Story by Nina KaPow
Illustration by Bailey Meyers
It’s almost over, Sunshine. As Finals Week draws to a close, I hope that everyone stopped to recognize World AIDS Day last week. I hope readers took the time to think about what an incredible impact this disease had on the world, the gay community, and how people viewed sex in general. It’s arguable that this disease gave us the modern sexual relationship, where people considered the health risks of any sexual act they wanted to perform. It wasn’t always the case that people felt they had the right to know their partner’s health history before getting involved with them. Just something to consider when you go by the Health Center for one last handful of free condoms.
Send your sex and relationship questions to [email protected]. I’m no doctor or therapist, though I do know a lot of places where one can score free rubbers.
My boyfriend is a gamer, and it’s driving me crazy. I don’t mean that he likes video games—I mean he likes the dorky dice and board games. At first I though it was cute and quirky, just an eccentric thing that smart people do.
But now it just seems like a mega-dorky thing to do. And such a waste of time! I can’t believe he spends so much of his time just living in a fantasy world. I can’t explain just how much this bothers me, and I don’t know what to do with these feelings. —Not Princess Peach
Gamers of any type carry a stereotype of being socially awkward, having no sex appeal, and basically being incompatible with society at large. This isn’t true for everyone, and it becomes less true for gamers as they age, attend university, and gain partners (if they should so choose).
Have you said anything to your partner about his gaming habits? Even just an eye roll when he says he’s going to play “Dungeons and Dragons” with some buddies Thursday? You’ve probably heard that people should be perpetually accepting of their partner’s quirks, but I say it’s more important to have things be out in the open. If things are simmering underneath, that can only lead to a huge blowup and likely breakup. You have to decide if you’re willing to freely express your feelings regarding his hobbies to your boyfriend. And you need to give him air to voice his opinion about you in the same way. Because that’s what a partnership is—both people having a list of things about each other that make them cringe, but staying together and caring about each other anyway.
There’s a great line from Bruce Almighty that comes to mind upon reading this letter: “Behind every great man is a woman rolling her eyes.” Everyone has something they’re geeky about. It’s part of deciding what you want as a career, and what will make you happy as an adult. Right now, dice games don’t have the same level of acceptance as say, fantasy football or extreme cocktail-making.You need to acknowledge that your views are purely society-derived, Princess Peach. You were attracted to your boyfriend for some reason apart from his hobbies. If you just can’t get past the fact that he’s a gamer, then maybe it’s time to consider if you should even stay with. Because frankly, he deserves to be with someone who can.
This is a question you probably get a lot, Nina—how do you know if you’re really in love with someone? I’ve been with this person for two years, and she tells me that she loves me a lot. But I’m so hesitant to tell her that I love her, just because that seems like a huge thing to say. —Not a Rom-Com
No Rom-Com, I don’t get asked this a lot. My regular readers know that I would probably gag upon being asked what love really is (which I did).
No one can really define the feeling (and knowledge) of being in love with someone. And goodness knows that films and stories have messed up our expectations regarding what love looks like. Arguing over the apartment lease, sexual incompatibility, and the eventual deterioration of youthful beauty just doesn’t exist in these stories. So it’s no wonder you’re confused.
The answer to your question is simple: You will just know. It’s not a cliché. Shut everything out (including your partner) and listen to yourself. Try your best to answer this, completely separate from the outside world and all expectations: Are you in love with this person? And don’t be afraid if the answer is no. That doesn’t mean you’re incapable of falling in love with your partner eventually (if that’s what you hope will happen). No matter what, you’ll have to be honest around him/her about how you feel, even if it causes them pain. But better an honest but painful relationship than one based around illusion.
My boyfriend is in a wheelchair, due to an accident that left him paralyzed about two years ago. I’m proud to say that I fell for him after his accident, I have no problem with the chair, and I believe he’s a lot more dignified and sexy with the chair than without.
But we want to have sex at this point in our relationship. How the hell do we do it? I really have no idea. None of my friends have disabled partners, and I just have no idea where to find help or advice. So that’s why I’m here! —Roller Doll
Sex with a wheelchair-bound partner is totally possible (and capable of being kinky or vanilla, whatever you prefer). You just have to ask a few difficult questions beforehand.
For instance, you need to talk about your boyfriend about whether or not he’ll be able to have orgasms. This can be sketchy with people who have had spinal injuries, because accidents of this nature can lead to incomplete erections (meaning not substantial enough to achieve penetration). So, and I can’t say this any more politely, make sure your boyfriend can fully feel his dick. Ask him if he’s able to achieve as full an erection as he could before the accident, and if not, if he think he’ll be able to achieve penetration (though please be gentle about asking this).
A lot of groups that talk about sex with disabled people mention mutual masturbation as a primo way to learn each other’s sexual nature. That’s all well and good, but don’t worry, you’re not resigned to that forever! If you need more specific advice, I’d recommend Streetsie.com. They also have awesome sexual position diagrams featuring the Handicapped Parking Guy.
Okay, I’m so embarrassed to say this: I’m sexually fascinated by dangerous people. Like really dangerous people—terrorists I see in the newspaper, pimp characters on television, and even serial killers from history. I’m single right now, and I feel like I can’t tell anyone. I’m not a violent person, quite the opposite. Am I crazy or something? —Not a Danger Baby
Huh. Never heard it called that before. But let me reassure you right now—as a member of the human race, it is perfectly normal for you to find someone attractive. It’s not always socially acceptable to say you get turned on by Ted Bundy or Jack the Ripper, but your body and brain are fully yours for you to explore your sexuality with. Let up on yourself, please.
Is it possible that you’re thinking about figures that society labels dangerous because you’re feeling a lull in the action romantically? A lot of people tend to revert to fantasy whenever they’re in the middle of a dry spell. (Why do you think so many people bought Farrah Fawcett swimsuit posters in the 1980s?) It’s a comforting bandage, but it’s not real. You’re better off focusing your efforts looking for a mate who will accept your current curiosity. You might find that your curiosity lessens over time. Or maybe you’ll get lucky and find a partner who will indulge in role playing from your fantasies. Bloody handkerchiefs, anyone?
What’s Ruffling Feathers This Week: Okay, this is the creepy story to end all creepy stories—or maybe not. Danny Guthrie, an art professor at Michigan State University, has been called out for his latest art project involving a few provocative shots with him and a lot of young women. Some are even semi-nude, such as “Tarquin and Lecretia” (directly alluding to a story of a rape that led to the rise of the Roman Republic, gah!).
But one factor that could possibly turn it away from the Creepy to Purely Artistic: Guthrie posed with “current and former students, colleagues, friends and acquaintances,” and none of the models have complained so far. Sure, he admitted in a statement that he was exploring feelings he had felt at some point, but he also said everyone agreed on the nature of the shots before they happened. Guthrie even had the guts to put the pictures up on his university portfolio page. This just goes to show how debatable the label of Creepy really is.