanging pics, phone sex + online chat, phone sex + looking at porn) until you find the one that feels most natural.
     3) Steal some ideas from the pros. Have a male friend call a phone-sex operator while you listen in on the other end, look up sample phone sex scripts online or hit the campus library for a how-to book. Miranda Austin’s got a good one called Phone Sex: Aural Thrills and Oral Skills. She’s also written one on something called “erotic knife play,” but you might want to slip another book’s dust jacket over that one.

Dear Miss Information,
    My fiancée (let’s call her “Jill”) is angry at one of her bridesmaids (“Jane”). A short while ago, Jane left a post on the MySpace account of one of Jill’s exes, calling him a “hottie.” My fiancée got very upset and thinks it was inappropriate for Jane to do what she did. Keep in mind that we’re not in high school — these women live fourteen hours apart, Jill and this guy broke up over two years ago and one of them is engaged. I told my fiancée that her reaction made it seem as though she wasn’t over her ex. She promptly called me an asshole and has been hostile ever since. Am I wrong? I’ve always thought that rules against dating a friend’s ex went out of style after a certain age, and were null and void once you got engaged or married. — Staring At The Rings

Dear Staring At The Rings,
     Sorry, you’re wrong. People don’t stop having feelings once they’re engaged or married. All the neuroses we endured as singles are still there. It’s naïve of you to expect your fiancée to feel indifferent toward her ex. Even if she were all Switzerland, pre-wedding is a highly emotional time. You’re blending finances, signing scary legal documents and committing to monogamy with one person for rest of your life. That’s why many brides and grooms will focus their apprehension on one particular person or aspect of the event. Freud calls it “displacement,” and you’ll see it in the bride who has a hissy fit at her caterer: “Goddammit, I said I wanted ecru for the tablecloths. This is light beige!
     Staring At the Rings, I see the same phenomenon happening here. You’re afraid that your fiancée is still interested in her ex-boyfriend. Instead of owning up to that jealousy, you’re finding ways to discredit her feelings about something else. You suggest that she’s being immature, say her friend has done no wrong, she wouldn’t feel that way if she were more committed to you, etc. Meanwhile, your fiancée is likely suffering from that delusional notion some brides have that no one should be able to fuck with her big day. She’s supposed to be the prettiest, most desirable woman around, and the thought of her bridesmaid and ex-lover bumping uglies doesn’t exactly jibe with that plan. Neither does a husband who doesn’t come to her aid. I agree that a MySpace comment seems pretty meaningless and silly, but for Jill it’s too late. Her brain’s already run in the wrong direction, and your hyper-rational reasoning is hurting more than it’s helping.
     I think you and your fiancée need to turn up the empathy for each other, and either drop it or find a way to get past the situation. If you’re really serious about getting past that “high school” mentality, you might want to consider getting off MySpace (OMG ROTFLMAO, I CANNOT BELIEVE I JUST SAID THAT!)  

 


Previous Miss Info

©2006 Erin Bradley and Nerve.com