I’m a forty year-old guy, divorced once, now seeing a great woman. Let’s call her Wendy. I’m not ugly, but it’s not like before I met Wendy other women were falling all over me. I’m a little out of shape and I have a pretty lousy job. But Wendy is OK with it and I accept her for who she is too. In most every respect, I’m as happy as I’ve ever felt I have a right to be. But here’s the problem. Wendy’s a big dog lover. Like, she gets dog magazines and has dog pillows and her whole house smells like dog. All of which is annoying, but I could live with it if her enormous German Shepard didn’t come into the room every time we’re fucking. It pushes open the door with its nose since there’s no lock, and it sits there and watches. The shit freaks me out. The dog has these flat dead eyes. I can’t tell if it’s enjoying it, or if it wants to kill me. I swear, I go soft just thinking about his face. I tell Wendy, but she says I’m being uptight. I bought a lock at the hardware store that she wouldn’t let me install. She says the dog is harmless. She gets all bitchy when I bring it up now. Last night it watched us again.
Am I being unreasonable here? I’m ready to put that dog in a fucking sack and drop it in the river. Or find a new girl.
Castle Dust is both hypoallergenic and pet-free for a reason. Well, actually two reasons. One is that I don’t bend over and pick up shit under any circumstances. Even to twist it into a plastic bag and then leave it on a random Mercedes hood. The second is that I’m highly allergic to fur. Which is why Candy gets a Brazilian every other week. But I actually do like animals. In fact, I grew up with dogs and cats, for years followed around by the faithful family Samoyed like outtakes from The Yearling. But at some point in my early twenties I developed a severe reaction to dander, and had to wean myself off the idea of pet companionship. In the end, it actually wasn’t that hard. No pets means no kennels, no piss, no barking, no shedding, no vet bills, no weeping as they’re inevitably put down at the animal ER, no leashes, no hip dysplasia, no ticks, no fleas, no Lyme disease, no drool, no cataracts, no lawn covered in turds the size of burritos, no Kal Kan, no doggie hard-ons, no unwanted litters, no scratching at the door, no dragging ass across the rug to stimulate the prostate. But mainly, it means no panting dog-breathed audience while you’re making sweet, private love.
Interestingly, if you were a connoisseur of Penthouse Forum in the mid-eighties as I most certainly was–cheaply produced erotic epistles being a part of any healthy boy’s onanistic routine–you came across a disconcertingly large sample of letters from coeds and nurses who had a thing for their dogs. I never really understood it, and tended to skip ahead for tales that took place on the beach or in the back of the band bus, but large dogs and their tongues clearly held a place in the lustful imagination of the time. Or at least it did in the minds of portly interns cramming snack cake in Penthouse office cubicles, paid $25 per column-inch to pose as horny doberman-loving French maids.
At any rate, yes, I am with you Alone. And I suspect Wendy’s protestations are more than just a matter of her dog’s civil rights. I think she has a specific kink. It’s known in the advice community as “Canine Voyeur Enhancement Syndrome,” or CVES. Her refusal to sanction a lock is a classic indicator.
You should insist on a way to secure the door, or threaten to walk.
If Wendy lets you go it means you were third in the pecking order all along, and as everyone knows, third is not the vertex to aspire to in a multispecies triangle–it’s a recipe (two parts kibble, one part gravy, one part hot water) for a relationship riddled with worms.
Sooner or later that German Shepard (being German, after all) is going to leap up and take a chunk out of your ass mid-thrust.
It’s only a matter of time, Alone.
Take off your collar and run.
I am twenty-nine, fit, normal, good looking. Here’s my problem: I have a twelve inch cock. I can use my Rolex band as a cock ring. And I can’t find a woman that can handle me. You have no idea how many have tried and failed. They think they’re into it at first, but it’s just too big, and after I get halfway in, they’re crying and running for the door. Man, I’m getting pretty frustrated.
You are fourteen. At least mentally. Your penis is almost certainly 5.75 inches (the national average) or smaller. You have no real problems, because you haven’t moved out of your mother’s house yet. You have an abundance of free time and are probably considering whether to go see Fast Five for the fifth consecutive day. And you have zero future in any occupation that requires originality.
But on the infinitesimally small, gluon-like chance that your letter is real, let me say that in 1992 I had Penile Reduction Surgery, or PRS. It’s a little known cosmetic procedure that I was forced to fly to Thailand to receive. It’s essentially a quality of life de-girthing, as well as a minor de-lengthening with an added taper. Strictly a matter of improving the utility of your manhood and the pleasure quotient of your partner. Candy for one is thrilled with the results, and our congress has evolved from a painful and very slowly enacted procedural into a highly satisfactory and uninhibited union.
Hit Expedia, Richard. Get the cheapest ticket to Bangkok available, snag your luggage off the carousel, run outside, and then just look for any cab roof advertisement featuring the smiling Dr. Sumalee Saksiri. For a fistful of bhat, he’ll take care of you.
Up until the age of 30 I was just a normal dude. Buddies, girlfriends, softball team, beers, a good job. Then almost to the day of turning 30, I started fantasizing about having sex with guys. None of my friends or family would ever guess this was going on inside of me. You may be thinking “yeah, sure” but I know for a fact that in their eyes I’m practically a macho cliche. It came out of nowhere. I’ve heard a lot of gay men say they knew they were gay when they were 8 years old, or earlier. I swear I never thought about a guy that way until 30, never considered for a second that I wasn’t totally hetero. It’s not like I’ve been lying to myself. If that were true, I’d just fess up. I’d say I was in denial, move to Provincetown, and find a boyfriend. I wouldn’t bother writing you this letter. Here’s the problem. I’m still totally into women too. I have a great girlfriend right now. I love having sex with her. I check out other women just as much as I ever did. But when I’m looking at porn on my computer, I’d say 70% of the time it’s guys. What the fuck, Dust? I’m pretty open minded, not a homophobe, down with everyone doing whatever makes them happy. But this shit is making me miserable! I do not want to be a fag! I’m sorry, but I just don’t. I’ve gotten drunk a few times and had encounters that were totally vanilla and very quick. Instead of enjoying them, they left me mortified and ashamed. I fantasize about men, but when push comes to shove the idea of it makes me nauseous. So my question is this; is it possible to turn queer in your thirties, after a lifetime of happily being straight? And if it is, what do I do? Am I a fraud?
I could really use some good advice.
Dear Not Me
It’s not only possible, but fairly common that your sexual tastes might evolve over the course of your life. Even drastically. But while it may be disconcerting to suddenly have urges that you’ve never entertained before, there’s a good chance that they’ve always been a part of your psychological and sexual make up, and for whatever reason haven’t surfaced until now. In other words, whatever you are, you’ve always been. The good news is that you’re probably bisexual. What’s wrong with that? We all fit randomly along a linear sexual spectrum. If you take the most butch man in the world (the Seal Team 6 shooter) and put him on the very far right, and then take the most feminine man in the world (Sean Hannity) and place him on the very far left, you could map yourself at some point in between, an amalgam of one possible combination of testosterone and desire. Which is why the evangelical notion of sexuality being a “choice” is so ludicrous. It’s more accurate to say that you’re a percentage, and that percentage was determined in utero. Virtually all men, at every station along the spectrum, have had sexual fantasies about other men. It’s a matter of natural human curiosity. It doesn’t make you gay. It would actually be unnatural if among the millions of sexual scenarios your brain has entertained since you were twelve–supposedly we think about sex every six seconds–from straight missionary to the vaunted Cleveland Steamer, you had never once imagined smoking a little pole. After all, there are those who believe that early protohuman females developed breasts to ensure procreation, since breasts mimic the shape of the buttocks, and early males needed an enticement to engage in inter-gender coitus given that they initially preferred facedown sex with other males. Of course, by “there are those who believe” I mean to say “I made that up entirely,” but be honest–it wasn’t that farfetched, was it? Evolution favors the open minded.
As to the question of why now, Not Me, that’s impossible to say and I won’t conjecture. One thing I never do in this column is suggest therapy. I assume it’s implicit that anyone with almost any problem would be helped by talking to a professional. I further assume that people write me letters because they want quick, honest, and anonymous advice, not a verbal couch. Having said that, I think you should go see a therapist. This isn’t a problem likely to resolve itself with a few deft sentences. Your unhappiness bleeds off the screen, Not Me. And it’s just not necessary for you to suffer.
But barring that, here is what I would advise: tell your girlfriend. Today. It will no doubt be an extremely difficult conversation. But in any relationship worth keeping, your sexual desires need to be understood and respected. No matter what they are. Obviously certain desires require a particularly open-minded partner. There may be creative ways for you as a couple to meet your needs. For instance, she may be open to introducing a third (male) to your sexual menu. Or she could learn to love pegging. Either way, if you masturbate 70% of the time thinking about men, she absolutely deserves to know. If you’ve had “encounters,” no matter how “quick and vanilla” they were, your shame should come primarily from the fact that your dishonesty is endangering her. What needs to be understood and respected is her right to decide if she’s willing to risk your exposure. Even if it means she kicks you out on your ass. Which may be the best thing, ultimately, if you’re forced to find a girlfriend that knows who you really are and accepts you for it.
Keeping secrets and telling lies does make you a fraud, Not Me. The willingness to embrace whatever blend of sexuality that defines you, regardless of the moral or aesthetic sanction of others, is not only what will resolve this dilemma, but what ultimately makes you a man.
I am pretty much entirely celibate. If not asexual. Five years ago I was in a happy relationship that fell apart. Since then I haven’t been able to bring myself to date other guys. It’s not why you think. It has nothing to do with not being able to find good men, or being fat, or deciding I’m a dyke. It’s that I’ve become germ phobic. Suddenly I can’t imagine kissing a guy, what’s in their mouths, how dirty they are. Sweat grosses me out. Body smells gross me out. Pubic hair grosses me out. Eating ass? Forget it. I don’t want to be touched. I don’t want dirty fingers in me or on me. I’m lonely, but I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’m happier being clean.
Venereal disease terrifies me more than terrorism.
Have I gone insane?
No, you’re not insane. But your comments do have a whiff of OCD and/or spermatophobia to them. There are any number of medications that might address your anxieties. Further, there are established techniques for redirecting the unconscious mind from the illogical fear of bacilli, and a methodology for reprogramming the brain away from exactly the sort of debilitating subconscious connections that may be plaguing you.
But allow me to float the possibility that you’re absolutely right. Not only to fear venereal disease, but in the notion that distancing yourself from physical contact is, in fact, an entirely logical and justified position in the summer of 2011. Men are dirty, and getting dirtier, the argosy of germs they harbor masked by various cinnamon body sprays. So is our environment, our food chain, our water supply, and our bloodstreams. The national store of untapped antibiotics has dwindled, the strongest regularly capitulating to new mutations of MSRA. Perhaps we should all have sexy pinups of Methicillan, just as a previous generation tacked Farrah Fawcett to their walls. Ringworm, fungus, impetigo, cellulitis, staph, c-diff, mold, syphilis, herpes, and necrotizing fasciitis are all lurking along the inseams of leather pants and under fingernails chalking pool cues at a bar near you. If you really stopped to think about it, a truly smart and logical person would knock off the Saturday night random hook up and stick to Astroglide, a clever grip, and a multi-site porn user pass.
On the other hand, there’s a long green mile between obsessive and merely realistic. We all live in a warm bath of delusion, on a daily basis avoiding the mathematics of our terrors. If you’ve chosen to calculate exactly what it is you’re exposing yourself to every time you stick your tongue in a crevasse, let alone a mouth, no one can say you’re wrong. But is that any way to live? Alone with your cat magazines, an afghan, and half a tray of Fig Newmans while your erogenous zones slowly fall into desuetude? An extra ten years of reasonably healthy isolation may not be worth the pleasures missed by getting sozzled, meeting a bass player, and going full blumpkin on Wednesday nights.
But since I believe in genuine governmental non-intervention–as opposed to the republican brand of politically expedient non-intervention that appeases pamphlet libertarians while simultaneously supporting abortion limitations, drug criminalization, penalties for flag burning, and homosexual discrimination–I am an ardent supporter of your asexuality.
Which, as you know, was outlawed by The Defense of Marriage act of 1996.
Asexuality may well be the last carnal frontier, since Chaz Bono will be dragging transgender culture out of the darkness by the end of Obama’s first term, making it hip for the second wave of post-Gaga youth, just like David Bowie sold androgyny, t-shirts, and androgynous t-shirts to the stinky teens of the early seventies.
Non-sex is the final kink. The crowning deviancy.
Buying stock in celibacy now, while it’s still trading on the cheap, is going to make a few people very, very rich.
Hopefully you’re one of them, Rosie.
Ask Me Anything.
Talk Shit. Be Vulnerable.
Go ahead, I know it hurts.
All contact info is entirely confidential.
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