Dear John: Swearing Her Love
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
What’s your problem? Write to John at email@example.com.
It seems like usually, if there’s a sexual compatibility issue in a relationship, it’s about trying to get someone to do something they might not want to do. My problem is the opposite. I want my girlfriend to stop doing something: talking “dirty”! I’m crazy about her, she couldn’t possibly be any hotter, and we’re great friends, too. But during sex, she just says the most outrageously filthy things. I’ll admit I’ve never gotten the whole talking dirty thing. I’m not offended by swearing in the least and am pretty foul-mouthed myself when fully clothed…it’s just not the least bit erotic to me. It’s actually kind of the opposite since it seems so silly. But critiquing someone’s sexual style is so personal. I’d hate to embarrass her or hurt her feelings. Should I say something? Or just shut up and listen?
Are you at all curious about trying out a ball gag? Could kill two birds with one stone…
Before you can know what to do about this, you have to find out how important it is to her sexual enjoyment. For all you know, she could be doing it because her last boyfriend liked it. So ask her in a non-judgmental way. Phrase it however you want, but it should be along the lines of, “I’m curious about talking dirty during sex. Is that something you find really exciting?” and not, “Why do you do something so silly during sex?” Remember, there’s nothing more subjective than what is and isn’t arousing. Talking dirty isn’t intrinsically silly or erotic. Some people like it, some people don’t, and that’s all good. Find out how much she likes it – if it’s not important to her, tell her kindly that you’re not all that into it. If it’s something she really enjoys, then yes, be a good boyfriend and listen.
My 7-year-old is being bullied by a 10-year-old. My strong preference is to let kids work these things out themselves, so we've been supportive and done what we can to minimize contact between the two boys. My son seems to be dealing pretty well with the situation. The real problem is that my wife and I are good friends with the bully's parents, so minimizing contact between the kids means changing (or maybe even ending) this valuable adult relationship. Having dinner together and letting the kids keep to themselves isn't relaxing anymore -- it's more like locking my kid into a night of torture while we all have a few drinks. Can I keep my friends without feeling like a negligent parent?
Tyrannized by a 10-Year-Old
Whether you can keep your friends depends on how seriously they are willing to take this problem.
Your instincts are right – kids should be allowed to work things out for themselves. But this assumes a certain “balance of power” between the kids. When an aggressive 10-year-old is bullying a 7-year-old, working it out means, “I’m going to punch you and you’re not going to tell on me.” You can’t tolerate this.
The solution is to talk with the parents in unambiguous, unemotional terms. Tell them their son has been hitting your son, so the kids can’t be left alone together until you’re confident this won’t happen any more. Assure them that you still want to get together with them socially, but the four of you have to find ways to accommodate this new arrangement. Hopefully, they will immediately offer to talk to their son and insist the bullying stop. If, however, they are unwilling to do so for some reason, he should not be allowed to be unsupervised with your son. If there are more kids involved, they can all play together, but the 10-year-old should not be allowed to join them. He must learn that in order to earn the privilege of unsupervised play, he has to stop hitting other children. If your friends take your concerns seriously, this problem will be easy to solve; if they don’t, your friendship may well suffer. But your son’s wellbeing has to be your top priority.
Here in the southern part of Rhode Island, hunting is popular this time of year. When my husband and his friends go out, they bring a couple of beers each with them. I think this is a terrible idea, and we argue about it every hunting season. They never get drunk – they don’t bring nearly enough beer to get drunk – but my opinion is any amount of alcohol and guns don’t mix, period. I don’t want to misrepresent my husband – he’s usually a very sensible, thoughtful guy, but he’s very stubborn about this. He insists that one or two beers is part of the ritual and camaraderie, and he equates my attitude with either not trusting him or trying to control what he does. What do you think? Is this something I should just let go?
Worried in Westerly
I love your question because I’m rarely presented with a problem so black and white. When people are going to be around weapons, they should absolutely not be drinking any alcohol whatsoever! They may not be bringing a case of beer with them, but have you ever drunk one beer on an empty stomach? Would you want to be around an armed person who had? I can’t imagine any serious, responsible hunter doing this. Legal issues aside, it strikes me as incredibly reckless. Yes, you are trying to control what he does. Because in this case, what he wants to do is mad.
John is a middle-aged family man from Providence. If you learn from your mistakes, he’s brilliant. Write to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.