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Sex Advice from . . . Objectivists

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Last Spring, The Fountainhead Café opened in Manhattan’s West Village as a gathering space for followers of Ayn Rand. Rand’s philosophy, which she called Objectivism, endorsed the virtues of individuality, rationality and egoism.

Michael, 28

What can Ayn Rand teach us about sex?
It’s hard to reconcile the way she describes her own fantasies in her books, which are very violent. But there are some things she can teach you. The thing I took away from her was that the people you’re sleeping with mean something, and sex is the most honest form of expression that’s out there. If you’re a slut and you’re sleeping with anything that walks, there’s a reason for that.

My boyfriend wants oral sex. The act doesn’t absolutely disgust me, but I don’t love it. Should I give him head just because he’s my boyfriend?
If you don’t enjoy it, at the very least you should let him know. If it becomes a problem, maybe there are other issues in that relationship. I don’t think it should be a deal-breaker. I can’t imagine someone being like, “Oh, I love her so much, but she won’t suck my dick. What am I going to do?”

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I over-analyze sex while in the midst of it. How can I stop thinking and enjoy the moment?
Pause the world for a second while you’re having sex and ask yourself, “Why am I here right now?”

I want to have a threesome with my boyfriend, but he’s such an individualist that I’m afraid he’ll be repulsed. How can I make it happen without spooking him?
If my girlfriend ever asked me, my instinct would be to ask, “Why?” If she could explain that to me, then I guess I could be open to that. I can’t say I’d respect it, or definitely understand it, but I’d try.

I’m jealous of every woman my boyfriend talks to. How can I get over this?
You have to understand why you’re jealous. Low self-esteem is clearly the reason.

How can I fix this?
MichaelGood question. Ayn Rand’s colleague, Nathanial Brandon, whom she had a sexual relationship with, has written some books on self-esteem and why it’s the most important human emotion. It’s the core every human being needs to live, to have a healthy relationship. Without self-esteem you have no chance in hell of enjoying the fruits of life. Read his books, and maybe that’ll help.

I’m moving out of state for grad school. How will I know if my relationship is meant to be a long-distance one?
If you do everything you can to see each other as often as you can. It doesn’t matter how far away it is. That should come naturally, the desire to do that. And if one of the partners isn’t into the other person, it’ll quickly become apparent.

What’s the best way to get an objectivist to go home with you?
Assuming they’re healthy — because there are a lot of unhealthy objectivists out there — just be honest about you want, and hope that they’re honest with you.

Heidi, 21

HeidiWhat can an objectivist teach me about sex?
That it’s a very rational, really good thing.

What’s the best way to say, “I’m never going to call you again?”
I think it’s okay to be polite and just lie about it. Keep it vague, so it’s not exactly like you promised to call. Like, “I hope everything goes well for you.”

I’m dating a woman I have great sex with, but I don’t foresee us having a serious relationship. Do I need to spell this out, or can we just have a sex-only relationship without my saying so?
It wouldn’t really be fair to lead her on and not tell her it’s not going anywhere. I think if it’s going to be a completely physical relationship it would be better to have that out in the open, up front.

My boyfriend wants oral sex. The act doesn’t disgust me, but I don’t love it. Should I give him head just because he’s my boyfriend?
Yeah, probably once and a while. If you have a pretty good understanding of economics, you can certainly arrange some kind of mutually advantageous trade.

What’s the best way to get an objectivist to go home with you?
Be able to tell them that you’re attracted to them because their brain is sexy.

Joshua, 33
www.theatlasphere.com Joshua

I over-analyze sex while in the midst of it. How can I stop thinking and enjoy the moment?
Spend more time in teasing and foreplay, building up your sexual energy rather than thinking about how to get somewhere. Don’t have sex until you’re absolutely crazy with passion. Once you do, look right into your partner’s eyes so there’s no escaping the meaning of your connection together. Move slowly, and forget about the orgasm — it’ll take care of itself.

My boyfriend just told me he’s had male sexual partners in the past. It’s really bothering me. How can I get past this?
Sounds like there’s more to your feelings than mere surprise. Are you worried he might like his guy friends more than you? That he might not stick around? That he might have HIV? Figure out where you’re coming from first, then revisit the subject with him sometime. One way or another, talking honestly about your feelings is likely to lead to a better outcome.

I’m still really hung up on my ex-girlfriend and I believe we should be together. I’d like to try to win her back. Where’s the line between ardent suitor and stalker?
There isn’t much of a line. If you want a relationship more than she does, she’s unlikely to respect you. Get over it and move on, instead of wasting your time pursuing a woman who’s already told you she’s uninterested.

What can Ayn Rand teach us about sex?
That it’s not just a meeting of bodies, but also of minds. Find someone you can admire personally as well as physically. The sex will be sexier and you’ll feel better in the morning.

I have little sexual experience and I have a date with a girl who has lots. Should I own up or fake it?
Every man has a first time, so don’t imagine you have anything to hide. Tell her you’re a virgin and you’d love to explore new territory with her. If she’s as experienced as you think, she no doubt knows the ropes. One thing you have going for you: Most women are far more savvy and considerate about this than we men could ever hope to be.

I’m dating a woman I have great sex with, but I don’t foresee our relationship becoming serious. Do I need to spell out that it’s a sex-only relationship or can we just have one without my saying so?
Tell her you’re only with her for the sex. She’ll either appreciate your honesty or discover what a cad you are. Prepare for an ego adjustment.

What’s the best way to get an objectivist to go home with you?
Show him your dog-eared copy of Atlas Shrugged.

Jamie, 25 Jamie

What skills do objectivists have that could be used in the bedroom?
We tend to be very confident.

I want to have a threesome with my boyfriend to spice up our sex life, but he’s such an individualist that I’m afraid he’ll be repulsed. How can I make it happen without spooking him?
I honestly don’t think I’ve ever been with a guy who wouldn’t say “yippee” at the thought of a threesome. But supposing you’re with one who might not think it’s a good idea, it’s important to bring whoever you’re interested in having the threesome with into the relationship in a more benign sense first. Have him hang out with her and become friends first, before broaching the idea.

My girlfriend’s sex drive really takes a dive when she gets stressed at work. How can change that?
I highly recommend massages for women if they’re stressed. It’s almost always effective.

I over-analyze sex while I’m having it. How can I stop thinking and enjoy the moment?
Go with the over-analysis and use some of the things you’re thinking about in the act of the moment.

I’m physically attracted to my boyfriend’s best friend. I have no plans on pursuing him — I just want to be less attracted to him. How can I do that?
Avoid him for a while. Attraction can sometimes be a very chemical thing, so if you don’t know him very well and you’re just physically attracted to him, there’s not really anything you can do about that. Just try to put him out of your mind.

I’m jealous of every woman my boyfriend talks to. I need to stop this. Any tips?
On a pragmatic level, take some time to be by yourself, enjoy your own company and do things you like. The more you do that, the more comfortable you’ll be with your significant other hanging out with other people.

I’ve always wanted to have sex outside. Any tips?
No sand. The beach is not a good idea.

People also say hot tubs are impossible.
No, I’ve done it in a hot tub. That’s doable.

I think my boyfriend drinks too much, but I don’t want to seem like I’m accusing him of being an alcoholic. What can I do?
I did it by throwing away all of my husband’s beer while he was away on travel. Twice. He finally asked me why I kept throwing out all his beer and I told him he was drinking a little too much, and he said, “Well, I’ll stop drinking so much if you stop throwing away my beer.”

What’s the best way to get an objectivist to go home with you?
Be confident. Be intelligent. Be witty. Being vapid is not going to do it. I know women who think, “Well, men like to be smarter than you, and want you to laugh at all their jokes.” That is not the way to get an objectivist to go home with you. You have to convince them that you are an absolutely phenomenal person.

What can Ayn Rand teach us about sex?
In Atlas Shrugged, she says, “Show me the woman that a man sleeps with, and I will tell you everything you need to know about that man.” Who you have sex with shows the kind of things you value.    


Interviews by Kate Sullivan. Sex Advice From… appears on Thursdays. Have questions for the general public? Send them to sexadvicefrom@nerve.com.

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