mailbag-japan

Here we are again. Due to a large number of compelling questions — some of them left over from last week –  this mailbag tips the scales at 5300+ words, which isn’t quite Easterbrookian, but is definitely walking in Simmons territory. So let’s dispense with the introduction and get right to it. This is gonna be a long haul.

Sex first. I’ve found myself in a relationship with a girl I am very happy with. She is exactly my type, smart, funny, easy to hang out with, not even remotely crazy (that I can tell) and seems to really be into me. However, our world views are complete opposites. I.E. she loves Hillary and I campaigned for McCain. She was an english major, I’m an engineer. Etc. As a guy who, at the age of 25, never had a relationship longer than a couple months the fact that we’ve been dating for several months and it looks like it might be a long term deal has me a little nervous and scared that my doubts are just me trying to sabotage it subconsciously. But nothing I can’t handle right?

But…?

But here is the kicker. She has herpes. Yup. The gift that keeps on giving. And as of this letter I do not and want to keep it that way. Now I’ve done my research. it’s just a skin rash. Pops in and out a couple times a year. Nothing too bothersome realistically. As long as she stays on her meds and I use a condom the odds of my catching it are the same as me knocking her up. When she first told me about it (about a month into the relationship and before we got intimate) I told her that I cared about her, thought we had potential, and was willing to see where it went. Now, several months later, I can’t seem to get it out of my head. I’m at the point where I think I might love her which is a pretty big deal for me. But the voice in my head is occasionally telling me to cut and run before I catch the herp. What say you?

Well, you’ve laid a lot on the table here. First, let’s address the whole James Carville-Mary Matalin thing. The English major/engineering major divide is B.S., and I suspect you know that. My sister (women’s studies/poli sci) is happily married to an aeronautical engineer, and mother (political science) has been married to my father (chemistry) for 35+ years. I’m sure everyone else has other examples at their fingertips, so I won’t go on about that.

Second: politics. Here in liberal-ass New York City, I meet a lot of assholes who are all, “I could never date a Republican.” Well, fuck them and their narrow worldview. You, at least, are willing to give it a shot, so good for you. Frankly, I think a bipartisan relationship can work, but it depends on how closely you associate your values with your political ideology. Sure, you can disagree on taxes — big deal. But let’s say — this is strictly hypothetical — you think public schools mismanage their money, and therefore should have their funding severed. Well, there’s a chance that the liberal in her might see that as callous. Suddenly, the issue may not be taxes, but where you expect YOUR hypothetical future children to go to school. Whether or not that divide exists is up to you and your girl.

And finally, the herpes. We’ve gotten enough herpes questions over the months that I actually asked an a old friend — a REAL DOCTOR — about it. And he’s a Navy doctor, so you KNOW he knows about STDs. And frankly, he practically blew me off. As a single person, the prospect of herpes may sound terrifying, but to a doctor — someone who deals with life-threatening issues on the regular — it barely keeps their attention. According to the good doctor, herpes is spread mostly in the first year of a person’s infection. During those first 12 months, it’s not uncommon for the host to suffer 6-8 outbreaks, but the “dangerous” period of that year is the 30-50 days where there are no symptoms but the virus is “shedding” — on the skin and able to transfer to a sexual partner. (Those stats are for patients NOT on medication, btw.) After the first year, the threat of infection drops so much that daily medication like Valtrex doesn’t even have proven long-term benefits — its only use comes in helping subdue the occasional outbreak.

So, make of that what you will. Personally, it seems like your priority is not catching herpes, rather than strengthening the bond you have with your girlfriend. Maybe you have your priorities messed up, or maybe you’re hung up on a deal-breaker. It’s up to you which one it is.

On to football: As a diehard college football fan it is tough for me to get into one specific team in the pros. I tend to root for my ex-college players and against our rivals ex-players. That being said is it wrong for me to pick and chose teams for a season to root for? Basically go with whatever team is most entertaining for me at the time. Does this make me a douche?
-Herp Free (For Now)

I don’t think it makes you a douchebag. Who can argue with pulling for the Saints this year? That team was just about as likable and exciting as you’ll see in the NFL.

Put it this way: if I meet random person X in a bar on Sunday afternoon, I might say, “Who’s your team?” And if that person responded, “Well, I’m mainly into college — I’m a huge [Georgia/Michigan/Oregon/whatever] fan, but I’m pulling for the Jets this year because I love Rex Ryan and that defense,” well, how can I find fault with that? You’re honest in liking what you like, and you’ve demonstrated enough respect for the pro game to choose someone to root for. Go forth, casual fan. Enjoy not being suicidal when your team shits the bed in the playoffs.

Dear Gurus of the Gridiron, [Ed. note: this is from a woman]
Football- I have a fantasy situation I don’t know how to handle. I have always played in just regular draft leagues but have “helped” my guy buddy in his keeper league for a few years, with really this year me running the team for him due to his work schedule and ended up taking second. This league has been together for 6 years and now someone has dropped out. Guys in the league know I know my stuff, and have offered the spot to me, which is really cool but unfortunately the team was really mis-managed and so I am basically picking up a pile of shit with the only real bright spot in some back strength. I want to play in the league but its hard to be optimistic when your only way in is picking up the team who has lost the last 3 years in a row. I feel like I should get some kind of reparation for picking up and trying to turn it around, but I also don’t want to be labeled as the whiny bitch of the league or them to think I am asking for some kind of special treatment cause I am the only girl. I really don’t even know what would be fair and don’t want to step on toes already. Assistance, please!!

Hmm. Well, yes: I suppose you could demand the first overall pick or a compensatory lopsided trade with another owner (say, the buddy you helped out for the last few years?), but because you’re a girl, you’re looking at the likelihood of a double standard: any success you have that results from something that levels the playing field may be cause for the men to laugh off your success. I’d recommend biting the bullet and rebuilding that team from the ground up: if you struggle a little bit that first year, it will only lure the men into a false sense of security. If you’re hard up for a leg up, I’d suggest working a deal under the table with your friend that you helped out for so long.

Sexytime- basically I try to always adhere to the “never shit where you eat” policy as far as hooking up with co-workers because I have seen the trauma it can cause, and just know it is better not to get involved with people you are professionally linked to. With saying that, I’d like your take on personal trainers. I have went to a small local gym for months now, but just recently started having sessions with a trainer. He is my age, hot and flirty and def acts like he is interested but I wonder if he won’t ask me out since technically I am his client. Is he off limits to come on to, or can I go for it?
Thanks,
Ms. Fantasy Fucked

Go for it. He became a trainer to nail his clients anyway. Just make sure (a) he’s not gay, and (b) the workouts aren’t so good that you can’t get results like that with another trainer.

Greetings,
Fantasy: This isn’t really a question, mostly a fear of mine. I’m afraid the Vikings may actually be talking themselves into the Tebow pick. I could be totally off-base here, but I can’t think of anything less appealing to me in the 1st round than that guy. 2nd or 3rd round, maybe. But not a first. Not to mention the fact that I’m getting tired of having a quarterback that creates such vitriol amongst fans. I have nothing against him, personally, I just don’t want to have more of the same after Favre finally does hang it up next season. More articles and fan blogs pissing and moaning and hating on the QB because he’s too vocal about this, or not vocal enough about that. (The fact that he’s a Christian makes the commentary doubly hateful amongst the blogs that I read. They really hate Christians on the internets.) I have no big finish for that…I’m just terrified of that pick in the 1st round and I really really really hope he doesn’t drop.

It has very little to do with Christianity. Kurt Warner is an adamant Jesus freak, and he doesn’t get half the bile Tebow does. People hate Tebow because (a) his college accolades far exceed the perception of how his skills can translate to the NFL, (b) those accolades lead NFL “analysts” to laud the “winner” for his “intangibles,” and (c) Dan Shanoff. I love the guy, but dude needs a Tebow-ectomy.

Anyway, settle down and stop with the draft angst. There are 32 teams out there, and only one Tebow and one Clausen. Besides, no one gives a fuck except other Vikings fans.

Sex: I’ve been through one of those typical, heart wrenching, how-could-she-do-this-to-me-she-was-going-to-be-my-wife breakups last year. I’ve since gone on Zoloft and began to make the turnaround from weepy, sad motherfucker who sits in his room, to…well I’ve been smiling lately. (that’s a big step)

I don’t have to tell you that after a love life like I had and after the way it was shattered, I have no desire whatsoever to get into something serious again. I do, however, want to start getting some sex. I’ve never been the hook-up type as I lost my virginity to this girl (got started late in life) and we had an awesome sex life for the duration of the relationship. (3 years)

Since I went on the Z, I’ve hooked up with two girls in a fit of “I’m getting over you first” rage. It did not go well. In case you don’t know, Zoloft can cause impotence. I can get erections, but it’s not easy and if I lose it in the heat of passion it’s gone for the rest of the night.

This has been a MAJOR blow to my ego and my libido. So much so that I’m beginning to wonder if I should just go celibate for a while, despite the fact that I’m supposed to be in my sexual prime and I’ll never have a better chance to get freaky with a ton of twenty year olds than I will in the next few years. (I’m moving to Brooklyn and I dig hipster chicks BIG TIME)

Well, hipster chicks usually date skinny guys with long hair and narrow hips, so I can’t imagine they like hard penises. You should be set.

What do you think? Should I keep trying with the pressure of failing hanging over me, or should I give up on sex in the prime of my sexuality just because of a little thing like the occasional limp-dick?
Thank you ahead of time,
Goingnowherefast

I’ve got two thoughts here. The first, and simpler: if you can get a prescription for Zoloft, shouldn’t you be able to get a prescription for Viagra?

My second thought comes with the disclaimer that I’m not a doctor or a licensed professional of any sort: just how badly do you really need the Zoloft? I understand that clinical depression is a real problem for some people, but the brain is a vast electrochemical network that scientists and doctors have yet to fully understand. With a handful of exceptions, everyone I’ve ever known on antidepressants would have gotten better results from an active lifestyle, a good amount of sunshine, and a supportive network of friends (NOTE: this is my unprofessional opinion, and anyone is welcome to disagree). I wouldn’t dream of telling you to get off something that lifted you out of depression, but part of a normal human being’s happiness is a healthy sex life. You shouldn’t have to entertain the notion of celibacy during your sexual prime.

Cave:
Sex – So I have this girlfriend, who is just about perfect. We met online and dated long distance for 10 months, then I moved to Boston where she lives. She is funny, sweet, very smart, financially independent, amazingly supportive and treats me awesome. I love her and most of the time, I think I’m going to marry her. We’ve talked about where we’d like to live, kids, etc. Everyone assumes we are gonna get hitched and 80% of me wants that.

Here’s the problem: she’s overweight and plain-looking.

See, here’s where you and I differ. I don’t equate “just about perfect” with “overweight and plain-looking.”

Not ass-ugly, but below average (I, of course, tell her she’s gorgeous). This was easier to overlook when long-distance, but now that I see her every day, it’s disappointing and frustrating. She’s talked about losing weight, and have we’ve both made modest progress in that regard. She knows it’s important to me, and will try … but realistically, she’s got a big girl’s body, has been chunky her whole life, and she has two bad knees, which makes an active lifestyle iffy. She ain’t gonna suddenly become a workout fiend, and any kind of surgery is ruled out (FWIW, her mom is thin).

Is her mom single?

The sticking point with sex is that we’re not having any, as she is waiting for marriage (she is a virgin).

And the hits just keep on comin’!

I respect that, but it does make that whole dimension of the relationship an unknown. She’s heavy enough now to lessen my desire; and my fear is that in ten years I’ll be married to a hutt. Assessing my prospects, I know that, when you include the personality, I’m quite unlikely to do better (certainly not soon, and I’m 35 now). But part of me thinks I’d be better off alone at age 50, jerking it to porn in a rented room, than legally tied for the rest of my life to a woman who doesn’t get my dick hard. Any thoughts? God help me, I especially want to hear from any older dudes in the commentariat.

So what you’re saying is, you met an overweight virgin online, dated her long-distance and moved to be close to her without ever having sex with her, and aren’t attracted to her — but 80% of you wants to marry her? No, it sounds awesome. Go for it. And congratulations on your dick being 20% of you. You should consider going into porn.

Of course, I don’t mean to take your problem lightly. Your woman sounds like a genuinely terrific person, what with all of her personality traits being so stellar. But you have a very real and very genuine problem if you and your prospective life partner can’t generate some physical chemistry. And you’re right: she’s not gonna magically get fitter and more beautiful as the years go by.

As for being 35 and single, c’mon — you’re a man. It’s not like your ovaries are drying up. You shouldn’t feel like you need to settle because you’re getting older. And I shouldn’t need to tell that to a 35-year-old man.

FF: Dynasty league where everyone keeps 12 players. I’m set at RB and WR, but must choose 2 QBs from this grab-bag: Leinart, VY, Jason Campbell, Matt Moore. And no, there won’t be anything much better on the waiver wire.
- Hamlet

Ugh, what a disaster. *closes eyes, waves pointed finger around* Leinart and Young. Campbell might be steadier on a week-to-week basis, but I’ll take Young for his running and Leinart because I’m just delusional enough to think he has a higher ceiling.

Gentlemen,
Sex: I actually have two questions for you. One: I’ve been in a relationship for over four years. My Better Half is exactly that; sweet, caring, beautiful, and much nicer to me than I deserve. Despite all this, I haven’t been able to take the next step in the relationship, namely, moving in with her. I have yet to even give her a key to my apartment, which has been a point of contention for her. My friends tell me that I’m being an idiot, and are encouraging me to give living with her a shot. With the caveat that every relationship is unique, does the living together phobia lessen over time, or if it doesn’t go away after four years is it time to move on?

You’re being an idiot. The fuck are you waiting for? Shit or get off the pot.

Two: A close friend of mine recently broke up with his long term girlfriend for a number of reasons, but primarily due to the fact that he didn’t want to get married. The night after they broke up, he went to a local gentlemen’s establishment where he met a dancer and got her number. They went on a few dates over the next week, then she moved out of the state (apparently she was only in town for a month or so). She and my friend continued to speak often, and a month after she moved out of town he had paid for her to move back in the city with him. Less than two months after they met, my friend asked stripper to marry him. The wedding is scheduled for about one year from now, and I’m tagged to be the best man.

Nice! Maybe by then your girlfriend will have grown the balls to break up with you (the ones you don’t have), and you’ll have first dibs on her stripper friends!

Normally I take an “If they’re happy, I’m happy” approach to my friends’ relationships, but I’m having difficulty with this one. Part of the reason is that my friend was raised by his grandparents, and when his grandfather was passing away I promised to take care of my friend for him. As I can’t see a way where this relationship ends well, I feel torn between a promise I made to my friend’s grandfather and supporting my friend. Both my friend and his ex-stripper-now-fiancée have dropped hints that their relationship is not all wine and roses, but up to this point they have resisted the notion of postponing the wedding (I brought it up and it was not received well). She has stopped dancing, but she hasn’t started doing anything else (job, school, etc.) Besides the hints dropped of problems in the relationship (every relationship has problems), the speed of the engagement and lack of post-stripping ambition shown by the ex-stripper worry me. Am I overreacting or should I be more vocal with my concerns?

Ooohhh hoo hoooooooooooooo. This one is always brutal. “Do I say how I feel and save the person from a mistake, or shut my yap and let him find our himself?” Here’s the thing: you CAN’T save him. It’s not like he feels he’s going down the wrong road and needs an intervention; he’s in love. In situations like this, the only thing you can do is stand by him and support him as best you can.

Now, you’ve got a more compelling reason than the usual “That Johnny is bad news for our little Kate.” If you feel driven by a promise to a dying grandfather, then tell your friend everything that you put in the paragraph above. It may help him; it may not. It could either strengthen or help destroy your friendship. Who am I to know? As a friend, you have a right to tell him how you feel. And as a man, he has a right to marry whomever he chooses.

Football: Please tell me Crabtree isn’t the next JJ Stokes. Also, if the Yorks read this blog, please sell the fucking team before you destroy it any further.
Thanks Much,
YM

Actually, before last year’s draft, I remember seeing college stats and 40 times, and the closest comparison for Michael Crabtree was Larry Fitzgerald. I doubt he’ll be that good, but I’m fairly certain he’ll be better than Stokes.

KSK,
I’ll make this quick in case you get a lot of entries. I haven’t seen my girlfriend in three months since she’s been on an assignment for work, but she’s coming back next week. So I haven’t had sex since December. However, of course I’ve jacked off since then; I’d say five times a week more or less. So my question is should I abstain for the last week to build up my horniness for when she returns? The only reason I wouldn’t is that I’m probably a tad on the quick side. Not like ridiculously premature, since I normally get my girlfriend off at least once, but I’d say I last about 5-7 minutes each time (is that even quick, idk?). So if I haven’t come in a week that might, uh, speed things up…

If both people get off, sex is long enough. If you’re looking to build up for a massive volcanic eruption, I’d hold off on masturbating for 2-3 days before her arrival. Otherwise, I wouldn’t bother. After three months, you’ll be plenty horny.

Football: What do you think the fantasy impact of Larry Johnson and Clinton Portis now that they’re together/one year older.
-Horny in DC

I wouldn’t touch either of them. At all. Well, MAYBE Portis in the third round or later.

O Captain My Captain:
Sex: I have the opposite problem of the Karaoke Cuckold from a couple of weeks ago, who was put out that his wife danced with some dude at a bar. I have had a persistent fantasy involving my wife banging other guys in front of me. She is a good woman, and was not totally freaked out by this. In fact, she has incorporated it into her dirty-talking, and even engaged in cyber- and phone-sex with other guys that she trolls for online in her very laudable efforts to get me off. So, what’s the problem? She has reconnected with an old boyfriend, who lives 5 hours away.

Well, golly! Why would she go and do something like that?

He wants her to come for a visit, with the very explicit purpose of catching up with her in the Biblical sense (she’s told him about my fantasy). She wants to go, and would call me so that I can listen in on their freaknastiness.

Her generosity is touching.

I am somewhat conflicted. On one hand, it’s ultimate fulfillment of a fantasy that for a long time I was hesitant to even discuss. I almost blow a load just thinking about it. On the other hand…some dude is going to be banging my wife, for reals. But after a year and a half of taking about it, and roleplaying it, and reassuring her that I wasn’t looking to sleep with anyone else, and that she wouldn’t be cheating on me because I was telling her to do it, I can’t back out now, can I?

You are a strange, strange dude. And even though you’ve created this weird, awkward mess, you CAN still back out of it. Regardless of your sexual peccadilloes, you shouldn’t feel compelled to let your wife sleep with someone else — especially an old boyfriend.

Anyway, as much as this whole thing is incomprehensible to me, IF you let it happen, it needs to happen on YOUR terms. That means that your wife shouldn’t be running off to an ex-boyfriend 5 hours away to let you listen to her have sex with him — unless it’s your idea. If she’s banging someone else to get YOU off (seriously: still weird), shouldn’t it be with a guy and in a place that makes you comfortable?

Football: Who’s my keeper, Aaron Rodgers or Larry Fitzgerald?
Higgins

Wow. Tough one. I’d go with Rodgers, just because that dude throws for 300 yards every goddamn week and his situation is a little more stable. There are some question marks in the Cards’ offense now that his quarterback is Matt Leinart and Anquan Boldin’s a Raven.

I will keep this short:
Football – What do you prefer, point per reception or lower receiving yards per point? I feel like my league values WRs too highly, and I want to fix it, but not too much.

I’m in two leagues: a straight-up “10 yards rushing/receiving = 1 point” league, and one that has decimal scoring and 0.5 points per reception. I really like 0.5 PPR; I think it reflects fairly on the value of  pass-catching backs and the reality of more numerous wide receivers.

Sex – This one might be better for the ladies in the comments, but here it is: is buying a vibrator for my lady a good idea (let’s just assume she isnt a wicked prude). If so, what kind would be best? Should I pair it with a porn movie or book of erotica or something?
Thanks,
trying to please my lady, and my league owners

The best kind of sex toy to buy a woman is the kind that you buy together. If you’re new to introducing a little kink into the relationship, stick to lingerie or fuzzy handcuffs.

Dear Padishashs of Pussy,
Briefly, my wife wants me to let a teenage, female Japanese sex worker live with us. You’d like details I’d bet?

I dunno. I can make up some pretty awesome details in my head. The truth might ruin them.

Slightly longer story. I was stationed in Japan during my stint in the military. Alternated between getting in to fights with Japanese military personnel and floating around on a LHD getting into fights with Navy personnel, good times. Also met my wife there. Got married, came back to the States and did college (much love to the GI Bill). Settled down in America and life is good. I guess Japanese husbands typically stay out late, drink, smoke and try to screw the young waitresses at the bar. The fact that I come home at 6 pm, sober (90% of the time at least) and not smelling of some teenage girl’s perfume qualifies me as “Best Husband Ever” in her book.

According to Match.com, white men and Asian women are the most desirable partners. And now we know why.

The problem is her younger sister didn’t handle the entire “My dad is never home and has a mistresses my age” thing so well. My wife solved it by marrying a round eye and getting the hell out of the country. Her younger sister works as an escort, which also implies prostitute. My wife and her mother hit on the idea of sending the sister over here get her the hell out of the country and hopefully in to an American college of some sort. She’d move in with us, since we have a spare room. I want to stress I’m onboard with the general concept here. I never really got the Japanese class structure, but in general I picked up it was fairly strict and they can tell what class you’re from. When I’d go out with my wife people used to say shit to her and make snide little remarks, right up until they realized the giant white guy understood what they were saying to his girlfriend, then they suddenly became very polite so longs I was in earshot. It’s hell if Japanese society doesn’t like your social class, so I can fully back getting this girl out of that environment.

Didn’t really need the sidebar on Japanese class structure, but okay. Go on.

What has me worried is, I’m basically going from a 28 year old guy to the parent of a 19 year old teenage girl with issues and living in an alien culture. I have a lot of concerns over socializing her to American culture, getting her in college, all that shit. My big one though is she has daddy issues, she likes me and I’m the only guy she’ll likely be able to speak Japanese with and talk to about her home life. Maybe I’ve watched too many of the wrong movies,

Yeah, I’ve seen those movies, too. Mostly on RedTube.

but I can see her getting the wrong time of attachment her and not looking me as a surrogate father or older brother. I figured you guys are of course the go to do resource for dealing with Japanese sex workers and kids, so what kind of advice can you offer as to dealing with a kid that has these kinds of issues? I’m still debating if I even want to mention to my wife that her sister might have inappropriate views on how best to relate to me.

It’s a fair dilemma. Having your wife’s younger, barely legal sister would be enough of a mindfucking temptation to the average joe without her being a Japanese sex worker. At the same time, saving a family member from going down the demeaning and dangerous spiral of working in the sex trade is probably the right thing to do. All I can suggest is to tread cautiously. VERY cautiously.

“Welcome to Itchy and Scratchyland, where nothing can possib-lie go wrong. PossibLY go wrong. That’s the first thing that’s ever gone wrong.”

Football: What’s the rule on switching team allegiance if you’ve basically moved for life? I grew up outside of Seattle so I was Seahawks fan. Went overseas, stayed loyal to the Seahawks. I now live down in Miami and will be down here for a long time from the looks of it. No one around here gives a shit about the Seahawks, so I’ve started following the Dolphins so I can talk football with my friends when we drink and at work. So I’m up on who the locals want the Dolphins to draft, the QB situation, all that. Right now I claim to be a Seahawks fan, who simply follows the Dolphins out of respect to local traditions, but its kind of a lie. I still care about the Seahawks, but I feel like I only care them out of respect to my traditional rooting loyalties, while I have much more emotion invested in the Dolphins since I have a lot more exposure to the Dolphins now. Can I just drop the Seahawks entirely, or does that make me a horrible person?
Thanks,
Leonard Lawrence

You’re dead to me. I hope your sister-in-law does yoga in lingerie in your living room every day.