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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Friend Foible?

Dear Mistress Maeve,

When a good friend of mine moved out of town recently, she left behind a great guy. They had only just begun dating when she had to move suddenly, and I guess they ended it, because I haven't heard her talk about him since.

I ran into the guy the other night at a show, and we flirted and chatted off and on all night. I was overcome by a sense of guilt toward the end of the night, so I left without saying goodbye. I'm not sure where my friend left things with him, and I don't want to upset her. He just sent me a friend request on Facebook, and I'm not sure what to do. He's cute and nice, and I am totally attracted to him, but what do I do about my friend who now lives five states away?




Dear Torn,

Dating a friend's ex is a difficult situation that requires extreme care, even if they only dated for a little while and she now lives five states away. First, determine whether or not there's potential for a real relationship with this guy. Thus far, you only flirted at a show, and you do not want to mess up your friendship over a would-be hookup.

If you genuinely want to pursue something with this guy, talk with your friend (preferably before she sees that you've become buddies on Facebook). Let her know something may be on the horizon with her ex, but that her friendship is also valuable to you. Remember, you're not asking her for permission to date him, but you are trying to show her respect by filling her in before anything happens.

Last, be ready for your friendship to change. No matter how thoughtful you are during this process, your friend will most likely feel uncomfortable and may pull away. In this case, it's not her physical distance from her ex but her emotional distance that will determine the outcome for your friendship.

Good luck,



Thursday, August 20, 2009

Did that really count?

Earlier this summer I read a list of "Seven Sexual Partners That Don't (Have To) Count," prepared by Amelia McDonell-Parry over at The Frisky. Most people keep a list of their sexual partners. McDonell-Parry contends that, when tallying up those partners, some of them just don't have to count.

For a moment, let's put aside the obvious problem with this concept — that we should want to decrease numbers whenever possible so as not to appear like sluts, when we should really be embracing our sexual histories — and examine some of her arguments. I agree with some of her items. For instance, if "you’re less than 51 percent sure that penetration actually occurred," I think you have a pretty good case for not counting that encounter. And, of course, if sex occurred without consent, you're not obligated to put that on the list.

However, McDonell-Parry also says partners shouldn't have to count if "you can't remember it" or if you "really, really, really regret it." C'mon — you can't un-ring a bell. Why the shame? You made a decision to have naked time with this person — regardless of whether or not you can remember his/her name — so embrace it.

She also sites that if "it lasted less than 10 seconds and no one finished" or if you or your partner had "a bad case of whiskey dick," it doesn't count. In other words, if you or your partner can't keep it up or decides not to finish, it doesn't count. I don't know — like I was taught in catechism class, "If it's in, it's sin."

Finally, McDonell-Parry asserts that even if one has sex in Vegas — it still counts. Agreed.

Like I said, I have some problems with this concept in general. For starters, this is a rather heterosexist commentary on the definition of sex — how do women who have sex with women count the notches on their bedposts? Secondly, what's the big deal with numbers? As long as you're safe, who cares how many partners you've had? However, I did think it was an interesting way to examine "the list." Do you have partners you don't count? If so, why not?


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Cock Block

Dear Mistress Maeve,

I'm a 28-year-old lesbian with a quandary about dicks — fake ones, that is. My girlfriend and I want to purchase a strap-on dildo (for me to wear and her to receive), but we've come upon a stumbling cock, er ... stumbling block. I would prefer a realistic-looking dildo ... My girlfriend prefers sparkly dildos in all shades of purple.

She says that if she wanted to have sex with a lifelike penis, she'd have sex with a man. I think it's hot to mess around with gender roles, plus, I don't see anything sexy about romping around with a big purple member.  How do we get over this hurdle and get to the fun stuff?



Dick Tracy


Dear Dick Tracy, 

For me, the transcendence of traditional gender roles is inherently erotic; therefore, the idea of a biological female strapping on a realistic dildo is totally hot. Unlike your girlfriend, I don't see it as a substitute for having sex with a "real man." I see it as a way to turn up your nose at society's binary gender system and have some fun in the process.

That said, why are you so "rigid" when it comes to your cock? I've had plenty of fun with lifelike dildos — but I've also had some memorable times with strap-ons shaped like dolphins or spaceships and even one molded to look like Barack Obama (appropriately nicknamed "Commander-In-Chief"). Of course, if you're having some gender identity issues, explore those feelings — your desire for a dick could go deeper than your strap-on.

My advice to both of you is to lighten up. Don't get too attached to one type of sex toy or one way of having sex. If you remain open-minded about dildos, gender roles and pleasure, you'll have a much more rewarding sex life. Buy two dildos — one realistic and one playful — then pledge to explore with both. The couple that plays together stays together. 





Friday, August 14, 2009

Lone Rock Point isn't so lonely

I heard a pretty good story the other day about two of my friends renting kayaks and paddling out to Lone Rock Point on Lake Champlain. As they were paddling close to their destination, they spotted a man and woman having sex on the rocky shoreline. Apparently, the duo wasn't trying to shield their activities from passersby -- in fact, they were in full-on doggie-style position. From what my friends say, the couple caught site of the kayaks, but kept on going.

My research tells me that Lone Rock is a popular place to paddle and that boats pass by regularly -- check the photo. (My research also tells me that Lone Rock Point is not public -- it is owned by the Episcopal Diocese of Vermont. I wonder how they would feel about this couple's exploits?) My question is this: Is it cool for horny hikers to do it on the shoreline of Lake Champlain? I'm all for spicing up your sex life and keeping things interesting, but public sex where others are likely to see you is a little out of my comfort zone.

Greta Christina is a blogger over Blowfish, and she recently posted about her internal debate over public sex. She says the problem with public sex is consent, and I agree with her. If you're forcing an unknowing party to bear witness to your sex life, that's a violation. Of course, moral violations are tough to quantify. Greta Christina theorizes that it has to do with context. She says, "You might reasonably get squicked seeing a couple necking at, say, a law school graduation or an honorary dinner for the retiring president of the company. But at the Folsom Street Fair, if you see someone giving a spanking or a blowjob in broad daylight? In my opinion, you have no right to be upset. If you didn’t want to see that, then what were you doing at the Folsom Street Fair?" True enough.

So where do we draw the line? For Greta Christina, she argues for motivation: "I’m tempted to say that the difference is motivation. Are you being publicly sexual to make a political or artistic point, to point out society’s hypocrisies and inconsistencies about sex and to try to shift sexual mores? Or are you just doing it for a forbidden erotic thrill, or because you don’t have the patience to get a room? I’m tempted to say that if it’s the former, then mazeltov; if it’s the latter, then get a room already."

For me, it's less about the motivation to make a political statement and more about common sense. How likely are you to be seen by unwilling parties? In broad daylight at Lone Rock on a gorgeous Vermont summer day? It's pretty likely someone might paddle by -- so it's a no-go in my book. Further, to not stop once someone has spotted you? Brazen! Although, I suppose the paddlers could have looked away...

What about you? What do you make of public sex, and where do you draw the line?

By the way, did you know that Lone Rock Point has a "thrust fault?" Perhaps the couple was just taking the Lake Champlain guidebook a little too literally.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Express Yourself

Dear Mistress Maeve,

My boyfriend of 2.5 years moved in with me a couple months ago. Things are going really well, and he makes me happy. I know I love and care deeply for him, but I am somehow convinced we are not in love when I see other couples who express more verbal affection towards one another. He rarely tells me he loves me (unless we are making love), and we don't have any of that cliché romantic stuff in our relationship. I am torn because I feel like if I end it, I am throwing away a great relationship with potential for a future; however, I'm not being fulfilled in certain ways, and I'm longing for more.

Confused And Heavy Hearted


Dear C.A.H.H.,

For the most part, it sounds like you're happy in your relationship and can see a future with this guy. The issues you're having with how your guy expresses his love for you are not uncommon and may be resolvable with an honest conversation and some practice. Have a talk with your man about how you're feeling. Ask him how he expresses love — you may find that, instead of saying "I love you," he shows you he loves you by warming up your car in the winter or rubbing your feet after a long day. At the same time, don't be afraid to tell him how you prefer to be shown love. Let him know you'd like to hear those three little words more often. If he cares about you, he'll try to oblige.

When your relationship goes through major transitions — like moving in together — it's only natural for your fears and reservations to rise to the surface. Just remember, people express love in a multitude of ways, and it's not always with a dozen long-stemmed red roses. Too often, those "other couples" you reference are overcompensating for deeper problems with that "cliché romantic stuff."


Tuesday, August 11, 2009


I recently became greatly disturbed to learn that two of my male friends from college have begun wearing female body spray in an earnest attempt to attract women. No, I'm not joking. And these are actually really smart dudes -- not to mention beastly hairy and fairly masculine all around.

They have deduced that because women purchase these pungent perfumes, soaps and sprays, they (women) must be attracted to the scents  -- and therefore will be attracted to any man who wears "cucumber melon" or "apple orchard."

Here's a news flash: Straight women like sweat. No, not the oxidized sweat smell that emanates from your gym bag -- but the fresh, clean sweat that bursts from your pores, full of pheromones. That's why they make cologne -- most male scents are made with musk, reminiscent of body odors.

To my friends, I say: Drop with the "strawberry fields" and go au naturel.

To my readers, I ask: What scents drive you wild?

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Seeing Red

Dear Mistress Maeve,

I've been away from my boyfriend all summer, doing an internship abroad. I'm getting ready to return home, and then both of us will go back to college in different cities. I have a week to spend with him before we're apart again for another month, and I'm realizing that I'll be on my period for the time we're spending together! Needless to say, having my period when we could be having sex sucks. Being in a long-distance relationship has been difficult on us, and I'm worried what will happen if we can't be intimate. I'm wondering if there's any way to safely skip a cycle by messing with my birth control pills?

Seeing Red


Dear Seeing Red,

You should never go “messing with” your birth control pills without consulting your doctor. Give your health care provider a call and explain your situation. Nowadays, your doc can prescribe birth control pills such as Seasonale and Seasonique that allow you to have only four periods per year. You can even get Lybrel — a pill that gives you just one annual period.

The side effects of these extended-cycle pills are basically the same as those of regular oral contraceptives. Still, some women and their health care providers are uncomfortable with radically altering the natural flow of things. If you're reluctant to say goodbye to your monthly visitor, you can ask your doc about pills that shorten the length of your period by up to three days.

Chances are, your health care provider will be able to help you in time to make your homecoming a memorable one. However, if you end up menstruating, don't fret. Just tell your boyfriend you're ready for a threesome — with you, him and Aunt Flo.


Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Sing it, sister.

How many ex-lovers, ex-crushes and ex-stalkers have you had friend request you on Facebook? If your answer is "Too many," you'll likely enjoy this little ditty sung by Kate Miller-Heidke. Please note, due to some apropos cussing, you may want to listen to this via headphones.

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