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Seven Days Blogs: Mistress Maeve

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Bottom Line

Dear Mistress Maeve,

My boyfriend has never had, and swears he will never have, anal sex, so how in the world do I get him to do it with me? I've told him over and over how much I love it, but he's pretty vanilla when it comes to sex. I'm very open with him sexually and have told him how hot it gets me. What will help him take the plunge?

Anally Yours


Dear Anally,

You say that you tell him over and over how much you love anal play, but have you given him the chance to tell you why he's reluctant? People have many misconceptions about anal pleasure — it's messy; only "sluts" like it; only men get off from anal penetration. In all this noise, the eroticism of anal sex gets lost. Your man could be buying into these misconceptions, so you need to get to the "bottom" of his objections.

Have a talk with him outside the bedroom, reiterating that you deeply desire to try anal with him, and tell him you want to discuss his hesitation further. Be sure to validate his feelings and be a good listener. He may have reservations that are easily remedied. For instance, he may worry anal sex is messy, and you can explain that condoms and baby wipes are an easy fix for any unforeseen mishaps. Or his issues with anal may be more deeply seated and demand more care and understanding. He could be worried that he'll hurt you, or reluctant because of his lack of anal experience. Whatever the case, give him a copy of Tristan Taormino's book The Ultimate Guide to Anal Sex for Women. You can get a version written for men, but it may ease his fears of penetrating you to read about anal pleasure from a woman's perspective.

If he decides to give anal a try, the responsibility will be on you to guide him through it. The formidable Susie Bright once said, "No lover is able to look into your eyes and figure out how you want to get fucked in the ass." She's right — he will be relying on you to play coach and cheerleader in your anal fantasy. If he still balks at your back door, it may be time to try another knocker…

Bum’s rush,

Monday, February 14, 2011

I'll make you a mix tape.

It's Valentine's Day -- chocolate, flowers, people wearing red and generally acting like lovesick idiots. Whatever.

Let's create a playlist of the best breakup songs ever. I don't mean those sappy, broken-hearted, "I'll never be the same without you" breakup songs. I want love-scorned, revenge-seeking, go-fuck-yourself songs. Obviously, "Fuck You" by Cee Lo Green comes to mind, as do "I Will Survive" by Gloria Gaynor and "I Hope You're Happy Now" by Elvis Costello and the Attractions.

Recently, my most prized breakup song has been "Rolling in the Deep" by Adele, from her latest release, 21. Here's a taste of the lyrics and the awesome music video:

Finally, I can see you crystal clear,
Go ahead and sell me out and I'll lay your sheet bare,
See how I'll leave with every piece of you,
Don't underestimate the things that I will do...

...We could have had it all,
(You're gonna wish you never had met me),
Rolling in the deep,
(Tears are gonna fall, rolling in the deep),
You had my heart inside of your hands,
(You're gonna wish you never had met me),
And you played it to the beat,
(Tears are gonna fall, rolling in the deep)

You can catch Adele on May 16 at the Olympia Theatre in Montreal. I'll be the one in the front row singing along to "Rolling in the Deep," weeping and cursing every asshole who's done me wrong.

In the meantime, leave a comment with your favorite breakup anthem.

Happy V-D,

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Bite Me

Dear Mistress Maeve,

I've been on two dates with this guy, and we've spent some quality time making out and dry humping like teenagers. Normally I don't wait too long to do the deed, but I've been putting him off because I feel like he might be "too sweet" to get the job done. I like sex to be on the rougher side, and in particular, I'm a huge fan of biting. I love being bitten all over, from my neck to my shoulders to thighs.

We have great kissing chemistry, and he's very passionate; I'm just not sure how to communicate my need to be bitten and dominated. Should I tell him what I like? I'm worried that will create too much expectation and stress for him. At the same time, I don't want to say nothing and risk getting deeper into a relationship with a man who can't satisfy me. Help, I really like him!

Once Bitten, Twice Shy


Dear Once Bitten,

If there's one thing I've learned, it's not to judge a book by its cover. You never know what's lying beneath that sweet and passionate exterior — he could be a vampire fetishist just waiting for the invitation to sink his teeth into your flesh. Or perhaps he is inexperienced with rougher sex but happy to learn what makes you tick.

We're all more open to suggestion when we're aroused, so let him in on your need to be nibbled while in the heat of the moment. The next time you fool around, wait for an appropriately passionate juncture and ask him to bite you. Keep it sexy, but be specific — if you want him to bite your neck, say so. If he's nibbling too lightly, tell him bite you harder. If he doesn't have a lot of experience using his canines, he'll appreciate your directions.

Assuming he obliges your request to gnaw on you, be sure to engage him in some pillow talk afterward. Tell him you really liked him biting you and ask him what he thought about your need to be nibbled. If he's eager to please you, continue telling him about your desires. Be sure to compliment him on all the things you like about him, and let him know that you're no shrinking violet. Invite him to ratchet up the roughness, and tell him he shouldn't be afraid to go "caveman" on you from time to time.

Rough and tumble,

Friday, February 04, 2011

Kochalka Kerfuffle

UPDATE (2/8/11, 2:45pm): James Kochalka published a mea culpa comic on his website yesterday. To be clear, I don't know the woman in question and didn't know of any existing letter-writing campaigns regarding Kochalka's Laureate status. I never called Kochalka out for violence against women (in fact, I said I'd like to see what Ashley's friends would do to a portrait of Cooley if given the chance). Further, I never called for him to be stripped of his Laureate status. Over the years, I have often written about the perils of dating in small-town Vermont. When I saw the post on Kochalka's website, I found it worthy of discussion. And, I stand by that -- the comic was provocative and stunning, even for American Elf.

UPDATE (2/4/11, 3:15pm): James Kochalka has removed the comic from his website. See his comment below.

Ask me what section of Seven Days I turn to first, and I say, "American Elf" -- the comic strip by James Kochalka (Vermont's Cartoonist Laureate), seemingly about his everyday life with his wife, kids, friends and cat, Spandy. It's a great strip, always good for a chuckle and sometimes a good life lesson. On a recent trip to Midtown Comics in New York City, I marveled at all of Kochalka's titles and thought, "Man, that guy really is famous!"

However, I just heard about a comic he posted on his website that, I believe, puts a little chink in his armor of awesomeness. In a comic entitled "Ashley Forever" published on Kochalka's website on January 26, the artist explains that he "did a portrait of Jason Cooley's girlfriend but now they're broken up, so he's selling it on Ebay." Cooley is a local rocker, performer and one of Kochalka's buddies. Kochalka goes on to say that he promised Cooley he'd repaint the portrait so that Ashley's head was severed. After writing, "Oh, fuck her. She probably hated me anyhow and she dumped Jason. Off with her head," he does just that, and draws Ashley's disembodied head with blood dripping out of her neck.

Word on the street is that Ashley isn't happy about her recent comic fame. Can you blame her? Going through a breakup is difficult enough without pseudo-celebrities smearing you on their blogs. Hey, it's great to have friends who want to sever the heads of those who do us wrong, but c'mon -- did Kochalka really need to post that publicly?

I don't know the first thing about these people or their breakup, but I'm willing to bet some of Ashley's friends would like a public forum in which to post drawings of what they'd like to do to Cooley. It takes two to tango -- and two to breakup.


Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Never Say Neverland

Dear Mistress Maeve,

My boyfriend and I (both in our mid-twenties) have been together off and on for the past five years, parting ways only during times of extreme geographical difference. We get along fantastically, recognize our differences and seem to balance each other really well. We just can't compromise on one very vital thing: I want kids someday, and he's not sure.

He says he's afraid he will forget to go to his kids' band concerts, afraid he won't provide enough rich cultural experiences, and he doesn't want his kids to struggle with school like he did. We got into an uncomfortable conversation about whether we should continue to date if our views are so different on something about which we cannot compromise. He told me not to listen to him and that his feelings aren't permanent. I'm afraid that we'll date happily for a few more years, and then when my "crazy clock" starts ticking, I will be alone in wanting a family.

Is it unreasonable to want to know now if we are on the same page about having kids in the future? Is his Peter Pandering likely to change, or should I listen to what he's saying and make hard choices now?

Wendy and the Lost Boy


Dear Wendy,

After being together for the better part of five years, you’re not unreasonable in wanting to know if you're on the same page about having kids.

It sounds like your man has some debilitating fears of fatherhood that need to be addressed before he feels confident enough to be a parent. It's time to revisit this issue and give it the weight it requires. Tell him that you're not willing to compromise on having kids, and that he needs to quit being wishy-washy. It's unfair for him to say he doesn't want children, then follow up with "Don't listen to me; my feelings aren't permanent." Encourage him to take some time to think, see a therapist, whatever — but tell him that he has to give you a clearer picture of what he wants, and he needs to do it quickly, so that you can make difficult decisions if need be.

Let him know that, despite his fears, you think he'd make a fantastic dad and that you're willing to be a true partner in parenthood. Your Peter Pan references may be spot on — perhaps your Lost Boy simply needs to grow up a bit and gain more confidence before deciding to bring kids into Neverland. On the other hand, if he has no desire to hear the pitter-patter of little feet, you may need to be your own Tinker Bell and save yourself from this relationship.


Friday, January 28, 2011

Have you submitted yet?

It's time again to fill out the Seven Days Sex Survey. You only have until Monday, January 31 at 5pm to share all the juicy (or not-so-juicy) details of your sex life with us, so hop to it!

Think ahead! The last question of the survey asks, "Need some sex or love advice? Ask our sex columnist, Mistress Maeve, a question." I'd love to hear from you.

Results of the survey will be published in the Sex Issue on February 23.


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Left For the Ex

Dear Mistress Maeve,

I had been dating someone and it was going great; then, BAM! — he went back to his ex. From what he says, she cheated on him, said terrible things to him and is an all-around bad person.

Why do some people go back to toxic situations, even when they have had a taste of a healthy, warm, loving relationship? Is he just addicted to the drama, or is it something deeper? Why would he be willing to go back to a situation where he was treated like shit?

I consider myself a trustworthy, loving and all-around good person — and yet I’m still single. Meanwhile, all the awful, self-centered people seem to have all the luck in love and never really get what they deserve. What gives?

Disgusted and Confused


Dear D & C,

Getting dumped for an ex can be especially painful because it may feel like you were just a Band-Aid, a short-term fix for his heartache while he waited to go back to her. When that Band-Aid gets ripped off, the pain is excruciating.

The truth is, if he wasn't over his ex, no amount of healthy love and warmth from you could have lured him into the light. In an ideal world, he would have had the emotional wherewithal to acknowledge his lingering feelings for his ex and not go full throttle into a relationship with you. Unfortunately, it doesn't sound like he was mature enough to take your feelings and well-being into account.

Plain and simple: This guy isn't good enough for you, so it's time to stop giving him your energy. If he wants to keep banging his head against the wall with his ex, so be it. It's time for you to drop the "woe-is-me-I'm-still-single" act and refocus some positive energy on yourself — it's the only way love is going to come knockin’ on your door.

Knock, knock,

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Getting Air

Dear Mistress Maeve,

I'm very fortunate to have a lovely and loving boyfriend with whom I have fantastic sex and honest, sincere communication. However, we have one recurring issue that I find hugely embarrassing: queefs. We're a snug fit together, and he usually doesn't pull out all the way during love making, so I can't figure out how all this air is getting pushed inside me. It seems to happen no matter the position, but is much more evident if I'm on top.

He's not at all bothered by my sonic sexual symphony, and I try to laugh it off — but I would much prefer to do without the acoustics. My real concern, however, is for air embolisms — particularly if and when we decide to have children; I know they can be fatal for pregnant women and fetuses. Short of abstinence, how can we lessen the danger?

Joan of Vart


Dear Joan,

Queefs, or vaginal farts, occur when air is sucked into the vagina and then released, creating your own vagina beatbox (pbbfft, pfft, pbbbt). Queefs mostly happen during sex or while you’re performing a downward-facing dog during yoga class — embarrassing!

Generally, queefs are nothing more than occasional events best laughed off and forgotten. However, if you're performing a "sonic sexual symphony" every time you're intimate, it can be difficult to relax and focus on orgasm — especially if you're stressing over dropping dead from a vaginal embolism. While such events are extremely rare, Columbia University Health Services confirms that if a very large amount of air were blown or forced into the vagina, it could cause health complications for both women and fetuses — some extraordinary cases result in death. However, I can't stress enough that this is very rare. As along as your partner isn't blowing up your vagina with a bicycle pump, you should be fine.

Usually women experience queefing in particular positions (doggie-style seems to create the most air bubbles). But, if you're pushing out air in every position, lack of lubrication or the curvature of your boyfriend's penis may be to blame. Try some water-based lube and experiment with positions where your legs are closer together — that may close the gap, so to speak. If all else fails, turn up the music, moan louder and embrace your body's idiosyncrasies.


Monday, January 17, 2011

Golden Moment

And the award for the best Golden Globe presenter of the night goes to Robert Downey Jr. for his hilariously raunchy introduction to the Best Actress in a Comedy or Musical category.
Downey Jr. began by saying that he considers himself "a veteran of sorts," then followed up with: "I don't know if an actress can do her best work until I've slept with her..." He then goes on to weave each of the nominees, including an underaged Emma Stone, into a risque tale that neither Stone nor the other nominees -- Julianne Moore, Angelina Jolie, Annette Benning -- seemed to mind.

The end was the best part. Downey Jr. says, "Now I'm not saying that my theory doesn't hold water, but somehow all of these women rendered exquisite performances without a shred of help from me, so I guess I'm just saying, if I could, I'd give it to all five of you -- at once, right here in front of my wife, the audience and millions of viewers." Of course, he was referring to the award. . .



Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Sunny Side Up?

Dear Mistress Maeve,

My wife and I just got back from watching Black Swan. Not only is it an excellent psychological thriller, but it has a steamy female masturbation scene. Not to give too much away, but it's Natalie Portman, it's very realistic, and she's face down.

You and many of your readers may be too old to remember Single White Female, but it's another excellent thriller, also with female masturbation, and this time it's Jennifer Jason Leigh also self-helping face down.

My wife self-helps face up, always. So my question of prurient interest is: What percent of women prefer face-down masturbation versus face up, and what are the pros and cons of each?

Sunny Side Up or Down?


Dear Sunny,

Too old to remember Single White Female? I think you mean too young, thank you very much. And, if I recall correctly, Jennifer Jason Leigh starts out masturbating face down on the bed but flips onto her back just before being interrupted by Bridget Fonda's character. This combination move also appears in one of my favorite films, Secretary, when Maggie Gyllenhaal's character begins touching herself while lying on her stomach, then turns over to finish the interlude by fantasizing about her sadist boss and chanting, "I'm your secretary. I'm your secretary!"

Unfortunately, science doesn't put a great deal of importance on female sexuality, so stats on female masturbation techniques are difficult to find. I've always thought women are more apt to masturbate in the same way they discovered self-pleasure. Meaning, if a woman began masturbating on her stomach as a child, she'll often revisit that technique as an adult.

As for pros and cons, it's all about personal preference. Women who lie on their backs have easy access to the clitoris and a comfortable position for vaginal penetration. The face-down "grinding" action used by Portman in Black Swan is often employed by women whose clitorises are too sensitive for direct contact. You'll notice that Portman's character also keeps her panties on during the scene, providing yet another protective barrier from direct stimulation of the clitoris.

Whatever the position, I'm just happy that we're glimpsing female self-pleasure on the silver screen. If your wife is so inclined, she should try masturbating Portman-style — it's never too late to learn new moves.


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

I always wanted to be a hand model...

Adamlevinealmostnaked2 Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine likes to be naked, or at least that's what he told Cosmopolitan UK when he posed (mostly) in the buff for the current edition: "I spend most of my life naked. In fact, I often have to be told by the people around me that it's inappropriate to be as naked as I am. But I live in California, where it's always warm, so why not?"

Levine is putting his sculpted, tattooed body to good use in the lady mag, raising awareness about prostate and testicular cancer. I guess the image of Levine getting his package cupped by a pair of scarlet-manicured hands is supposed to encourage men to get their junk checked by a doctor. Mmmkay.

Rumor has it that it's Levine's girlfriend, model Anne Vyalitsyna, covering his privates. You can see also see her in a recent Maroon 5 video, beating the crap out of Levine. Apparently Levine likes to be naked and pushed around. . . I'm liking him more every second. 

Photograph: Ben Riggot courtesy of Cosmopolitan

Friday, January 07, 2011

Back to Basics

Okay, I admit it: I'm totally buying into the whole "new year's resolution" thing. I'm hitting that imaginary reset button and pledging to choose the turkey burger over the cheeseburger, turning the computer off at midnight to ensure a good night's sleep, etc.

When you think about it, most resolutions are simple reminders to get back to basics: eat better, exercise more, be kinder to others -- things we want to do year round, anyhow. So, what about sex? Shouldn't we also be resolving to have the best sex ever in 2011?

If my theory about getting back to basics holds true, then it should be the same for having good sex -- no need for fancy tricks, just resolve to reinforce the basics. The folks at AlterNet have put together a bang-up list of 15 dos and don'ts for really good sex, everything from "do wash your hands" to "don't assume what worked on your previous partners will work on your next one." Solid advice.

Have a look at the list (AlterNet is safe for work viewing) and let me know what you think about the list. Have they left anything out?


Monday, January 03, 2011

Too Good To Be True

Yet another cautionary tale for the new year: If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

WCAX is reporting that 32-year-old Jesse Miles of Rutland City claims to have been beaten up and robbed by three women he met online and planned to have sex with.

The kicker is that Miles was drunk, on prescription drugs and in violation of parole conditions when he knocked on a  Shaftsbury resident's door for help on New Year's Day, so he was the one who landed in custody.

The moral of the story? Unless you're Hugh Hefner or Ellen Degeneres, you're probably not lucky enough to have three women wanting to sleep with you at the same time -- so, smarten up.

Sex, Divorce and Videotape

Here's a new year's resolution suggestion for you: don't make a risque sex tape with your husband, then let him have control over the video -- especially if your husband's a dirt bag.

The New York Post is reporting that 24-year-old Lily Shang of Manhattan has filed papers in Manhattan Supreme Court saying that her estranged husband, 26-year-old David Glenn Rucker, has threatened to release "certain video of intimate moments of a sexual and private nature" on the Internet unless she agrees to a "low financial settlement in [the] divorce proceedings."

Sounds like Shang's attorney is trying to block the release of the naughty footage by claiming that Shang is a co-owner of the video and therefore needs to give written authorization before the tape is released.

Seriously, folks, when are we going to learn that video of our sexual escapades -- while hot and exciting -- is never a great idea?

Click here to read more from the New York Post.


Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Lonely in the Tundra

Dear Mistress Maeve,

The close of another year … alone. I am a rapidly-turning-40 dude who's never been married, not even close. In my twenties, I thought I had so much time. In my thirties, I spent too much time chasing my twenties (and the women to match). Now, here I am — the only single guy out of all my friends. I spend most evening with frozen pizza and Netflix. Just about the only interaction with women I get is through my Xbox. I don't ski. I don't bike. I have a beer gut. Yet I live in Vermont — where you can't meet a girl unless you bump into her at a sporting-goods store or hiking fucking Camel's Hump.

Do I really have to give up living in this beautiful land and move to a city in order to find a woman who doesn't own a pair of Sorels?

Lonely in the Tundra


Dear Lonely,

Sorry to break it to you, but any Vermont woman who doesn't own a pair of snow boots is an idiot. However, that doesn't mean you can't find a girl who's willing to swap her Sorels for stilettos, given a proper invitation.

Last time I checked, no eligible ladies were hanging out around your pity pot, so get off it. Your failure to rock climb and backcountry snowboard may make dating more difficult, but you just have to get creative. What type of woman are you looking for? Perhaps you'll meet her at an art class, at the comic shop, or sitting at a table at Muddy Waters? If you're still attached to staying on your couch, give online dating a whirl. I guarantee, you'll find plenty of Vermont women who would prefer a night on the town to a day on the mountain.

And, hey, if all else fails, you're just a short drive from Montréal — a city bustling with metropolitan ladies.

Happy New Year,

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Rubbing Her the Wrong Way

Dear Mistress Maeve,

My partner and I (she's a woman; I'm a man) are each 60, have been together four years, and have the best sex of our lives together. Recently we were staying in a motel and, after an extraordinary session of love making, I woke up at 3:30 in the morning with insomnia. Our sex should have knocked me out for the night, but it didn't, and I soon started replaying our earlier love making in my head. I was aroused. Rather than wake my lovely partner, who needs more sleep than I do, I began to quietly masturbate — but it wasn't quiet enough. It woke her, and besides being annoyed to be woken, she was upset, believing that my masturbating meant her love making wasn't good enough for me.

We talked about it the next day, and I told her she had nothing to worry about. I told her that just thinking about her excites me and makes me so happy and satisfied that I rarely masturbate, but that men and women are different. Maybe a woman masturbating during a relationship can reflect some dissatisfaction, especially if it's done regularly. Maybe it's the same with a man, too, for that matter.

We enjoy your column, so I offered to write to you for your take on this matter.

Essex Wanker (rarely!)


Dear Wanker,

News flash! Guys, if you think you can masturbate next to your sleeping beauty and not wake her, get real! Unless she's had a bottle of Chardonnay and two Advil PM tablets, the subtle shaking of the entire bed and the suctioned slapping sound of you jerking it are sure to rouse her from slumber. If you must tend to business, please, head for the bathroom.

Now that we've got that squared away, let's move on to your inquiry. As long as you are still interested in sex with your partner — which you clearly are — masturbating is a healthy activity. Your sexual relationship with yourself is just as important as your sexual relationship with your partner. Through masturbation, we learn which sensations feel good to us, and we're able to play out fantasies in our minds that fuel the continued intimacy with our partners. Your lady has nothing to worry about. In fact, she should be thrilled to have a sexually charged partner who worships her so.

One last thing: Forget the gender bias in your talks about masturbation. Men and women enjoy pleasure equally, and the idea that men should get off more just encourages old ways of thinking about women and sex.

Touchingly yours,

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Not Aural About Oral

Dear Mistress Maeve,

I have been sleeping with a guy for a few months now. I think that we connect and have great sexual chemistry, but there is something missing.

In the beginning, we would just have fast and rushed sex, but as time went on and we realized our encounters were going to keep happening, more foreplay became involved. So I have performed oral sex on him several times now and he has YET to go down on me. I'm really into that and I would really like it to happen, but I don't know how to approach the topic. I don't feel comfortable enough in the heat of the moment to just ask him to do it and I don't know if he has any weird reservations about it. So I don't know what to do. What gives?

Oral, Not Aural


Dear Oral, Not Aural,

Let me ask you a question: If you stopped going down on him, how long do you think it would take him to inquire about your sudden suspension of services? My guess is probably not long, so why are you being bashful about asking him to please you?

If you can't bring it up in the heat of the moment, give it the pillow-talk treatment. Talking about our desires and making requests of our lovers is sometimes best received while basking in the glow of a successful romp. Start by complimenting him on the areas of lovemaking where he excels, then just come out and ask him: I've noticed you've never made a move to go down on me -- how do you feel about giving oral? You may discover he has hang-ups, or you may learn he was simply waiting for you to guide him.

I don't care when and how you talk to him about it, but you MUST talk to him about it. Asking him for what you want is as much of a lesson for you in communication as it is a lesson for him in reciprocation.

Sweet and lowdown,

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Exed Out

Dear Mistress Maeve,

Last week you responded to a woman who was concerned about her boyfriend's relationship with his ex. Well, I'm in a similar situation, except I'm the guy in the scenario.

I'm dating this phenomenal woman, and I have nothing but the best of intentions with her. While I don't run errands for my ex or help her with household finances, we do hang out a couple times a month (happy-hour drinks or lunch). My new girlfriend has recently expressed her dislike of my relationship with my ex and has asked me to stop hanging out with her. I told her I thought it was ridiculous for her to ask me to stop hanging out with a friend. She said that it was "obvious" my ex is still into me. I don't see it.

I haven't hung out with my ex since this talk with my girlfriend, but I don't feel good about it. Can't exes be friends as long as certain lines are not crossed?

Ex-isting Relationship


Dear Ex-isting,

Relationships with exes are complicated. Some people can have pleasant, nonthreatening friendships with past lovers, while others can't get near their exes for fear of being arrested or committed. Many of us fall somewhere in between with former flames, and what happens in this gray area can cause problems in our current relationships.

The bottom line: It's not OK for your girlfriend to dictate whom you can and cannot hang out with. That said, she has to be able to trust your decision-making fully when it comes to your ex.
Who broke up with whom? If you broke it off with your ex and she still wants to spend time with you, she may be pining for you. Be certain you're navigating this friendship with your eyes wide open. It feels good to spend time with people who admire us (and want to sleep with us), but you must be careful not to take advantage of your ex's vulnerabilities just to feed your ego.

But, hey, if you're 100 percent certain your friendship is on the up and up, it's time to reopen the conversation with your girlfriend. Let her know that, while you understand her concerns, you're not willing to ditch a friend over unfounded jealousy. Kindly remind her that a good relationship is built on trust, and you expect her to extend you some.

Exed out,

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Perplexed By Ex

Dear Mistress Maeve,

I've been dating a guy for about a month. I'm a total commitment-phobe, so I'm shocked to feel giddy and optimistic over this guy. We just "click," as they say.

I'm liking everything he's bringing to the table, except for one thing. I can't quite wrap my mind around his relationship with his ex. From what I gather, they were together about a year before she dumped him (not his choice to leave). Since then, he has continued to help her with household projects and errands when her car is in the shop. I initially thought this was just him being nice, but I recently found out that he paid a utility bill for her when she was unable to make a payment. Uh, really? If we're going to be in a relationship, that's just too much.

All these things put together are raising some major red flags for me. Not having had many relationships, I have no idea what the rules are for how exes should interact.

Thanks for the advice,
Perplexed by Ex


Dear Perplexed,

Unfortunately, you won't find a rule book for dealing with exes. However, you already have your best reference guide: your gut. If your psychic receptors are telling you that he's not finished with his ex, you're probably right.

It sounds like his ex no longer wanted the responsibility of being in a relationship but still wants to reap the benefits of having a boyfriend. Hey, as long as he's willing to be her whipping boy, why should she stop using him?

Before you commit further to this guy, have a conversation with him about his ex. As uncomfortable as it may be, you must be honest about your feelings. While some people have no problem with partners who remain close to exes, he has clearly crossed a line for you by paying one of her bills, and it's important that you let him know that. Tell him that, while you appreciate his kindness toward his ex, if he wants to be in a relationship with you, he'll need to work with you to find an agreeable level of interaction with her.

Hear what he has to say for himself. If you're still seeing red flags, it may be time to back off a bit. Perhaps if he sees what he's missing, he'll stop being his ex’s doormat.


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Crush It

Dear Mistress Maeve,

I have been in a relationship with my wonderful girlfriend for five years. We are happy and I can't imagine anyone else I would want to be with. There have been several times over the past five years when I have found myself with what I see as harmless crushes on other women. Oftentimes they are short lived and I have never cheated. Basically, I'll meet a woman who I find interesting and attractive, and I'll find myself thinking about her a lot and anticipating the next time I'll get to see her. After a couple of weeks, the crush will fade and I always find myself remembering how in love with my girlfriend I am.
Are these crushes just a normal part of being in a long-term relationship, or are they occurring because there is something missing in my relationship? I am certain I would rather be in a relationship with my girlfriend than the women I have had crushes on. Are these harmless, or am I kidding myself? 

Crush ’Em


Dear Crush ’Em,

Some say any flirting or fantasizing outside of a relationship is inappropriate. However, a crush is generally defined as a brief infatuation with someone unattainable — so, what's the harm? In fact, if done respectfully, crushes can keep a long-term relationship more healthy. Crushes brighten our otherwise mundane days (awaiting the crushable delivery person or sharing flirty smiles with the barista who serves up our double latte), and they can also pump up our egos. Thus, when we return home, we're in better moods and feel good about ourselves — both ingredients for keeping the home fires burning.

So, no, you're not kidding yourself; most crushes are harmless. That said, keep yourself on a tight leash. If your crushes begin to take energy away from your primary relationship, address it immediately. Ask yourself, “Why does it feel better to think about this other person, rather my partner?” If you're indulging too much in your crushes, your relationship may be falling short in some ways. If that's the case, don't keep your partner in the dark — address it honestly, describing what you think you're missing and make a plan to move forward together. Otherwise, you run the risk of crushing your relationship.


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