Grandma Carmela Answers Your Sex And Dating Questions

If you're not sure what an orgasm feels like, we found an eighty-six-year-old grandmother to explain it to you.

A little while back, we ran a letter full of unfiltered advice about sex and dating, sent to Alison DeNisco by her eighty-six-year-old Grandma Carmela. Response was enthusiastic, to say the least. But we thought you might have some sex and dating problems that weren't addressed in the letter. So here are your sex and dating questions, answered by Grandma Carmela, with commentary by Alison. Try these on your own grandparents with caution.

Could you please give us your answer on the age-old question, "How do I have an orgasm, and how can I tell I'm actually having one?"

Grandma: Your body explodes, vaginally and clitorally, and you fall asleep afterwards. If you're attracted to your boyfriend it is a natural thing. You can try the top position. There has to be communication — tell him where you like to be touched and kissed. 

Alison: I think Grandma said it all — and also, get to know your body and don't be afraid of it.

Do you believe in love at first sight or is it always just infatuation?

Grandma: Yes, yes, yes. I believe in it. You are a lucky man. It is usually "true love." You know immediately that she was meant for you, without ever touching her. Don't throw this away. You're blessed — soul mates are forever.

Alison: I'm not sure why we're assuming this is a man, Grandma, but okay. I have yet to experience infatuation at first sight that actually turns into love, but my parents claim that's how it went for them, so I'm willing to believe.

I'm in a great relationship right now — I've been with my girlfriend for five years. But I'm worried that things are too serious for how young we are. I feel like I'm being rushed into my thirties and a commitment I'm not ready for. I just wish I'd met her three years from now. I don't know what to do — I feel my twenties slipping away and I'm afraid I'm not making the most of them. Any words of wisdom?

Grandma: Your girlfriend wants a commitment after five years of dating? She is right to expect one. You are afraid of commitment, but you are not afraid of using her for sex. I think you feel you have not finished sowing your wild oats. Separate. Date others. This will help you decide if you want to commit totally, or just like the steady sex. I would advise your girlfriend to move on. You don't want the relationship to go further than sex only. Get lost!

Alison: Grandma is making some unfair assumptions here — I'm sure you aren't using your girlfriend of five years for sex (and if you are, well, what Grandma said). Is she asking for a commitment, or is it possible she feels as unsure as you do? You should talk about it, and see how she's feeling. If you're on the same page, it might not hurt to take a break, and see other people (though if she does want the commitment, this could potentially ruin things with her). You don't want to end up resenting her because you feel like you haven't experienced enough — though you should also keep in mind that the late-twenties single life may not be as great as you're expecting.

I've been courting a girl for months now. We spend a lot of time together, and we like each other, but she always tells me she's not ready to date. Do I tough it out and wait until she's ready, or is she leading me on?

Grandma: It seems strange — girls today want a boyfriend so badly, and she's not ready to date? If she were into you, she'd want to sleep with you. Move on — she's wasting your time. Find someone who enjoys your company and wants to be with you. 

Alison: Unless she has a very good reason for not being ready, she's leading you on. Why wouldn't you want to date someone who you like and spend lots of time with (if you're attracted to them and connect with them, that is)? It sounds like she's waiting for someone better to come along. I agree with Grandma — move on.

Commentarium (22 Comments)

May 09 12 - 2:23am
Michelle

I adore Grandma Carmela. ADORE.

May 09 12 - 6:49am
Susie

Excellent advice ladies! Keep up the great work. Grandma right on about checking the husband's testosterone and Alison right- the husband may also be depressed. If that couple wants to salvage the marriage couples therapy is in order and no sex with the married guy!

May 09 12 - 9:12am
ZZ

This makes me uncomfortable.

May 09 12 - 10:46am
Jessica

Grandma Carmela should have her own column!

May 09 12 - 11:28am
Mila

I totally agree. She´s so upfront and honest. And she´s got the right perspective on people who won´t get serious about a relationship - just dump them! Fabulous!

May 09 12 - 5:22pm
JL

So true. Best advice since Andrew W.K.

May 09 12 - 11:10am
esh

thanks grandma. I appreciate your solid advice. Alison- i think you may be on to something. Depression makes a lot of sense. thx ladies!

May 09 12 - 11:15am
Hmmm....

Doesn't matter how risible or potentially harmful, Nerve will publish just about anything that could vaguely be described as sex-positive, huh?

May 10 12 - 12:24am
Sara

What's potentially harmful about this?

May 10 12 - 10:10am
Hmmm....

I think a lot of people are loving on Grandma Carmela because she's plain spoken, but really she just shoots from the hip, no? When her responses are so short, the absence of nuance in blanket statements like "It seems strange — girls today want a boyfriend so badly, and she's not ready to date? If she were into you, she'd want to sleep with you." really don't give the full story. Are "girls today" supposed to take as a given that being "into" a guy must mean that they want to sleep with them? Maybe the questions have been heavily edited, but we know nothing about ages or experience levels here. I'm just saying...

May 09 12 - 3:01pm
..

On the last question: Do you feel like there's anything going unspoken between you, issues you feel like you can't bring up, unaired resentments? You don't need to fight for fighting's sake, and you don't need to go looking for problems that aren't there, but sometimes an eerie perfect accord means that one partner is relegating their wishes or avoiding potential conflicts. I've been in one of those relationships, and it was ultimately pretty poisonous -- it seems to me that once you're in a long-term relationship, occasional minor fights are healthy.

May 09 12 - 9:23pm
Harmony

Sure minor arguments are bound to happen or else you are a robot: there are the "Bickersons" that waste time on trivial arguing always and often in front of others for an audience. Not cool over the long haul. Don't think grandma would approve.

May 10 12 - 9:55pm
Prytania

Love her advice except for the fighting advice. Yes fighting is "bad" but this person is asking the question because there might be something else lurking that they don't want to talk about. (Note: I wrote "might".) There is an old saying that goes "You cannot have a fight if you are alone." So maybe the writer is more alone than we think.

May 11 12 - 1:08am
Noel

I second the comment requesting this as a permanent advice column - that would be awesome.
regarding the last question, I have heard "advice" from others that little or no fighting in a relationship is a bad sign (of what, I'm not sure). However, my boyfriend of two years and I rarely fight. If we do disagree on something, we have a conversation, not a discussion and not an argument, about it. I can honestly say that ours has been the most honest relationship he or I have ever been involved in, and it's so easy (once you get into a pattern of honesty and explaining your feelings, it becomes the easy option). Of course, since she didn't explain if she's worried about something in particular, we don't know if that's the case, or if she received the same advice I did.
Just my 2 cents.

May 14 12 - 12:51pm
cjt

A bit condescending to add the running commentary from Alison...let her speak and we can make our own minds up about what she says....

May 15 12 - 10:06am
jf

I disagree about the marriage with no conflict. A red flag for future divorce is two conflict-avoidant people. While it is possible for two people to be in this much agreement with each other, it's unlikely. It's pretty rare for two people sharing a life to never or almost never disagree. I had a marriage that was seemingly nearly perfect too, but it turned out my soon-to-be-ex-husband was simply uncomfortable telling me when he disagreed or was unhappy. He professed to be very happy in our marriage right up until he had an affair and walked out. I suggest it would not hurt to tell him your concerns and see a counselor together.

May 15 12 - 11:56am
Fantasy Dating Game

Grandma Carmela rocks! All of her answers are smart and straight to the point. Cheers to her wisdom!

May 15 12 - 10:02pm
Adri

I have been living with my boyfriend for about a month now and I have known him for five months. I am still a virgin and he says that he will wait for me until I am ready. The thing is that i would have sex with him now but i check his computer and phone sometimes and i find images, videos, or text about him talking/being to other girls and it just makes me want to wait longer. I ask him about it and he says he doesn't talk to any other girl since he meet me and i believe him. What should I do? Keep waiting until I'm 100% sure, or just talk to him?

May 16 12 - 8:49pm
gurl

How old are you? Have you hung out with your boyfriend with groups of friends in which there are other attractive single girls around? What are his interactions with said girls like?

You can wait as long as you don't feel comfortable doing so... And you could talk to him too.

May 30 12 - 4:27pm
TXL

Every time I start thinking I should get back ou there and meet girls, I hear from someone like the last letter writer. WTF is the point of trying to make things easy for someone so they can be happy if they're just going to resent you for it?

May 31 12 - 10:49am
grandma_caremlla_htr

Stop giving her props just cause she's old. Her advice is dated and disgusting.

Jun 01 12 - 2:03pm
F. U.

fuck you.