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I’m a manager at a suburban Starbucks coffee shop. It’s a job I’ve done efficiently and effectively for close to five years now. Recently I met this guy who is sort of a big shot lawyer at a prestigious Capitol Hill law firm. We hit it off, until he found out what I do for a living and decided he was looking for someone more "professional." I say I’ve been doing my job just as "professionally" as he does his. Other than that little elitist tic he’s got, he’s a great guy who I enjoy being with. How can I convince him that what I do is respectable? Or should I just accept that we’re in two different leagues and move on?
— Average Joe
Stop thinking like him. There are no leagues. If your job pays the bills and provides you with the lifestyle you have grown accustomed to, then it is not his concern. Falling in love must be with you — not the clothes you wear, the car you drive, or the job you hold. Trust me, I know lots of out-of-work attorneys who are waiting tables. Just do what makes you happy — life is too short for labels.
I’m totally confused about my virginity. I’m a 19-year-old male with lots of straight friends, and only a tiny amount of gay ones. I recently had my first boyfriend, but our relationship ended quite abruptly a week after I slept with him. Not wanting to delve too much into that, we only slept together once, and when we did, there wasn’t any…well, penetration.
Anyway, I talked with my friends, and mentioned that at least I was still a virgin. Half my straight friends (and all my gay ones) agreed that I was, and the other half said I wasn’t. Some say I’m not simply because I got naked with another guy, others say I have to penetrate or be penetrated. It’s just hard to define virginity when you’re a male. With girls, they just break, but with guys, it’s strictly speculation. Anyway, what’s your opinion? Will I be wearing white for my wedding day, or have I polluted my fountain of purity forever?
— Purely Confused
Honey, stop being so hung up on labels. Until you have experienced love, not simply sex, you are still a virgin. Sex becomes this great obstacle in our community. Being in love with someone is far more important than having your ass plowed. Well, usually. I am sure that by the time your wedding day rolls around, you’ll know in your heart what color your outfit needs to be.
My friends and I have an ongoing discussion, and we need your opinion. Which lady has been more influential to gay culture: Deborah Harry, Courtney Love or Britney Spears?
— D.C. Diva Lovers
None of those bitches are ladies. Ladies are people who have shaped our community by embracing it — like Bette, Martha Wash, Cher, etc. And women who had courage to reach out when it was not popular — Tallulah Bankhead, Bea Arthur, Princess Di, Mother Theresa. Those are ladies. Don’t get me wrong, I, too, find myself chanting, “Oops, I Did It Again,” without realizing it. But I don’t think Miss Thing with her trick pelvis will prove to have a lasting impact on my culture.
I am a proud gay man who’s been out since I was 17 (I’m 24 now). Over the years, I’ve had gay male friends, who, though they adamantly express their homo nature, frequently discuss their attraction to women. I always felt this was some bi-bullshit until I saw the movie Frida, and now I can’t stop having sex dreams about Salma Hayek (or the real-life Frida Kahlo for that matter)! Is this kind of reaction to extraordinarily beautiful women normal for gay men or am I merely a closet fence-sitter?Â Help!
— Pangs of Lust
Movies are to entertain and inspire. However, I’m not thinking that the inspiration you have can be attributed to a movie. I’ve never had a dream about having sex with a woman after seeing a movie. Open wounds and things — yuk! (And unibrows? Forget it.) But you may wish to experience all that the sexuality smorgasbord has to offer, so I say have it. The rule of life is this: You and only you will know what makes you happy. Find it and enjoy it!
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Have you ever lived (or spent much time) in a gay community that’s better than Washington‘s? I get so frustrated sometimes, because I feel like our scene can be so dull, vapid and repetitive — with a ratio of ten assholes to every halfway decent guy. I keep thinking there must be a Gay Nirvana out there somewhere — where people aren’t backstabbing, and there aren’t such strict lines drawn when it comes to race, gender and economics. Do you know of such a place, o wise Lena?
— Is This as Good as It Gets?
A gay community better than Washington? What do you mean by “better?” Our community is what you make of it, and what you are willing to put into it. When it’s lacking, it’s because we have not added all of our gifts and talents to it. Plus, the world-at-large is filled with people who are mean-spirited and snobbish — that isn’t something only the gay community suffers from. Your sense of frustration is understandable, but it’s something people encounter from time to time regardless of being gay. The key is to accentuate the positive and minimize the negative. I also recommend that you take a close look at what aspects of the gay community you surround yourself with. It could very well be that you’re in a rut and are only availing yourself of a fraction of what our wonderful community has to offer.
My boyfriend and I have been together for seven months, and he recently revealed to me that he has a “slightly” kinky side he’s been waiting to explore with someone he loves and trusts — as in me. Fine, I said — anything to make him happy. So over the past two weeks, I’ve been called upon (in various combinations and in no particular order) to tie him up, lead him around my apartment on a dog leash, spank him with a belt and some kind of leather crop thingy he bought, and refer to him exclusively as “my boy” when we’re in the bedroom. All of this doesn’t strike me as “slightly” kinky — it seems very kinky, and I can’t say that it really does much for me.
I mean, if he wants a few slaps on the ass before we do the deed, I can handle that. But Lena, he’s had me hitting him so hard with that damn crop that he’s in tears and has marks on his butt that last for days! It breaks my heart to hurt him like that, but he says it what he wants. I’m a mess — I really care for him and want to make this relationship work, but I don’t know if I can ever live up to these new expectations. Help!
— Reluctant Daddy
Go on and beat the hell out of him!
No, no — just kidding. Role playing, domination, bondage and fetish are all perfectly legitimate forms of consensual sex. However, both partners should benefit from the fantasy. If you’re not getting anything out of it, a greater problem has surfaced. Feel free to talk to him about it. If he has you beating his ass and leaving marks, what’s a little pillow talk about how something is not turning you on? I’ve said it before, and I’m sure I’ll say it again: Communication, communication, communication! Tell him what works and what doesn’t. It’ll save your relationship.
Keep in mind that it may not be so much what he’s asking you to do, but that he’s asked so much of you in a short time. Perhaps you’d be more comfortable taking baby steps toward being the dominant figure he wants. It could also be that he’s gone a little hog wild — if you’ll pardon the expression — in exploring this area since he waited a while to bring it up to you, probably fearing you might reject the suggestion. He may mellow out in his fetishistic pursuits once he’s had the chance to explore them fully with you. More importantly, if the two of you explore them together — perhaps reading books on the subject, and talking about it more — you should feel less anxiety about the whole thing. Who knows, you might even find it all a little more titillating than you have so far. And isn’t there anything in your wild side you’d like to ask him to try sometime? All’s fair in love and kink.
Got those winter blahs, my little snow flurries? Think about it carefully — maybe it’s a problem or two, and not the cold, that’s got you down. If so, I want to make things better! Send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. For more Truly Yours, visit www.metroweekly.com.