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Jamie Bufalino nixes employee nookie and a certain nasty turn of phrase.

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Q

I'm a married guy—I've been with my wife for ten years—and I promised myself I would never cheat on her. I also have been with my job for ten years, and my golden rule at work has been "Never shit where you eat," so I followed it for nine years. Then I got promoted and became a boss, so now my "don't shit where you eat" rule is even more important. A subordinate of mine got close to me, and I was honest about being married. She accepted it but still kept on talking to me. Well, my feelings for her have gotten stronger. During the time I've been with my wife, I cheated on her two times before we were married (they were one-night stands). I recently started to hang out with my subordinate, and we kissed and touched, but never went all the way. But I'm really starting to like her a lot and think about her constantly. So I cheated on my wife, and I shit where I eat; what now? Continue this work relationship, or end it? Come clean to my wife, or just leave it?

A

Most normal adults probably don't make lists of their most-hated aphorisms, but I do, and No. 1 on that list is the thoroughly repulsive phrase don't shit where you eat. But despite my disdain for the phrase, I have to admit it's effective because it really conveys how dumb and gross and stupid it is to have a fling with a work subordinate. If you like the idea of keeping your job (and not having to deal with a potential sexual-harassment suit), there's no question that you should end the hanky-panky with your colleague. As for whether to tell your wife about your transgression, that's a tough call that only you can make. Obviously it would be better to be honest and then work on regaining her trust and restoring the integrity of your marriage, but if it's going to shoot the whole relationship to hell (and you're truly not going to be an adulterous jackass in the future), then maybe it's better to let it slide. I think the bigger questions are: Do you really still want to be married to this woman? And if so, why are you behaving like you don't give a shit (whether near food or not) about her or your relationship?

Q

I am a midtwenties male, and several questions about heterosexuality still haunt me. These questions are very important to me. I challenge you to answer them: (1) Do you believe that men in heterosexual relationships are biologically determined to want sex more frequently than their female partners? (2) Do you believe that holding back some sexual fantasies (assuming they are lawful) constitutes a form of self-denial? (3) Do you believe that heterosexual women can desire men solely as sexual objects?

A

Yes, yes and yes. Boy, that was easy. Frankly, it was far more challenging to have to deal with multiple sightings of the phrase shit where you eat than it was to handle that trio of queries. Since I received a recent critique from a female reader who said I was often paternalistic when it came to addressing female sexuality (she wrote, "I think you are generally good natured and mean well when giving advice to women, but your brotherly concern often morphs into paternalism, and you seem to err on the side of lameness more often than not"), I feel the need to explain my thinking behind my answer to question No. 1. I believe—and biological science pretty much backs me up—that men are genetically hard-wired to be led around by their genitalia more than women. It's also generally a heck of a lot easier for a guy to achieve orgasm, so the incentive to have as much sex as possible (even if you've only got a few free minutes) is greater. The answer to the sexual fantasies question is too obvious to waste much space on, but I'll just say that if you're holding back on revealing a deep-seated desire, you're not giving yourself the chance to reach your full sexual potential. And the answer to question No. 3 is the most obvious of all; to think otherwise is to give women too little credit for being sensual beings. Now would someone who's paternalistic to women write something like that?

Q

I'm seeing someone who is younger than me by many years. I don't even know if seeing is the right term. I'm sleeping with him. We get together about once a week. He walks in hard, and I'm always thirsty for him. He comes, and we get done in an hour and a half. He goes and cleans off, and then I want to cuddle and he wants to bolt. It's been very frustrating for me because I want more. I don't want to go to restaurants, but I would like him to stay the night.

A

Please refer to my answer to question No. 1 in the previous letter. Like it or not, there can often be a gender divide when it comes to the ratio between sex and emotional connection in a casual hetero relationship—particularly if the guy involved is far younger than the woman. Naturally, you deserve better than a wham-bam experience, but if you're choosing to be with a dude who's in the sow-his-seed rather than the settle-down stage of his life, you should at least acknowledge your role in creating your own frustration. I'm not saying you should stop having sex with this guy—you should quench that thirst as much as you like. But it sounds like you should find other (more mature, and that doesn't necessarily have to mean age-wise) men, who can give you what you're craving in the cuddle department.

Send letters to Jamie Bufalino c/o Time Out New York, 475 Tenth Avenue, 12th floor, New York, NY 10018, or send e-mail to sex@timeoutny.com.

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