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,

Recently I met a really hot woman via a sexually oriented website. Both of us are married and look outside our marriages for sexual satisfaction. It’s not worth it for either of us to divorce. We got together a few times and got along great. The sex was wonderful. Then one day she stopped calling. When we did speak, she said that she was feeling guilty about the sex. She wants to continue to talk and have a platonic friendship, but I want a "friend with benefits." What should I do? Be patient with this woman? Dump her? Confused and Promiscuous



promotion

Dear Confused and Promiscuous,
You met her on a sex site for the purposes of having sex and now she wants to meet for danish and coffee? Forget it. You’re taking a big gamble every time you see her, and there needs to be some kind of payoff or reward. Which would you rather it be — a stilted discussion about feelings or a nice sloppy blowjob?
If you were unattached, it’d be different, but this Frankenrelationship has no logical place in your life. A fuck buddy is someone who doesn’t feel angsty about fucking you, and a friend is someone you’re not afraid to introduce to your wife. (Yes, I realize those last two sentences rhyme. Watch out, Jesse Jackson). I wonder if she’s subconsciously trying to maintain the relationship as a way to alleviate the guilt she feels toward her husband. Not a particularly effective strategy. The best thing she could do would be to eliminate contact altogether.
This kind of dumping needs to be done gently. You don’t want her all riled up and seeking retribution. Tell her you’re going to concentrate on something else for a while (a big project at work, a hobby, your family) and you won’t have much time for friends. Be available for email and the occasional phone call, gradually tapering the frequency and intimacy of your conversations.
Finally, keep your online profile hidden or start patronizing another site. Even though she did the dumping, she’ll probably feel hurt if she sees you soliciting other partners, and the threat of exposure could crop up again. Worry upon worry upon worry. Isn’t cheating a gas?



Dear Miss Information,
 
My girlfriend has this fantasy of being forcibly restrained and made to watch while I bang another girl. It turns me on, but I’m worried that this kind of scenario will make her think she can have sex with other men. I don’t want that. I know it’s unfair, but I just can’t deal. I’m also worried she’ll cheat on me because she’ll take our relationship less seriously, and she’s been in open relationships before. Will she? West Coaster


Dear West Coaster,

I think you’re underestimating your girl. She’s communicating what she wants and doing it in a way that’s candid and adult. It’s the shy ones you need to watch out for, the people who say they never masturbate and get all huffy when someone mentions porn. They’re the type to keep their sexual fetishes and desires secret and act out in inappropriate ways.
There’s no open relationship statute that says sexual activities have to occur in identical pairs. You fucking another girl doesn’t have to result in her fucking another guy. Still, I would talk to your girlfriend and make sure she’s okay with that before you go off on your bondage adventure. You don’t want any misunderstandings, and you can’t un-fuck someone once it’s done.
Will an experience like this make your girlfriend more prone to cheat on you? Not likely. Cheaters cheat, whether they’re in an open relationship or the fiftieth year of marriage. If you have a history of problems trusting her, then yes, you should nix the idea.
Otherwise, tell her how you’d feel about her fucking another guy. Make it über-clear. Specify your boundaries and listen closely to see if she’s in agreement. Not "mostly in agreement" or "yes, except that one part." You want it to be one-hundred percent. It may be useful to rub one out before the discussion. Horniness, like the kind associated with a prospective threesome, sometimes gets in the way of making a balanced decision.

Dear Miss Information,
 
I’m wondering what to put on a Valentine’s Day card. This girl and I have been dating for nearly two months. There are many sleepovers and intimate times. I feel like she’s expecting "Love" or "I love you," but I’m not ready for that yet. She’s all into Valentine’s Day and I don’t want to disappoint her. Can I write "love" when I don’t know for sure if I mean it? Does that makes me a jerk? Will she expect me to say it? Hallmark Headache


Dear Hallmark Headache,
Twenty-five characters. That’s the length of the average closing. Twenty-five characters for a phrase that’s neither A) so ardent it sounds like you’re ready to file joint taxes nor B) so vague you sound like a sissy who’s dodging the question. I can understand why you’re obsessing.
Don’t use the word love if you don’t feel it. It doesn’t mean much on Valentine’s Day anyway. That’s amateur night. There are plenty of alternatives, and I’m not talking about lame ones like "Cordially yours" or "Take care."
One way to get out of the L-word is with a parody of an existing letter style. For example:
Uptight business letter: "Dear Miss Susanna, it has come to my attention that you will be receiving chocolates this evening…" End with something like "Sincerely Yours" or "Your Faithful Customer".
Victorian upper-crust: "Miss Lady Susanna, I beseech thee to be my humble Valentine." Sign off with "Your manservant everlasting" or something equally ridiculous and flowery.
You could also try doing a little doodle or drawing where you’d normally put your closing. It personalizes a store-bought card and shows her you did more than run into the store and take the first one you saw up to the register. It doesn’t have to be good — lopsided hearts and disproportionate stick figures are inherently charming.
If you’d rather stick to the basics, you could also try:
"Hugs and Kisses" — saccharine but serviceable
"Yours" — implies affection without over-promising
"All my best" — seldom used and pleasantly retro
"XOXOXO" — implies love without the heavy commitment
Readers, do you have any more suggestions? What’s your best/worst Valentine’s Day memory?
Leave them in Feedback.  

 


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