The Bottom Whisperer: You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)
Let’s get down to business!
Dear Bottom Whisperer,
Big fan, first-time caller here. I’ve been dating my girlfriend for just over a year now. We have both dated men in our younger years but both identify as lesbian now. Let me just say that we have a great relationship, communication is strong, there is a lot of love between us. One thing has been slowly growing into something that has bothered me and causing me insecurity the past few months. My girlfriend smokes pot and drinks, nothing crazy that interferes with her ability to be a functional member of society. The past few months, every time we are intimate she has to be stoned or buzzed. I’ve casually mentioned it to her but she doesn’t seem to notice or care that it is bothering me. Maybe this has something to do with my own insecurity as I’ve put on a few pounds in the past few months. I just don’t understand why she has to be altered to have sex with me and it is making me feel bad. How much of this should I take ownership of as my own issue and how much do you think is hers? Is there something going on that I might not know about? Please help!
Being Lost About Zippy Expectations
Thanks for being a fan of the column! A couple red flags popping up for me right away. You tout the great communication in your relationship but then clearly are having an issue discussing your girlfriend’s need to get into an altered state to get down and dirty. But I tip my hat to you for owning up to your part of this dynamic. I understand that some changes in personal appearance can cause insecurity and it is easy to wonder if they have anything to do with your girlfriend’s new behavior. So here is my suggestion… come clean and ask your girlfriend what is up. Her answer might be as simple as “I just like getting stoned before we have sex. It feels better.” Or it could be something like “I am really stressed out and not dealing with it in the right way.” Or heaven forbid it is something like “I feel like our communication has gone down hill and I am using pot as a crutch so I don’t feel bad”. My point here is this, don’t sweep this under the rug and expect it to fix itself. If you love your lady, and it sounds like you do, put your foot down. Something isn’t right. Use this chance to grow closer and get those lines of communication going again.
Dear Bottom Whisperer,
I am a divorced father of two great kids. I’ve been divorced for 4-years this October. It was really tough on my children when I separated from their mother but we had grown apart and it was the best decision. We didn’t get along at first but now we have decided to work together for what is best for our kids. After my divorce I was single for a while and dealt with some feelings I had been pushing out of my head for a number of years. I realized I needed to be true to myself and I came to terms with the fact that I am gay. I have been on a few dates with some great guys but nothing really materialized until about 6 months ago. I met a great guy off an internet dating site and we are crazy about one another. I don’t see him when I have my kids so they don’t know anything about him. It is getting to the point where I should probably tell my kids about this new special person in my life but I have a lot of anxiety about how to do it. I am also afraid of the backlash of my ex-wife. How can I do this without rocking the boat too much and without isolating my kids?
Perturbed Over Potential Secret
Congrats on meeting an awesome guy that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I can understand your anxiety about disclosing your new relationship status with your ex-wife and your children. When I try to navigate a minefield like this I often have to go with the age-old saying “Honesty is the best policy”. You and your wife have agreed to work together to do what is best for the kids. At some point both of you are going to date new people and possibly get into long-term relationships. So I would ask your ex to have a sit down and let her know that you have met someone great and have been seeing each other for a period of time where you think it’s time for the kids to know. Puh-lease hear me out here… this conversation is not an apology. This is not you asking for forgiveness for doing something wrong. If you act this way, a negative reaction will be justified. Look, if she is a homophobe, that is her issue. It’s fucking 2012 and she is gonna need to get over that. Just own up to your new relationship aspirations. You don’t need her approval.
Sitting down with the kids is going to be a different experience. I’d start by just telling them that you love them and they mean the world to you and nothing is going to change that. Then I might just say something about moving on from your relationship with their mother, send lots of respect her way and tell them it didn’t work out but you are glad to have her as a teammate in raising two great kids. Your kids might have a tough time but the ‘right’ response to your new relationship news should be that they are happy that you found someone nice. It might take a while for them to come around. You might even look into some family counseling if you think the help of a professional might be beneficial in this case (it certainly couldn’t hurt and might be an opportunity for you to grow closer to your kids). Best of luck!