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,
     When I’m with my family and friends, I’m relatively witty and bright. I’m a good listener, and people go to me for advice. But get me in front of a hot, eligible male, and I turn into this motor-mouthed crazy person who can’t stop talking about herself. How can I calm down in front of men? — Motor Mouth



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Dear Motor Mouth,
     You know you talk too much, but do you know why? Okay, you’re nervous. But that’s a symptom, not a cause. People over-talk for a whole slew of reasons, and you have to figure out yours. Some overtalkers are insecure and looking for approval (generally, your garden-variety douchebag braggart). Others are looking for a common bond — thus the narcolepsy-inducing monologue on their roommate’s boyfriend’s attempt to quit smoking. Still more come from a garrulous family like mine, which treats any conversational lull as a sign of a serious personal vendetta.
     Now that you’ve analyzed why you run off at the mouth, here are some more practical suggestions:
     1) Put the focus on your date by asking him questions. For every question he asks you, ask the equal or opposite yourself. Make the phrase "and you…?" a significant part of your night.
     2) Listen with your eyes. People give non-verbal cues when they’re not interested in what you’re saying. Darting eyes is a big tip-off. Getting up and leaving with a hot brunette is another.
     3) Memorize these numbers: Ten, thirty, ninety. Ten seconds, you have your date’s full attention. Thirty seconds, their interest has peaked. Ninety seconds and you really need to shut that big old yap of yours. If you’re ever in doubt, stop your story mid-sentence. You’d be surprised how rarely you’re asked to fire back up.
     4) First date scenarios where you shouldn’t ever be talking: A movie (unless it’s Rocky Horror), a live show ("This is a great band." "WHAT?" "THIS IS A GREAT BAND." "WHAT?"), a dance floor (when the mouth is engaged, the ass can’t follow) and the last thirty seconds before you depart (how can he kiss you if your mouth’s in motion?).



Dear Miss Information,
     I’m a feminist, but I like to have very submissive sex. I get off on guys holding me down, pulling my hair, and treating me like a sex object. But the guys who are into that are always obnoxious assholes, and the cool, sweet, progressive guys are always too respectful to push me around. Where can I find someone who satisfies me sexually and emotionally? — Ultra Violet


Dear Ultra Violet,
     Maybe it’s just me, but I’d rather coach a sensitive guy on how to be dominant than attempt to teach interpersonal skills to an asshole. We’re not all born knowing the finer points of bondage or how to administer a riding crop, but being a nice person should be second nature. Personalities are hard to alter radically once they’re formed. Ask anyone at a high school reunion.
     Your division of men into two easy categories makes me wonder if you’re not meeting a broad enough range of guys, or you’re giving up too easily on the ones you’re dating. Unless you go to a specialty site or board, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a guy that’s going to throw you around or choke you on the first date. I’m not saying your fetish is crazy or unusual, because it’s not. But it does go against a lot of social conditioning, and humans are born with an innate fear of the new. Why do you think companies spend millions on research before changing the design on a box of laundry detergent? Our saving grace is that we’re also remarkably resilient and adaptive. We’ll warm up to anything, just give us time.
     You might also want to think about how you’re communicating these desires. Are you giving specific information (what you like and why) along with rules of engagement (slaps are okay, but no closed fists) or are you just issuing blanket directives? I know it might not be sexy to play the part of the teacher. It kind of goes against the whole notion of being a sub. The alternative is to use these assholes for casual sex while you keep searching for a boy with can bend you over his knee as well as he can return calls and dole out compliments. They are out there. For a real life example and steamy photographic proof, see my buddy Siege’s blog.

Dear Miss Information,
     I’m living with someone but I’ve never had an orgasm. I almost had one the other day, I was touching my clit at the time. I would like to buy a vibrator, but I’m not interested in spending more than twenty dollars. I want it to work before I spend the money! I also want something I could disguise from my boyfriend; I’d like to do this experiment on my own. Do you have any suggestions? — Cheap Buzz


Dear Cheap Buzz,
     I love baths. Unfortunately, I live in a New York City studio, which means I get a tiny shower for my exorbitant rent and that’s all. Back when I had a tub, I loved my pulsating shower head. That little wonder was responsible for more orgasms than any sex toy I’ve ever owned. The best part is, you can install one as a "home improvement" and no one has to know. Turn it on like you’re taking a shower, then lie down in the tub and go to town with the different settings. If you don’t come, at least you’ve washed your hair (and done your part for the environment — low flow shower heads use less water than the traditional kind.)
     While we’re in the bathroom, let’s not forget the electric toothbrush. According to MyMasturbation.com, it’s one of the most popular improv devices. You can take advantage of the extra head they usually come with, or you can put a plastic baggie over the device and remove it when you go to brush your teeth. Personally, this would make me paranoid, like that tinge of fear you get when you stick a fork in the toaster even though you know it’s unplugged. But I suppose it’s sanitary enough and — hey, to each her own. You can find more inexpensive suggestions for DIY vibes here.
     If you’re looking for something more traditional, the Pocket Rocket is a good low-cost choice. When you’re ready to commit to something more high end, I suggest going to a store. What looks good onscreen may be flimsily constructed or have a dearth of settings (barely detectable vs. paint stripper).
     Best of luck on your experiment, Cheap Buzz. I’d like to encourage you to enlist your boyfriend as lab partner. Maybe you think you’ll be more relaxed on your own, and that’s fine, but it worries me a little that you’re skulking around. If you’re sharing living quarters, you should be intimate in other ways as well.
 

 


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©2006 Erin Bradley and Nerve.com