The O-town Scene

December 29, 2011

The O-town Scene - Oneonta, NY

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 21 of 22

ADVICE GODDESS By Amy Alkon Brief-Stricken A divorced male friend and I recently became "friends with benefits." However, I'm not receiving the same, uh, level of benefits as he is. He isn't giving me orgasms from intercourse, and his pleasuring of me is measured in seconds rather than minutes, despite my telling him that this is a problem. (I haven't felt this pressure before: "You've got 60 seconds to orgasm!") He also keeps reminding me that he doesn't want any kind of commitment. I get that, and I keep telling him so, but he's persisted with the warnings to the point where I have to say stuff like "I hear and understand the boundaries of this relation- ship and am in agreement with them." I've known him since we were 8, and he isn't a player. Part of me thinks he isn't attracted to me. He's fit and I'm…less-than-fit and have big boobs, and I think they freak him out. How- ever, out of bed, we laugh and have fun and connect. Oh, what to do… Bothered This guy treats pleasuring you like it's something on a chore wheel. Bizarrely, you're in a "friends with benefits" relationship that's short on benefits, which is like buying a blender that doesn't blend, a Cuisinart that doesn't cuise. Unfortunately, the elusive female orgasm is especially per- snickety when one's partner sets up a sexual ambience reminiscent of one of those movies where Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson are staring down a ticking time bomb: "Hey, baby, just relax, lay back and let it hap- pen _ anytime before this kitchen timer I've placed on your nightstand strikes :60!" Sure, poor Booboo might have niggling fears you'll get attached, but it isn't like you're buying baby clothes and leaving wedding magazines around. It's unlikely he'd force numerous icky conversations about boundaries on some chickie of his more recent acquaintance. But, probably because he's known you forever, he feels free to go manners-optional and let his worries all hang out: "Don't take your coat off. You won't be staying. And by the way, I'd prefer if you'd fake your orgasms. It would be so much less work for me." Yep, this boy toy of yours is a real animal in bed _ a rat gnawing away at your self-con- fidence. Why are you still involved with him? Well, there's a tendency to try to fix a thing instead of just bailing and to get so caught up in the momentum of your efforts that you neglect to consider whether the thing should just be put out on the curb. In continuing to get in bed with a man who can keep his hands off you and pretty much does, you're a co-conspirator in your feeling like crap. It's really damaging to be with somebody who isn't into you. Even in an FWB situation, you need a man who finds you hot _ or at least is enough of a friend to give you the sense that he's undressing you with his eyes, not using them to drop a refrigerator box over you. Epic Frail I've had a crush on a guy who's been flirting with me at my neighborhood coffeehouse. Today, he sat by the door, watching as four elderly people struggled to go out _ a couple pushing walkers and, about five minutes later, a couple who were all hunched over and using canes. I was seated in the back, but when I saw no- body was helping them, I ran over and held the door. Is his behavior a clear sign that he'd be bad boyfriend material? Door Closing Sometimes it's hard to know what to do when you see somebody in need. A person falls down on the sidewalk in front of you. Do you just step over him? Or do you stop and take his wallet and then step over him? In assessing people, I tend to go with F. Scott Fitzgerald's notion: "Action is character." Or, in this case, inaction. I personally don't know how you sit back and enjoy the view as a parade of infirm elderly people struggle out a door, but I do know that things aren't always as they seem. Maybe it looked like he was looking but he was in some sort of fugue state. Maybe he has a cranky, independent granny who sees any help as an insult: "Why don'tcha just throw me in a hole and stick a wreath over my head?!" If you end up going out with him, do what you should with any guy you date: Look closely at his behavior, espe- cially when he thinks nobody's watching. Be honest with yourself if it seems a fundamental lack of empathy kept him in his seat _ much as you'd like to believe that there's a rash of pranksters going around to coffeehouses and gluing all the hot guys' feet to the floor. The Cad Catalogue Three years ago, I was divorced six weeks from a 22-year marriage when I got involved with a married co-worker and persuaded him to divorce his wife for me. He has been married five times and cheated on all of his wives. I have reason to believe he's still having sex with his ex-wife. I'm not sure what to do. I refinanced my house a few months after meeting him and paid off his and his wife's $14,000 credit card debt (my idea, to help him out of the marriage). He's been repaying me $250 a month, although I also usually pay for his plane ticket here. (I moved for work.) He's a pretty bad alcoholic. Not a mean one, just a goofy one. I know he has a bad marital track record, but he's in his 50s; his marriage-hopping has to stop…you'd think. Crazy as it seems, I'm madly in love. He is charming, is generous, and shows me he loves me in little ways _ cards, phone calls, etc. Really, I'm not dumb. I'm a librarian with a master's. But, tell me: How bad is this? Shhhh… Oh, the charming, generous things he does, like putting your credit card back in your wal- let and closing the snap. He doesn't sound like an evil person; he just is who he is: an undercapitalized, serially married goofy drunk who's probably sleeping with his ex-wife. Three years ago, you were just-divorced and probably panicking about your prospects, when you spotted your Mr. Right (aka an age-appropriate, conveniently located, attractive man with a pulse). Hellooo, confirmation bias! That's a common human irrationality -- the tendency to snuggle up to information that confirms what you want to believe and to ignore any information that doesn't. Before long, you were slammed with "cognitive dissonance," the clash of two simultaneously held opposing beliefs -- your belief that this is a worthy love thing versus how this guy goes to the altar more often than some men go to the carwash. To reduce the psycho- logical friction of cognitive dissonance, you're prone to justify whichev- er belief shines up your ego. The more some choice costs you, the more driven you'll be to defend it _ like when you've abruptly thrown $14K at the idea that you can change a man who thinks soul mates come in six-packs. And no, you aren't that "dumb"; you're just that human. Deep down, you know that love _ real love _ is never having to say, "Are you cheating on me with your ex-wife?" Amy Alkon is a syndicated advice writer whose col- umn runs in more than 100 newspa- pers across the U.S. and Canada. Although the column reads as humor, it's based in science, psychol- ogy, evolutionary psychology and ethics. Keep in mind that the term "madly in love" refers to a state where you aren't making ra- tional decisions. You need to get in the habit of standing back from your life and assessing what you're doing _ especially when you're at your neediest. Recognize your human pro- pensity to act irrationally _ to let your emo- tions lead and then to mop up afterward with a bunch of self-justifications. If you can accept yourself as human and fallible, you won't feel so compelled to toss less-than-flattering facts in the hall closet behind the badminton net. Be open with yourself (and even your friends) about your flaws and fears and you should start managing them in healthier ways _ instead of paying off a bunch of pantsuits a guy's wife bought five years ago at Macy's and telling yourself you've found love. (c)2011, Amy Alkon, all rights re- served. Got a problem? Write Amy Alkon, 171 Pier Ave, #280, Santa Mon- ica, CA 90405, or e-mail AdviceAmy@ ( Dec. 29, 2011 O-Town Scene 23

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of The O-town Scene - December 29, 2011