I'm a 24-year-old woman who just ended a five-year relationship. It sucked. I cried. It was my first breakup, so I've felt totally insane for the last three months. Now I'm in the dating world, and I go out with people only to find that we have no physical chemistry. My mother says, "You're just picky." How am I supposed to enter my slutty years if I rarely have a physical connection with someone? I'm starting to think I'm broken; the last few years, I've felt pretty cut off from my sexuality. I feel like I formed some sort of sexual block. Is there a pill for this? How do I break the dam?
— Bring Lass Overtly Clearer Knowledge
Here's how you break the dam: You get high, you consume porn (text or vid), and you read Daniel Bergner's book What Do Women Want? Adventures in the Science of Female Desire. ("It should be read by every woman on earth," Tracy Clark-Flory of Salon writes. "You want a female Viagra? This book is as close as we have to it.") Don't do all three at once, of course, lest you grind the gears off your sex gaskets. But do all three, over a long weekend, and try to relax and listen to your body and allow your erotic imagination to speak to you.
And give yourself a break, BLOCK. Some folks need more than three months to bounce back after ending a five-year relationship. Don't force yourself to date right now if you're not ready. Get high instead, read Bergner, and take in some erotica. And when you are ready to enter your slutty phase, BLOCK, hang on to your pickiness. In my experience—ahem—picky people are likelier to enjoy their slutty phases and likelier to survive them.
Dear Dan —
I'm a newly aware bicurious woman newly wed to the man of my dreams. Before our wedding, I hooked up with my first lady-crush, and now I've opened a Pandora's box of potential threesomes. My husband is supportive and enjoys the bonus of getting to fulfill all of his MFF fantasies. In addition, my cute (okay, jaw-dropping) gay male friend is attracted to my husband, and my husband is so confidently straight and GGG that he says he would consider engaging in a make-out romp with my gay friend for my pleasure. One of my all-time fantasies has been a bi MMF, so this situation presents itself as another Pandora's box that I don't know if I should open. Am I getting in over my head?
— Married Life Is Awesome
If you go for it and it ends badly, MLIA, then you were definitely getting in over your head. If you go for it and it doesn't end badly, then you weren't getting in over your head. The only way to find out for sure which it is—in over? In under?—is to go for it. So go for it. And send pics.
Dear Dan —
I'm a straight woman in my mid-20s living in San Francisco. I have an amazing boyfriend who I'm sure will be my partner for life. However, he confessed something the other night that has me in a daze. Years ago, when he was much younger and had just moved to the city, he appeared in a gay adult film. He thought he might be bi at the time, he said, but the experience made him realize that he's not really attracted to men. I would never leave him over this, but I'm having a hard time processing it. When we have sex, I can't help but think about it, and it's made it hard for me to get in the mood. I want to get past this.
— Confused About Lover's Indiscretions
You live in San Francisco. If you rule out as a potential partner any straight guy who's appeared in gay porn, CALI, you might have to move to another city. Here's something that might be easier than moving: Change your perspective on the meaning of sex between men. When a straight girl messes around with another girl, no one thinks of her as any less feminine. But a straight guy who messes around with another dude is seen as less masculine. The belief that gay sex is somehow emasculating, and that guys who've had gay sex are less manly, is pure homophobia. And this particular kind of homophobia—your particular kind of homophobia, CALI—is killing your desire for your boyfriend. Willing yourself to see what was masculine and manly about your boyfriend's gay porn experience—he wasn't afraid to explore his sexuality because, hey, your boyfriend is one of those completely fearless manly man types—might help you get past it. Good luck.