The Advice Goddess

The Advice Goddess

Captain Hookup

This guy I’m having a casual thing with is quick-witted, is droll, and makes me laugh hard, and I just LOVE having sex with him. Afterward, however, he pretty much ignores me until we hook up again, not answering texts from me for weeks at a time. Although I see him consulting his phone constantly, he didn’t even text back “Sorry, busy” to my text inviting him over to watch the moon from my yard because it was so peaceful. I get that we’re not dating and that he wants his freedom, so I try not to call him names in my mind. But, then he turns up again, and I have a blast and get obsessed with the whole experience of him. I think I could be happy if he’d just reply to my texts and show me some attention that goes beyond the bed. Just a simple connection. Since I can’t insist on that, I guess I need help putting what I have into perspective so I can stop yearning and craving so much.

— Longing

You want to believe you and he are on the same page. Yet here you are, basically asking him, “Come lie under the moon with me and listen to my heart beating” while he’s summing up what you two have with some well-known verse. No, nothing mushy from Shakespeare. That line on an unassembled moving box: “Insert tab A into slot B.”

The policewymyn of gender neutrality have led many women to believe they can do anything a man can do. While you don’t need a penis to bang out a memo that lights a fire under the sales staff, there’s one pretty surefire way to have an emotionally easier time having casual sex, and that’s by becoming a man.

Because it’s in women’s genetic interest to get men to commit to more than an hour of sexercise, many women seem to be neurochemically driven to feel clingy after sex. During sex, the hormone oxytocin, which has been associated with emotional bonding, is released in both men and women, but in most men, their far greater amount of testosterone gives it a beat-down. This disparity may lead to a conflict of interest — or rather, a conflict of lack of interest like you’re experiencing. But because you’d rather have this guy’s sex scraps than nothing, you’re all “Yeah, cool, no strings” while chasing him with a lasso and trying to forget that his favorite thing to do after sex is grab his shoes and clothes and sneak out of your house.

Even if you typically have the ability to keep things casual, it’s likely to be impaired if you choose poorly — if the man you’re having sex with is more Mr. Awesome than just Mr. Awesome In Bed. The clue that you can’t put this current thing into perspective is your inability to tell him, “Hey, text me back, because it bugs me when you don’t.” That’s surely what you’d do, no problem, if a friend had you on ignore. If you can’t accept what he’s not willing to give, you need to get out — and approach casual sex a little more realistically in the future. While being successful in love is about finding the right person, being successful in casual sex is usually about finding the somewhat wrong person — one who is decent in bed but inspires you to think post-coital flowery thoughts like “Umm … don’t you have somewhere to be?”

 

I.C.U. naked

My boyfriend’s mother has been in the hospital for several weeks. She is slowly progressing but still isn’t doing well. He’s been spending his days with her, but tomorrow is our anniversary, and he wants us to have sex while his brother stays with her. He says it will be a stress reliever for him, but I just don’t feel right about it, given his mother’s condition.

— Uncomfortable

Sex with your boyfriend will not cause negative health consequences for his mother, with some grim-faced doctor coming in to break the news: “We were giving you six months to live, ma’am, but after what your son must’ve done with his girlfriend last night, we’re scaling you back to three weeks.” When somebody’s seriously ill and somebody you care about is caring for them, it can seem disrespectful to behave with anything but somber reserve. The reality is, that’s probably the last thing either one of them needs. What they lack is the stuff that makes life normal — the relatively trivial things they did and talked about back when the only doctor they encountered daily was Dr Pepper. In other words, you’ll help your boyfriend support his mother by supporting him in the way he wants — and not by engaging in some really mind-blowing sitting around with long faces thinking deeply solemn thoughts.

(c)2012, Amy Alkon, all rights reserved. Got a problem? Write Amy Alkon, 171 Pier Ave., #280, Santa Monica, CA  90405, or e-mail AdviceAmy@aol.com (www.advicegoddess.com)


It’s Amy Alkon’s Advice Goddess Radio — “Nerd your way to a better life!” with the best brains in science solving your love, dating sex, and relationship problems. Listen live every Sunday — http://www.blog
talkradio.com/amyalkon/ — 7-8 p.m. PT, 10-11 p.m. ET, or download the podcast at the link. Call-in during the show: 347-326-9761 (NYC area code).


Read Amy Alkon’s book: “I SEE RUDE PEOPLE: One woman’s battle to beat some manners into impolite society” (McGraw-Hill, $16.95).

The Advice Goddess

The Advice Goddess

Thrilla in vanilla

My best friend is a guy. We have tons in common and have conversations that are lively, honest and deep. He’s basically everything I’ve ever wanted in my future husband, but he has an infatuation for Filipina women half his age. I’m 37, his age, and Caucasian. His plan is to find and marry a girl from the Philippines. In fact, he is so stuck on marrying a Filipina that he is learning to speak Tagalog and travels to the Philippines twice a year but has yet to have anything work out. I maintain hope that he’ll eventually develop the attraction to me that I have for him and that compatibility will trump looks, because he often tells me how much he appreciates me. Am I fooling myself, or could he outgrow his Filipina fetish?

— Boring American Woman
 

If people could override their physical attractions, strip clubs could hire homely but very kind women to bare only their souls. For the price of a lap dance, they’d tell a man all about their work easing the suffering of cancer patients or nursing stray dogs back to health. Afterward, he’d go home to his hot but mean wife and do his marital duty — while fantasizing about Martha getting little Buster to a really good home.

Whenever you start looking at your friend through future-husband-colored glasses, remind yourself that the guy’s learning Tagalog, and not because he calls the cable company and they say, “Press one for Tagalog.” Lust is a powerful and automatic biochemical reaction driven by sex hormones in the brain. One study by Dr. Ingrid R. Olson suggests that we appraise whom we find hot in 13 milliseconds or less — approximately 25 to 30 times faster than an eye blink. And unfortunately, we can’t rejigger whom we lust after — any more than we can convince ourselves that something that smells like ass really smells like lily of the valley.

 
You need to stop focusing on how you click with this guy. I also really click with my friend Debbie, but when I look at her and feel longing, it’s to ask her where she got her barrette. This means we’re well-matched as friends and hair accessory shoppers but nothing more. What you need is a guy with a you fetish — one who thinks you’re the hottest thing since he leaned back, trying to look cool for you, and burned his hand on the party host’s stove. To find that man, banish your Filipina-phile from your mind as anything more than a friend with a thing for women who aren’t you. If that’s hard to do, stop hanging out with him so much until it stops being hard. Save for meeting a fairy godmother in the supermarket and having her transform you into a 4-foot-11, 18-year-old hottie from Manila, there’s only one way you’ll ever make this guy fall for you, and that’s by installing a tripwire.

Getting into your genes

I’m 27 and passionately in love with a 24-year-old woman I just started dating. I said something in passing about not knowing whether I want kids, and she said, “If I’m not pregnant within two years by you, I’ll get pregnant by somebody else.” Shocked, I asked who. Her answer: “Preferably a friend, but it doesn’t really matter.” My jaw dropped. I wonder whether I even matter or I am just being used.

— Disturbed
 

You were probably picturing yourself as more of a sex machine than a sperm dispenser. (If there’s a movie of your relationship in your mind, it’s the kind that gets blocked by Net Nanny software. In hers, Julie Andrews and the von Trapp children are bounding through the meadows in their clothes made out of curtains.)

The fact that her romantic role model seems to be the speeding bullet doesn’t mean that she isn’t into you or that she’s using you. In fact, her honesty suggests otherwise. (She didn’t let you get all attached only to tell you to either dad up or get out.) But, numerous studies splashed across the media show that single parenting disadvantages kids economically, emotionally, in school performance, and in their later relationships, and troublingly, all she can think about is the tumbleweed blowing around her empty womb.

If you know you don’t want kids, now’s the time to leave. If you aren’t sure, you can stick around and try to figure it out, but the giant ticking uterus hanging over your head may warp the course of getting to know her. After all, it’s kind of a romance-killer to be hearing “It had to be you …” while you know she’s thinking, “Then again, the UPS guy looks like he has a healthy sperm count.”

(c)2012, Amy Alkon, all rights reserved. Got a problem? Write Amy Alkon, 171 Pier Ave., #280, Santa Monica, CA  90405, or e-mail AdviceAmy@aol.com (www.advicegoddess.com)


It’s Amy Alkon’s Advice Goddess Radio — “Nerd your way to a better life!” with the best brains in science solving your love, dating sex, and relationship problems. Listen live every Sunday — http://www.blog
talkradio.com/amyalkon/ — 7-8 p.m. PT, 10-11 p.m. ET, or download the podcast at the link. Call-in during the show: 347-326-9761 (NYC area code).


Read Amy Alkon’s book: “I SEE RUDE PEOPLE: One woman’s battle to beat some manners into impolite society” (McGraw-Hill, $16.95).

The Advice Goddess

The Advice Goddess

Motherly shove

I am in my 20s and, for eight months, have been seeing a girl who might very well be “the one.” The problem is she wants to meet my mother, who is beyond controlling. She plays a game with girls I date, which I call “the 20 questions of doom.” Her questions start out normal, but by question 10, she’ll ask stuff like “Have you ever seen my son in the nude, and if not, do you have plans to?” She’ll also say very negative things about me. Also, I’m a dark-skinned black person, and my girlfriend is biracial, and my mother doesn’t want me dating a light-skinned girl because she wants grandkids who resemble her. I want to keep this girl, but she is growing impatient with my not letting her meet my mom, and is beginning to think I’m ashamed of her.

— Stuck
 

Moms say the darndest things: “So, dear … how much do you owe in student loans and have you seen my son’s winkie?”

Any girl meeting her boyfriend’s mother for the first time expects a few uncomfortable questions — but on her politics and reproductive plans, not whether she’s had the chance to probe that mole under Sonnyboy’s scrotum. People who don’t have saboteurs for parents can find it hard to understand that somebody’s mother could be their relationship’s worst enemy. You, on the other hand, are already dreading your mother’s hospitality: “Son, shall we have coffee and dessert now and push your little friend into the woodchipper later?”

Talk to your girlfriend, but not about meeting the middle-aged mean girl also known as your mother. Open up to her about the painful relationship you have with your mother and how hurtful it’s been that she has tried to drive away every woman in your life. (Some animals eat their young. Some eat their young’s girlfriends.) Evoking your girlfriend’s sympathy is the first step in shrinking her hurt feelings. (For best results, avoid mentioning that Mom’ll think she’s from the wrong side of the Crayola box.)

You can’t control your mother’s behavior, but you can control who she gets to meet. This would be a good time to reconsider the definition of family. Maybe family means people who act like family whether they’re blood relatives or not, and maybe you should bring your girlfriend around to meet those people — your dearest friends and maybe an aunt and uncle who are fond of you. Chances are, what ultimately matters to her is not meeting your mother but believing you think she’s important enough to introduce. Show her (and keep showing her) that you’re proud of her and that she’s loved and appreciated, and she should stop sulking. In fact, she might even start joking about what it would be like, being invited over for a nice quiet dinner of sacrificial lamb — or, as your mother might put it to her: “Let me just show my son to his chair, dear, and then I’ll show you to your spit.”

 

Look what the catty dragged in

After I got a new boyfriend, a friend started making frequent passive-aggressive jabs at me. Lamenting her datelessness, she sniffed, “At least I’m not one of those people who need to jump from relationship to relationship,” knowing full well that I got into my current relationship a month after ending my previous one. There are reasons I can’t just boot her from my life, so is there a way to get her to stop? If I called her out, she’d just deny it.

— Dissed
 

Close friends tend to leave stuff lying around in each other’s life — but stuff leading to questions like “Hey, did you forget your phone on my coffee table?” not “Hey, did you leave your knife between my T4 and T5 vertebrae?” You probably can’t change her way of seeing all you have through the prism of all she doesn’t. (Really, she couldn’t be happier for you — that is, unless you fell down the stairs.) Where you went wrong is in letting that first nasty comment wriggle past you, which was like making it a little bed out of shredded newspaper so it could give birth to a whole litter of them. Since the direct approach would likely lead to snarly denials and ill will, shut her down by consistently jabbing back, but in a jokey tone — “Oh, you mean like my relationship …” — and she should get all sputtery … no, that’s not … no … she didn’t, blah, blah, blah. By calling her out indirectly, you two can maintain the polite fiction that she hasn’t been going all mean drunk on you and maybe get back to some semblance of friendship as it’s supposed to be: that when a friend alerts you that you have something in your teeth, it’s because she wants you to look good, not because her shoelace is caught.

(c)2012, Amy Alkon, all rights reserved. Got a problem? Write Amy Alkon, 171 Pier Ave., #280, Santa Monica, CA  90405, or e-mail AdviceAmy@aol.com (www.advicegoddess.com)


It’s Amy Alkon’s Advice Goddess Radio — “Nerd your way to a better life!” with the best brains in science solving your love, dating sex, and relationship problems. Listen live every Sunday — http://www.blog
talkradio.com/amyalkon/ — 7-8 p.m. PT, 10-11 p.m. ET, or download the podcast at the link. Call-in during the show: 347-326-9761 (NYC area code).


Read Amy Alkon’s book: “I SEE RUDE PEOPLE: One woman’s battle to beat some manners into impolite society” (McGraw-Hill, $16.95).

The Advice Goddess

The Advice Goddess

We’ll always have parasites

My boyfriend of two months is a gem, but his house is a horror. The fridge and bathroom are disgusting, and the whole place is seriously messy. There’s this eerie feeling that the house was formerly homey, like nothing has changed since his wife left him three years ago — down to the box of sanitary pads in the bathroom cupboard and the very wife-ish folksy kitchen art everywhere. I wonder if the state of things reflects some inner devastation he’s feeling post-divorce. He takes pride in his home’s exterior, meticulously maintaining his lawn, and I don’t think he’s trying to impress the neighbors (not a pretentious bone in his body). He hadn’t changed his sheets in our two months together, so I removed the pillowcases and dropped them on the floor as a hint. He didn’t get it. It seems too early in the relationship to say anything. Still, I don’t feel I should have to keep faking that I’m comfy in his home and in his bed on sheets that feel like they haven’t been washed since the 1980s.

— Yuck

A woman can leave a man, but apparently, cows grazing on a field of gingham and “Rooster Crossing” signs are forever. And of course, nothing says a man’s open to a relationship like his ex-wife’s 3-year-old box of Kotex.

Welcome to the Museum of the Ex-Wife. At least, that’s how you’re seeing it, and that’s understandable. In trying to make sense of things, people have a tendency to look for some underlying deep meaning. And, sure, maybe the biohazards and lingering Kountry Kitchen Kwaintness are reflective of some inner darkness on his part (depression, inability to cope with his loss and move on). Or … maybe it was his job to care for the outside of the house and hers to care for the inside, and after she left, he never thought to fill in the blanks on the chore wheel. Before long, the place became Home Sweet Bacteria Rodeo.

If you don’t see other signs suggesting he’s depressed or troubled, he’s probably just mess-blind. It’s hard for those who practice what would be considered ordinary tidiness and house hygiene to understand, but for some, all the chaos and grunge just blends into a big, benign whatever. The basic rule of this sort of laissez-faire housekeeping: If the crud isn’t so big and scary that it’s grabbing your ankle as you’re en route to the toilet, why get your last pair of clean underwear into a wad?

It is cute that you thought dropping stuff on the floor — the floor of a man who basically lives in a two-bedroom landfill — would have an impact on his housekeeping standards. You should actually consider it a bit troubling that he apparently made no attempt to tidy up for you. Even the most squalor-inured tend to look at their living situation through new (and horrified) eyes when a new romantic partner is coming over and try to do something — get a backhoe in there, burn the bedding, crash a Febreze truck into the living room.

I’m not suggesting you go all Joan Crawford on the man (“NO. MORE. WIRE. HANGERS!”), but you can’t let him think it’s no big deal for you to get in bed onto sheets that feel like they haven’t been washed since the Reagan administration. (If you put out a message that anything goes for you, whether in the housekeeping department or any other, very likely, anything will.) Don’t be pulling on any rubber gloves, either. (Start cleaning up after him and you’ll keep cleaning up after him.) Instead, say something gentle but direct like “I think you’re a great guy, but I really need you to clean your place so I feel comfortable there.” There is a chance that he’ll break up with you over this. But, what kind of man kicks the girl out of bed and keeps the cracker crumbs?

Instead of trying to get him to clean up his whole act at once, take things step by grody step. Whatever effort he makes, keep letting him know you appreciate it. If the house isn’t getting to a civilized level of clean, gently suggest that it needs a woman’s touch — a cleaning woman’s: “Ever thought of getting a maid once a month?” Finally, address the ex-wife’s leftovers by joking that some of the decor doesn’t quite seem a reflection of him. In fact, you’re particularly confused by the box in the bathroom cabinet, but you’d like to be supportive: “A man’s first period is a very special time, and there’s no reason to feel ashamed about the changes in your body, which should soon have you turning cartwheels in a flowing white skirt.”

(c)2012, Amy Alkon, all rights reserved. Got a problem? Write Amy Alkon, 171 Pier Ave., #280, Santa Monica, CA  90405, or e-mail AdviceAmy@aol.com (www.advicegoddess.com)


It’s Amy Alkon’s Advice Goddess Radio — “Nerd your way to a better life!” with the best brains in science solving your love, dating sex, and relationship problems. Listen live every Sunday — http://www.blog
talkradio.com/amyalkon/ — 7-8 p.m. PT, 10-11 p.m. ET, or download the podcast at the link. Call-in during the show: 347-326-9761 (NYC area code).


Read Amy Alkon’s book: “I SEE RUDE PEOPLE: One woman’s battle to beat some manners into impolite society” (McGraw-Hill, $16.95).

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