Just Banging My Head Against the Keyboard

Q: I met a guy about a year ago, had semi-serious relationship. He began to withdraw, said he didn’t know what he wanted, he then began, I think, seeing someone else, but always kept in touch via text messages, phone calls, and e-mails. I am still really into this guy and he still calls and texts. Is he keeping me as his “go to” girl? Or exactly why doesn’t he just go away and have his “fun” which is what he wants? I am so confused and still very much hung up on him. — Hopeless


A: Uyh faja; fa;a.wua pja aowu AJA;L ASA0JK fjsd MK,DKU.

Sorry. That was just my head banging against the keyboard.


There are two reasons I get so riled up over letters like this: 1) They’re frustrating as hell; and 2) they’re a reminder that Greg Behrendt totally beat me to the punch on monetizing the whole “he’s just not that into you” schtick. I’ll never forget my personal introduction to that sobering – but liberating – reality, courtesy of a guy I lusted over in high school. This dude, who was well aware that my loins simultaneously combusted every time he was near, told me, “If a guy likes a girl, he’ll ask a girl out.” And since his subsequent actions certainly did not involve him asking me out, mind you, I had my answer – as well as a dating mantra to live by ever since.


Let’s recap: If a guy wants to see you, he’ll find a way to see you. If his only contact with you consists of phone calls, e-mails and texts, he doesn’t want to see you. If he tells you he doesn’t know what he wants, he does know he doesn’t want you.


I don’t understand what there is to be so confused about, I’m sorry to say. This guy is both keeping you as his go-to girl and having his fun — with you as his doormat. If you still don’t get it, go ahead and [teeth gritted] pick up Behrendt’s book; the damn thing is probably still on the New York Times bestseller list.


Q: My girlfriend is living in Italy for an extended work project. After two years together, neither of us is really sure about our future at this point. There are still strong feelings between us though. Several weeks ago I met a girl at a work happy hour. She was a friend of a friend from work. She rocked my world so I asked for her phone number. We’ve hung out a few times but she knows I have a long-distance girlfriend and doesn’t want to get into anything serious in that situation.


Is there a problem trying her on for size for the time being, since my girlfriend is so far away anyway? I’m dying to have sex but I know this girl has potential for much more than that. Would it be cheating really? How should I handle this? I really like this new girl but I know I still love my girlfriend, too. – American Girl Has Got Me Giddy


You won’t get a hall pass from me for cheating – because yes, it would be cheating, really. As I’ve said before, it doesn’t matter if you and your girlfriend are in two different countries or mental wards — when you’re in an exclusive relationship and you become physically (or, in some cases, emotionally) intimate with someone else, it’s cheating. And in all but a few rare situations, it’s disrespectful, hurtful and just plain yucky. Unfortunately, because of all that damn distance in an LDR – long-distance relationship – cheating becomes a lot easier to justify.


But why cheat when you can just 1) talk to your girlfriend about the possibility of seeing other people, or 2) end it with her anyway? If she’s off to Italy for extended work and neither of you is sure about your future, I’d say there’s a good chance she’s got her eye on some delicious Italian stud named Giuseppe anyway. And there’s still the possibility that when she gets back you two can re-evaluate – or reunite for good.


Meanwhile, good on this new girl for putting on the brakes until you figure out your situation. But I gotta say that something about that whole “trying her on for size” remark of yours just didn’t sit well with me. I really hope you’re not just thinking about using her for sex (unless that’s cool with her, too). But if you are, then I hope your girlfriend is already boinking Giuseppe.

Checked Out

Q: So, when I went for a run the other day, I think that I caught a girl checking out my Package. I just ran past her and when I looked up for a sec I caught her staring at my crotch area. My shorts were not my little running shorts but the longer ones so I wasn’t busting out of them or anything like that. She was cute but not hot, and I did feel a little like a piece of meat. But then afterwards I thought that hey, we do it almost instinctively, so why would women not do it? We all know us guys get accused of leering at girls, but this made me wonder if all girls do it also, and they are just more discreet. So my question is do girls do this and if so do they talk about it like we do? – Long Runner


A: So you felt like a piece of meat, huh? ‘Cuz some chick was scoping your sausage? Staring at your salami? Drooling over your dong? Get over it, bub. Women have been subject to this kind of behavior since Adam caught sight of Eve’s bare boob, so no sympathy here on that. It’s not like this girl fondled the goods while you ran past.


Yes, I’d say you have firsthand evidence that – GASP! — girls do engage in below-the-belt ogling. This one notwithstanding, you’re also right that we’re generally discreet. And you’re damn straight we talk about the equipment.


But not in the way you and your buds grunt to each other over a nice set of knockers. That’s because: 1) unless your wardrobe rivals that of Billy Blanks for Spandex content, your stuff doesn’t as easily catch the eye as a pair of breasts tends to; and 2) while we’re in public, most women wouldn’t be wondering aloud whether some dude stuffed a Kielbasa down his pants. Instead, we tend to admire the whole package – as in, “That guy is really hot.” (Though I will say a nice tight butt can often elicit a remark, too.) When we’re with close girlfriends (usually drunk), that’s when we dig into details over length, girth, texture and technique.


And, judging by the fact that you sent in this question, dubbed yourself the Long Runner and actually capitalized the reference to your package, I’ll go ahead and offer up the ego stroke you’re clearly after, Big Guy, and tell you to please, please be careful the next time you go for a run. You don’t want to trip over that thing.


Q: I had been seeing a guy on and off for the last EIGHT YEARS. Yes, that’s right. Eight. I would get tired of him for various reasons, such as his extreme self-centeredness, and move on for a while, maybe date someone else, but when he called I would always go back. About two weeks ago, he gave me an STD. We had been seeing each other again since April, and had discussed mutual exclusivity. SO, the liar did what liars always do, and lied. Apparently he was seeing someone else and she must be marvelous since she gave us scabies. Now, this is my first STD, and I don’t want to repeat the experience, so I have a resolve against seeing him that I never have had before. He might even actually be scared of me now, I pitched such a fit. My question for you: WHY did I let myself do this over and over again? – Bugged


A: I guess you could call this an eight-year itch, huh? I have no idea why it took contracting scabies for you to wise up. It’s a damn shame, though I suppose you should count your blessings that you didn’t catch something more severe.


And since it’s been a while since I delivered a PSA (Pubic Service Announcement), let’s do one on scabies. This itchy skin condition, caused by tiny mites that burrow into the outer layers of the skin, is not so much a sexually transmitted disease as a socially transmitted one. In fact, according to a dermatologist I consulted, it’s more commonly spread via infected clothing or sleeping in a contaminated bed than through sexual contact (although you can certainly get it that way). This means there’s a good chance this guy could have picked up the little buggers in ways other than sleeping with someone else (though don’t even think about using that as an excuse to keep seeing him). I hope you’ve gotten treatment by now so that you’re not spreading it yourself (treatment usually involves a topical lotion).


But the truly problematic mite in this whole dilemma is the two-legged one you let get under your skin eight years ago. This is not about resolve – it’s about self-respect. You know he’ll call you again, and that will be the real test of whether you can get rid of him for good. My fingers are crossed.






Number of Partners and Other Weighty Issues


Q: My boyfriend’s brother has been dating the same girl for the past five years. She was never a super-thin girl to begin with but over the past few years she has gained a substantial amount of weight. Her father just had to have gastric bypass and her mother is suffering a whole host of health problems related to obesity. My boyfriend’s brother is worried about her health and is having trouble even finding her attractive anymore. He has tried subtle approaches (e.g. trying to get her to participate in a kickball league) with no luck. On road trips, he claims to not be hungry (even though he is) simply so they won’t stop at fast food restaurants. How can he let the woman he loves know that her weight is starting to get in the way? – Weighed Down


A: This is one of those questions that, no matter how I answer, I feel like I’m going to open the floodgates for overweight people who find my answer offensive, non-PC, uninformed, off-base, what-have-you. But here goes anyway.


First, has your boyfriend’s brother (YBB) actually had a conversation with her about the issue? I mean, beyond, “Hey, honey, let’s join a kickball league” or “I don’t feel like McDonald’s right now”? If not, it’s time to drop the “subtle approaches” and be straight with her: that he’s concerned about her health, and yes, her weight is impacting their relationship.


No, it won’t be an easy conversation to have, and tact will be paramount. But YBB can lessen the blow by telling his girlfriend this will be a team effort: that he’ll take walks or work out with her, they’ll learn how to cook nutritious meals at home, or whatever else it takes to get a more active, healthier lifestyle jump-started for them both. If among the 66 percent of Americans who are overweight, YBB probably has a few pounds to lose himself, anyway. Framing it along the lines of a challenge they can overcome as a couple should help.


You’d think that her parents’ horrible health problems as a result of obesity would be a strong enough kick in the arse for her to get moving, but that doesn’t appear to be the case. So perhaps realizing that there could be other dire consequences from her inactivity – i.e., possibly losing her boyfriend – will spark some motivation. Which is another reason why she needs to be aware that her “substantial” weight gain is impacting YBB: so she can have the chance to change.


Which brings me to the real rub: The drive has to come from within her. All the encouragement, motivation and even ultimatums in the world won’t do a damn bit of good if she isn’t willing to make the effort herself.


A few more things to, um, chew on: Hitting that stable and secure place in a relationship is a wonderful thing, but it shouldn’t come with a lifetime ticket to the all-you-can-eat buffet. Or a free pass to smoke, show up late all the time, or any number of other behaviors that we often slip into to the detriment of our relationship. In other words, we have to take responsibility for the behaviors (or lack thereof) that have a negative impact on our partners. I hope YBB’s girlfriend takes the initiative to try to lose the weight, and in the meantime, YBB needs to lose the guilt over telling her about it.


Q: Please help me. My girlfriend is way more experienced than I am in the sexual sense. We’ve been together for about 7 months (I’m 21, she’s 24) and she’s a fantastic person. The longer we’re together the more I want to know about her past (sexually speaking). Specifically, the number of men she’s had sexual relations with. But I don’t want to lose her over this, and I fear that if I do ask her to disclose that number it will be the end of the special thing that we have. What should I do? Super-Confused


A: It’s not about what you should do but what you definitely, absolutely, positively, totally, shouldn’t: 1) Ask her how many guys she’s slept with; 2) Whimper and whine that you feel inferior to her sexual prowess; 3) Ever again refer to your physical relationship – or that of anyone else -- as “sexual relations.” Bill Clinton brought an ick factor to that phrase that will never fade.

Listen, young buck, you’ve got a good thing going here: A sexually advanced gal who revs your engines and can teach you lots of fun, naughty tricks in the sack. Please don’t screw it up by freaking out unnecessarily about something you have absolutely no control over. The only real concern you should have related to her past is her health. In other words, make sure you’re covering up your love muscle until you both get tested. 




It's Just Too Much!

Q: My boyfriend of six months, whom I really like and want to build a future with, have a stumbling block: his penis. Not that it’s too small, just the opposite: it’s too big. I did not have sex with him until four months into dating. The first time was pure torture. And it has not been better. I’ve talked to a few friends, one recommended that I drink to loosen up, that did not work. Another suggested lots of lube, that worked but I still feel pressure and pain. Please, any suggestions. – He’s Just Too Big


A: Why don’t you make like Michelle Duggar and squeeze out a bambino or 19? That oughta loosen things up a bit.


Kidding, of course – I’m trying to get you to loosen up a bit. That’s perhaps the most important thing you can do here. You see, when we anticipate discomfort, our bodies automatically tense up – vag muscles included. It’s an involuntary reaction, so you and your guy need to go overboard making sure you’re as relaxed as possible – mentally and physically — before the big moment. Have him give you a massage to get things warmed up, and make sure he doesn’t scrimp on the foreplay. And keep the lube a’flowin’. Go for water- or silicone-based; both can be used with condoms, and the silicone stuff is super-slick and smooth and lasts a long time.


As far as positions go, focus on ones that limit his thrusting capability. That means forgoing doggy style and any legs-over-the-shoulder acrobatics for now, and getting on top yourself so you can control the depth and speed of his supersized schlong. Missionary works too; just keep your thighs as close together as possible.


I’m also all for using wine, weed or whatever else it takes until you two figure out what works. And the fact that you waited a while before giving it up, and that he stuck around until then, bodes well for your future. Finally, remember that good sex goes way beyond penetration.


Q: I’m practically engaged to my boyfriend – we’ve shared a solid four years, enjoy each other’s company immensely and are always honest and passionate. I realize how lucky I am, but there’s a fly in the ointment, which is rapidly becoming a big problem as we contemplate “forever” together. His entire family lives far out-of-state, and I am frequently asked (required?) to accompany him on trips to visit them – at least twice a year, plus at least one extended holiday visit.


I’m a hardworking gal, and I resent the hijacking of my vacation time, particularly because these trips mean 12-14 nonstop hours of “family time” every single day. I start to break down after being in forced company with people I’m not genuinely close to and am expected to have a family-type relationship with. I’m told I’m acting like a “princess” if I suggest a hotel room instead of staying with family, which means sharing a bathroom with his mom, dad, brother or sister. In fact, I don’t really get a say in anything on these famfests – the “group” generally decides when we’re meeting for breakfast, what we’re doing all day, etc. When they visit us, it’s the same deal.


My boyfriend picks up on my stress during the trips, and takes it to mean I don’t like his family – which isn’t necessarily true. Marathon sessions with my own family would drive me nuts. Am I being a princess? Is this the price to pay for an otherwise solid relationship? How can I gently refuse a trip, without risking a fight? — Famfested Out


A: First of all, I’ve got some news for you: You’ll certainly be expected to have a “family-type relationship” with these people if you two get married. Annoying in-laws are, unfortunately, often a rite of matrimonial passage. Second, after four years of these famfests, you’re just now starting to rebel?


I don’t think you’re being a princess, but I do think it’s time to put on your big-girl panties. Yes, you’re expected to spend time with your boyfriend’s family. But if you’re as desperate for me-time as you say (and believe me, I understand), it’s on you to take it. Go for a very long walk. See a movie you know nobody else wants to. And try to look at it this way: At least he has a family that he enjoys spending time with.


You’re also way overdue for a conversation with your man about family time and boundaries. Explain to him what you’ve told me: that not wanting to be joined at the hip to his family 24/7 doesn’t mean you don’t like them. That you work hard and need vacations with just the two of you or girlfriends sometimes. Yeah, there might be a fight about it, but I’d say your sanity is worth fighting for.


The sooner this conversation, the better. The holiday season is right around the corner, and I promise you, you’ll be seeing more of these folks than you can imagine if wedding planning and kids are on the horizon.