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Get Naked: Sex advice for New Yorkers (November 8, 2012)

Jamie Bufalino begins a look back on one sex-obsessed decade.

Photograph: Courtesy Shutterstock
This sentence that I’m typing out probably seems pretty boring and uneventful to you, right? Wrong, sucker! Every sentence I write under the Get Naked banner—even if it isn’t filled with references to mammoth cocks, herpes pustules or multiorgasmic squirting vaginas, or doesn’t contain an absurd number of parenthetical asides (I do love my parenthetical asides, because it feels like I’m putting my lips right up close to a reader’s ear and whispering a funny little something that will make him/her fall in love with me instantly)—is suddenly enormously eventful, because (are you sitting down? you might want to sit down) there are only four more weeks left of Get Naked. Let’s not get into the whys and wherefores of my stepping down out of the vaunted sexpert sling; let’s just accept the unassailable truth that the universe intended for there to be a beginning and an end to all things. But back to the breaking news: Yes, the column is ending four weeks from now, and I’m still working out the best strategy for bringing it to a close. Should we look back on some of the stranger/funnier questions over the years? Should we just “keep on keeping on” with the current-day issues that enter my inbox? Should I keep rambling on and make this all about me and my love for you and your love for me? I suspect we’ll do a combo of all three, but right now I feel like rambling on about the column itself.

Do you know how long I’ve been writing this column? No, seriously, I’m asking because I honestly cannot remember exactly when it started. I know it was in the previous century (late-’90s-ish), and I remember initially feeling that, in order to have an impact, I had to come off as a hard-edged, scathing asshole (like a certain other sexpert—cough, not Dr. Ruth, cough, cough). After weeks of that approach, the always-insightful Cyndi Stivers (former TONY editor-in-chief) made me realize that I could improve the column by being funny and nurturing rather than snide and eviscerating. And that’s the tack I’ve (mostly) taken ever since. Although I’ve often griped about having to churn out another column week after week—I mean, how many euphemisms for fucking is a person expected to come up with on a consistent basis?—mostly I milked great joy out of writing it. It’s rare to find a paying gig that allows you to freely use terms like cock sucking, face fucking and ass ramming in an educative and enlightening manner. And although I’ve always done my best to seriously address all the sexual conundrums sent my way, my goal was to write a humor column that just happened to be about sex.

The best part of this gig, from my vantage point, is that it gave me a weekly opportunity to sit down (every Sunday morning, as if it were some kind of perverted church ceremony) to express my true self—my opinions, my personality, my flaws, my insecurities, my self-delusions of superiority, even my dealings with a brain tumor—and see what happens when I put it out into the world. That’s really the most valuable and rewarding thing that anyone can do in any situation. So if there’s only one message you take away from more than a decade of Get Nakeds, let it be this: Put your whole true self out there, and let whatever happens happen. You may not end up with the person you expected to be with, you may not hit the exact orgasmic high you were hoping for, you may even get thoroughly rejected by someone you were crushing on, but none of that matters. What matters is that you trust in the value of who you are, and that you allow yourself the pleasure of exposing to the rest of humanity everything you have to offer.

Response #1
(rating: positive):

Q Hi, Jamie (and let’s dispense with how much I love your column and am a devoted reader, yadda yadda yadda). I really enjoyed the story about the 18-year-old and his beej— highly entertaining it was. But, as a longtime subscriber at the Met, I have my doubts. I put in a call this morning to a friend who has ushered at the Met for more than a decade. He laughed and said it’s highly unlikely and most improbable that the two kids would find themselves alone in the view room. He says about 5 percent of the audience comes in late between acts (cigs, cell phones, cocktails) and watches the next act onscreen. He thinks the idea is an 18-year-old’s fantasy (an admittedly fun one)...and, by the way, the room is security-cammed. Gotta agree...the diamond earrings and bracelet were a little over-the-top too. But it was a great story nonetheless. Love ya, Jamie.... Write on!

Response #2
(rating: negative—and comes with an added dis about my response to a different letter, about some BDSM goings-on):

Q The letter is an obvious fake. Some old dude is jacking it to your dumb response as you eat your breakfast. And another thing: Shouldn’t a sex advice columnist (who’s been in the biz for as long as you have) know about male chastity devices? Maybe more than “cursory” research should be done before making comments in print. Your advice is as bad now as it was when you started. Really, very unprofessional, and a waste of column inches.

A Well, at least we know for sure that one person—who seems to be strangely fixated on my column inches (call me, honey, I’m a grower not a shower, wink, wink)—will be extremely happy with her TONY-reading experience in four weeks.

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.