Sex With Eugene!
You need sex advice badly? Well badly is how you'll get it.
He was outraged. As in sputtering so much he couldn’t get the words to make sense of the thoughts that were tumbling around in his head. The occasion? After years of him toiling in the audio/sonic trenches, running $100 a foot speaker wire through Sean Penn’s home, learning the finer points of each and everything having to do with the documentation and reproduction of sound, he found out that I had just been made editor-in-chief of EQ Magazine. A magazine devoted to suchlike things.
“Eugene?!?!? Wait…what?!!?” His lips were flecked with spittle now. “He doesn't know ANYTHING about recording and producing!” A sentiment advanced by more than a few. But I had been doing music since 1980, spent enough time in studios to be conversant and much more importantly I knew and understood publishing.
And this is the thing that shocks: that’s all it took.
Moreover George Clinton can’t play an instrument, the Beatles couldn’t read music, and most place kickers are soccer players who know fuck-all about football.
Which is how I came to do sex columns. The very first one, if you don’t count lunchroom in high school, was called “Ask Euge” for Code Magazine. Then “The Guy Spy” for Mode Magazine (the magazine for plus size women!). Then “Avi, Baby!” for The Jewish Blueprint, “Ask Vinnie” for SkullGame, before finally coming to rest at OZY where I called it “Sex With Eugene”.
Now it never surprised me that I’d been doing a sex column presently for over 20 years in one form or another. What surprised me is that anyone would ask in the first place. But I don’t dissemble well, I’m not afraid of hurting your feelings and being the animal that our obsessions with sex have created I’m willing to do it.
Baby Vs. Bath Water
EUGENE, MY MAN: I have a question regarding an upcoming breakup (she's moving for law school to another state). I wanted to know how I should handle that. She's a 10 and is smarter than me. Went to Dartmouth undergrad and is now going to UVA law. Didn't get into her two Chicago schools. And I can't get licensed in VA anytime soon. It's newish, but we both very clearly like each other. I'm 30, she's turning 25 in June. I'm a criminal defense lawyer. She leaves last week of July. She claims she wants to be a public defender, but we'll see. She's from NY and will try to move back after VA. — Paul Piro
Dear PeePee the Sailor Man: You’re a criminal defense attorney? I need a criminal defense attorney! I mean a friend of mine does. I mean there are/were a variety of charges. For my friend. The most salient of which is, well…you know people just seem to give you things when you show them your gun but it’s really about intent, right? If you don’t intend to rob them, well, who…
This is not about me, my friend, I mean. This is about you, my friend. And my mission to keep you from making a stupid, stupid mistake.
Once upon a time I interviewed Lydia Lunch. I had a newsprint pub called The Birth of Tragedy. The interview itself? Life changing. But more than that, after it was over, weeks, in fact, a postcard showed up. It was a nice thank you postcard from Ms. Lunch with one line that’s been mine to live by since then: “we shall dig no graves before our time.”
So constructs in your heads are leading you both to think that her three years of law school are somehow relationship prohibitive. In the vast expanse of your life three years will seem insignificant. So what’s left? Outside of you being either afraid of getting your feelings hurt or doing her a solid of letting her be 25 and date who she likes.
Well, right now, who she likes is YOU. Even if you all were to stay together there’s no guarantee that she’s going to LIKE you on the regular so embrace it now and for as long as it’s there to be embraced. There’s misery a’plenty for all of us down the road a bit.
So, follow my advice and all you lose is a little bit of cash you’ll spend from ferrying back and forth. Don’t follow my advice and you save the cash. Which will be good because at least you can see if you can later use it to buy you love. If pundits are to be believed it won’t, but what do you have to lose? Outside of everything?
Warning: past performance is no guarantee of future success, especially when someone is 25. However, you still lose nothing by choosing love. Outside of maybe your peace of mind and sanity. Which it sounds like is suffering now anyway.
So….DO IT. Now.
The Cock & The Cuckold Crow
EUGENE, MY MAN: Mornin’ Eugene. Hope you and yours are well. Have you ever written a sincere apology letter to the male partner of a woman you had a thing with? And even as I type that I am thinking “why am I asking HIM?” But thanks. — Mr. Thompson
Dear Tommy Boy: Have I? No. I’m not opposed to it but what would I be apologizing for? In any case to me, your desire to apologize feels like a product of hostility. Like those people who are sworn to “brutal” honesty and their affection and attention to it leaves huge swaths of emotional destruction behind while they feel justified because, after all, they were “just” telling the “truth”.
Well, there are lots of truths and while I can appreciate more than most maybe a willingness to be straightforward with me, if my partner’s already done that then I feel no need to be getting all Dr. Phil with her lover. As a younger man I might have felt compelled to spend my time this way but now? Now I’m savoring the sweet breath of what little life I have left and have no time for any willfully embraced difficulty.
We’re humans. We’re animals, or at the very least mammals. Go do your mammal thing. Some would say apologize IF it makes “you” feel better. I say apologize if it makes “other” people feel better. Which, having been on all sides of this sordidness, I can guarantee it won’t.
However, hahah….if you want to be an asshole? Apologize. Repeatedly. In great detail. Using photos and videos, preferably. Final caution: this may get you shot.
Ex Marks the Spot
EUGENE, MY MAN: Is there an Ex Protocol that comes closest to being an acceptable standard? Total silence feels weird. Total talking seems even weirder and usually makes your present partner uneasy. What, that you’ve seen, works best? — Sally
Dear One Girl’s Name Is Sally Joe: A protocol? Nah. No one size fits all protocol. Mostly it’s just personality bound. If you can handle and be reasonable about continued contacts with Exes then have at it. The key to having at it is recognizing the value of the time actually spent together versus attempting to recreate the value of the time spent together. This, without realizing, that while your memories may exist unchanged, pretty much nothing else has.
But change doesn’t always have to be negative. In which case this is trouble and maybe this is when total radio silence works best. Because if your Ex is winning lotteries, awards and is twice as attractive, despite the ravages of time, it might be hard IF you’re both still getting along to put this in “perspective”.
However, that happens to very few of us so the guiding principle should be: would I be happier to never speak to this person again versus speaking randomly and on occasion? Truthfully, I feel like I have a pretty healthy relationship with the past (the past just did a spit take), but most of my past is tied up in my youth so it is something actually nice to look back on and I usually welcome any contact with it, no matter how brief.
Does this involve holiday cards, birthday greetings, and check in calls? Not always. But does an avenue exist whereby you two could just chat about bullshit and then hang up the phone after chatting about bullshit and feel OK about it? If so, do it. If not, then, yes: silence is golden.
If you have sex questions or love queries please send them to me HERE and indicate whether or not you want your name used in the answer.