Advice

Miss Information: My wife speaks in tongues in bed. Totally normal, right?

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

Dear Miss Information,

My wife and I have a great sex life. Often, after prolonged foreplay and during subsequent sex, she temporarily passes out and/or speaks in tongues, which I believe are not known to mankind. When this happens, I normally consider this the result of a job well done, which is generally confirmed in conversations with my wife after the fact (although she does not generally recall the specifics of the situation). My question is whether this somehow poses a health risk, or whether I should be otherwise concerned? — Not With It (or Too Much With It)

Dear Not With It,

Losing consciousness during sex is rare, but it happens. Let’s take a look at some of the more common causes of fainting, as outlined in this WebMD article:

  • Anxiety, fear or intense emotional stress — I’m sure you can see how even the good kind could wind up under the last category.
  • Hunger or dehydration — Who hasn’t put off a trip to the kitchen for some good, old-fashioned fucking?
  • Alcohol or drugs — Puff, puff. Sip, sip. It’s two hours later and you’ve got a bruise on your hip.
  • Moving too quickly from a horizontal to a standing position — You are a desk jockey, not Ron Jeremy channeling Evel Knievel. Don’t try it.
  • Hyperventilation — Oh God. Oh God. Oh God. I can’t breathe. No, seriously. Why do I hear harp music?
  • Unusual patterns of nerve stimulation — Going night-night while driving is kinda dangerous. The G-spot is hard to get at for a reason.

If any of these are a factor, see what you can do to remove them from the equation. I’m assuming you are too smart to mess around with erotic asphyxiation and roofies, but if you are, cut it out. Either of those can kill you dead. Prescription sleep aids are a little safer, but those also can cause you to lose control while remaining in a state of semi-wakefulness. That could explain your wife’s speaking in tongues. Then again, you could be married to a horny, closeted snake-handler.

See a doctor, just in case. Bring a record of all the times it’s happened and the surrounding circumstances. I’m sure you’ll be asked a million questions. It’s probably nothing serious, but it could be a sign of a heart or circulation problem. Neither is anything you want to mess with.

Dear Miss Information,

I’m on my own in a major city, and most of the time I can bear it. But being a member of the creative underclass and facing the economic situation alone has me frightened. It’s not that I expect or even want some man to rescue me; it’s more that I’d like someone in the hole with me. On top of this, I’m about to enter my late twenties and may need to move in with my parents because I can no longer afford rent, even though I teach and freelance. Other alternatives: move to a different city; take a job I don’t want (if I’m lucky enough to land one); find roommates, even though I often work from home and have had some roommate-from-hell situations; or some combination of all of the above. I’m just starting to see some real breakthroughs in my creative life — i.e., recognition and publication. It’s a sweetness to temper the sorrow. Not enough to live on, but enough to keep me coming back. The bulk of my friends are in committed relationships and have some kind of safety net (emotional, financial) to fall back on. I have friends, family, a bit of savings, dignity and a belief that I’ll make it in the long run. The short run, however, is a lot more daunting. Any advice? — Economic Nervous Meltdown

Dear Economic Nervous Meltdown,

Yeah, read last week’s Modern Love. Not only is it so sweet it made even the titanium-plated ovaries over at Jezebel blush, it’s also proof that companionship is no insulation against hardship. A ring on your finger can’t protect you from life’s unexpected twists and turns.

To some extent, you’re lucky. You only have to please yourself when making tough decisions. Austin or Portland? One-year lease or month-by-month rental? The girl with the killer furniture or the guy who’s in culinary school and will undoubtedly cook for you? You control it all, whether it’s location, timing or choice of living companion.

You’re also in charge of micro-decisions, those preferences which seem inconsequential until you have to alter them, lest your beloved see you clipping your toenails naked while watching Real Housewives, or tucking into a balanced dinner of Chips Ahoy, off-brand Lambrusco and edamame. I know there are coupled types reading this and thinking, “I can act however I want around my sweetie. I am always one-hundred-percent me.” Nope. Sorry. It’s a universal fact: You can’t be as hedonistic, selfish and uninhibited living with someone as you can when you’re single.

I love that you wrote, “I have friends, family, a bit of savings, dignity and a belief that I’ll make it in the long run.” Sounds to me like you’re already there. Just decide what’s more important: staying in the city or financial stability. I love New York City so much that I’d move into a KFC restroom if I had to, but I’m giving up a lot to be here. If you can’t do exactly what you want to do right now, do what you have to do in the meantime, and find a way to make that livable. Maybe you have to move back in with Mom and Dad, but think of how much money you’ll save thanks to your parents’ stocked fridge. Maybe you’ll take a job that’s borderline-odious, but you can freelance on your lunch hour.

It’s okay to be scared. At times, we all are — straight, gay, single or married. Books like The How of Happiness: A Scientific Approach to Getting the Life You Want teach us that we must actively work for happiness. Take each day as it comes, try to be thankful for what you have, but don’t beat yourself up if you spend some days in raging pity-party mode. Your coupled friends have those days, too. Possibly even more of them. Like that horrible earworm of a song by Seal, we’re all a little crazy.

Dear Miss Information,

I’m a straight man who’s definitely attracted to women, but for the last year or so I’ve been fantasizing about sex with a shemale. At first, I watched shemale porn. Recently, I’ve been browsing websites for transsexual escorts, and I find myself closer and closer to actually calling one up. Am I alone in fantasizing about being with a woman who has “extra parts”? And is there any sane way of acting on this fantasy? — TS Tempted

Dear TS Tempted,

Of course you’re not alone. What, are you looking at porn on stone tablets? Do a Google search. You’ll find all sorts of like-minded souls. They may even be able to give you tips on how to pick up one of these individuals in your area.

Just so we’re clear, is this a fantasy about being with a woman who was born an XY, or is it about the taboo and power dynamic of hiring an escort? If it’s the former, I urge you to stay away from personals soliciting LTRs. While there are quite a few trans-peeps who’d love to date a nice first-timer, I don’t know if that’s the most accurate description for you, TS Tempted. You start your letter insisting that you’re Mr. Girlfucker Johnny Chest Hair. I’m not disputing that. You can be attracted to chicks with dicks while identifying primarily as a straight guy. But it sounds like you haven’t quite assimilated this into your identity. I wouldn’t encourage you to set off in search of a relationship if experimental fucking is all you can commit to at this particular time.

If you decide to hire an escort, make sure you’re being safe. Well, as safe as you can be when hiring an escort — which is to say, not overwhelmingly safe, but whatever. You’re an adult. You (and your penis) have got to live your lives. Make sure to get references if you’re using an independent. Don’t get “too” anything — drunk, drugged, isolated, etc. — and choose somewhere public for the initial meet-up. You also can try sites like Eros and The Erotic Review, both of which offer detailed information on everything from precise hourly rates to genital size. Not that you’re going to see their genitals. These are escorts. You’ll probably just meet up and go to a museum or something. Eat a nice baked potato at your local diner.

Then again, if I’m wrong and you would readily embrace dating a woman with a dick — but are still fantasizing about an escort experience — another alternative is to find a non-pro, develop an ongoing relationship, and act out the professional fantasy together. It’s a recession, TS Tempted. Just think of all the money you’ll save!

Readers, do any of you work as an escort or have you hired an escort? Do you have any further tips for TS Tempted? If you think escorting’s morally fucked, let’s hear that as well.