Get Naked: April 19, 2012

Jamie Bufalino advises you to hate the player, not the game.
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Q My boyfriend and I, both in our thirties, have lived together for three years. His number-one interest is sex. He compares the frequency and quality of our sex life with that of his friends. When we have sex, you can bet his camera or phone is coming out to join the party. He masturbates several times a day (and why not), but he is still angry and miserable after a few days without sex with me. When he has initiated sex, and I’m not into it, he’s instantly angry. When I have initiated sex, he opts out and says, “See what it’s like not to get what you want? It’s not even worth it to bother anymore.” We’re now at a complete impasse. We haven’t had sex for three months. He says he’s “done” with trying to have sex with me, but he also says he’s “not done” with our relationship. I am a sexual person, and he’s a great lover. Over these years, however, I’ve come to hate being interrupted by his frequent come-ons. I hate that when I’m talking about our relationship, he’s talking about his sex life. Mostly I hate that I’m still sitting around wondering if I will ever displace his penis as number one. Is there anything you’d suggest I do before I wish him and his penis a lovely life together and walk away?

A I’ve talked about sexual addiction way too much lately, so I’m going to set aside the question of whether your boyfriend has a problem serious enough to merit treatment and focus on the fact that he’s a major-league asshole. I say get the hell out as soon as possible. This sounds like a guy who’s got sociopathic tendencies. The egomania, the disregard for other people’s feelings and circumstances, the belligerent, bullying attitude—he’s got more red flags than Communist Russia. I’m usually not one to recommend tossing away a three-year relationship, but this does not sound healthy to me. If he were long-term-partner material, his number-one priority would be developing a mutually satisfying sex life that was part of a generally peaceful and nurturing home environment. Since you asked, there is one thing I would suggest you do before giving him and his penis the kiss-off (not literally, of course—I don’t want your lips touching that mangy thing ever again): Make sure he knows how unattractive it is to be a completely selfish, emotionally sadistic, painfully clichéd manchild. I wouldn’t want to unleash him onto some other woman with him thinking he can act the same way he always has.

Q I’m a 43-year-old divorced woman, and I’ve never been more depressed in my life. It’s been a couple of years since my marriage ended, and I finally met a guy I really connected with. He seemed to really connect with me too. We went on great dates, had great conversations and also had great sex. Four weeks into the relationship, he calls me one night, tells me that someone stole his wallet from the gym and asks me if he could borrow $400 until he can get a new ATM card. I meet him at the ATM, give him the money, we have dinner (which I also paid for), go home separately—and that’s the last I’ve ever heard from him. Looking back, I should have seen the signs—we only hung out at my apartment, some of his stories didn’t quite add up, etc. But I feel destroyed inside. I’m a lifelong New Yorker, and I let some stupid con artist make me believe he was interested me? And all for a lousy $400? I guess I’m writing to let other people know that shitheads like this exist, and also to get your opinion on how to move beyond these feelings that I’m an idiotic, worthless human being.

A That is truly a hideous, horrible story, and it kills me that you’re the one—and not the devious scumbag—who’s beating yourself up over it. You have nothing to be ashamed of. You opened your heart to someone, you took care of a fellow human being who seemed to be in need, and you lived your life in an unjaded, optimistic way. After being victimized, it’s natural to think things like, What could I have done differently to prevent this from happening?, and How could I be so stupid?, but the fact is that you simply had the misfortune to meet someone who likely makes a profession of duping people. Believe me, it would be far more depressing if you were the type of person who actually suspected that all human beings acted like that jackass. (Who would want to have that kind of closed-off, paranoid existence?) The most insidious thing about what happened to you is the romantic bait and switch. Losing your wallet to some pickpocket is one thing—yes, it’s traumatizing, and it makes you wary of other people, but it doesn’t completely rock your world. A romantic con like this has the power to make you start questioning all of your basic instincts and the intentions of everyone around you. That’s what you have to work really hard to avoid. If that happens, this douche will have succeeded at robbing you of far more than $400. Just remember: Although some human beings really, really suck, most of them are like you—decent, well-intentioned, caring people who are just trying to find happiness. If for no other reason than to deliver a royal fuck-you to the dick who played you, get back out there and start meeting other potential guys to date. Maybe this is a sign that you should take things slower, but don’t ever let a random asshole shut you down completely.

Because I have only a little bit of room left, I figured I’d use this space to get a discussion topic going. I wanted to make this as broad as possible to really overload my inbox with responses from all walks of life, so I thought, What’s more universal than masturbation? Therefore, here’s the question: When you masturbate, what are some of the tried-and-true techniques that work best for you? Be as specific as you possibly can. Do you use a toy, do you need a porno movie playing, do you tug at your balls, stick a finger in your whatsit, picture a particular celebrity, hump a pillow, etc.? After I receive a nice cross-section of responses, I’ll round them up into a sexy (and perhaps orgasmically useful) future column for all to enjoy.

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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