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COLUMN

Savage Love

Your brother is 21 years old and he just came out, SAFF, and his frustration is understandable. He's been watching his straight peers (and his straight brothers) hook up and fall in love since middle school and he feels anxious to make up for lost time. But he won't find that first boyfriend if he isn't willing to put himself out there – and that means giving the guys he meets online a chance, giving the bars a chance, and giving the people who are trying to help him out a break.

My girlfriend of two and a half years and I are ready to move in together. Finally! I am so excited to take this next step, and so is she. The problem is that I work third shift four to five nights a week and she works a regular day job. I can't help but feel that we aren't going to get the full experience of living together with our work situations being what they are. I won't be waking up every morning to her saying, "Good morning, beautiful," etc. What can we do to make this a better situation and take advantage of the next step? Thanks.
The Next Ste
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Here's a tip, TNS: Don't spend too much time comparing your actual relationship, which will always be shaped by circumstances not fully in your control (like your work schedules), to your idealized notions about what a romantic relationship should look like. That only ensures constant disappointment. Don't get me wrong: Once you move in with your girlfriend, there will be days that begin with her rolling over and saying, "Good morning, beautiful." But there will also be days that begin with your girlfriend rolling over and farting. The trick to loving your LTR is to fully appreciate the moments that rise to the level of your romantic ideals ("Good morning, beautiful") without obsessing about those moments that disappoint (split shifts, ripped farts). Good luck!

I'm a guy. I've been with my girlfriend for almost two years. I love her, but in the last year, sex has been an issue. I feel attracted to her, but I find myself easily distracted these days, kind of worried during sex, which has resulted in me either coming super fast or losing my erection altogether. As a result, she does not orgasm at all. It's gotten to the point where I'm afraid to be intimate with her for fear of letting her down. I have gone to see doctors to try to understand if my medical conditions – severe sleep apnea, elevated blood pressure – might have something to do with it. I'm in treatment for these things and I've started going to a therapist, too. I am thinking of buying some sex toys to use while I work to overcome my problems. My girlfriend doesn't own any, and she says she doesn't masturbate because she tried it once and never came. How do I approach her with the idea of using sex toys during sex? Should I? I just want her to experience an orgasm even if I need to get some extra help from a vibrator.
Devil In The Details

Incorporating some adult toys – vibrators and dildos – into your sex life isn't just a great way to maintain your sexual connection while you work on your physical and mental issues, DITD, it's also a great way to take the pressure off your dick. Performance anxiety and worries about leaving your partner unsatisfied can combine to create a hugely destructive, dick-deflating negative feedback loop. As for your girlfriend …

A woman who doesn't masturbate – because she tried it once and it didn't work – has hang-ups, DITD. And a woman with hang-ups is much likelier to forgive a partner for having purchased some sex toys than she is to give a partner her advance permission to go and purchase some sex toys. So find a good local or online sex-toy store and buy whatever you think looks like fun.

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