Q: What have the most unusual columns been for you over the years, and why? Has anything ever really shocked you? Made you laugh, made you cry? Your viewpoint is very objective for the most part, but there must be some times when you think this person is way off the wall.
A: “Unusual” or “off the wall” might not be the best descriptors. Human sexuality never ceases to fascinate me, and what some folks might think is a weirdo fetish — like balls-stomping or fishnet-wearing — actually makes a lot of sense in my Kinsey-stained brain. A handful of questions have stuck out in my mind over the years, though. Here are three that I can think of:
The question: “The girlfriend and I are at an impasse about moving in together. I’m asking that she get rid of her cat, which I am allergic to. She says it’s out of the question. My sister got rid of her dog so her fiancé could move in. How can I convince her that she will be fine living without her cat?” (March 31, 2013.)
My advice: I’m sorry you and your sister were born without souls. Companion animals are lifelong partners, not disposable toys with heartbeats. Drop the issue for six years, spare yourself the expense of moving and donate the money to your neighborhood animal shelter. Your girlfriend will appreciate the gesture and your about-face. Her cat means the world to her and a loving boyfriend wouldn’t present a heartbreaking ultimatum.
Why it sticks out: This one shocked me after the fact, because of the volume of negative feedback I received on behalf of folks with pet allergies. I’d never received so many angry e-mails! I’m a pleather-wearing, PETA-supporting, kitty-cuddling dog owner who wouldn’t dream of sacrificing my companion for the sake of cohabitation. Buy an ionizer, dude.
The question: “Where can you find other ABDLs in Minnesota?”
My advice: ABDL (adult baby diaper lovers) is a community with which I wasn’t able to offer any advice from personal experience. I also didn’t find any local online communities to which I could refer this person. (April 26, 2012.)
Why it sticks out: I left the question up to readers, and sadly have yet to receive any feedback that might make the ABDLs of Minnesota feel a little less alone. Sex advice columnist fail.
The question: “I have been married for 20 years with two teenaged children. My wife has refused to have sex with me or to be intimate with me in any way for five years. She refuses to deal with this subject. I am about ready to walk out of this marriage, because I don’t feel that I should be stuck in a sexless marriage. My anger toward her seeps into other aspects of our marriage.” (Feb. 19, 2009.)
My advice: In a long-term relationship, sex and intimacy are parallel, not intertwined. Household and parental duties should never parlay into the bedroom. If that’s not the fix, then I think this marriage has run its course.
Why it sticks out: I still think of this question often. I can’t fathom why a grown man would not only deliberately subject himself to a relationship full of anger and resentment, but expose his children to an emotionally hostile environment. How can grown adults be so selfish? Screw your ego. Screw the cultural expectations of matrimony and consider being a real example of happiness and fairness to your children. Your priority should be projecting gratitude and positive well-being, for the sake of your kids and yourself.