Ed is dead and Safety in stupidity in numbers

Aug 30, 2000 at 12:00 am
Q: I have been in a 12-year relationship with Ed. Our intellectual and emotional connection is very deep. Our sex life is the problem. Ed is not interested in sex and never has been. This has ruined all of his past relationships. He is not very body oriented, but I can live with that. He can perform passable lovemaking. But, in 12 years, he has never approached me for sex. I always initiate, and many times when I do, he puts me off. I've tried everything to get him interested — even bringing home porn and suggesting other women. We tried couples’ therapy ... it was a total bust. I enrolled us in tai chi classes in the hope that he could get more in touch with his body. Nothing. I've gotten depressed at what I perceive to be a no-win situation. Ed = no sex. And, because Ed said that he would be hurt if I have an affair, sex = no Ed. —Sexless Just Outside The City

A: Either you're in jail or you're out of your mind. You've spent 12 years with a man who lies in bed like an old trout while you have your way with him ... when all he really wants is a good, hard ... night in front of the TV. Living with Ed is like rooming with a big, hairy girlfriend, except that he's useless when you're short on mascara or Lightdays Longs. Ed ... baby ... Is that a dishrag in your pants ...? Or just a runaway clump of mildewing dryer lint? You could probably live happily ever after with Ed and his limp libido if only he'd allow you the occasional man-snack. But, no ... Ed has it his way and you have only your cuticles to gnaw on ... all the way up to your elbows. Assuming you continue to steer clear of alternate service stations, you're left with three lame options for relief from 12 long years of sexual frustration: You, yourself, and a battery-operated lustbuster. It's do-me feminism turned do-myself feminism. Your alternatives are as follows: Spend the next 12 years hand-holding and teeth-gnashing with Ed; get him to give the problem one last shot (see below); or ditch him for a man who, when presented with a choice of mowing the lawn or getting naked and nasty with you, won't go running for John Deere. Present this to Ed as a relationship survival issue (as in, it ain't likely to survive under present conditions) and pack him off to a medical doctor. There are about 30 diseases, drug interactions and hormonal deficiencies that can cause unemployment down under. Maybe Ed has one or more. If the doc gives Ed a clean bill of health, his next step is the therapist's office. But not just any old therapist. Ed needs to see a sex therapist. Call a few regular therapists — ones who come highly recommended by people you trust — for referrals. If there's some deep, dark childhood secret keeping Ed's weenie in hiding, a sex therapist is the one to coax it out. If nothing shows in either doctor's office, you can either extend your sentence of being sexually single (but without slut privileges) for another 12 years, or shake hands goodbye with Ed and start your search for a boyfriend who doesn't need to be handcuffed to the bed to prevent him from diving under it.

Q: I’m a woman. About six weeks ago, I moved into a great apartment with a great male roommate. He's a very tactile person, and we enjoy the occasional massage. Recently, we found ourselves in bed together. We have an amazing physical connection. He believes that it's possible to care about one another and share ourselves sexually without making a boyfriend/girlfriend commitment. I thought I was open-minded, and I know I'm not ready for a relationship right now. But, my heart is feeling something very strong. Love? Am I more old-fashioned than I thought? Or is it perfectly normal to become attached? —Sharing More Than The Utilities

A: Falling for the roommate you've been bouncing the bedbugs with isn't exactly cause for the government to pick you up, strap you down and search your scalp for signs of antennae. But you know that. In asking what's "normal," you're hoping for a hall pass to do the same dumb thing a lot of other women do — look at a boy-toy through boyfriend-colored glasses the morning after. Well, you've come to the wrong place. The way I see it, you left your brain on your roomie's nightstand after your last romp and your hormones have run away with your body. Go collect your gray matter before you hurt yourself. He isn't boyfriend material and you aren't girlfriend material. If you can't play by those rules, keep to your own sheets. Got a problem? Write Amy Alkon, 171 Pier Ave., #280, Santa Monica, CA 90405, or e-mail [email protected]