Q & A
week of 3-29-05
Quote of the Day: "Tact is the ability to describe others as they see themselves" (Abraham Lincoln)
Dear Rhona: Is there such a thing a prenuptial agreement that could keep you from paying palimony? I care a great deal about the person I'm with but have no intention of getting married. What if things go bad ten years from now? Will I be paying out palimony to someone I have no legal connection to? - Concerned
Dear Concerned: Consult a lawyer about your position. In many jurisdictions, once you have shared sexual, emotional and material things with another breathing body, an obligation ensues when things go wrong. This often holds even when a prior legal agreement exists - such as when children are involved. I think you should also ask yourself what it is about this person that makes you toss at night thinking they might squeeze you like a toothpaste tube at some point in the future. If I were a fortune cookie, I'd say, "If anxious about the future, pay attention to something in your present." Munch on that.
Dear Rhona: I am 28 years old and I met this beautiful woman at a club and we went back to her place. She asked if I wanted to do some cocaine. She said the experience of having sex on coke was like none other. I declined her offer, but I still had sex with her. Afterwards, a group of friends all pretty much confirmed what she said - they say it makes a guy last a lot longer and the experience is more intense. Is there any scientific basis to this? I have protected sex about three times a week with different women, and it's not the first time I've been asked to try this. I'm very tempted, but I'm afraid of getting addicted. - Anonymous
Dear Anonymous: The deal with recreational drugs is that the consequence for the big buzz is the big bear. The higher you go, the longer and bumpier the fall - and the sharper the bear's teeth. When it comes to coke (pun intended), there is an additional problem - a high immediate addiction rate, especially with crack. Some people have the annoying reaction of dying - even on their first time. You just can't tell ahead of time. You have a decision here: If the greatest sex you'll have is on cocaine, will you then think regular sex is a mere echo, and therefore feel obligated to keep chemically enhancing the experience? Human nature tricks us into wanting to repeat great experiences. Are you prepared to be a regular user, to find a supplier, to get caught, to get dead? There are people who manually or chemically cut off the oxygen supply to their brain to get a maximum rush out of an orgasm. Of course, then there are those pesky deceased brain cells, but if steadily losing IQ points is not a problem, you might consider this as well. If sex is insufficient with the women you are with, perhaps it isn't just the genital thing. Maybe it's a connection thing. Perhaps you are just repeating a mediocre set of exercises. Try making love with someone you are wired to. And if you cave in, be sure to watch out for that big hungry bear.
Dear Rhona: I find it very hard to let people know how I really feel about them. I'm afraid of rejection, and I don't want that fear anymore. I'm sick of it already. I think it's better to let someone know how you really feel, but I just can't do it. It's like something gets stuck. I just freeze and then try to change the subject. Then I end up crying at night, trying to figure out what's wrong with me. - Rowena
Dear Rowena: Your obstructed communication tube is the result of years of swallowing what you think. I'd bet a mountain of M&M's that you grew up in a family that discouraged the showing of affection, or who just had none to give. If this is true, you need to understand your inability to be intimate is due to how little training and opportunity you've had to try it out. You are merely out of shape in the verbal department. Start by making a journal, to track what you think and feel. Then consider a good therapist. For a first undertaking, pick someone who you know will not reject you - no matter what you say. Then write a simple note inside a funny card, like"I really value our friendship - here's a card that made me think of you." Start with the positive feedback people and then work your way up. I do, however, think critiquing someone you dislike is often an overrated activity. When you have the choice, sometimes it is easier and a lot less energy to just get out of the way. Explain to your friends that you are working on new skills and that you are a neophyte. People who like you will understand and give you support. Don't give yourself a hard time.
Dear Rhona: I am recently separated but have always gone out with married men, even before I got married. Even when I am looking for a single guy to hang out with, the guys I am attracted to end up being married, and the single guys just don't do anything for me. Why do I do this? - No Boundaries
Dear N.B.: If you're always attracted to men who are married, then what is probably attracting you is the fact that they are unavailable. Either you are unconsciously looking for a partial relationship (their time with you is necessarily limited) or you have a problem with commitment (they can't commit to you, so you don't have to commit to them). Either way, you might consider the fact that you CAN have a full relationship with a man, but still control how much of your life is involved. Not every connection requires the two people involved to spend every waking minute with each other. If personal time for yourself, your friends and others is important to you, all that is required is that you keep that time free. Believe it or not, while you're off rock-climbing with your best friend every Saturday morning, your guy can be off playing rugby with his buddies, instead of going home to his wife. Think about it.