Amy alkon email@example.com
Q: A couple years ago, I "met" a guy online, and we started e-mailing and sexting (sending sexy texts via cellphone).
We decided to meet, but he canceled. I figured he was married and dropped it. Within a few months, his sexts were popping up again. Five months ago, I met my boyfriend. The other guy was sexting me about once a month. I got a naughty thrill from messaging back. But, as my feelings for my boyfriend intensified, my thrill morphed into disgust. I’d delete the evidence and pledge not to do it again. Well, he sexted me last week, I sexted back, forgot to erase it, and my boyfriend saw it on my phone (by freak coincidence, not snooping).
Not only is he still scarred from his ex-wife’s cheating, my texts to this guy were similar to those I’d sent him. So, I pretty much ruined that thrill for him, and destroyed his trust. I immediately expunged the other guy from my life. My boyfriend left for three hours, then returned, saying we’ve invested too much to walk away. He tells me to stop apologizing, but I want to flog myself and hurt as much as I’ve hurt him. —Punishment Glutton
A: Just 20 years ago, if you wanted to dash off a suggestive thought or two, you would’ve had to buy a card, stamp it, mail it, and wait a week. The heat kind of goes out of "What are you wearing?" if your recipient’s first thought is "Today...or when this was postmarked?" Technology frees up a lot of people — some of them, far too much. Nobody marches over to a stranger in the drugstore and remarks, "I guess the central concern is: Do you look more like a flounder or a moose? Or a Chihuahua? Or one of those midget ponies? Or some sort of unholy incarnation of all four?" But, under the virtual ski mask of online anonymity, blog commenter "WTB" had no problem dashing that off about a TV star. And just as the Internet provides a level of disconnect where some people (especially celebrities) are no longer people, simply attractive targets, cheating by text message makes it easy to short-circuit accountability.
The hands all over you are only yours, and there are no sweaty sheets or motel keys to manage; it’s the affair you can snap shut and drop in your purse.
Although you sent similar messages to both guys, at least you didn’t resort to timeand thumb-saving measures like typing out the elevator scenario once and clicking "multiple recipients." Your boyfriend apparently feels you’re worth the risk and is trying to move on, which is a bit difficult with you hanging off his ankle, wailing about how sorry you are. You might instead turn this into an opportunity to strengthen your relationship by taking a step too few couples do: Come up with a policy for monogamy instead of taking for granted that you won’t two-time (or two-text) each other. Decide what your boundaries will be and how you’re supposed to answer if opportunity knocks (or vibrates).
Oh yeah, and assuming honesty will be an important part of your future together, start by cutting the lame protestations about how disgusted you were — every time — as in, "Oh, this is so disgusting...here, just let me write back once more ... oh, I’m so grossed out. SEND!" © 2009 Amy Alkon, all rights reserved.
Off To A Bed Start
Q:I've been hooking up with a co-worker for four months, but I really want to be his girlfriend. We had sex on our second date, and after that, our dates stopped being dinner and turned into my going straight to his place. I really want to ask how he feels about me, but I'm afraid of scaring him off. If I'm just a booty call, I'll be hurt!
A:As one of my blog commenters observed, dating customs vary from culture to culture. In some cultures, a girl shows she's available by putting a flower behind her ear. Like a lot of girls in this culture, you just put your ankles behind yours. That's fine if all you want is a hookup, but very often, sex on the first or second date is sex on the last date. This doesn't necessarily mean you won't see the guy again, just that you won't see him clothed and seated across a restaurant table from you. Don't ask this guy how he feels (ick!). Ask him to a museum at 10 a.m., and invite him to join you and your friends some evening, and you'll soon discover whether he's interested in activities that are a little more boyfriend than boytoy. If he keeps turning you down, you'll have your answer about his feelings -- that they're something along the lines of "How cool...these days, you can get almost anything delivered, free of charge."
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