Once Bitten, Twice Shy

When we talk about getting bit by the love bug, this isn’t exactly what we had in mind.

Q: What is the deal with biting? I was recently with a woman and in the throes of passion she clamped down on my bicep like the jaws of life, leaving me with a bruise that looks like I was struck by a softball traveling at 90 miles per hour. As it was happening, I obviously felt intense pain (note: I did not use the word discomfort, as that would be horribly inaccurate … it hurt!). At the moment, I did not feel it appropriate to voice my displeasure (i.e. scream like a little girl), so she must have thought I enjoyed it as I now am the proud owner of at least a dozen bite wounds on various parts of my chestal region. After the fact, I was not entirely certain how to approach telling her I did not enjoy it. I do not want to offend her in fear that she may not reprise the experience, nor do I want her to go the opposite direction and become too tame in bed.

Also, is this a new phenomenon? Was there a recent Cosmo article that I should be aware of? This is not the first person that has bitten me. Is it possible I am putting off a “bite me” vibe? – Once Bitten

A: I’ve not seen anything in Cosmo or elsewhere about a biting trend. But perhaps this current obsession with vampires has seeped into the sack. Either way, these chicks seem, quite literally, ravenous for your hot bod. Which always leaves a man’s chest sufficiently puffed.

Problem is, yours is in danger of being punctured – not good. Plus, think about the horror of your gal(s) getting snap-happy in the vicinity of a certain appendage. If that happens, I guarantee you will indeed be screaming like a little girl.

So, lest the next romp leaves you looking and feeling like you were attacked by a pack of rabid snapping turtles, it’s time to curb all this biting – and you need to start with your own tongue. Assure Elvira you love her feistiness but not her fangs, and that you don’t relish feeling like a Doberman’s chew toy in bed. And if she gets carried away mid-romp, for god’s sake let her know it. Say something like “Whoa, easy there,” and redirect the action. I can think of at least one position (hint: arf, arf) in which a woman, unless she has Alien-like extendable jaws, would have a lot of trouble chomping her partner.

One final suggestion: Hang a ball gag from your bedpost. If nothing else, that oughta nip the problem.

Q: In lieu of going on VH1′s “Tough Love,” I have decided to seek your advice. I have never been much of a “dater,” preferring committed relationships over no-strings-attached situations. Looking back I realize I seem to choose the impossible or irrational as my mate … either distance, age, religion, citizenship, focus, or lifestyle (not sexuality) has been an issue. I find myself getting attached way too quickly and easily, which doesn’t quite match my independent character. So I need to know what is wrong with me to choose such hindsight-incompatible mates and what I can do to find what I want AND need. I have a wonderful group of friends, stable career and lifestyle, and I think that I am a “good catch” (also based on numerous comments of friends and family that “I can do better… you deserve better,” etc.). Help! — Queen of the Impossible

A: Would it help to know that when you listed each of those impossible and irrational mates, yours truly took a trip down memory lane and realized she could tick off every single one, too? A long-distance douchebag, a too-young buck and an insufferable slacker – among other winners – have all been in my bag of d— uh, I mean, tricks. Try to look at it this way: At least we’re good at picking bad partners.

And yes, it totally sucks when you know you’re self-sabotaging but can’t seem to stop. I wish I could tell you what you’re doing wrong, but trailing your every move around men doesn’t sound like much fun for anyone, and this gig doesn’t pay me near enough anyway. The only thing that did stick out from your letter – besides your honesty and intelligence – is that, much as we think we do, no one “needs” a romantic relationship. You can get by just fine by yourself – and, maybe since you’ve been part of a couple for so long, that’s a lesson you can only learn via solo time.

Also, the fact that you recognize this is an issue is a great start to break the pattern. Next time you find yourself falling hard and fast, make a concerted effort to keep it casual for a while. The red-flag incompatibilities you listed will start to surface soon enough – but if you’re already too emotionally invested, you’ll have a much easier time ignoring/justifying them.

And try not to look at your past as series of failures, but instead as steps taking you closer toward finding your king. All of this isn’t unlike studying hard for an exam and then acing it – you feel great, but you know you couldn’t have done it without the prep. And with a spanking new year around the corner, there’s no better time to get crackin.’

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