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Parallax - Advice            May 15, 2000

   'Help!' cried the men, 'Help!'

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It's not often that all our questions for the week come from men, but it seems that their ladies are really straining things of late. Not to worry - our bold SHE-HE advice team never shirks from duty, even when it has to deal with sex-thirsty maidens, women who drop men cold, and girlfriends traumatized by the sexual ambiguity of the real world.

She's using him for sex.
- Should he file a complaint, or stop whining and let the good times roll?
 Date: 05/15/00

She dropped him cold.
- Does he torture himself to get her back, or is it out of his hands?
 Date: 05/15/00

Her bisexual ex got her all messed up.
Is her trauma justified, or does she need to face the real world?
 Date: 05/15/00

From our archives...

EXTRA!! Her boyfriend's boring!
- Should she help him get his act together, or dump him ASAP?
 Date: 05/08/00

He can't meet women in bars
- So who can? Or better yet, who wants to?
 Date: 05/08/00

So, what about working with the person you're dating?
She says PASS, he says GO.
 Date: 05/08/00

She's dating a single-dad who's getting serious fast.
Time to sound the alarm, or is she drowning in a pail?
 Date: 05/01/00

Older woman seeks younger man.
Midlife crisis, hopeless cause, or perfectly normal?
 Date: 05/01/00

They have very different educational backgrounds.
Can the relationship outlast their mismatched ambitions?
 Date: 05/01/00

Renaissance man gives up on housework.
Girlfriend refuses to go it solo. Ultimate battle of the sexes?
 Date: 04/24/00

He needs the perfect 'we're just friends now' gift.
- Our expert advice on this momentous mission.
 Date: 04/24/00

Asking the STD 'test question.'
- A dead-end on Passion Street, or the gleaming Avenue of Common Sense?
 Date: 04/24/00

He cheated, lost her, and wants her back.
Can he 'buy' her love, or does he have to earn it?
 Date: 04/17/00

'I just want a fling, that's all...'
The words every woman wants to hear, or - too much brutal honesty?
 Date: 04/17/00

She's only 26, dating and... divorced.
Should she tell, or will it scare them away?
 Date: 04/17/00

Stuck in girlfriend confusion.
Is he really in love with two different women, or suffering from self-delusion?
 Date: 04/17/00

An innocent work-date blows up in his face...
But is there more to his wife's outraged reaction?
 Date: 04/17/00

Woman vs. Girl.
Proper respect vs. crass sexism, or Mature and wily vs. innocent and exciting?
 Date: 04/10/00

Happiness struck when she least expected it.
Does this call for self-flagellation, or is the situation not so dire?
 Date: 04/10/00

Personal ads in cyberspace:
The cure for superficial bar talk! A miracle waiting to happen! Yee-haw!
 Date: 04/10/00

He's very elusive of late, she never sees him.
She thinks he might be cheating. Innocent or guilty?
 Date: 04/10/00

She's close to being borderline obsessed.
Only a crush, or a prime excuse for exquisite drama?
 Date: 04/10/00

Boyfriend is a born-again liar.
Should she take the highroad or hunker down and help him out?
 Date: 04/03/00

Dream-lady's cat throws him into asthma fits.
Simple case of allergy medication, or woman-cat-man love triangle?
 Date: 04/03/00

Is there a simple rule about which color rose for what occasion?
Or is a rose is a rose is a rose?
 Date: 04/03/00

He keeps calling and calling, he just doesn't get it...
Should she let him down easy or yank out the plug?
 Date: 04/03/00

Correspondent questions the social value of 'significant other.'
Anarchist, revisionist, or clueless?
 Date: 04/03/00

She's using him for sex

Dear Conversely,

Email to a Friend I think my girlfriend is using me for sex. I used to think we were getting serious, and slowly falling for each other, but lately we just seem to get together and have sex. I know that guys aren't supposed to care if they're being used and all that, but now that I've been going through this a few weeks, I'm not sure I like it so much. It's not that I feel used either, I love the sex, but I feel like she doesn't think I have anything else to offer, and this gets me. Should I just say this to her or will it hurt the relationship if I do? I mean, I don't want to loose the sex part either.

Her view:

Dear Used,

If all you're doing is having sex you can be sure she is using you - no doubt about it. And my guess is she doesn't want anything more. This may be because she doesn't take you seriously, isn't interested in pursuing a relationship, or is still in love with her high school boyfriend. Whatever the reason, a conversation won't change that. She's probably not harboring deep feelings of love for you - or even friendship - so you bringing it up will only affect the sex dynamic.

Do you dislike being the sex toy because you have deeper feelings for her, or do you simply feel like you're being used unfairly? If it's the former, you have no choice but to foray into the non-sex related conversation and discuss your concerns. Keeping quiet will only build up your sensitivity and feelings of rejection until you're so angry you'll throw a tantrum. Conversely, if you're just wondering why you're not the center of her universe, given that you are such a splendid creature - then forget it. Who cares? You won't be amazing to everyone, and you're getting great sex. So, unless you think you really have something special with her, end the ruminations and have at it.

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His view:

Dear Used,

If you once thought you 'were getting serious' and now it all seems to be about sex, odds are it is all about sex.

Now, beware my colleague and her potentially unwise suggestions. She probably thinks you deserve getting used and she'll give you cheesy advice about 'talking it out' and so forth.

Listen to me: don't do it.

You don't say a word. Telling her you feel used isn't going to suddenly make her see all your remarkable qualities. In fact, she probably already decided your qualities weren't so remarkable, and she settled on the sex as a consolation prize. The worse thing you can do now is lose further face by getting into a pointless discussion about it. What are you going to say anyway? 'Oh, baby, why don't you love me?'

Instead, slowly begin to distance yourself. Miss a few of your night shifts, but not many, and only randomly - to keep her off balance. If she starts going nuts, you'll know for sure it's all sex.

At which point you choose a next step. If being used really bothers you so much, dump her and find another woman. Who knows, that might help her reconsider your merits outside of the bedroom, and bring her back to you - but then again, it will probably just leave her to her own devices... for a few nights.

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