Why you should care
OZY’s Eugene S. Robinson addresses queries from the love-weary in “Sex With Eugene.”
Sex Like a Swiss Army Knife
EUGENE, SIR: Age: me, 33; her, 28. Partners: me, 12; her, 2 (including me). No kids. A lovely dog.
Now, I think I’ve always been kinky, but I’ve also always suffered with depression and anxiety all my life. When I was younger, while masturbating, I used to hurt myself a lot, pushing pins through my nipples, hot wax, shoving things in my ass without preparation.
I am now in a relationship that has spanned seven years (insert seven-year itch reference here). I love her more than anything, and we are suited in every way but, possibly, sexually. She is, however, my best friend.
The thing is, I’m much kinkier than she is. Recently, we’ve been slowly branching out. She slaps my cock and balls, teases and denies (rarely) me. Rimming (on her). We’ve bought dildos so I can use one on her before my stamina runs out. We’ve always had a healthy dose of cunnilingus and vibrators, though. Sex, for me, is about my partner. If I just want to cum, I can turn to a Pornhub video and get the job done in five minutes.
Right now I have a stressful job. I’m an owner/manager of a small business, which wasn’t the case when we first met. So now I want to lose control. I want more kinkiness from my partner, but I don’t know if this is depression and anxiety talking or kinkiness. At the moment, I should note, I couldn’t even imagine pushing a pin through my nipple.
So what do I want/fantasize about?
- Her pegging me.
- Her fucking other guys.
- More strict teasing and denial.
- Bringing in another girl.
- Maybe trying everything else you could think of, apart from blood or feces play …
My questions: Is this wanting to self-harm from anxiety and depression, is it kinkiness or is it a mix of both? And finally, how do I introduce my partner to the stuff I want to do? —KinkyInLove
Dear KIL Zone: There’s a lot happening here, but they’re both connected and standalone, so let’s separate the ying-yang from the ding-dong and see if we can’t ferret out an answer. On the one hand, a tract we could call the standard tract, you are seven years into a comfortably progressing sexual/emotional relationship. You’re hitting all of your markers for moving a relationship through the rocky shoals of a multiple-year commitment without freaking anyone out — mostly maybe you freaking her out — and she’s your best friend. Score!
On the other hand, you’re having a perfectly reasonable response to outside stressors in looking for a special type of medicine to help you make it through the day. In the past, the closest that anything came to being that medicine was the overloading sensory salvo of pain and strange.
Now, simply wondering if you’re conflating the two doesn’t mean you are really conflating the two in anything other than the broadly general. But, of course, given how the human mind works, you’re now wondering if the broadly general is really quite specific, and when you look around the room all you see is her.
OK, here’s what you don’t do: Do not rush in, throw salt in the standard tract and in short order ask her to peg you while she’s fellating strangers after teasing and denying you everything but that other woman over there who is not, you will make clear, into blood or feces!
That’s a panic response to very real and reasonable life pressures. Namely, your job.
This is what you do do: Deal with the nonsexual work stress in a nonsexual way. If you need endorphin helpmates, consider more exercise. Or a glass, or glasses, of wine.
But under no circumstances do you need to make the mistake of offloading work weirdness onto your perfectly well functioning relationship because of your refusal to deal with the elephant in the room: working for yourself is one of the hardest jobs you could have.
Insofar as introducing your partner to kink, it seems you’ve been doing just fine, but so that you continue do so, I’d add this adverb as a guide for future endeavors: incrementally.
Point of Punk Rock Order
EUGENE, SIR: For some reason, there was no comment section to your most recent sex column [“How Lazy Will Porn Actually Make You?”], but I didn’t want you to think that your sly reference to my favorite punk rocker went unnoticed. Beef, beef, beef, beef baloney! Well done, as usual. —Jeff B.
Dear JB: Mr. and Mrs. Ving will be well pleased as well. For those who need a punk rock primer: The band Fear was/is fronted by a man named Lee Ving. We’ll now return to your regularly scheduled programming.
Rape, Definitionally Speaking
EUGENE, SIR: On one of your other shows you asked a question about Conor McGregor’s sexual assault allegation that’s been reported in The New York Times and I found it deeply philosophical, so now I want an answer, rhetorical though your asking of it might have been. So I’ll pretend I asked it if that’s what I have to do to work it in here and it’s this: Can you un-rape someone? —Riley-O
Dear Rollo: It’s a good question. Even if I wasn’t the one who originally asked it, I’d think it was a good question because we’re immersed these days in a definitional reboot that, more than that, cuts to the heart of what unwanted sexual contact means in both macro and micro terms. In the case of someone who had been named in the Irish press due to shielding laws as an “Irish sports star” but was later revealed as “retired” MMA fighter Conor McGregor, the question cuts many ways.
Is being found innocent the same as being found not guilty? If charges are dropped pretrial, does that mean it didn’t happen? Can a civil judgment come before a criminal one?
Probably all still good questions, but I’m not a lawyer. What am I? If you don’t want to call me a “sex columnist,” call me an “applied semiotician,” and so I’m going to have to say in the rawest way possible that you cannot un-rape someone. Even if later that person feels like, as rapes go, it wasn’t “that bad” of a rape, once the rape hand has written, it cannot be unwritten.
Rapists and their supporters would understand this a skosh better if we were talking about them being raped, I am quite sure.