The full-of-it monty
My boyfriend of two years isn't overtly weird; he's actually a really nice, normal guy, but he has this "hobby" of going for walks totally naked. We live in Vermont, where this is actually legal. I tell him that women find this upsetting, but he is really turned on by being seen naked by them and has no intention of stopping. Also, he can't get aroused with me unless he's been on one of his walks. He says that when he doesn't have a girlfriend, he masturbates while walking, but because he has me, he doesn't. Should his nudism bother me? It really doesn't, but I wonder if it should. — Naked Dude's Girlfriend
I'm always kind of amazed when people write me about how their partner's "really great" — except for this one little thing. Your boyfriend, for instance, is "a really nice, normal guy" except for how he's a sex offender. "Dinner's almost ready, hon," you call to him. "I won't be long," he calls back. "Just taking a quick walk around the block to go scare a few little girls with my wang."
Sure, people should do what pleases them sexually — if they're doing it with other consenting adults. Leaving the house without a blindfold shouldn't be considered a form of consent. Most of Vermont is clothing-optional. (One town passed a law against it, and I'm guessing there are signs reading "no pants, no shoes, no service.") But because it's legal to take your meat out for a bobble in front of the ice cream store doesn't mean it's right to force other people to look at it. On a lesser note, the same goes for nosepicking, which is legal in Canada, the 50 states, Puerto Rico and Guam. Also, what's legal in Vermont is nudism (going naked), not lewdism (going naked with a sexual intent), which is why the latter comes with a maximum of five fully clothed years in a Vermont prison.
A sexual oddity becomes a psychiatric disorder called paraphilia when somebody can't get off without it and is intensely compelled to engage in it ... say, to the point where he's risking jail time. Sex researchers Masters, Johnson and Kolodny write in Heterosexuality that though paraphilias play out sexually, the preoccupation isn't the pursuit of pleasure but fleeing from psychic pain, as with "compulsive handwashing or the person who must constantly line up all the jars and boxes in the pantry into neat, perfect rows." Unfortunately, though there's been some success in treatment with therapy and antidepressants, they find that getting somebody to give up "what he or she deems to be a source of his or her most intense pleasure is likely to be fraught with problems."
The question isn't should you be bothered, but why aren't you? Your boyfriend isn't playing nude volleyball on weekends. He's playing stroke the salami while strolling the neighborhood. Oh, right, he doesn't do that while in a relationship — because his compulsion is fitted with a handy on-off switch? Ask yourself what compels you to stay with a guy who commits sex crimes every time he takes a walk. How much of your life is twisted around enabling him and convincing yourself you have a great boyfriend — even as you hear the faint screams of the little old lady down the street? Every relationship has its issues, and many women complain that their man isn't that present during sex. Then again, that's usually because they suspect he's fantasizing about his hot co-worker, not because they're waiting for him to come back from traumatizing the coffee klatsch.
Don't go Seiko on her
How long should a guy wait to call a girl after the first date? One friend waits a week. A female friend said this annoys girls and a guy should call the next day. This contradicts the old "three-day rule." What is the right timing? — Confused
I like the 30-year rule: "Hello, Tammy, you might not remember me, but I took you out for drinks in 1981." Nothing tells a woman you aren't desperate for her company like taking three decades to call her. That's the point of all of these rules — for a guy to not seem desperate. A guy who isn't probably doesn't call at 9:01 the next morning, but he doesn't sit on his phone for three days like he's waiting for it to hatch. He might text the woman the next afternoon, saying he had a great time and he'll call soon. Curb your desperation by asking lots of women out (so you won't fixate on one) and just hope some stick. Convey confidence by letting your interest guide when you call. Develop confidence and you could charm a woman by breaking the three-second rule — calling her before she's even had a chance to get into her car.
Got a problem? Write Amy Alkon, 171 Pier Ave, #280, Santa Monica, CA 90405, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org (advicegoddess.com). Alkon is the author of I See Rude People: One Woman's Battle To Beat Some Manners Into Impolite Society.