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,

My ex-boyfriend is the only guy I ever got to the pants-off stage with, and he always wanted my pubic hair fully shaved. It was so important to him, I always let him shave me even though I hated it (emotional blackmail is fun!) The result: I feel like being unshaven will make future guys think I’m repulsive or unkempt, but shaving — or trimming or getting waxed — flashes me back to the full year of weekly humiliation and makes me want to cry. I don’t even want to trim around the edges. Should I work on getting over this neurosis, or is all the hair not as off-putting as I think? — It’s Not Like I Don’t Shower



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Dear It’s Not Like I Don’t Shower,
The overall trend is toward less pubic hair these days, but preferences are all over the place. Some men are going to be put off by a full bush, others will embrace it. I know that’s not much of a reassurance, but I’ve also observed that when the lights are low and libidos are high most opinions are subject to change. Ask your friends about their pubic-hair preferences and then ask them how that compares to the pubic hair of the people they’ve slept with. They’re rarely the same.
I suggest you stop worrying about what guys want and start concentrating on what’s best for your Lady Jane. A year of involuntary haircuts and hanging out with what sounds like an abusive asshole have got her a little peeved. You need to woo her back. Become friends again. Treat her to long, luxurious masturbation sessions. Read her dirty stories and high-quality pornography. Dress her up in your favorite panties, whether they’re a silky scrap of butt floss or a white cotton pair so big they could double as a drop cloth. Later, when you’re in a better place and want to ease yourself into hair removal, go ahead. A bladeless option like sugaring or Nair might bring back fewer traumatic memories.



Dear Miss Information,

It’s been seven months since my ex-girlfriend and I broke up, but she’s still calling me just about every day. She says that she is still in love with me and will always love me, but doesn’t want to be in a relationship. This is really screwing with my head. I really do care about her, but it’s hard for me to support her when she has problems with other guys/work/her life, etc. I feel like a pet rock. When shit hits the fan, she comes to me, but when everything is fine, she goes out to party and get drunk and have sex. And when I have problems, she’s not always there for me. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. — Pet Rock


Dear Pet Rock,

I hate it when writers lead off with a definition as their intro ("Merriam-Webster defines the word ‘dictionary’ to mean…") I find it trite and lazy. However, while researching my answer to your question, I found a bit of text that summarizes your situation so perfectly, so expediently that I felt I had to share it. You ready, Pet Rock? Here we go:
Codependency is defined as "an unconscious addiction to another person’s abnormal behavior." See also: Pet Rock’s relationship with his ex-girlfriend.
There’s a reason why most people aren’t friends with their exes, and the majority of it has to do with the fact that they’re fucking other people. It’s upsetting, and most healthy individuals don’t want to have hear about it on a daily basis, let alone be used as someone’s emotional surrogate until a better relationship comes along. Many of us pride ourselves on our ability to be a good friend, someone who’s open-minded and accepting. We want to be the cool ex, the mature ex. So we censor our wants and needs and bury our negative feelings. We call it a "friendship," but that doesn’t sound like a normal friendship to me. Friendships have boundaries. I don’t care how long you’ve known the person or how close you’ve been. My best friend used to be my drinking partner, but now she’s in recovery. I don’t invite her out to bars or make her listen to "I was SO trashed…" stories, because I care about her feelings. Yes, we used to drink when we were together, and I miss those times, but my behavior is an acknowledgment that the situation has changed. Either your girlfriend doesn’t know how much your hurting or she’s too selfish to make similar adjustments in your relationship.
A few suggestions: Don’t let her talk about her sex life. Stop talking on the phone all the time. Don’t be her automatic go-to when a troubling situation arises. Actively pursue other people, activities and relationships. I know it’s hard (very hard) to pull away, but the payoff will be how much happier and stable you’ll be when you’re no longer in this situation.

Dear Miss Information,

Last month my husband and I got drunk and fooled around with one of his workout pals and a girl we met at the bar. There wasn’t any sex, but some other stuff went down, including oral sex. We both regretted it the next day, but my husband especially so. He’s totally distraught. I told him it meant nothing to me and we need to get past it but he keeps getting more and more distant from me, starting fights over nothing it seems. What can I do to make it better? I don’t want it to be over. We have a little girl and he says he still loves me. — Party of Three


Dear Party of Three,
Threesomes or foursomes can be loads of fun, but the morning after is rarely the stuff of online fantasy. This is especially true in situations where alcohol acts as a catalyst, causing you to do things you can’t believe you did the next morning (who are these people in our bedroom, and why does it smell like a burning tire?). You can’t undo a threesome, obviously. But you can help your husband through some of the anger and fear that he’s experiencing by finding out his worries are and doing your damnedest to address them.

It takes courage and a strong sense of self-awareness to understand the root cause of your feelings. Don’t be surprised if he’s either too angry or too emotional right now to figure that out. Just do what you can to make him feel loved, avoid the workout friend and for the love of Mike, curtail your drinking. Alcohol makes any argument that much harder.
If he continues to pull away from you, consider individual or couples therapy. Don’t put up with any abusive or punishing behavior. He was an equal partner in the event, and it’s not fair to put the blame entirely on your shoulders. An event like this is shitty to go through, but it can strengthen your relationship if handled the right way.
 

 


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