Advice

Miss Information: Help! My boyfriend goes numb when we do it.

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

Dear Miss Information,

The other day, my boyfriend and I were fooling around. I was giving him a hand job and right before the climactic moment, he breathlessly asked me to stop. Both of his hands had gone numb, and he said that it had felt so good it was like he had just come, even though he didn’t. He said something similar happened to him once before when he was masturbating, but the numbness was never in both hands, just one. Is he okay? He said he didn’t feel any pain, just an intense orgasmic feeling. — Accidental Tantric Sex Kitten

Dear Accidental Tantric Sex Kitten,

I called my dear friend Sting, but he was too busy clubbin’ it with Trudie and swanning around with Cindy Crawford to give me a response.

So I looked up “numb hands” on WebMD’s Symptom Checker, the hypochondriac’s all-hours enabler and online drug of choice. I found dozens of possible causes, from “broken finger” to “excessive dieting” to something called “POEMS Syndrome”when he loses sensation, does he ever start spouting free verse or rhyming couplets?

Seriously, if it’s worrying you guys and it keeps on happening, it might be worth jotting down the details, times and positions of these occurrences, and taking that information to a doctor.

From a sex-advice standpoint, I’d recommend switching up positions every so often and  having him watch his breathing. It could be he’s not getting the right amount of air or blood flow. Is he subconsciously clenching his hands? Numbness like that happens to a lot of people on the other end of their body — the feet — when they’re receiving oral. The fact that it happened to one hand while he was masturbating, but both hands while you were giving him a handie, seems to suggest that he might be bringing on his own pins-and-needles by contracting his phalanges into a ball. Unless, of course, he’s a double-gripper.

Speaking of hand jobs, here’s a recent article about a woman who gave one to her cat (totally SFW, as unlikely as that sounds). What do you think, readers? Would you administer a happy ending to help out dear Fluffy or Fido? What if they promised to tip you, like, really, really well?

Dear Miss Information,

I’m in an insular professional program and I don’t have a lot of free time to date.  I know, I know, I should just go on a dating site.  But I don’t want to do online dating because I’m rather nervous and feel I can get a better impression of people in-person. To be completely honest, the real problem is that I lack confidence. I can’t join an online dating service because I honestly don’t think I have any positive attributes to put on a profile that would attract anybody. How do people have confidence when dating? How do you just wake up one day and feel like you are good enough for somebody? — Struggling

Dear Struggling,

You don’t want to do online dating because you’ve got a skittish temperament, yet you’re entirely comfortable conversing real-time with strangers? You’re just full of contradictions, aren’t you?

Reading your letter, there’s another inconsistency I’m picking up on — wherein you bring up the cyber stuff not once, not twice, but three times. Which leads me to believe you really want to do it, or are at the very least intrigued. Otherwise you wouldn’t be giving so much thought to it.

There’s a way to get into online dating without actually doing online dating. In fact, it’s how most people start the whole experience: being a lurker. Step one: register for a couple of sites, making sure to skip over the part where you fill out a profile. These days, more and more of them require you to answer each and every question, but you can usually bypass that with a mixture of short answers and gobbledygook. Once you’ve done that, set it so your profile’s hidden.

Step two: search the sites, looking both at people you’d want to date as well as the competition. Know what you’ll find? An enormous cross-section of people. Some bad. Some good. Some complete idiots and train wrecks. Others mild-to-moderately intriguing. What makes you assume you’re on the ass-end of the spectrum? You are not. I repeat: You. Are. Not. I’ve been dating online for close to a decade and I’ve seen it all. Trust me.

Step three: remember that your profile does not have to win a Pulitzer. As far as filling out a profile and finding these so-called “positive attributes,” you just need to change your thinking. It is just words on a screen. It’s not permanent. It can all be changed with a few taps on a keyboard. It’s not the totality of who you are. Rather than looking for bragging points or accomplishments, why not approach it as a description? “I am tall. I am short. I read books. I like Steely Dan and Russian literature.” You’ll feel less pressure if you don’t try to be this clever showoff full of snappy answers, and just stick with what’s more concrete.

Whether you choose to do it online or offline — and I advise trying both — know that no one feels one-hundred-percent good about themselves all the time. It’s not a prerequisite to enter the world of dating. If it was, Lord knows I would have never been allowed to maintain an online dating blog for close to three years. I think I’m the worst. Always.

Nervers, what other advice do you have for Struggling?