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I get it—being single in the city can be tough, and the ways New Yorkers are having sex these days can be surprising. But whatever your dating conundrum might be, I'm here to help. Consider me (Jillian Anthony, Time Out New York's Editor) your personal wingwoman, guiding you through dating and doing it in New York in our weekly "Let Us Sex-plain" column. Check out my answers to all your questions online and in the magazine every Wednesday, and submit your own coitus queries below!
My girlfriend doesn’t enjoy giving oral. I’ve stated that I enjoy it and would gladly return the favor. Do I offer back rubs or other stuff in return? I get that some people don’t like certain things, but this is something I truly enjoy.
—Johnny, Hell’s Kitchen
First, sex should never be transactional, and partners shouldn’t use sex acts as bargaining chips or rewards. Beyond that, this situation is tough. We all should keep in mind what our partner likes and do our best to keep an open mind, but no one should feel obligated to perform a sex act. Maybe you and your girlfriend can discuss what about oral sex she doesn’t enjoy. If it’s taste, there’s flavored lube; if it’s discomfort, maybe you can find a different position. But if this is something she won’t do, that’s up to her, and you have to consider whether you can accept that.
I’ve remained in love with my ex since he broke up with me in October. We went through a period of no contact, but all of a sudden he started liking all of my Instagrams and viewing my Snapchat stories. What is he trying to say through social media?
—Alice, Upper West Side
Absolutely nothing that you want to know about. If he had something real to say to you, he would call you. Remember, he broke up with you. So take a moment to acknowledge that liking an Instagram is the equivalent of a late-night “You up?” text (actually, it takes even less thought and effort), and don’t fall for these games. Block the hell out of him.
My boyfriend’s dad is openly sexist and racist, and I can’t stand him. My boyfriend is nothing like his dad. He and his siblings have heard their dad’s ramblings their whole lives, and all choose to ignore it, but it goes against everything I am as a person to sit by quietly. Is this a sign of trouble in the long run that should make me think twice about joining this family—or am I just being dramatic?
If this potential in-law was bossy or hovering or had a different political ideology than you, I’d say that was normal in-law stuff you could learn to live with. But if this man is constantly putting down women and people of color, that’s a personal assault that you shouldn’t have to silently suffer through, especially not for the rest of your life. Plus, would you want this person to be around your children if you plan to have any? Your boyfriend isn’t his father, so I don’t think you need to abandon your relationship, but it is certainly worth figuring out if you can continue to be around his dad. And part of that process should be talking with your boyfriend about how he can better support you when his dad sounds off. If your boyfriend isn’t willing to do so, that could be a deal breaker.