My Past Work: On Relationships and Sex

I might not have realized my dream of turning my unfortunate last name into a brilliantly punny Love Bites column, but I have written a couple things on the subject. Here they are.

Note: a few of these round-ups will contain repeats and crossovers. So for example, the ‘Managing Romance and Mental Illness’ column appears in both this and the mental health round-up, because who knows, maybe somebody reading this is ravenous to hear what I have to say about relationships but thinks I am an idiot on the subject of therapy. Or maybe you are interested in my mental health writing but want to pretend that I never wrote anything about sex at all because, for example, you are my boyfriend’s mother. That is understandable! So here we go.

 

Human sexuality is as diverse as human beings. Some people enjoy group sex, some people want to have sex only with their spouses and some people never want to have sex at all. And yet, prescriptive sex writing usually assumes — ludicrously — that a gay man in a monogamous relationship benefits from the same suggestions as a straight, single woman browsing casual encounters on Craigslist.

“Forget Sex Advice,” February 2012.

 

Try to discuss any issues likely to arise before they actually come up. For example, if there will be complications with sex — if you have an eating disorder or body image problem that will make taking your clothes off traumatic, if you’ve been a victim of sexual abuse in the past or if you’re on psychiatric medication with sexual side effects — it’s best to mention it before things get hot and heavy. If you have social anxiety, let your partner know before he expects you to meet his friends.

“Managing Romance and Mental Illness,” February 2012.

 

in real life, jealousy isn’t cute. If your best female friend vehemently and mysteriously loathes every woman you go out with, it’s not a sign that you need to stop chasing after the wrong ones and notice what’s right in front of you — it’s a sign you need to ditch that friend. And in the real world, if your boyfriend is driven mad with jealousy every time he sees you smiling and laughing with another man, you have a serious problem.

But what do you do if you have a jealous partner who isn’t abusive, making rules for you or exploding at every turn, but just can’t shake the fear that every ex, every cute co-worker and every smiling barista is going to be the person who lures you away? Or worse — what if you’re that partner?

“Coping With Romantic Jealousy,” April 2012.

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