sleepless

Even though this is the height of the NFL Playoffs (see my previews and picks here), we’ve entered the period of the year where the KSK Sexbag slows down a little. Fewer people send questions, and those who do want to make a decision about keepers before the draft, or they’re law students in long-distance relationships. It’s hard to keep things fresh.

So I’m loosening up the reins on the subject matter. From now until the draft, the KSK Sex and Fantasy Football Mailbag will just be the KSK Mailbag. Ask me anything about anything: recipes, insects, haberdashery, movies, geology, carpentry, cocktails, you name it. Of course, I’ll always favor the sex/fantasy doubleheader (while avoiding religion and politics), but otherwise any topic is fair game. If I don’t have an answer, I’ll Google it or ask smarter people until I have something satisfactory to you.

So email us any time about anything. Even if it’s about your wife dying.

Hi Captain,
Fantasy Football: Is it too early to think about keepers?

It’s never too early to think about them, but it’s certainly better to wait until after free agency and the draft.

Two of the leagues are auction keeper leagues, and we get to keep a player for his initial draft price, unless he was a FA at any point, in which case the keeper cost is 10 dollars (total budget is 200).

In League 1, my options are Donald Brown, Terrance Williams, and Marvin Jones (all at 10 dollars). I’m leaning towards Brown, since Richardson is woefully unproductive, though with Miles Austin’s impending release I feel like Williams might be a good bet.

Too early to tell on that. Remember: Richardson has been with two NFL teams in two years. I’m certainly not high on him, but he has the physical talent to be a good running back. The question is whether he can be coached up to that level — or even just a level where he ends up in a time-share situation with Brown. For that reason, I think Williams is the best option at this moment. Austin’s as good as gone, and Jason Witten showed signs of slowing down this season.

(Jones shows plenty of potential as well, but the crowd of receivers behind AJ Green — Mohammed Sanu, Andrew Hawkins, plus two TEs and Gio Bernard out of the backfield — suggests he won’t be a reliable play in fantasy.)

In League 2, my options are Joique Bell, Andre Ellington, and Riley Cooper (all at 10 dollars). Leaning towards Ellington, as Bell only gets good numbers when Reggie Bush isn’t playing, but Riley Cooper has Nick Foles throwing to him. Maclin is coming back, but after ACL surgery might not be a big threat to Cooper’s job. What do you think?

Ellington. Rashard Mendenhall’s legs will tragically turn to dust this offseason. Sad, but we’ve seen it coming for years.

Sex/Relationship: I’ve been with my girlfriend a little over two years. We’re doing well, but it’s starting to get to the point where we aren’t having that much sex and are getting complacent with each other, almost as if the physical attraction is fading. I’m pretty serious about her and would like to keep this going. Any ideas on how to keep the spark alive? This is also something I’d be willing to seek actual counseling on.

I assume you’re living together? When you first move in with someone you’re dating, it’s a boon to your sex life. You’re like, “We can fuck any time!” and so you do. But after a while, it becomes more like, “Eh, we can fuck any time,” and so you don’t. Plus there are all the unsexy realities of living together — chores, bills, various little peccadilloes you never noticed until she was became your roommate. In short, it’s natural for the sex to taper off a little. I wouldn’t worry about the attraction fading unless one of you has put on a lot of weight or you grew a goatee.

Like a lot of other things in a relationship, maintaining your sex life takes open, honest communication — and work. Talk to her about your concerns; she’d probably like to be getting laid more, too. Once you’re on the same page, you can go about putting together a plan to have more sex. (Yes, sex sometimes takes PLANNING. Even if the plan is “let’s be more spontaneous about sex.”)

You know how a lot of couples talk about “date night” and it sounds super lame? It’s because two adults in a relationship can straight-up forget about romance. Jobs get in the way. Kids take over your lives. Shit, sometimes you’d both rather put on sweatpants and binge-watch “Orange is the New Black” on Netflix (highly recommended, btw). A lot of couples need a dedicated night where they get dressed up for each other, go out to a nice dinner, and remember, “Whoa, I miss fucking this person I live with!” Humans are weird.

Also, I watched Jack Reacher on Netflix the other day, and wow, does Rosamund Pike really like to distract us with her breasts.
Bert Macklin, FBI

I watched Jack Reacher on an airplane a while back. Some thoughts:

  • I don’t think original source material is holy or anything, but don’t give a straight-up middle finger to fans of that material. To wit: if the books describe Jack Reacher as 6-5 and 230 pounds with icy blue eyes and dirty blond hair, maybe Tom Cruise isn’t the guy for the part. It’s like casting Keanu Reeves as Gandalf, or as an Asian guy. Wait, WHAT?
  • Someone’s going to click on that link and be all, “Actually, Keanu Reeves plays someone who’s only HALF Japanese in 47 Ronin.” Does that feel good? To deflate a throwaway joke with a fact nobody cares about? Nobody likes you. Go away.
  • Back to Jack Reacher: talk about a rush job on characterization. Rosamund Pike’s breasts are the only thing remotely three-dimensional about her character.
  • Ay yo writers: a single male character who chooses not to sleep with a sexy female character doesn’t make the make the male character admirable. It just jars the suspension of disbelief. “The fuck’s wrong with this guy?”

Anyway, don’t watch Jack Reacher unless you’re on an airplane or dating Rosamund Pike.

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Howdy sir,
Fantasy football first: my friends and I are starting a dynasty league and have agreed on almost everything except QB value (0.5 PPR, so there’s added value in RB/WR/TE). Some think QBs should get the standard four points per passing touchdown. There’s another faction that prefers six-point passing touchdowns. Still another segment believes we should add points for completions and subtract for incompletions (something like +0.75 for completions and -1 for incompletions). I’m curious what your opinion is on the matter.

I know that I advocate for 4-point touchdowns around here, but my favorite and most competitive league actually awards 4.5 points per passing TD and -1.5 per INT (same as a lost fumble). I ordinarily wouldn’t try to sell you on that, but it happens to be a 0.5 PPR league, so I thought you might be interested. Maybe that works for league, maybe not. Maybe you have to compromise with 5-point passing TDs.

Regarding points for completions and incompletions, c’mon. No. Don’t do that.

With fantasy, the deeper it gets its hooks into you, the more you’re going to want to tweak the settings to satisfy your high. PPR. Yardage bonuses. IDP. Auction. Dynasty. AUCTION DYNASTY. It’s an addictive drug, and you don’t want to build up too much tolerance.

You need to treat your fantasy habit responsibly. Don’t let enablers get you hooked on the hard stuff. You know how you can go to a party, and talk to pretty much any dude (and a lot of ladies) about fantasy football while you drink a beer? That’s totally normal. But tell that same stranger about your 0.75 point per completion and -1 point for incompletion dynasty league, and you may as well be freebasing while you describe it. They will identify you, perhaps rightly, as someone with a problem.

Here’s the thing: a simple fantasy football league is GREAT. You don’t need to make a million tweaks to it in order to make it more accurate or more fun. Like, you’re already starting a dynasty league. You’re in that shit for years, maybe DECADES. Don’t fuck it up with too many extras. That’s  like having a lifetime supply of bourbon and putting horse tranquilizers in each bottle.

Sex: my wife and I have been trying to have a baby since April. We haven’t had any luck yet, and it feels like the stress of being unsuccessful so far has led my wife to be less interested in sexy time. I’ve tried the usual methods like flowers, clean the house, backrub, etc., but the frequency of our attempts still seems to be waning.

I understand this is super stressful for her and was wondering if you (or the readers) might have any advice on ways I can help her reduce her stress in this area. Thanks for your help!
Sincerely,
Firebert (not a good commando name)

I have a friend who’s finally a first-time father after he tried to get his wife pregnant for TWO YEARS. When I spoke to him after she finally got pregnant, the man I talked to was a man who hadn’t enjoyed sex in a long time. There were doctor visits galore, surgeries discussed, biological clocks watched, various sticks peed on, and every month a condensed schedule of intercourse that was barely more than fluid exchange, followed by disappointment and creeping despair.

What I’m saying is: shit yeah your wife is stressed, and realistically, she’s probably going to stay that way until she gets pregnant. You and your wife have opened yourselves to the idea of wanting children, and as long as you want a baby but aren’t having one, there’s going to be stress. Until that point, I recommend doing whatever your doctor suggests, plus maybe some acupuncture (most acupuncturists have special treatments for fertility, and everyone I know who’s tried it has loved it), a professional massage, and whatever else calms or distracts her: yoga, meditation, Zoloft, homeopathic remedies, starting flame wars on mommy blogs. Whatever gets her to the next cycle.

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Uff:
I’m anxiously awaiting Alabama’s Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix to declare for the draft, not because I know/give a fuck if he’ll be a viable NFL safety, but because he’ll usurp Priest Holmes for the best fucking name in the history of sport. While Priest Holmes sounds as if he’s dune buggy driving vigilante in a post-apocalyptic hellscape (who also gets pussy on the reg), Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix wins out of pure comedic value. I mean his name is its own self contained multi-tiered joke that even reminds you to fucking laugh! It’s a fucking transcendental NFL name, and I’m positively giddy at the prospect of hearing Chris Collinsworth slur his way through it in the near future. Am I right or is there a better name in the NFL?
-Rhinocerous DP

Ha Ha Clinton-Dix will definitely make the short list of all-time NFL names, but Priest Holmes? Really? I mean, it’s a good name, sure. But to say he has the best name in the history of sport is like saying Alex Smith is the best quarterback in NFL history. Right now the NFL has sterling names like D’Brickashaw Ferguson, Barkevious Mingo, Richie Incognito, Guy Whimper, and Bacarri Rambo. Open it up to NFL history, and there’s so much more. I mean, Dick Butkus! Sure, we all laughed at that back in 5th grade, but that doesn’t change the fact that his name is basically Penis Butt Kiss.

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Dear KSK,
I’m 30 and my wife of two years died May 2010 of a brain aneurism.

Yikes.

/cracks open bottle of whiskey

As you would imagine I was at rock bottom for a couple of years there with nothing but my thoughts, pity, and Irish whiskey. However in this past year I’ve begun picking myself back up. I’ve moved from my hometown and switched jobs and everything has been going pretty well. I have a great group of friends who have set me up a couple of different times with very nice ladies. The problem is it never gets past the first casual date because as soon as they find about my wife the conversation dives straight to a pity party. It becomes nothing but condolence after condolence and when I try to take the conversation back to first date stuff there’s always more questions about my wife.

I want you to know that I have written and deleted three different quips about how those women were eager to have sex with you. That was insensitive of me, and I want to express to you how sorry I am for your terrible, tragic loss.

Being 30 and not say 22, the question of have you been married comes up fairly quickly. So just looking for little suggestions to try to not make every girl I talk too make me out to be the saddest story ever. I know in the movies my situation would seem to favor my luck with my future endeavors but back in reality it leads to some very awkward situations. Thanks in advance for any help.
-Taylor in Dallas

I’m in a tough spot here. Everything I know about widowers finding new love comes from Dan in Real Life, Love Actually, Sleepless in Seattle, The Sound of Music, Jersey Girl, The Holiday, Last Tango in Paris, Monster’s Ball, and The American President. Just kidding! I never saw Jersey Girl. (Or The Holiday, for that matter.)

For real, though, those are only the movies about widowers getting laid. I didn’t even get into TV shows or movies where the loss of a wife is a plot device (‘Sup, Finding Nemo). I suppose it’s possible you’ve found some small comfort in Hollywood portraying your situation so many times, but it seems more likely that those movies gloss over the persistent stain of grief in your life, something that won’t be corrected over the course of a two-hour movie.

I can’t even pretend to know what you’ve been through, but I am familiar with having an uncommon experience that (a) people don’t understand and (b) generally makes for bad conversation. When strangers get surprised that normal-looking, regular ol’ me was in Iraq, the conversation  ranges from the limply vague (“What was that like?”) to the brazenly specific (“Did you kill anyone?”) to the awkwardly grateful. I’m sure women’s reactions to learning of your wife’s death are even more uncomfortable for you.

But that experience, however sad, is an unusual and striking part of you. You’re probably the only young widower people will ever meet: a 1993 New York Times article pegged the number of widowers aged 20-44 at 133,000, or .05% of the American population. Apply that rate to today’s population, and the average person is 130 times more likely to meet a veteran than a young widower. ONE HUNDRED THIRTY. You’re a rare bird. People are going to be curious, even if they want to be polite (or want to fuck you).

So, given that you’re going to garner interest, the onus is on you to tell them what they want to know while moving the conversation to another topic without appearing brusque, awkward, or sad. Personally, when people ask me about war and my friends dying, I have a script that I can fall back on, a mix of clichés and insights that’s honest but not too forthcoming, and I typically end it with “…it’s given me a lot of perspective, and I’m just really grateful to be here now with a great job in one of the greatest cities in the world.” With that last sentence, I put a positive spin on a downer conversation while offering two potential segues (my present job and New York City) for the conversation’s next topic.

And you can do that, too. Or hell, be creative and have fun with it:

  • “I appreciate you trying to mine the depths of my sadness, but I don’t cry on the first date.”
  • “Obviously, it was the worst thing that ever happened to me. But I won’t lie, it’s a pretty good icebreaker.”
  • “You ever break up with someone, then delete their number, unfriend them on Facebook, and unfollow them on Instagram? It’s like that, except without the chance of running into them at the grocery store.”
  • “I understand that talking about my dead wife is a huge turn-on, but I have a policy of not discussing her with anyone I haven’t slept with. It’s what she would want.”

Okay, so maybe none of those. But find something that works for you, because you’re going to get asked about it whether you like it or not.