Get Naked: Sex advice for New Yorkers (August 2, 2012)

Jamie Bufalino doesn’t want to start a gender war. However…

Q I’m a 26-year-old woman who’s in a fairly new relationship (two months) with a guy. Things are going pretty well. He’s smart, funny, dependable, the sex is fine. If anything, I think I may be the problem. I seem to be too inside my own head when I’m around him. I secretly analyze all of his words and actions, seeing if I can figure out what his motivation is. I actually get chills (in a bad way) thinking about the first time he put his hand on my back. I knew that was the sign that he wanted to have sex that night. Turns out I was right, and we were pretty compatible—except I was inside my head during the act and have been every time we do it. I think stuff like, Now he’s going to unzip my pants and stick his finger inside me, before it even happens. What’s up with this? Are my instincts sensing something’s not right with this guy? He’s given me no reason to distrust him, so why do I have my guard up?

A It sounds to me like you have a case of PTRSD (either pre- or post-traumatic relationship stress disorder). FYI, PTRSD is something I just made up 30 seconds ago, but I really do think it encapsulates what you’re going through. Here’s the deal: Either as a reaction to a previously failed relationship or in premature anticipation of the failure of this relationship, you’re taking an extremely self-protective approach to being with this guy. Basically, you’re making sure all of your interactions remain firmly in the rational realm rather than the emotional. You’re trying to stay one step ahead so that you have time to prep and brace yourself for all the stuff that comes along with letting someone new into your life (intimate conversations, awkward revelations, no-holds-barred sex). PTRSD is not necessarily a bad thing, but at some point you have to either use it or lose it (i.e., decide that your instincts are telling you that this is not the right dude for you, or decide that it’s worth the risk to give this guy access to your full emotional self). If you choose the latter, keep practicing the art of remaining in the moment and trusting that you’re strong, capable and lovable enough to experience life in real time rather than on a mental tape delay.

Q I’m going to a nude beach later this summer, and I’m worried about getting a hard-on. How can I make sure that doesn’t happen?

A A lot of people might recommend jacking off (thereby inducing the penile refractory period) right before you head out, but I think that might make matters worse, because you’ll be sexualizing the situation even more than you already are. My advice would be to change your mind-set about the excursion. Think of it as a communion with nature. In fact, I’d suggest leaving your swimsuit on until you get into the ocean, then yank it off, soak up the exquisite freedom of floating clothes-free in the glorious sea and then hit the beach au naturel. The up (and downside) of this approach is that the cold water will act as a major penis shriveler. Of course, none of this might be an issue, because once you see the boner-shrinking physiques of the people who tend to hang out at nude beaches, the chances of getting a rager might be as low as if you were watching a documentary on nuns working in an Indian orphanage.

Q Love your work, but I need to comment on your advice in the May 31 issue, in response to the guy whose girlfriend masturbates next to him when she thinks he’s asleep. You said that dudes fall asleep after sex, whereas women stay awake, alert and energized like little puppies. As a woman who masturbates almost every day, I often fall asleep after a wank session, and depending on how tense I was and how hard I came, it can be easy to drift off. I am sure some dudes don’t fall asleep immediately after ejaculation. Enough with the “dudes do this—women do the opposite!” bullshit. Men and women are not diametric opposites; there is a lot of overlap in behavior, desire and response. (As for the guy in the letter: Fifty bucks says that he doesn’t know how to get his girlfriend off,  and she is waiting until he’s asleep to get the job done.)

A I agree that men and women are not diametric opposites. Also, members of the same gender can exhibit wildly different reactions to various stimuli. (Not sure why I’m trying to sound all scientific here—what I mean is, “Sometimes when the big hard pee-pee goes kerplooey, the horndog attached to it doesn’t always need his blankie for sleepy time. He likey the kerplooey, so much that he wants to make the pee-pee hard again.”) But there are biological traits within both genders that can’t simply be ignored—clichés develop for a reason, after all—and (as I pointed out) being aware of these biological factors can help you figure out why a particular person may be acting in a particular manner. I’m sorry that you found my previous discourse tedious, but I’m not looking to start a gender war; it’s my job to flesh out the small differences that may cause issues between men and women, or men and other men, or women and women. Still, if nothing else comes of our disagreement, at least a bunch of women will read your letter and think, Damn, I gotta start rubbing the nub more often, because this lady sounds like she really knows her shit.

And now for a little digestif: Here’s one last installment in my series of readers’ anecdotes about hot outdoor sex.

Back when Britney Spears was popular (ten years ago), I was dating this Asian girl. She would dress up as Britney Spears for me, and we would have sex on her East 4th Street rooftop. She would sing, “Hit me, baby, one more time” in really bad broken English while we had sex doggie style. I crack myself up every time I think of it. 

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

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