You have to admit, it's a pretty good price.

For most of us, this is the last week of the fantasy regular season. Woe be to those who drafted poorly or suffered rashes of injuries without wise waiver-wire pick-ups. Lucky for us, though, sex and relationship problems are a year-round thing. Let’s get into it.

The first email today is included because the author trimmed down his initial submission from 8000 words. Eight. THOUSAND. I like to reward people with editing skills.

Dear KSK,
Sex/Relationships: After we graduated in 2007, my longterm college girlfriend and I went long distance when I got a job across the country and she stayed for grad school. Shortly thereafter, her mother, with whom she was very close, was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. The combination of the distance and her mother’s illness put a strain on the relationship that our combined immaturity couldn’t handle. The relationship dragged on in a weird state until her mother’s death in November last year.

Any time someone tells me about one of their friends’ parents dying, I can’t help but think of this scene in High Fidelity:

Barry: What’s up?
Rob: Laura’s dad died.
Barry: Oh drag. *takes bite of sandwich*

Because I’m insensitive, you see.

The time apart from her has actually been good for me, it’s given me a greater appreciation of the rare emotional and intellectual connection we had, and how I had taken her for granted. As the anniversary of her mother’s death approached, I kept thinking about how I had let her down (as a friend) when she needed me most. After not speaking for months, I wrote her an email sincerely apologizing for my behavior for the first time… she’d already sent me such an apology earlier this year. I think I needed to do that just for myself as a person – I do feel strongly about how badly I mistreated her. She was very receptive to my sentiments and we’ve started started emailing/gchatting fairly regularly, and she’s initiating her share of the communication. We’ve been friendly but guarded – catching up, sharing day to day stuff, and joking, but no talking about current romantic involvements or “us.”

She seems to be doing well and to have matured – I’m legitimately happy for her, she’s been through a lot. From what I’ve seen on Facebook, there might be another guy in the picture, but she’s in regular contact with me. How can I gauge where we stand and possibly propose that we see each other face-to-face again? Unfortunately, it’s a bi-coastal trip, so I can’t just ask her if she wants to get dinner. I don’t want to rush things, but it would need to fit her school schedule and she’ll have several weeks off in January (I’m crazy to even think about asking about NYE, right?). Should I be frank and just tell her that I’d really like to see her again (try not to sound like a desperate stalker and risk being shot down), or should I wait until I see an opportunity when/if discussion might turn to the topic for a more subtle recommendation (risk it never coming up)? Though I don’t want to be a a complete jerk, I’m inclined to be more bold. I don’t think I have much to lose with her at this point…

Don’t rush it. Don’t force it. One year after a break-up isn’t all that much in the grand scheme of things (I once took a college ex to a wedding five years after we’d broken up). Both of you are still very young and very far apart, and even though you’ve grown since the break-up, it probably hasn’t been enough to lay a strong framework for a transcontinental relationship.

Be patient. Let some more water go under the bridge. Eventually, one of you will pass by the other one for a wedding or a business trip or to see friends/family, and that will provide you with the excuse to see her.

Football: I don’t play FF, I waste enough time reading KSK and writing into the sexbag. However, I hope I have your sympathy (and gratitude, after what Moats did to Favre) as a Bills fan.
Thx Tho,
Stevie Johnson for Butterfingers (TM)

You’re a Bills fan? Drag. *takes bite of sandwich*

**********

Officially Licensed Fantasy Expert,
Football: To make the playoffs, I needed the team ahead of me to lose in our final regular season week, and I needed to win. The guy playing the guy I needed to lose had been starting injured players for a few weeks so I reached out and asked if he’d clean up his lineup. Surprisingly the guy logged back in, tweaked his roster, and won. Of course I blew it and lost so it didn’t matter anyway. Need a ruling though: was it a bitch move to contact the guy? In hindsight, I’m kinda feeling like it was and almost glad I lost if it settles the karmic bill.

I think you’re in the gray area. Some could argue that it’s a bitch move, but I think it falls within the boundaries of trying to make the playoffs. I mean, anyone could have prodded that guy all season to set his lineup; you were just the only one competitive enough to do it.

Sex: I can’t think of a question to which I shouldn’t already know the answer, so I offer this story: A friend of mine recently met, dated, and bedded pornstar Tiffany Rayne. Pornstars are people too, so it’s not all that remarkable, except for the fact that he’s a regular dude and they met at a coffee shop. I assumed pornstars only dated people connected to the industry or really rich guys. It’s made me believe the only thing I need to do to sleep with celebrities is visit more coffee shops in LA.
-Sean

I don’t know. I made the mistake of Googling her with the SafeSearch off, and I saw some things I really didn’t want to see. It took me a surprisingly long time to find a safe-for-work image of her, and it was from a website called Anal Hookers. So picking up Tiffany Rayne at the Coffee Bean isn’t exactly on par with, say, getting Rachel Bilson’s number outside Starbucks. I mean, yeah, he slept with a porn star, high five! But it seems a lot cooler in theory than in practice.

“Hey, wanna meet up tonight?”

“I can’t, I’m totally sore from work.”

Y’know?

**********

Dear KSK,
Fantasy First: This is the last week of the regular season, and I’m fighting for the last playoff spot. Basically, I need to win my game and have 1 other team (let’s call them Team A) lose in order to make the playoffs. The team I need to lose is playing the team that I would play in the first round of the playoffs (we’ll call this Team B). The owner of Team B has told me that in no uncertain terms that he doesn’t want me in the playoffs because my team is the highest scoring in the league (but very streaky) and he’s afraid to face me in the first round. I peeked at his lineup today, and he’s got a couple guys on the bench that should absolutely be playing this week. I fear that he is deliberately tanking this game to keep me out of the playoffs.

Ah, this is more or less the reverse of what we saw above.

There is some significant cash riding on this league, so I think everyone should have some integrity in playing hard and not tanking.

On the other hand, there’s significant cash riding on this league, so Team B would be wise to tank if you pose a larger threat to him.

What’s the correct way to handle this? Should I email the whole league and try to bring some pressure on him to play his best lineup? File a complaint with the commissioner? Or should I just break a bottle over his head and steal his wallet?

The correct way to handle this is to take your lumps like a man. Call him out if you want, but I get the feeling that anyone else who made the playoffs appreciates his savvy move.

In general, regarding this question and the one above, I say play to win. Pull off lopsided trades with stupid people. Help out your enemies’ enemies. Feed your opponents bad information. As long as you aren’t crossing the line into collusion, you’re playing fantasy football the right way.

Sex – I’ve been in a relationship for about 10 months with a really great girl, but it’s not working for me anymore. She has had a rough go lately (tough divorce, money problems, health issues, and her dad has cancer) so I hate to pile on by dumping her. Do I just break it off clean, or do I suffer through a couple more months until she’s in a better place to handle a breakup?
Sincerely,
I want my motherfucking cash

Ugh, that situation is BRUTAL. I’ve been in similar relationships twice, and both times it’s blown up in my face because I tried to be the so-called “nice guy” and not make their lives worse when they’re going through tough times. But the thing is, staying and trying to help her out isn’t being a nice guy, because you’re leading her on. In fact, if you give her enough support and help her through all these hard times, it will probably just make her like you MORE, which will make the break-up even worse for her when you finally get around to it.

Sorry, but the best thing to do — for you AND her — is to get out now. Don’t delay. Trust me, I wouldn’t want anyone to go through anything like the break-ups I waited to have.

**********

Uff,
I’m a college junior and am currently spending a lot of time with a girl who I really like. We’ve been hanging out for a semester and I’ve really liked getting to know her. She’s everything I look for in a girl: cute, outgoing, and would be great girlfriend. Two problems though, it seems like the time we spend is inconsistent. Meaning, some weeks we’ll hang out 2-3 times and talk all week and then the next week we don’t hang out or talk much. This is not due to me, she just has other priorities (school, work, visits home)

(fuckin’ other dudes)

and that’s fine. Winter break starts next week and I want to tell her how I feel about her to get the ball rolling and have some kind of confidence on where this is going. I have some reason to believe she is interested, but am not completely positive. However, I am sick of being in the doldrums and want to move things forward or get out of the picture.

The real question I have, is should I be this eager to get in a relationship in college. We’ve both been single for around two years, and I’ve really enjoyed my time having little responsibility. On the other hand, I am graduating next spring and feel like this is maybe I step I should take. I really like her, but don’t really want to get hurt. Is the proper step, maybe just telling her that I have feelings for her and that we should see where things go?
Thanks,
Confused on Commitment in College

College is certainly a great time to be single, but speaking from personal experience, you have the most (and best) sex when you actually have a girlfriend. Now, a girlfriend in college can be a downer — they can get in the way of playing video games and doing the Century Club — but it’s also a nice way to practice for the real world. Just like it’s a good idea to lose your virginity in high school so you have an idea of what to do in college, it’s good to try a relationship in college so you don’t wander into the real world having never practiced monogamy and emotional intimacy.

That said, you seem to be at the right spot with this girl to either step up into a relationship or get a clean break, and it’s really win-win. You can do the whole “Hey, I really like you, and I’d like to move toward a more committed relationship.” If she’s cool with that, then congratulations, you’ve got a girlfriend. Book a plane ticket for New Year’s so you can ring in 2011 with some sweet, sweet college ‘tang. If she doesn’t want to take the next step, then you don’t have to be anywhere near her for at least three weeks, you can go back to the fantastic life of being a single college student, and best of all: you don’t have to buy her a Christmas present. NICE!

**********

Mr. Captain Caveman & the freak-a-zoids @ KSK,
So I want to propose to my girlfriend. I don’t know what to do about an engagement ring. She’s definitely not the type of girl that needs/wants a huge rock to show off, but I don’t want her to be disappointed. She’s never made any direct comments about how it’s a waste of money spending $1000s on a ring, but she has told me she thought her friend was a bitch when her recently engaged friend had said in the past that she’d be “disappointed if [she] got less than 2 carets.”

Carats, actually. You really are new to this, huh?

And then when I think about “conflict” diamonds and horror stories about diamond miners being treated poorly and the thought that it’s an antiquated tradition and then the whole fact that the diamond engagement ring was a concoction of a marketing firm back in the early 20th century- it just all makes me really confused. Part of me thinks it’s all crap and then part of me thinks that if I don’t get her something expensive then she’ll miss out on…some part of being a woman or something? But then another part knows that she’s the type of person that would rather spend money on experiences and travel than material things. So what should I do?

The only idea I’ve had is to get a cheaper (< $1k) beautiful but decidedly non-traditional ring and saying that the money that I could have used I set aside for our Honeymoon trip. Is that a good idea? Or should I hunt for cheap rings at estate sale or take up graverobbing or set up a heist of my parent’s jewelry shop like the movie “Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead”? (Underrated movie especially if you’re a Marisa Tomei fan- she’s topless during 95% of her screen time)

I have a friend — he comments here at KSK, actually; perhaps he’ll chip in his two cents — who got his now-wife a second-hand star sapphire, and she’s very pleased that she has something that (a) didn’t destroy their finances or (b) result in the death of African children. Since your girl seems to be somewhat nontraditional in the Sparkly Bauble Department, I think you can probably talk to her about what kind of ring she wants. It lessens the surprise when you pop the question, of course, but it ensures that she’s happy with what she’s wearing and you’re both comfortable with where your money’s going.

For any other poor SOBs looking to propose, I’d suggest poking around at BlueNile.com — you can learn everything you need to know about cut, clarity, color and all the specifics of what size diamonds cost how much.

Football – pick 2 of these bastards for my last two WR slots-
Santana Moss (vs. TB), Derrick Mason (@HOU), Davone Bess (@NYJ) or Lee Evans (vs. CLE)

Right now I’m leaning towards Mason & Moss. Decided not Bess because the Dolphins are playing the (probably pissed off) Jets and not Evans because he’s Lee Evans.
Thanks,
M

Concur.

**********

Purveyors of Prudence:
Fantasy: I’m 1st, 2nd, and 2nd in my three 12-person money leagues and feel confident that I’ll win at least two of them. In lieu of a question, I present to you a Fantasy Loss Pain Index. This entirely pointless pain index is ordered from most common to least common, because the more something happens the more you come to expect and prepare for it. If you lose for any one of these reasons, it pretty much makes you hate fantasy football.

10. Fullback or backup RB vultures a TD from your first round pick.
9. Starter gets injured on the first series of the game.
8. Detroit QB du jour throws a TD pass to a WR whose jersey reads “JOHNSON”. You get excited for 5 seconds and then the announcer yells, “TOUCHDOWN BRYANT JOHNSON!”
7. Mike Shanahan coaches one of your starting RBs, so inexplicably he’ll be declared active only to get two carries while some random practice squad RB finishes with 165 yards and 2 touchdowns (See: Williams, Keilland).
6. Your wide receiver catches a 40 yard pass then gets tackled or lands out of bounds at the one inch line. Some asshole fullback runs it into the end zone on the next play, and your WR finishes 4 for 63 with no TDs.
5. Your wide receiver beats his cornerback on a 60 yard bomb, only the corner tackles your WR in the end zone before he can make the catch; pass interference, 1st and goal on the 1, RB pounds it in the next play. Zero points for your guy even though he did all the work.
4. Due to excellent drafting or midseason improvement in performance, you end up with two number one QBs on your roster (Say, Matt Cassel and Tom Brady). Brady’s going up against the #1 defense in the league, Cassel against a shitty NFC West defense. You bench Brady in favor of Cassel due to the match-ups and performance trends, only to watch Brady rack up 300 yards and 4TDs on your bench. (I’m pretty sure every fantasy owner learns some version of this lesson the hard way.)
3. You start Santana Moss and watch him return a kickoff for a TD. You’re freaking PUMPED about it, until you check your league and realize that not only do your scoring settings fail to credit return yardage, the Redskins D/ST, whom your opponent is starting, has been awarded six points for the TD.
2. Gary Kubiak benches Arian Foster without telling anyone, and halfway through the first quarter you find yourself asking, “Why is Derrick Ward getting all the carries? Arian is healthy right? Did he get arrested or kidnapped on the way to the game and I missed it? No, he’s right there on the sideline in uniform! WHAT IS GOING ON?!?!” (I know he had a big week that week, but trust me, if he had been benched for the first half and finished the game with 12 carries and 25 yards, a fantasy owner would have found Gary Kubiak and fucking strangled him).

Corollary to that one: people didn’t start Kenny Britt because he was going to be suspended, then he gets 200 yards and 3 TDs in two and a half quarters.

1. DeSean Jackson spikes the ball on the one yard line before running into the end-zone in the middle of the fucking fantasy playoffs. As far as I’m concerned, DeSean owes me $300.

What’d I leave out?

Probably a lot of instances that would bore 98% of Americans.

BootKnocking: An old flame (819 on the area code rating scale if you’re familiar with it)

First digit: Face, rated 1-9. Second digit: Would you sleep with her? Yes = 1, No = 0. Last digit: body, rated 1-9.

Oh, and also: nobody gives a shit about your stupid rating. It’s been a while since I’ve needed to remind people that pictures are the only valid statement of attractiveness.

always had a boyfriend but we had crazy chemistry and it was inevitable that one night we’d get drunk and bang. Sure enough, last year her boyfriend left town for Christmas, we met up and had a dozen drinks too many and the next thing I knew we were horizontal. I distinctly remember her saying, “hold on, I have to go check something” before we got after it. I figured she was checking for her period or something, so I thought nothing of it, threw on the jim hat while she was in the bathroom and we had primal, animalistic type sex when she came out. I saw her again two weeks later, and it was the same routine; we had some drinks, she went to the bathroom for longer than seemed reasonable, then we had another marathon session. Then, she started crying. I asked what was wrong and she confessed that when she had been disappearing into the bathroom, she was checking to make sure she didn’t have any “breakouts.” For the readers out there, she said she contracted the dreaded herp after some guy with a questionable sore on his lip ate her out, and about a week later she experienced a full-on breakout.

Oh my gosh, a girl who regularly cheats on her boyfriend has an STD? Knock me over with a feather.

So be aware, because that shit TRAVELS. Now, words cannot describe how pissed I was in the aftermath. I pretty much cut off all contact with her for a month as I got tested and meticulously checked my dick for anything unusual about every six seconds. According to WebMD it can take up to 30 days for “symptoms” to appear, which felt like 30 days of waiting for the results of a home pregnancy test. It was horrible. After everything confirmed that I was in the clear, she called me a month later profusely apologizing and telling me that she hadn’t had a breakout in 3 years, she’s on medicine for it, the chances of passing the disease along to someone else are almost nonexistent if there are no visible sores in the landing area, and she really liked me and didn’t tell me because she didn’t want me to just up and bounce. I still was pissed off and grossed out, and we didn’t talk for a few months.

“How dare you be so careful as to not give me an STD!”

But remember, this all started because we have more natural chemistry around each other than either of us have experienced with anyone else, the sex was fucking incredible, and she’s hot. I’ve since gotten over what she did, she’s in law school and single now, and we’ve hit each other up on Facebook a few times. She’s coming to town for a week this month and I want to see her again, despite how dumb that sounds. This can’t be a unique situation. Anyone else ever dealt with a similar quandary? How’d you work it out?

-Playing With Fire

I’ll put myself out there: I’ve had an STD scare before. And I’m sure there are tons of people who’ve had similar experiences but who will never admit it because it opens you up to criticism and ridicule. Confronting someone about a possible STD is one of the most awkward and embarrassing things another human being can do, so fuck you for being such an asshole to that girl, regardless of how irresponsible she may have been. Welcome to the 21st century, people: if you’re out there having sex, you’re at risk for an STD. Don’t be surprised when that meteor comes into orbit.

Anyway, everything she’s told you is right (with treatment, outbreaks become increasingly rare after the first 12 months, and the chance of spreading it is close to zero unless there’s an outbreak), and we’ve handled the herpes issue numerous times in other mailbags, none of which I’m going to link to because you’re a long-winded braggart. But it sounds to me like you should meet up with her. I’d recommend apologizing to her about giving her the cold shoulder.