Sept. 28 2011 12:00 AM

Girl with a wait problem & Meet Joe Blackberry


Q: I met a really great girl before deploying to
Iraq. We’ve gotten as close as two people can while physically
separate, but she is sexually frustrated to the max and wants to have
an unemotional hookup. She suggests we each have a “last fling” before
we start our relationship (when my deployment ends in 60 days). Well,
I’m in an all-male unit, and when I’m home, I want to be with her.
She’s attending a wedding this weekend (single guys, hotel rooms, open
bar, etc.). She says not to worry, but I know how much she wants this.
I just fear that any hookup she had might stick in my mind and keep me
from giving her my very best. How can I encourage her to hang on a
little longer? Barring that, how do I get okay with this?


A: Oh, yay. You, too, are allowed a last fling.
And lucky you, you’ve got your pick of a bunch of big, dusty, sweaty
men in camouflage pants. There’s no open bar, but there is an open
desert, stocked with a variety of IEDs. Luckily, this doesn’t stop
groups of young single females from wandering past the base, but the
old bearded goatherd urging them on with a stick surely frowns on
interspecies hookups. 

Probably many readers’ first thought is, “Jeez, the guy’s
off in a war zone. Can’t Miss Ants In Her Panties keep her legs crossed
for another 60 days?” The truth is, maybe not, no matter what you say.
The question is, can you deal? It may help to understand why you feel
so threatened. Your feelings go way back, and I mean way. Like 1.8
million years, to genetic adaptations that helped our male forebears
guard against paternity uncertainty. Today, figuring out who a kid’s
daddy is just takes a DNA test, and birth control can eliminate the
question entirely. These vintage genes of ours are the problem. We’re
wandering around the latter part of 2011 biologically and
psychologically calibrated for life in the Stone Age, and complex
cognitive adaptations like “Yo, DNA! In 1951, Carl Djerassi invented
The Pill!” take hundreds or thousands of generations to get wired in.

It might help to recognize that sex isn’t special —
or isn’t necessarily special. Insects have sex, and not because one
particular bug means more to them than any other, but because the urge
to get it on is just one of many physical urges of living critters,
like the urge to eat lunch. Yeah, okay, on a realistic note, you’d
probably feel a lot less hurt and threatened if she were talking about
some guy at the wedding slipping her a roast beef sandwich. 

Still, assuming there’s no pregnancy, disease, or
continued attachment, yesterday’s sex act is no more relevant than
yesterday’s lunch. What gives it relevance is the importance you decide
to place on it. Can you see this hookup as something she just needs to
check off her single-girl bucket list? Or, will you preserve whatever
happens like a fossil in amber, poisoning your potential future
together with a never-ending symposium on a tiny bit of her past? To
start fresh together, it’s probably wise to have a “what happens at the
wedding stays at the wedding” policy. This way, you’ll lack the details
(if any) to make a dirty little movie you can run on a loop in your head — which may keep you from making the mistake so many jealous men do: turning their woman’s forgettable drunken hookup before they were even a couple into the most unforgettable sex she’s ever had.

Q: This
girl I’ve been dating for a couple months really likes me, but I’m not
feeling it. Because we’ve done a lot of texting, I’m thinking of
breaking up with her by text. It would be a lot less uncomfortable. 


A: Getting dumped is bad enough; it’s worse when your soon-to-be-ex not only won’t spare you face-time to do
it but stiffs you on vowels. (If your girlfriend doesn’t have unlimited
text messaging, it could even cost her 20 cents to find out “its ovr.”)
Smartphones make life easier, but not everything in life should be.
Once you’ve spent more than a few naked hours with somebody, you can
text them to tell them you’re late, but not that you’re never coming back. As for this girl, even though you’re “not feeling it,” breaking up in person will be hard
for you, and she’ll see that, making the experience less dignity-eating
than if you used your phone as a buffer. In other words, compassion, not cellphone technology, should be driving your breakup behavior. But, if compassion’s not really your thing, at least consider your text messaging limits, and maybe keep your phone in your pocket and program your Roomba to go tell her it’s over.