Stripped Senseless

Stripped Senseless

Stripped Senseless

Advice on manners and morals.
July 13 2000 11:30 PM

Stripped Senseless

Please send your questions for publication to prudence@slate.com.

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Dear Prudence,

I've gotten myself into a mess and need advice about how to get things straightened out. I'm married to a woman whom I've loved for 21 years, but the relationship seems to have lost its oomph. I've started to spend time during the day in a local strip club and have gotten really close with one of the dancers. All three of us are in our late 30s to mid-40s. It wouldn't take a lot of encouragement from this dancer for me to trip the light fantastic with her. She knows I'm married, as do all the dancers in this club. I don't get aroused during lap dances, but I can't seem to get enough of this gal. She has the same outlook on sex as I do, whereas my wife is unwilling to try anything different when it comes to sex. I could handle having sex a couple times a day on average. I'm no "Superman," I've just always been this way. Spending time with this dancer makes me feel good. Am I crazy or just horny? What should I do?

—No Signature

Dear No,

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Let Prudie guess: You're the one who's in his mid-40s (and apparently self-employed). If you're concerned about where this is going, take your lap out of that strip club, never to return. If you are looking to blowup your marriage to the woman you have loved for 21 years, you are going about it in the perfect way. Prudie predicts that if you continue with the stripper, the one who shares your outlook on sex, you will not only trip the light fantastic, you will fall into a whole lot more trouble than any oomph is worth. The fact that you're writing for advice is a sign you know you're playing with dynamite.

If you want to stay married and get a grip on this lowdown, not to mention dangerous behavior, go with your wife to a couples counselor and lay it on the line, pardon the expression. With professional guidance, your wife might be encouraged to become adventurous—and you will be helped to recommit to the relationship. If, however, you decide you want to be in the sack twice a day with a stripper, do your wife the kindness of so advising her. As to your question about horny or crazy, right now Prudie thinks you are horny and crazy. Let's hope it's temporary.

—Prudie, frankly

Dear Prudence,

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Some months ago I broke up with a woman I had been seeing for nearly four years. It was amicable—as breakups go—and we're still in touch. Still, I was surprised to hear that she's getting married to a woman (I'm a man) next month. I'm not going to be invited and wouldn't go anyway, but she's planning on sending me an announcement, i.e., a request for a gift. I doubt this marriage is a good idea for either of them, but I know it's none of my business. Still, I'm not entirely comfortable with any of this: receiving mail from her, the stories about how good her new relationship is, and now the wedding. Should I send a gift, and if so, what sort of wedding gift? What response is appropriate for someone you don't really like that much?

—Sincerely,

Glad I'm Not the One Getting Married to Her

Dear Glad,

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Well, she's not really getting married, but Prudie knows what you mean. Look at it this way: At least she didn't throw you over for another guy, sparing you the question, "What's he got that I haven't got?" Regarding not wanting to be in touch, just don't respond. As for a gift, and this goes for anyone you "don't really like that much," just skip it. Like you, Prudie feels that announcements, minus invitations, are simply invoices addressed by calligraphers. In this case, however, for old time's sake, maybe a set of monogrammed towels? Hers and Hers?

—Prudie, playfully

Dear Prudie,

I am a single mother, and my son is 4 years old. His father is not active in his life. Besides all the stuff little boys that age do, I caught him doing something strange: twice now he has been playing by himself, gone into my room, shut the door, taken off his clothes, and tried to put on my underwear or pantyhose. I DON'T KNOW WHY!!! It's really weird, and when you ask him why he does it, he can't tell you. The other strange thing is that he likes to cut out pictures from the Sunday newspaper ads ... no big deal, radios, toys, etc. But last Sunday I let him do it, and he turned to the women's lingerie section and cut out girls wearing underwear! I told him we don't do that, but actually, he didn't do anything "wrong." What do you think?

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—Worried!

Dear Wor,

Prudie thinks this could mean a lot of things—one of which is nothing. Or it could signal that the wee cross-dresser is experiencing gender confusion. Then again, maybe the kid has a budding talent for women's wear design. Experimentation is de rigueur for youngsters, so just watch the situation and see where it goes. If, after a year or so, your young man is still busy with the pantyhose and trying to emulate Barbie, you might want to have him evaluated by someone specializing in children's behavior. And try not to be anxious.

—Prudie, patiently

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Dear Prudence,

My nephew is dating a girl who is very rude, untrustworthy, and arrogant. To make things worse, she claims they're getting married. My nephew hasn't said anything yet. (He's a quiet person.) We have to lock up any valuables because she has already stolen little things from our house. She breaks expensive equipment (two different computers) and has wrecked a car. Her feeling is that she doesn't have to answer to anyone because my nephew loves her! I was always taught to respect the opinions of others, but this girl is stepping on everyone's toes. How do we deal with her without alienating my nephew? No one wants her around anymore.

—Frustrated Aunt

Dear Frus,

If things are just as you say, your nephew is not only quiet, he is nuts. To hook up with a klepto klutz with personality traits that make her a pariah is, to say the least, self-destructive. This girl is clearly in touch with her inner sociopath. Alas, you may have to alienate your nephew. Too bad.

—Prudie, sympathetically