Q I'm a 23-year-old female college student whose life consists of going to class and going to the gym. I got hurt in my last relationship, so I've been staying away from dating for a while. I'm attractive and I notice guys checking me out---making the gym a second home does have benefits!---but I'm afraid I come off as unapproachable. I've noticed this fine guy at the gym. From the way he looks at me, I can tell he's interested, but I have no idea why he hasn't approached me. We make a lot of eye contact while we work out and some days he'll walk by my treadmill and awkwardly smile, but we've talked only once. Is he shy? Should I try to talk to him again? How can I come off as more approachable? I'm finding myself obsessing over him, but the more I do, the more pathetic I feel. —Pathetic Shy Girl With A Crush
A We'll get to your issues in a moment, PSGWAC, but first...
Don't you hate it when you're working on a column that's way overdue and you have a horrible headache and you grab the bottle of pills from your suitcase---a travel selection of Excedrins, Advils and 222s---and you pour the pills into your hand and pick out a couple of 222s (they're the ones that don't have an "E" on them and aren't green) and you toss the 222s in your mouth while you click through a few emails and then nearly choke to death?
Don't you hate that?
And don't you hate it even more when you're sitting there wondering how you nearly choked to death on a couple of 222s---they're skinny! You conquered that gag reflex in middle school!---and then you remember that your boyfriend put four of his massive, easy-to-choke-on Vicodins in with your pills the last time he came along on a trip?
Don't you hate that?
OK, I had better get to it, huh? Soon I won't be fit to operate the remote for the TV in my hotel room much less dole out sex advice to my love-, clue- and orgasm-lorn readers. But before we begin: My apologies to anyone unlucky enough to find their letter in this week's column.
OK, PSGWAC, a lot of guys, fine and otherwise, have been led to believe that hitting on girls who aren't in bars or on personals websites is tantamount to sexual harassment. Because, you see, for the last 20 years, fine and otherwise guys have been told that it's not nice to hit on girls at work, on the bus, at the gym or in class. Girls are still getting hit on at work, on the bus, at the gym and in class, of course, just not by nice guys. The guys who approach girls at work, on the bus, et cetera, are, for the most part, fine and otherwise assholes.
So I'm thinking Fine Boy is either a nice, polite, clueless straight dude who doesn't want to make you feel uncomfortable, or he's a fag who stares because he thinks your skin is flawless and is sincerely curious about what product you use in your hair.
Here's how you find out whether Fine Boy is straight and polite or gay and product-curious: Approach Fine Boy---take it from me, nothing makes you seem more approachable than physically approaching someone---and tell him you'd love to hang out sometime outside the gym or outside your clothes and see what he says.
Q I'm gay but I'm just a normal guy. The most stereotypical thing about me is that I'm a musical-theatre major. But I can fix a car, I don't enjoy dancing, I hate the bar scene and I never use the word "fabulous." I'm not attracted to faggy men. Can you assure me that there are non-faggy gay men out there? —Straight Actor
A There are no non-faggy gay men out there, SA. Or there are no other non-faggy gay men out there, I should say, because you're non-faggy---I'm taking your word for it, SA---and there you are, all non-faggy and majoring in musical theatre! But there may be a few homos out there masculine enough to meet with your approval. Look around the tech department of your theatre program, SA, and if you see someone in paint-spattered jeans, carrying a power tool, with a pack of smokes tucked in a back pocket, ask that butch dyke out. She's your only hope.
Q I've been with my husband for eight years. When we met, he weighed about 140 pounds. Since then, he's ballooned to 230 pounds! I know I should just be a grown-up and tell him that it would improve our sex life if he lost the weight. But I am a recovering anorexic. My husband knows and has been nothing short of wonderful, understanding and caring about it since the beginning. Due to my issues, he would never make a disparaging comment about my weight---so how can I make one about his? But his weight is killing my desire for him! It feels so horrible and shallow to say, but I just want to be fucked by someone who isn't so fat. He's great in every other aspect, except for his weight. I'm at the point where I'm about to take up an invitation from an ex in town for the weekend just so I can have sex with someone who doesn't have a belly. Is it wrong for me to ask my husband to lose the weight after everything I've put him through with my own issues? —Former Annie-Rexic
A Presumably, your husband wouldn't hesitate to speak up if you began starving yourself to death again, FAR, so I don't---in my condition---see why you shouldn't hesitate to speak up now that he's eating himself to death. Unless, of course, that would tear open your food-related wounds. So speak up. Thank him, once again, for the way he's supported your efforts to keep the weight on and explain how you're going to support his efforts to take the weight off.
Q I am a woman in my early 20s and I have been in a happy relationship for years. My boyfriend has a foot fetish, and I have no problem doing what satisfies him. The problem is that the same is not true for him. He doesn't like sex at all, and he's barely even tried to go down on me. He has never come during intercourse. It's as if he is repulsed by my vagina. I should also mention that, unlike other foot fetishists, he enjoys being in control, i.e., tying me up, holding me down. Is there anything I can do to make sex more enticing and enjoyable? —Starting To Get Fed Up
A Have it with someone else.