July 12, 2017

Why Did a Stranger Confide in Me, and Was My Response OK?

Hey, Bonita…

Got a random question for you. I was recently downtown at a bar when a student-aged woman walked up to me and told me she thought she was gay, and that she'd never told anyone that before. First, I'm a bit bemused that she picked me to confess this to, as I'm a middle aged, not-too-friendly-looking white guy. Second, how does one respond to this, especially when I saw her sitting with someone who appeared to be her boyfriend when I left a few minutes later?

I told her admitting that took guts, and she should stay true to herself (and didn't say anything to the couple as I left), but that seems cheesy somehow. I'm operating under the assumption this isn't going to happen to me again, but how would you have handled this?



I don't think that what you said was cheesy at all! You commended her for her bravery—admitting a big something about herself for the first time ever—and reassured her that she was perfectly fine the way she was and right to follow her heart. You handled the situation perfectly. I'm not sure why she picked you out, either, but I bet you look friendlier than you think you do.

Personally, I am a nosy, radical-feminist bisexual femme who tends towards pettiness in the face of heterosexuality, and I would have given this girl 21 questions. Randomly volunteering info like that to a stranger while out on a date is a bit of a red flag—did she not feel safe with her date? I would have asked her if everything was all right, and if not, I would have offered her an out by texting her a fake emergency or convincing the bartender to eject the guy—whatever works for her. But you're not me, and you did great!

I'm not sure why, but I'm happy she chose you. You seem like a nonjudgmental, comforting soul. The kind of person I'd talk to at a bar, too.

Let's cut to the chase here: The guy I date is a chronic masturbator. He touches himself so much that that's what he's usually doing when he's not at work or in class. He doesn't even need porn; just regular cable is enough! It's not sexy.

I like pretty much everything else about him, but this has had a disastrous effect on our sex life. I didn't know he was that into himself (ha, ha) when we first got together a few months ago, and it didn't have much of an effect on our sex, but the past few months he's been unable to maintain any sort of erection unless I ORDER him to stay “hands off” all day until I get home. Otherwise, he is too exhausted to be intimate.

I never wanted to have to schedule sex or police my partner's individual sex habits. Masturbation is natural, and I don't believe that people shouldn't do it in relationships, but it's literally ALL he does, and he rarely wants to have sex with me. He has no hobbies and never wants to go out. I'm about to dump him, Bonita. Please tell me the words to keep me from breaking up with this guy.

Sorry, boo, but I don't think I have those words. It's not like his interest in you has waned due to outside stress or problems in the relationship. He just can't keep his hands off of himself, and it's impeding his ability to meet your sexual needs.

If lack of sex is a deal-breaker for you, I'd say it's your decision, and you should do what makes you happy. But first, you should definitely talk to him about this. Let him know how it's affecting you, and that you're thinking of leaving. There's something way more valuable and fulfilling about partnered sex over solo experiences, and if he's not willing to curb his self-love habits for the sake of your relationship, I'm not sure how invested he is on the whole.

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